the simple minded suburbanite


The Payoff
March 11, 2010, 2:40 am
Filed under: authenticity, parenting, suburbanite, voluntary simplicity | Tags:

Picture of Spring Crocus - Free Pictures - FreeFoto.com

The weather in the south has been shitty, much like the shitty weather all over the country.  But, for me, the rain and cold and wind steals away one of the few good things about living in the south for me…cutofffs in February!  I’m a midwesterner and little grips my chest with agnst from my past as the thought of seasonal depression, which I was quite prone to in the long , snotty nothern winters that often last through April and into May.  I find myself complaining this winter, though I know I have no right.  I know what a real winter is and my extended family in the north is up to their titties in snow.

But, today, I caught my first glance of spring, rather, my littlest son caught the first glimpse of spring:  a single purple crocus pushing out from the nearly disintegrated pinestraw.

My, how we admired that little crocus.  We crouched next to it until I felt my knees ache much as they do when I hold Warrior 2 too long in yoga class.  How much chatter we had, discovering all of its little siblings also pushing their way through. We guessed at which would be the next to bud and what color it would be.  We talked about bees and how my son wanted to plant rose bushes so he could take a rose for his teacher every day and how he really wanted to pick this crocus for me but how, though I loved that he wanted me to have it, I loved that it was here, in our drab little flower bed, where everyone else could see it.

And, I was right, others noticed our lone, little crocus.  Next was my middle son, just off the bus, who dropped his backpack and then to his knees to admire and investigate the little purple flower.  And a similiar conversation with him followed full of wonder and smiles.

And I thought about the warm, sunny day last fall when I planted the bulbs.  How I was very tired and up to my own titties with work and chores and how I could’ve accepted a friend’s invitation to join her and some other mommies on her porch for some wine while the kids played.  How I turned that invitation down and fought the urge to turn on Oprah and partially doze for an hour before wrestling up dinner.  How I, instead, decided to plant the bulbs I had bought at Walmart weeks before.  The bulbs I had partially resigned to let rot in my garage and never really get to planting.  Yet,  the bulbs I couldn’t resist buying.  How I had put half of them back in the bins set at the isle end caps, because I wanted to stay realistic about how many I could forge time to plant.  But plant I did.

And I have to say, on that planting day.  I felt kinda good about getting them in the ground, but I wasn’t overly satisfied.  I did not feel the sort of satisfaction I feel when I buy a pack of Double Stuffed Oreos and ration them out to myself  or when I quietly slip my hand between my legs while my husband lets the dog out for her last pee-pee of the night, shuts off the lights, and locks up.  Though, then again, planting the bulbs didn’t cause much guilt, either.  I was mostly satisfied that I had started AND finished a project and that made me mildly happy.

But to see the tiny purple flower smile at me and smile at my boys, wow.  And though I did not witness, nor do many people, the flower actually bud and open up wide, I was present enough to witness the unfolding of my childrens’ minds and souls and actually share in that with them.

Makes me think, what other things have I taken an hour to do that might be causing the same kind of magic happen?  Things I might not even be thinking about.  Things that maybe I don’t feel all that much like doing at the time, but for the short time it takes to complete, actually have a, albeit delayed, really big payoff.

What sorts of things have you taken an hour to do here and there that have made a big, or even little, difference?  For yourself?  For your family?  For the world around you.

Turn off Oprah (unless she brings Sarah Palin back on, or even better, Tina Fey).  Put down your glass of Baybridge.  And think about potential payoffs.

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