IN TWO WEEKS . . .
Do you know what’s going to happen in two weeks?
Yes, that will be April 21st. A Thursday.
All things being equal—my back/head/shoulder/arm being in good form—I’ll be going to tai chi class at the senior center. After class I’ll pack a lunch and go knit with my friend Emily while we nibble our salads and sandwiches, and share our lives.
Mostly, though, I have no idea what will happen in two weeks.
A couple of days ago I went to the eye doctor for a regular exam. As I was leaving—writing a check, making the next appointment—I chatted with the office lady. We lamented the lack of nice weather and wondered if spring ever would arrive. “Two weeks,” she said.
That rang my chimes. One of my all-time favorite blog posts by Liz Flaherty was called “Two Weeks,” published in February 2015. Here’s a sampling of what she said:
I remember telling the kids that if they ever felt hopeless and unable to talk to anyone about it, to please, please, please wait two weeks. Because even though two weeks won’t go all that far in healing most wounds, it will make them bearable. And then when things get bearable, I said, give it another two weeks. This was in the 1980s—I’m still giving things two weeks.
Liz’s experience goes back thirty-some years—and today I hear echoes of it from time to time.
After our lovely warm March days—high 50s and low 60s count as lovely and warm in my book—I had hoped (foolishly, as it turned out) we’d be having an early spring. Now we’re back to 20s and 30s at night, maybe upper 40s in the daytime, wind (always), rain (which we do need because we didn’t have much precipitation during the winter, but still--). And I have to report that I did already have my first attack of allergies, with sinus and asthma problems included in the package. That’s always a spring thing. So I have to say, spring is here. Sort of.
Bottom line: I’m ready for warm weather. I want to take off at least one of the layers I’m never without, “just in case” something meteorological transpires. I’d like to lower the car windows and let some fresh air blow through. Air, I said—not wind!
The neighborhood is beginning to color up—forsythia blooms right around the corner, peony and hosta plants are shooting higher out of the ground, seeking the sun. Daffodils in all their colors and varieties delight the eye around town. And before the recent 24-degree night, the magnolia down the way was gorgeous! (A friend at the coffee shop said her neighbor’s little girl caught sight of the magnolia in bloom and was awestruck! Well, I said, who wouldn’t be? A pink tree!) There’s plenty of solid evidence that spring didn’t forget us this year.
Probably I’m just regressing to childhood—I want spring, I want it all, and I want it now!
Liz Flaherty’s advice:
When your wits’ end is approaching, give yourself two weeks. You can take them off, work on another project, or do something else entirely (I get lots of sewing done). You can even say you’re quitting and plan a whole new life without a laptop at its center. You can watch television, read some of your TBR pile or something off your keeper shelf that fills your well, or do nothing at all.
I love taking time off—and that’s a weird thing for a retiree to say, but it’s true as can be. When the daily/weekly routine seems to be too much same ol’-same ol’, then I’m for a day off. Or, as Liz says:
Your two weeks can last two months, two weeks, two days, or two hours. However long you need for things to slip back into place.
My recent time off was exactly two weeks. And I didn’t enjoy it at all—sinus congestion, coughing, sleeping whenever I wasn't coughing. No, not my idea of taking time off. But I have come back to my daily/weekly round with a renewed sense of getting things done. And even better, being grateful for good health.
So when, as Liz Flaherty says, your wit’s end is approaching, give yourself two weeks. Till the planets tilt again and your life rights itself, and you look forward with clear gaze.
Have a great two weeks!
PS—If you can wait only one week, you can read about Liz Flaherty’s newest book, Every Time We Say Goodbye, which was released April 1. Liz will guest blog here at Thursday’s Child next time. Come by and visit!