Lately, I’ve been thinking of my friend Denise, who often said that life is too short to drink the morning’s leftover coffee in the afternoon, so make a fresh pot (I’m sure she still says that, though now she says it from a distance, and I sure do miss her)! Our current coffee pot does not have automatic shut off and so it will cheerfully boil the coffee all day long if we don’t remember to turn it off.
I hear Denise’s sentiment in my head as I serve myself the charred remains of the morning coffee in the afternoon. And I’ve been wondering: What else is life too short for? What is my post-cancer life too short for?
Everyone’s list would be different, I suppose. I have a lot to be grateful for. But still, I’ve let so many things crawl in through the years and settle down that I would not have allowed if I truly believed I was entitled to choose based on my values, and not on the basis of the many “shoulds” I have allowed to consume my life.
I spent time working in my flower beds in the country this past weekend. Honestly, they are flower beds by default. We had to do something with the area because it had an old stump in it with roots all around and they would get caught up in the lawn mower blades. They were hard to mow over. The stump and the roots are hard to remove. So we dug up what ground we could in that area and started planting flowers. My parents came several weekends ago and weeded many of the weeds and planted new plants. There was a rose bush that could not be planted in the first location we chose because of the roots so we adjusted our plans and moved it to the other side of the bed (where it now seems very happy and is blooming its little heart out).
Anyway, this past weekend, I pulled weeds and a couple of small trees out by the roots in an effort to further define the bed and to make room for more plants. It seems to me the flower bed and my life have a lot in common—many things have happened by default, with no real firm plan in place. I guess one could argue that it worked out okay for both of us. Okay in a raw and organic and occasionally a little wild and beautiful way?
But still, I am left to wonder, what are the things that my life is too short to tolerate? What are the things that need to be pulled out by the roots? What are the things I want to make space for in my life?
There is something else I want to say, but my sense of "should," or maybe, "should not" makes me hesitant to say it.
(Clean up is a bitch, but it is an important part of our life's work.)
Note to self: Life also just seems to work better when clean up is done in a regular and timely fashion.