The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Sleepy Saturday April 6, 2013

The house is clean, right angles have been restored and things are all put away. (We won’t mention the ‘to file’ boxes that sit on my office floor, taunting me…) I’ve reached that seldom-visited place where nothing urgent needs to be tended to, nothing needs to be washed, folded or put away, no one needs to be fed, nothing needs fixing. Elihu is in Chicago and the house is quiet. This is not a place I visit often, and although I spend much of my regular waking life wishing I could get to it, now that I’m actually here, I’m at a loss. What to do? Don’t get me wrong – there is always something to do – to declare otherwise would not be accurate – but the point I think I’m going for here is that without urgency driving me, I feel rather untethered. Aimless, sort of. And while I know I need not feel this way, I do: I feel guilty. I know it’s crazy, it’s a waste of energy. I know, but yet…

I can’t feel all that pointless, for I’ve just spend an hour proofreading a friend’s teaching method book, and inspired by that spent another hour tweaking my own. So it’s not as if I’m sitting entirely idle. I await a call from an old friend who may stop by later today with her granddaughter. It is a sunny, almost mild Saturday afternoon. All should seem well with the world. And all is well. It’s just that in all this space and freedom, I’m feeling like I’m not doing something I should be. Where on earth does this come from? Do you feel this way too when faced with a commitment-free day? Ah, but perhaps you never do have such a day! So. There it is. I have free time, something very few have. This might be why I feel guilty.

My family never once in all my life took a vacation. My ex husband and I never did for that matter. Perhaps this is at the root of my discomfort. Not sure. I’m feeling just so ambivalent about my free afternoon. And for some reason I have a mild headache too… I feel the need for a nap. But again, how can I justify a nap? I’ve waited months for this oasis of personal time in which to do nothing – shall I now sleep through it?

Yes. I think I shall. I’ll take one more walk through the tidy rooms of my house, turn the heat up just a teensy bit, and I’ll lie down. One more day of quiet before I’m needed again. I’ve contemplated enough. May as well sink into a sleepy Saturday…

 

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