Living in the fringes is hard work.
I spend the better part of my waking hours at work. In addition to the regular hours, I often find that I need to go in early or stay late. This gives me time to meet expectations as well as accomplish the extra things that make my teaching more effective and/or more worthwhile. And I really don’t mind.
But that leaves the rest of my life to be lived in what I call the fringes. I can either get up early to work on things with a rested mind and body, or attempt to mark things off my at-home list in the evenings, after dinner, when I am often tired mentally or physically or both.
If there’s a Bible study at church, or a class would like to take (I did watercolor last spring) I have to plan my evenings for the week ahead of time to get it all in. I don’t have children at home anymore, and now I look back and wonder how I got it all done! Buying gifts, reading a book, being on committees – all these have to be scheduled. I have done this for a long time and usually it all works out. But on occasion, it makes me stop and think.
Last week I hosted my book club for dinner. I prepared a simple menu, my husband did the grilling, and everything turned out beautifully. But I found myself thinking how nice it would be to set the table at a decent hour, instead of 6:00 a.m. before work. Or how easy making the strawberry trifle dessert would have been the night before if I hadn’t already worked all evening (after school) preparing the other dishes.
As I said, it all turned out quite nicely. Yet I know I didn’t fully participate in the discussion because I was tired. And there were friends I didn’t spend time talking with like I usually do because my mind wasn’t really all there.
I am thankful for the fringes. It is during those times that I am able to pursue and participate in the things I choose for myself, the things I love. I just wish I had a little more time in the fringes.