On burned out days, shop… and smoke

At five thirty this morning, the chickens wanted out. I suppose I should say, at four o’clock, Coco wanted out… who knows what for. Probably, to run around the neighborhood and eat the neighbors’ grass. I let her out and then later, let the chickens out too. They needed some love, which entails letting them toss compost and dirt piles around the yard and raze my garden. It is gray this morning and quiet. Kind of how I feel.

Kat and I had a burned out day yesterday. She was ready to throw in the towel and get out of town and I felt lost, like I didn’t really feel like I have been doing anything worthwhile. Thursdays are errand days, so Kat got some groceries and bought some clothes. When she came home and watched The Bachelorette, I went thrift store shopping and got myself some new shirts. And some fresh pipe tobacco. A lot of my encounters yesterday, and the feelings I was having just made me sad.

Can’t say we really felt that much better by the time we went to sleep.

So five thirty found me sitting on the back porch keeping one eye on the chickens and smoking my pipe. It felt good to be outside in the gray with my coffee and quiet. I hung the laundry on the line and listened.

Anne Lamott writes about her challenges in starting a Sunday school for kiddos in her church in her book, Plan B: “I thought of what this dream had taken: all those times we teachers had had to ask for help, and had plugged away without enough resources, without knowing how, or whether, we were going to manage. And it had taken much more letting go and trusting than we had felt capable of.”

Burned out days come around. I am no stranger to feeling lost, worthless, or tired. So sometimes we just have to buy some new clothes and smoke some fresh tobacco. And sometimes the chickens need some love. We do what we can with what we’ve got and listen… and perhaps we find out that when we look for it, we know that we have been given just about everything that we need.

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