Laundry day, in this household of three. Shirts and pants and blankets, all neat now, stacked and sorted.
I wish it stopped there.
But it doesn't, and for that I hate laundry. It's not the work that's so awful, but the fact that it's never done. So what if all of the clothes in the basket are clean, because now the ones we're wearing are dirty. And before I'm even done with the folding, before I've matched the corners and put everything into closets just-so, there's something else that couda-been, shoulda-been, woulda-been washed.
And the pile starts again.
Things that I can't check off my list bother me. Things like laundry and groceries and cooking and scrubbing. Some days, life feels like an endless loop of tasks that I cannot possibly finish.
I'm a shortest-distance-between-two-points-is-a-straight-line kind of woman. I'm not so big on the journey, especially once I've arrived at my destination. I don't rest well until the list is done, or at least until I've checked off enough that I feel like I might have earned the chance to relax.
But destinations are hard to come by in this life. When will I really be a writer? When I'm published? Well, that didn't happen. When I get a check for my words? Not then either. When I have a book all my own? I doubt it.
In fact, some of the most important things we do in life are things we can't check off a list because they're things that are never done. Caring for a family. Loving people. Becoming whole. We're never there, just wandering in a generally "there-ward" direction.
To wander is to see things differently.
When I wander, while I may have a destination in mind, I'll stop and enjoy things on the way. When I wander, I can be distracted but it's ok because the distractions add a richness and a texture to my life that I wouldn't have otherwise. When I wander, sometimes I end up arriving somewhere other than where I'd intended.
Wandering is harder than going directly, because it means I might miss out on my goals. The Great Good that I see off in the distance might never be mine. I may get mired in the slop of everyday life, the mess that living life with other people brings. I might decide that the goal wasn't so important anyway, that the life I have is enough. I might even decide that I don't want it after all.
But when I wander, like a child wandering with her crayon across the paper, creating spirals and lines and freedom, I find today. When this day and this moment aren't just stepping stones to something more, aren't necessary but frustrating rest areas along the highway that leads to something better, I can enjoy them. I can let these moments fill me and sustain me, whether for further forward motion or just so I can find another day like today and enjoy it again.
So may we all wander and, in our wanderings, find the gifts this day has to offer.