Myself and my household have reached fatigue levels when it comes to the pandemic, homeschooling and work. We are also ready for 2020 to come to an end. Nothing seems as it should. Time seems to be going neither fast nor slow and it’s only the 10th day of December. Day 31 can’t seem to come fast enough. Or should it. What difference would it truly make if today was the end of 2020 and I have nothing to show, nothing to share, not even stories or experiences of how 2020 taught me to live. It did. For all its headache and heartaches, all its pain, all its chaos and role confusion, 2020 taught me to live life, experience it fully, notice it, invest in it, not passively but actively, as if every single minute, every single hour, day, month, mattered. They do. 2020 will go down as the year I started to find my flow, one experience at a time, even one daily keep at a time, all on my own terms and I have so many books like this one below to thank.
I am also blessed to see and experience life clearly through the lens of those who sacrifice theirs daily or the little sacrifices we make for others. Around 4:30am this morning I watched as my husband rushed to work for yet another case of stroke. He got home last night around 9:30 pm and barely slept through the night with one page after the other. I am a light sleeper so whenever he is on call, I am too. The hospital where he works has a Covid-19 surge and one critical manifestation is stroke. As I type this, he is probably scrubbing in to remove yet another blood clot from a Covid-19 patient. Apparently he does this often, performs surgeries on Covid-19 patients, intentionally exposing himself and his family to the virus and yet people refuse to wear mask.
I should also be sleeping but I can’t, not while I’m still breast feeding a 5 month old boy who eats on demand. Then there are the never ending obligations, never ending homeschooling assignments. By the time you add all this up, the ability to experience life on its own terms, to learn new things, to empathize or even grow beyond my limit is the last thing on my mind. Yet, I am determined to experience life to the fullest. Not with big things, but subtle things, slow things, passing things, even mundane things often taken for granted. Like typing this as I breastfeed my son in one arm. It’s my way of a staying up as he breastfeeds. Even the sacrifice of yet another sleepless night is worth it when you consider how babies create ripples in one’s life that is startling, with demands of fixed attention for every breath, every smile, every milestone achieved, every single moment demands attention. I wouldn’t trade this world, the serenity of a breastfeed sleeping baby after another round of feeding, for anything.
Neither would my husband. Every case is precious to him, another life worth saving, another clot worth removing and though it takes sacrifices like sleepless nights and early morning surgeries in the middle of a pandemic. If he was typing this, he would also agree, that we all need to keep experiencing life as is. Our experience won’t be perfect or by design. In fact, quite the opposite with sleepless nights in some case. But it’s ours, however we choose, it’s all ours to experience. So keep it, especially on your terms. I should be sleeping but I’ll rather do this. Experience life, one keep at a time.