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Returning to the Basics

Yesterday I had coffee with the twins’ old Kindergarten teacher.  We do this from time to time, especially now that the twins are out of elementary school.  She is one of the kindest, gentlest, wisest women I know.

Technically, we had the coffee date on the calendar for several weeks, but it felt like it materialized at the exact, right moment.  I received bad news as I got to the parking lot, and I had to walk inside with a straight face, trying not to cry.

Okay, I did cry.  But that’s not the point.  The point was that who better to spend time with when your heart is hurting than a warm, caring Kindergarten teacher?  She is criss-cross-applesauce and sound-out-the-word and add up the green pegs.  She is a reminder that everyone starts somewhere, and that the simplest moments are the ones that stick with you forever.

Like your children’s old teacher buying you a bagel for dinner because everyone needs to eat.

It’s funny because one of the twins has a roundabout way of doing things.  We say that they operate by their own clock.  They always get there in the end, on their own schedule.  This fact came up in the conversation, and we marveled that it’s true — leave that kid alone with some gentle prodding in the correct direction, and they will get there in the end.  (Whenever there may be.)

I am the opposite.  I am obsessed with time; with controlling time and using time wisely and worrying about time.  I never worry about my kid reaching where they need to go, but I worry about myself.  I worry that I am late.  That I’m not making the most of every moment.  That I am being left behind.

It makes no sense: How I can trust time to unfold as it needs to unfold with my kid, but I don’t release my death grip on my timeline for myself?

I’m running a race but I’m the only one on the track.  There will be no winners or losers because there’s just me, huffing along as if I’m being chased even though there is no one else there.

I think that sometimes the universe places the right person in your path at the right time.  That is what happened yesterday: a randomly scheduled coffee date unfolded right when it needed to unfold, reminding me through comfort, kind words, and the acknowledgment of well-timed coincidence that there is a timeline out there.  I just have to do enough to head in the correct direction.  I’ll eventually get there.


1 Cristy { 11.02.16 at 8:39 am }

I have a similar problem. I can look at others and see their paths unfolding in their own way, but I worry that I’m always behind and not meeting the necessary goals (hourly, daily and even in life). I know I’m harder on myself than others, but it’s very hard not to feel like I’m floundering.

I’m glad you had this coffee date. This teacher sounds incredible. And you are right about people coming into and out of our lives as needed. It’s reassuring to know that we aren’t doing all of this alone.

2 Charlotte { 11.02.16 at 9:49 am }

I’m sorry you got some bad news. I hope it isn’t anything serious and that everyone you love is okay.
I’ve been feeling a similar way lately. I finally blogged about it today and I feel a tad better. But the time thing, and not knowing…it’s hard. And yes, one foot in front of the other, keep living life, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Head in the direction you need to, and let life fall into place. (Easier said than done, I know).

3 Beth { 11.02.16 at 12:53 pm }

I’m sorry you got bad news. I’m glad you were with the right person at the right time.

4 Jen@FrugalSteppingStones { 11.02.16 at 2:04 pm }

Hope all is well 🙁

5 Justine H Levine { 11.02.16 at 2:11 pm }

I love the teachers at my kids’ school for the same reasons. While I never developed a coffee kind of relationship with them, there is something about being with them that warms me, calms me, and centers me, even when the world is turned upside down. It takes a special person to be that way … and I’m always grateful for the reminder that I’ll get to where I need to in my own time (that is, after all, the Montessori philosophy).

6 a { 11.02.16 at 6:03 pm }

Sorry to hear you got bad news – glad there was someone available to make you feel better.

I hate waiting and I am often impatient for things to finish so I can rest in the next lull. Time is a problem for everyone, in one way or another.

7 em { 11.02.16 at 9:02 pm }

I think that sometimes the universe places the right person in your path at the right time.

Yes, this happens, I think.

Hope you are doing okay.

8 Lori Lavender Luz { 11.02.16 at 11:29 pm }

I’m so glad someone like her was there for you. I’m sorry you got bad news.

I am the way you are about time. So I have the same question you asked.

9 Deathstar { 11.03.16 at 11:31 am }

She’s like the perfect mother figure. Oh, gawd, I thought I was the only one! I have always felt I was behind since….forever.

10 Deathstar { 11.03.16 at 11:31 am }

She’s like the perfect mother figure. Oh, gawd, I thought I was the only one! I have always felt I was behind since….forever. Do you think it’s about being so hard on yourself? Your expectations for yourself are so much higher.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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