Wednesday, April 19, 2023.
“I think…well I think I can start with the old ceiling tiles. They have to come down anyway.”
I surveyed the next steps of clean-up at the building, giving thanks for both the building and the time to even think about old ceiling tiles. In my head I recounted the months since I had worked on the renovation project. I had anticipated this moment yet once again, fear returned too.
The remnants of my back dive off a ladder still clouded my enthusiasm. Over a year has passed since that fall. I had been descending the ladder with fair amount of safety precautions, but I had forgotten my placement. Thinking I was at floor level, I misplaced my step.
The old saying rang true. “It could have been a lot worse.”
My head, covered in my brain bucket, just tapped the concrete. My hips hit as well as my wrists. Nothing broke or even seriously bruised. But for weeks I could not grip my hands or flex my wrists.
I had climbed ladders and even navigated up a roof ladder but there is something about a twelve foot ladder which causes me to pause.
The world news…I work my way through them and I work many times to literally be able to process the news. The soundest position from which I view is as a mother. I look at the world of an airman who shared military secrets to the economies of energy. I watch as future candidates for the 2024 US presidential race begin to declare their intentions. And I pray for the wisdom to shape my own universe in positive, progressive directions.
And yet, there is a piece of my heart which imagines the influx of that wonderful magic of the universe. My heart desires the next generation to have those moments – do you remember them? Every once in awhile, a person experiences a piece of life which causes one to stop on the path.
“What in the world was that?” And the only answer to reveal itself is that of “Thank you, G-d!”
One and a half months ago I had decided I wanted to change my position at work. Almost just like two years ago when I thought about changing stores. The idea was not mine but it had crossed my path. I laughed a bit at the possibility of working overnights.
As point of concern, I would be reverting to my night owl tendencies. True, the hours would be within a controlled, four day stretch of twelve hour shifts. But still, the work and the hours would be brutal. I had been working those amount of hours anyway, but not throughout the night.
As a positive point, with the overnight position, I would then have multiple days off as a usual rotation. My days off would always be in succession. Another positive point was that I would be casting myself into a realm in which I had not been before. I would be learning a totally different side of the business.
As odd as the choice seemed to others, to me it made so much sense. I grew more and more intrigued. I mentioned my interest. To my surprise, an opening existed!
That overnight change happened weeks ago. In the time since, I have bombarded myself with new appointments and rescheduled follow-ups and everything else I had delayed. Even simple communications I had neglected, I resumed.
“I’m sorry I delayed getting back to you. I’m sorry I needed to reschedule.” I repeated these phrases often. Even so, I found an understanding world and a peace of mind. Instead of scurrying, I found time to practice mindfulness.
Especially a practice of mindfulness to myself.
The day finally arrived when I could spend time at the building. Other than an early spring ice blockage on the east roof drain, Matthias weathered another Wisconsin winter.
“I will start just as I always have,” I reasoned to those solid steel trusses. “I will clean you up, one bag at a time if I must.”
A person forgets that the backward falls and missteps and almost disasters really do comprise muscle and brain memories. Sure, I was rusty and overly cautious, but I could feel myself remember.
I stepped up and down. I cursed when I reached too far with a hammer as I stood midway up the ladder. I rolled my eyes to myself as I hoisted a rake to pull at the dangling tiles. Still, I relearned.
Slowly, with an awful, methodical pace, I tore down tiles.
For the first time in an awfully long time – in a wait that seemed prescribed perfectly to me – I looked up at that glorious roof as by the gift it always has been. I looked to the work ahead of me with a soul which has waited a whole life time to be fifty-seven years old.
In these past few weeks, I have often said to myself, “I have waited a whole lifetime to be fifty-seven.”
“Thank you, G~d.”
Wishing you love, laughter and even more love,