Maybe I Have More Time Than I Think.

Sitting around waiting to get well gives one plenty of time to think. And with the holiday season ending (without me being a part of it) and 2016 coming to a close, I have lost my ability to do anything but think.

I’m astounded at the amount of time I waste.

I’ve been relegated to the couch for so long that I recognize commercials before they start. The charities are out in full force, grasping for last-minute donors, and I am lying on a couch.

This means that I am not only a captive audience, but I must donate.

I wonder why it costs 66 cents a day to save a child with cancer, but it costs 65 cents a day to save a dog that’s been left chained to a frozen doghouse. After six days, I leapt up from the couch, raced to the computer, and became a member of the ASPCA. It was my last chance for a 150-year celebratory t-shirt. The dying children will have to find help elsewhere.

I don’t take this action lightly. I am seriously offended by the issues in the world. But while these commercials play when I am not watching, spending a full week watching has made me aware that there is probably more that I could be doing. Maybe I could be donating my time to a local rescue. Why have I not done this?

When I am well, I don’t contemplate donating my time – because I don’t have any. I am too busy with the kids.

But maybe I have more time than I think.

I spend a lot of time worrying. I spend a lot of time planning for things that haven’t happened yet, and worrying about things that might happen during the time for which I am planning.

I rarely live in the moment.

Meanwhile, as I’ve been staring at the television, George Michael’s life ended. Like most 80’s children, I adored George Michael. Then Carrie Fisher died, whose books and stand-up comedy I thoroughly enjoyed. Like most Baby Boomers, I lump these two together in the “horrific tragedies” and “much too young” categories, along with Prince and David Bowie and Glenn Frey – who also died this year. I try not to think about their families, or it will remind me of my own family, my own mortality, and how incredibly, ridiculously, absurdly SHORT is this time on Earth. I prefer to remember these abstract people, these people I never met, these larger-than-life personas.

It is easier to dwell on that.

I don’t think about my kids during this time, because I miss them so obsessively, so painfully, while I sit alone and they play together elsewhere.

I don’t think about them, how old they are, how old I am, how sick I am, how fragile life is.

I don’t think about it, the way a dog doesn’t think about the bone he just buried, in the dirt right under his nose, directly in front of him. I don’t think about it the way the dog doesn’t think about it, even as his stomach yowls and he starts digging.

Instead I think about what to do when I’m better. I think about the family videos I haven’t seen in a decade, the videos I swear, every year, that I’ll transfer to DVD.

I think about spending less time on the computer and more time with my kids, who are already too old for me.

I think about resolutions.

Even as I plan to live in the moment, I am planning.

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