After church this morning, my family and I went out to lunch with my sister. It was a lovely time. Unrushed. Relaxed. We laughed and ate. Didn't talk about lost jobs or bills or snow. I had a sangria. Afterwards, we ran a few errands. My daughter went to Bath & Body Works with her aunt and got a whole lot of stuff 13-year-old girls love.
Of course, I had work I should have been doing. Grading. Reading. Writing. I decided to indulge in a little "me" time instead. I'm experiencing a little guilt now for the time I've wasted. However, I feel sane. More sane than I've felt in a very long time. All of my problems are still there, waiting for me. But, just for one afternoon, I took a break from worry.
Two years ago, I had other worries.
April 6, 2012: Uncle Scrooge, Gay and Light of Heart, Day Off
"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man, whatever he is!" said Scrooge's nephew. "He wouldn't take it from me, but may he have it, nevertheless. Uncle Scrooge!"
Uncle Scrooge had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart, that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return, and thanked them in an inaudible speech, if the Ghost had given him time. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by his nephew, and he and the Spirit were again upon their travels.
Scrooge loves visiting his nephew Fred's Christmas party with the Ghost of Christmas Present. He plays the games, dances, laughs--even though he's not really there. He's just a phantom, and yet he feels more alive than he has felt in his adult life. Scrooge is learning about the joy of family, friends, and Christmas.
I'm not working today. At present time, I'm sitting in my living room, watching my three-year-old son. He's currently enthralled with Curious George on PBS. In a little while, I'm going to hop in the shower, and then we'll be off to Wal-Mart for some grocery shopping. My son has already had several tantrums this morning because I won't let him play games on my iPad. These quiet moments at home--even with my son screaming "I want to play on iPad!!!"--are what I miss most when I'm at work.
I know I'm missing a lot in my son's life by working as much as I do. I can't change my work hours right now, however. We're barely able to pay our bills with what I earn. If I cut back on overtime or work days, we'd be sunk. So, I'm like the phantom Scrooge, enjoying stolen mornings of pleasure. Like Scrooge, I laugh, play games, and dance. And I wear my son's firefighter's hat. Backwards, so that I look like a pirate, according to my son.
Gay and light of heart, Saint Marty is enjoying this scene, before it passes away in a breath.