I hate the parking lot at the King Soopers on 9th on Capitol Hill in Denver. I do everything I can to avoid it, usually walking or riding my bike or scooter to the store. If I must drive, I park on side streets to avoid the clustered nonsense of that parking lot. It’s the pits.
Today, on my way home from another appointment, I went ahead and parked in the parking lot. I let others go before me who were trying to squeeze in. I yielded for many a pedestrian. I was unhurried.
I was dropping by to pick up some potatoes to make for tonight’s weekly potluck I’ve been going to with some new friends recently. Potatoes, inexpensive and time consuming.
I am unhurried.
People close to me know that patience is not one of my virtues.
Also, I say yes to a lot of activities and stretch my schedule so that it is complicated and full, usually leaving me little time for travel, let alone regular meals, cooking, exercise, long showers, lounging around with friends. I recognize that there is a cost-benefit involved. I’m insatiably curious, greedy for experiences, and almost always in a hurry. I accept those costs. There are unintended consequences though. I get frustrated and stressed out. I get impatient. Because I am in a hurry.
Not right now.
A couple of weeks ago, I left a full time job that was killing me, for a variety of reasons I won’t belabor here. I have a lot of my time back, but not a lot of financial security. Again.
But I am back in the classroom, teaching at the college level. This feels nourishing and challenging, an expression of and stretching of my skills. I am teaching a Diversity Seminar, a topic that feels intimate, difficult, and so beautiful to share with others. I am re-engaging with my journey to examine my many privileges and look anew at the world through a critical lens, examining power, oppression, and my sense of responsibility in the mix. I relish sharing this journey with and alongside other students. I love that I get to sit in the facilitator’s seat and guide the exploration of a group of 18 students through these, oof, complicated conversations at this, oof, painful cultural moment. It feels meaningful and, unlike previous semesters, I feel unhurried as I work through the syllabus I developed.
I am hustling. I am embracing freelancing as I look forward to the rest of 2018. It feels vulnerable. I am actively reaching out to my network and saying that I am available for hire, if there is something I can do to plug in. As I’ve talked with folks, the responses have been full of opportunity.
In fact, I am experiencing abundance, not scarcity.
I have been offered paid public speaking opportunities, where I will be given the mic to speak to hundreds of young women about leadership, for example. I have been offered the chance to collaborate with a large local cultural institution on a bizarro performance art project-collaboration that I am very excited/nervous about. I am forging connections with folks who would like me to teach in classrooms and community sites doing, well, I am not exactly sure what: Theatre? Play? Connect with young people about art? Share my enthusiasm about being alive? Abundance.
Through a friend, I’ve been turned on to an opportunity to support elders in their end-of-life journeys, through attendance and companionship and through case management. If I land this gig, I’ll be so thrilled. I’ve wanted to work with people at the end of life, for a long time. Plus, I will need to practice quietude, contemplation, modulating to another person’s rhythm. I will need to be unhurried.
I won’t always have this spaciousness. In fact, if you take a peek at my inbox and my to-do list, you’d know that I don’t really have this spaciousness now. But it’s more than usual.
And now is my time. My time.
spend time with, make meals for, play games with, and hold in any way she needs holding a dear friend of mine who will be having a major surgery soon
use some of my previous knowledge of case management to support a new friend’s family as they navigate the system for folks with disabilities
talk on the phone with friends I don’t really get much time for
clean my house
write letters to people in prison
play board games with my neighbor-bestie
take hikes with my partner
write little weird extemporaneous blog notes
This is my unhurried time, for now, to:
Sit patiently behind the wheel in the parking lot at the Capitol Hill King Soopers as busy people distractedly push carts and haul bags to and from their cars. I’ve been them. I’m always them. I’ll be them soon, probably in just a couple of weeks. But for now. I have nowhere to be.