Against a simple life (Day 101, Year 2)

A friend and I often lament on how everything seems like so much in these days. If it's not one thing, it's another. There is never a peaceful day. It's always something, we say to one another. And, indeed, the new roaring '20s have been filled with pandemic chaos like we've never imagined plus one thing or another. 

Like today: an already busy day with unexpected hard things, like a minor school emergency for one child, a scary emergency for our dog and a painful dentist appointment for our little guy. It is already a jam-packed week--ending with an amazing trip to France (for Lily and I) and an adventure on the Appalachian trail for the other three-fifths of our crew. 

Why can't we just have a good, calm week and flow right into the really exciting stuff?

As I drove back from school drop-off, I just thought, Jesus, why can't I have a simple life? I've been practically begging since 2002 to have a simple life. Give me easy, non-thinking days, where I am focused on the basics of living. Give me nothing much to do. Give me no stories to tell.  Give me no more heartache. . . But wait. 

That isn't really what I want. I don't really want a simple life. I want to think. I want all the stories. I want the heartache, because we all know it only aches because it works so damn hard. 

So, I guess, I have to stop my lament or maybe switch my lament to finding peace in my heart with the chaos. Knowing that it is always something and then another, but then there are quiet days. Trying to appreciate the so much--and knowing that I have so much, because I am so lucky to have so much to love. 

I love that I have the flexibility in my life to take my kids to dentist appointments and help at their book fairs. I love that my daughter knows she can trust me to help her solve sticky situations. I love that I have this sweet, aging dog who is such a big joy in our family. 

And I cannot wish any of that away. It would be like trying to separate salt and pepper. I cannot split apart the good and the bad chaos. So I just have to pray for all of it and pray that I get through it all. 

Friends, it is hard to ask for the chaos. But I don't think I have a choice. The chaos is all the good stuff, too. 

For now, though, pray for our sweet old man dog Henry. He's not himself.  We are waiting for a plan from the vet. We are all scared and sad and depressed and desperately hopeful. Henry is our dog--the barking at strollers, television watching, fiercely loyal, always trash eating, escape artist, ear scratching addict whom we all love. 

Today at his appointment, in his own classic fashion, Henry growled at the person taking payment, but happily trotted away with the Vet providing care. He's brilliant, that Henry.