Catching Moments

George: “What is it you want, Mary? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”

Mary: “I’ll take it.”

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

***

It’s summer, which has become my second favorite season. Some weeks I love it just as much as fall.

I’m preparing to take qualifying exams in September (fingers crossed). Some days I’m very anxious; other days, not so much. I can’t say I feel prepared, but I do think I’m making progress (albeit slowly).

I’m tempted to think that after the exam, stress will evaporate like a bad dream and I’ll have my life back. But it doesn’t really work that way, putting your life on hold until stress is minimized. So I find myself savoring moments even in the midst of anxiety. I take a break at lunch, sit under the shade of a tree with my dog and enjoy the warm quiet of a summer afternoon. I make blueberry scones and enjoy crisp-tender bites with good coffee. I’m reading a book for sheer pleasure. I keep a little vase of zinnias on my desk, and I sit on the patio and drink Belgian cider and chat with my neighbors.

It doesn’t keep all the worry away, but these things ground me, remind me that this too shall pass. When I pass my exam, I’ll savor and celebrate that too. But the majority of life is lived right here, in days that are a mix of work and play and boredom, of fear and exhaustion and love.

Well. I’ll take it.

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