Things have been a little gray here.
It’s the kind of gray that leads to reflecting on life, listening to Miles Davis, and drinking lukewarm tea. This grayness is my Springtime tradition. It ends each May when I emerge with some grandiose plan for personal growth.
The buds are blooming, so why can’t I?
This year, my plan centers around an online course I am taking though The Abundant Mama Project. Yesterday, my instructor sent directions to create a personal versions of the poem, “You can’t have it all” by Barbara Ras. Her poem is so deeply moving that I knew immediately her words carved themselves into my heart. I also knew instantly that the assignment would be difficult because, frankly, I do want it all. Writing my version of this poem meant accepting
- I can’t have it all no matter how much I want it
- or how hard I work
- or how many things I do “right”
- I’m have to identify and own up to all the good around me.
- The really good, tears in your eyes, pit in your stomach good things.
I find often that when things seem difficult, there is probably an important lesson involved. This assignment was no exception. Here is my version, my assignment, my lesson.
“You Can have this.” (written by me, inspired by Barbara Ras)
You can’t have it all, but you can have the sound of small feet running in the hall at 6 a.m. You can’t have it all, but you can have the peace that comes from knowing your husband is madly in love with you. You can’t have it all, but you can have the promise that buds will bloom along your driveway come Springtime no matter how harsh the Winter.
You can’t have it all but you can have Lego creations for days and indecipherable doodles made just for you. You can’t have it all, but you can have the lump in your throat that comes when you hear your youngest humming the melody to Blackbird.
You can’t have it all but you can have the glance back he gives you as he boards the bus and the squeeze of hand when she leaves you at the preschool door.
You can’t have it all, but you can have the knowledge of knowing when you fall down you will get back up because your strength doesn’t come from lifting weights.
You can’t have it all, but you can have this.
Recognizing you can’t have it all but you can have “this” is essential to the idea of 80/20 living. It means not only being grateful for the small things (avocados), the big things (health), or the lousy things (tantrums). It means being grateful for the grayness, too.