I helped my wife pack the car, put the kids in their seats and gave them advice and kisses. I watched the car back down the drive, turn onto the street and drive away.
In my mind they were at the beach that instant. As soon as they left my sight they were where they were going. They were at the beach and I was shutting the gate. They were running in waves and I was feeding the dogs. They were building sandcastles and I was drinking coffee in the heat, listening to an interview with Wynton Marsalis instead of working.
And there’s the rub. I stayed home to get work done, but I’m not used to freedom and it pulls at me. When was the last time I worked in the yard without doubling as a lifeguard and a referee? When was the last time I watched a baseball game at noon and drank beer with my lunch?
I have always felt that sick days were best spent on staying healthy and feeling alive. Work sucks, may as well be sick there.
I don’t get sick days. I work at home. Somedays I put in four hours and somedays I put in fourteen. Sometimes I shower and sometimes I’ll go weeks without shaving. I am afforded the freedoms of containment. There are no expectations of society inside my home, just a need for shelter and attention. I supply both. I take what I can.
I have a lot to do. I am behind in my work. My yard needs tending. The daily chores of running a household are days behind. If I start now I could make a dent, not finish mind you- these are works in progress. They are in motion and they shall stay in motion. If I start now I can make a dent.
Would my hours be better spent working on pieces of income or peace of mind? Are they one and the same?
They called me from the road. My boys said they missed me. They said they loved me. They were putting their toes in the sand and I was standing barefoot in a lawn that needed mowing. They were laughing in the sun and I was lost without them, waiting for the tide to come in.