Monday, February 9, 2009

Holding it together

"So you're holding it together with duct tape. I take it things are a bit rough right now."

No, literally, my bumper is attached to my car with duct tape. It's not a metaphor for the state of my life, it's a description of the state of my car.

There are times when we are hanging by a thread, making it by the skin of our teeth, or just barely gettin by.

Where would we be without duct tape? Sure, it isn't pretty. Yes, it's a quick fix. Some may call it common or tacky. But when your bumper is dragging on the ground at 10 pm on a Saturday night and you are 17 miles from where you need to be, that $4 roll of adhesive cure-all is a mighty nice thing to have.

Things like bumpers, windows, furniture, lucky we are that we have a quick fix like duct tape readily available to us to hold them together. Our relationships, our sanity, our lives cannot be held together so easily. There is nothing we can buy (and certainly not from Wal Mart) to ensure we keep it together through the rough patches. No sticky bandage to cover a hurting heart until we feel strong enough to face the day, no roll of courage to help us make it through the loss of someone we love. What do we use to patch up our lives when that pink slip arrives, someone needs surgery, and we no longer know the face in the mirror?

I think it's faith. Faith that this too shall pass, faith that life is bigger than this situation, this moment. Faith that somewhere inside of each one of us there is a spirit and a unique individual who will do something to get through this and still be able to laugh. Faith is no quick thing-it must be cultivated and developed in order to be strong enough to sustain us in times of need.

Thank goodness for friends. How else would we find silly situations to laugh at after crying for days? What adventure exists that is not made better by having someone else to share the experience? Browsing a bookstore, watching a sunset, raking leaves...all the better to make memories. The jokes, the memories from these times are the things I cherish the most. These are the things we look to when we need reminding of what is good in life. These are the things that restore our faith in our purpose, our great fortune to be on this earth. That faith, those people, those moments- those are the adhesive that help us hold it all together.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Year, New Addictions

We're all familiar with the fantastic tradition of New Year's resolutions- ridding ourselves of damaging behaviors and situations. Optimistically declaring our intentions to become better people, to change the way we've been doing things, informing everyone of our dissatisfaction with the current state of something in our lives. Resolutions- whether they last into Spring or come down with the Christmas lights- have a funny way of bringing new things into our lives. In our quest to become better, fitter, more interesting, more satisfied, more productive, we seek out new people. New focuses. New routines.

My current New Year's addictions include a fantastic faux fur blanket that is the next best thing to having my actual dog curled up in bed with me. It is silky soft and wonderfully heavy. I feel warm and cocooned beneath it, and I find myself looking forward to the time of day when I can be home, nestled in that blanket.

My preoccupation with this blanket began immediately after returning from Christmas and New Year's with my family. It isn't hard to draw the metaphor- back to the routine of my chilly little house and long hours at work, she sought the warm familiar embrace of her family... Too obvious and melodramatic.
What I really love about the blanket is the luxurious quality it lends to my bed, the comfort it brings when I childishly imagine it is in fact Madison curled up at my feet. Sparkling 72-degree weather weekend such as this one remind me that Spring is on it's way. Maybe not this week, maybe not next week, but it will come. We will turn off the heat, put the jackets away, and switch to plain cotton sheets at night. When Spring comes, maybe I'll stop craving the warmth of my blanket. Maybe.

So now my only question is, will I ever be able to sleep without this fantastic humidifier I've grown so attached to this past week?