Sunday, September 18, 2011

Life on Pause

I was sick. Really sick. The kind of flu-sick where you babble.

I still am a bit. I'm waiting for all the garbage to leave my system and self-medicating with Oreos. Having called off of work last night, I have actually had this Sunday off, and I spent it on the couch watching broadcast television. I can't remember the last time I just watched one channel for any length of time. It reminds me of being a kid watching channel 36 in Toledo, when they played movie after movie on the weekends. This small break in life is making me realize how much I needed it, and that my work schedule just isn't, well, working.

But it's what I've got for now, and with our impending move it will get a little better. No more night shift. It's taken a toll that I didn't foresee. I feel like I work all the time, because staying up every night blurs the line between days. This lazy Sunday, acquired only via illness, has been a blessing in disguise.

I've been so involved in our next step, our frustration and our concern that I really haven't been enjoying anything. Especially this year, I felt like I had to keep moving, like I was a target, and often times felt like one. Today, I'm thinking a lot about what I've liked: treasuring memories, recalling the past. I don't do this. Ever. But today...

I'm enjoying the memories of the beautiful landscapes of Kentucky and Pennsylvania. In college, I explored them. I hiked. Spent a lot of time outside, sometimes in meditation. What happened to that?

I'm remembering spending time with people in our church families: playing board games, watching fireworks, grilling out, watching "Family Guy" (of all things) after our college-age Bible study.

I'm thinking of being a kid growing up in our old, creaky, half-painted house. It was a Jaycees haunted house before my dad fixed it up, and so the unpainted upstairs rooms were all black. There were raspberry and elderberry bushes outside, an apple tree and a chicken coop, sometimes with chickens and fresh brown eggs, with an inordinate amount of double yolks.

I'm daydreaming of our first house as a married couple, and how my wife's car got stuck in the backyard when she went to look at it. Before we got married, she had a car accident in that car. I got there right before the ambulance did, and I helped pull her out of the car.

Looking back today, I can't believe all that happened. Do you ever feel that way? Here today, sick in our apartment in this lonely city, all of that seems like a different life, like a bunch of movies I watched on a Sunday afternoon. Memories have their way of making you feel like that.

This year....man. You're getting tired of me writing about it, I'm sure. It's been a total contrast. We went from a decade filled with activity, movement and social interaction to a less interesting construct of work, eat, sleep. I feel like that's all we've done. The good news is that graduate school is on the horizon. Being among friends is coming soon. It's coming just in time.

So, in a few weeks, we set out to fix what is broken, to right our wrong. And thank God. I don't feel like we've made any memories here. We're trying again to crank up the machine, and the gears are creaking and wincing. But they are moving.