For a time, a time and a half and then some, my morning conference calls and email correspondences would begin at as early as 4am. As I'd routinely wake up without the aid of an alarm at 3am, this wasn't a problem so much as a specialized schedule. But some days, as I careen myself into the telephone, speaking about things I thought faintly warrant a debate about over lingo I struggled to understand, I said to myself, I wish I had a morning free, just once.
Be careful of what you wish for, a voice replied.
What would you do if you had the morning free?
Well..., Let's see.
I would have a proper lavender bath, slather on a cold ginseng mask straight out of the fridge, and put on the words of "Starting Your Day Right " until it sings a smile into my heart, instead of rushing through a lukewarm shower while meditating on the delicate balance of politics versus teamwork, P&L versus spirits and morals, strategy versus daydreaming.
I would properly drop the kid off at school by walking with him, greeting the crossing guard and classmates with smiles and appropriate words. I'd give him a hug, a homemade lunch and a wish for a great day, instead of practically tossing him out while the car is still considering sliding further into the curb, shouting "hurry, the second (final) bell just rang!"
I would linger in the warm embraces of the morning sun streaming through my window, lighting up my curtains and my soul, instead of saying goodbye too early with a longing and a grudging noise of regret when I rush into the dark damp dungeon that is my garage.
I would sit on my ten year old desk and open my brand new journal and pour out my thoughts, tell my stories and connect with the world of written words with a flick of my wrist, a peer into my past, a tug on my heart, and a deep desire to be heard, instead of sitting in perpetual traffic, road raging and contemplating joining the league of those cutting me off, whom I can not beat.
I would finally write that letter to Phillip, my fourteen year old orphan (who lost both parents to AIDS) in Africa, in my own words instead of the masks of strength and encouragements I put on, tinged with just a smudge of patronizing superiority in the rush of time commitments. I'd tell him how much he has blessed me through his story of survival and perseverance, and how fortunate we all are to be able to connect in hope and faith regardless of where, how, who, when and why. I may tell him a little story about being left behind by my own parents when I was young, of how it had changed me forever, though it may take up all the paper in the allotment and more, tear smudges not withstanding.
I would breathe easy, and shed the heavy coat of guilt, inadequacy, fear and shame, and walk out in whatever I feel like wearing, in body and in spirit, rather than what I know the world or the office, could tolerate to see me in.
I would pray to a God of love instead of one of rules and regulations and of causes and effects, I would hum praises of compassion instead of thinking thoughts of judgments from human perceptions. I would wear my roles on the stage of life like a bouquet of feathers in my hair, rather than as a suit of armors.
I would live those brief moments free, to do justice to that offer of reprieve, before returning to my regular old self of over-thinking and overdoing, and fail as I might, be comfortable in that skin too.