As I crested the Hoan Bridge, the first leg of my freeway commute to work one morning this week, I was positively taken by the pastel cotton candy swirls of lavender, tangerine, carnation pink, and indigo the sun was painting as it rose over Lake Michigan. I consciously thought, “I need to write about this, maybe snap a photo of these colors dancing off the mirrored exterior of the Northwestern Mutual Life office tower. I need to find the words to capture this breathtaking, Monet palette sky.” Grateful by Better Than Ezra was streaming through the Bluetooth, the perfect complement to this sky. This SKY, you guys! I had a moment.
My song ended as I made the 90-degree turn west, and with it ended that moment of zen. Heading west alters the view from “sunrise over Lake Michigan” to “the way to work,” so I needed reinforcement. I remembered I’d downloaded an audiobook, Theft By Finding, David Sedaris’ most recent collection. Siri sent it to my Bluetooth, stepping over the last notes of my powerful little pop song abruptly. Within my first few minutes with Mr. Sedaris, he read of culling through decades of his diaries, what he noted as sufficiently remarkable about his days and nights. That when he did not find something of import on a given day, he resorted to recording blandness like the weather or how the sky looked that day.
So I was gonna share with you the majesty of the sunrise, but pulled back. I’m no diarist of Sedaris’ caliber, but when someone of his caliber calls it out, maybe hacks like myself should take note.
Any random Thursday, there are a million things to do, but lately I find myself thinking or even saying aloud, “Shoot, I was gonna. . .” Because I’m an anxious individual, my mind races. I caution my children against this very behavior, but often, too often probably, I miss being in the moment. My anxious brain, strategizing seventeen steps ahead, often misses these sublime sunrises because I’m calculating whether I have enough gasoline in the tank to drop #1 off at school, drive to my own school-then to my office-then to a different school-then back to my office-then to a third school, then stop at the Post Office along the way before picking up #1 from school and shuttling him to his bass lesson. Don’t even ask me about picking up the few ingredients needed to complete my dinner recipe. Let’s just have breakfast for dinner tonight, OK?
Here’s a quick sampling of I was gonna tasks I’ve been forced to enlist Siri’s help to complete. No. These are tasks I’m resigned to have to enlist Siri’s help to remind me to complete. Or not. Because even with the list, I was gonna reigns supreme over actual execution of many of the tasks I need/want to do. And, keepin it real? Some days I even forget to consult the list created to help me not forget. *sigh*
Get a battery for my car key (Nope)
Add money to kids’ college accounts (No. I mean I would if we had extra money, but the notion of extra money is absurd).
Look for a new lanyard for T (Does “look for” mean actually “purchase?” No? Then no.)
Buy Andrea a Christmas present (Sorry Andrea, nope)
Check out Catastrophe (YES, and YES you should too. I have laughed out loud and snorted several times per episode. It’s wildly inappropriate, and I L.O.V.E. this show. Sharon Horgan is my new hero. Her delivery of pretty much every line she’s got is perfection.)
Cancel T’s Songsterr subscription (Dangit, another $5.99 down the drain)
Change the bank password (No, because in case I die unexpectedly, the existing password is probably the only one he’d think to use.)
Check my pension beneficiaries (I sent an email, and they sent an email back saying I had to call them to confirm. No, I haven’t called.)
Send email to the department about Friday’s meeting (YES)
Text Pamster happy birthday (Sure did!)
Order checks (Yes. With online bill paying services now, I write so few actual checks that I don’t pay much mind to how many I have or when I need them. I need them. My not-electronically inclined creditors don’t care about my personal banking strategy.)
Call the dentist (Yes, and I even WENT TO THE DENTIST!)
Buy ingredients for slime for K’s speech graduation party (Yes. Can’t let my students down.)
Call doctors (Yes. Can’t let my kid down.)
Look for family photo for Shelly (Seeking is not finding, and then there’s just giving up. I looked once, does that count?)
Get my Kindle (Yes)
Get a card for Jenna (Yes)
Go to Walgreens (Yes)
Go to the library (Yes)
Get a card for P.J. (Yes)
Leave the door open for Ciaran (He stopped coming over before school months ago, you dope, you can delete the weekly reminder now).
Cancel Apple Music (Yes)
Reinstate Apple Music (Within hours, yes. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, child!)
Go to yoga (No)
Go to yoga (No)
Go to yoga (No)
I wish this list was something I made up just for fun, but I was gonna is a too-frequent refrain. I think, I’d like to think anyway, that the people who rely on me would report that my I was gonna has a higher hit rate than the percentage I’ve included here (67% success for those keeping track). I’m more inclined to follow through for others than I am for myself, which is mostly good, right? My kids get to their appointments, bills (sometimes mostly almost always on time) get paid, my family eats balanced meals, I show up for the people I promise I will show up for. . . I wish I didn’t need the reminders though.
And I can’t help but think that this wouldn’t even be a post if David Sedaris hadn’t steered me way from prose drafted in favor of the sunrise. He was wrong though. I snapped this picture a block from my school, and though woefully inadequate in quality, this photo proves the sky merits its due attention.