The fortune cookie read my mind. No sooner had I put the half-eaten parts down that I remembered I was feeling like I was in a swamp. The mud sploshing with every step, the gunk getting inside the shoes soaking the socks, the squishy sound the mud made inside the wet socks and shoes. The way the cleaning would involve gallons of waters or tossing the shoes right out This was at night though, which is when I feel the most exhausted. Take my time? With what? All I do is rush through everything so that I can actually feel like at some moment in my day, I will be able to take my time.
I couldn’t possibly take my time with dinner because it was way to close to the time the kids get to bed and frightenly close to the time the 2 year old would wake up again. I could take my time with the dishes but no way was that going to make me feel like I was not walking on mud. Still, the cookie had spoken and I was being cynical about its wisdom and not taking it to heart.
Instead of putting the fortune into the pile from which I pick randomly, I decided to study and mediate slowly on the ideas of walking in mud and taking my time.
I had covered the visualization of walking in mud and that made me so tense I felt my shoulder blades touch my earlobes in one muscle spasm. I turned to taking my time. How about if I just didn’t have time? Time is the one thing I am always longing for or needing to have more of.
The frenetic pace of the sponge underneath me was telling me that I was worked up. I stopped and turned around and looked at the way I had left three pots and pans soaking for the next day and the sponges in complete disarray. I had thrown the dishtowels around the stove and fridge handles. Right there and then I decided to take my time.
I washed the pots and pans, dried them and put them away. I cleaned the counters more carefully then I did before and stacked the sponges neatly on top of one another. I programmed the coffee maker to wake me up to brewing coffee. I put away a couple of errant things that didn’t belong in the kitchen and neatly folded the kitchen towels into long narrow shape that fit nicely into the stove and fridge handles. I looked at my worked satisfied. I took my time to notice that I had taken the time. More than anything, the next morning when I went in to get my coffee all made for me magically by the coffee maker, I really was able to see the fruit of the cookie’s advice.
The word I learned today in Chinese was: hopeful. You have to take your time to say it in Chinese because it takes three characters to make up the word.