There are such inconveniences that we regularly experience. Every time I drive, I realize how people cut other people off, or tailgate, or act like they are the only ones on the road. There are parts of our jobs that we don’t like, from mundane tasks to intimidating conversations. We all, if we were the boss, would do things differently.
There are always dishes to do and laundry to wash and cars to maintain. At the edges of our lives, and sometimes much nearer than the edges, is the indomitable stress that follows us. Financial stress. Relational stress.
There are dreams deferred that burst like raisins in the sun, there are hopes that fall out of our pockets like loose change.
There are no parking spaces.
There are long lines, and no stamps, and mornings when we are out of coffee. There are nights that these inconveniences gather together and shout at us so that we cannot sleep. There are days when what we own and value breaks: a washing machine, an oven, a car, a relationship.
There are times when we are put on hold, both literally and figuratively.
And yet, there is not enough time. We fail to find time to do what we love: to take a run or a walk, to write or paint or garden or play or read or sleep. Some days, hours go by and we forget to laugh. Some days, time simply runs past like a frightened mouse, and it disappears into some blank space along the wall. Some days, we forget to breathe deeply. Some days, the inconveniences follow us like a predator; they stalk us, and we must run hard simply to stay a step ahead of them.
And then: you sing your daughter to sleep, and feel her weight on your chest, and the quiet peace of the room. A fan blows because it is summer. Your daughter, half asleep, burrows herself into you, closer to you. The moment sweeps all of those inconveniences away and you wonder if somehow all of those inconveniences were payment for this. If they were, you would gladly, gladly take them all again.