April 23rd, 2008


One of my more cherished illusions is that change is possible. That, somehow, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, one of these days I will Figure It All Out, Find The Perfect System, and Do Things Right At Last.

You never know. Miracles happen.

While I’m waiting for the miracle, I come up with plans to improve myself. I will be smarter if I do a puzzle every day, like this one. I will be a better writer if I set myself exercises. If I find exercise I actually enjoy, like ballet, I’ll do it regularly and I’ll lose weight. I will be a better parent if I… well, I haven’t got a plan for that one.

In Just Fifteen Minutes a Day, I can try to have a clean house or a better body or more nutritious food or more organized closets. I can read to my kid, fold the laundry, empty the trash cans, read up on current events.

If I just get up half an hour earlier, I can fit in a full workout, or more journal pages, or time to pray, or a little yoga, or some bathroom scrubbing. I could be well-dressed. I could have groomed eyebrows. My pots could shine. My plants could survive.

Then I remember that I already get up most days at 4:30. There is only so much time. I begin to doubt that anything will ever happen, that the single pages will ever make a novel, or the plants ever bloom. I wonder why I bothered to get up at all.

And then, the miracle sneaks up on me. Brent comes home with a flower for me, a bit of color to put on my desk. The orchid has its mouth wide open, as if it were singing for the pure joy of the day.