Today is different than other days because it is Monday and I am not working at the bookstore. In case you don't already know this about me, I work at a children's bookstore. It is a strange and unusual place--not like any other bookstore. If you've ever been there, then you'd know what I mean.
On Monday mornings we have a story time for infants and toddlers. It involves rather large crowds and high doses of chaos. I've worked this shift ever since I started late last summer and over the weeks and months have learned to let its chaos surround me with an air of calm. When I first started I remember watching my co-workers move through the morning with grace. It surprised me how easy it was to find my own state of grace. I found that being surrounded by books and babies left me feeling oddly comforted. Sometimes the parents would get on my nerves--but never the kids. If things got wildly out of control, it was easy enough to find a patch of stillness in letting one of the store cats crawl into my arms for a quick snuggle. Triny Lopez, the black Manx with a white stripe running the length of his nose, is by far the biggest lover of our 3 in-store cats and this morning I think I might even miss his purrs tickling my ear. Actually, I know I do. I miss snuggling Tom-Tom the ferret, too.
This week I start my full-time hours at the garden shop and am cutting back to just one day a week at the bookstore. My days of part-time glory (so that I could work on my thesis) are over. But, in all reality, there were very few weeks that I had much for extra writing time. I took on extra hours doing artwork, working at the garden shop, and doing the mural commission. "Part-time" was more of an intention than a reality. I have squandered away my writing time...yet, strangely, I feel a sense of relief in returning to the regular hours of full-time work.
I no longer have entire days stretching out in front of me to write. I only have a few hours in the evening or maybe an occasional hour or two in the morning. I am oddly grateful for these smaller expanses of time. It is feels so much less intimidating. I feel a shift in intention.
This morning I took Anu for an extra long walk. We went to all of our favorite places and stopped often to take in views from the ridge and the damp, spring feels of the deeper woods. Trudging up the last hill before arriving home, I noticed the hearty sprigs of grass stoutly poking up from the muddy ground. I noticed thick rugs of moss and tiny buds unfurling on a nearby tree. Little miracles.
Today I am celebrating a change in pace. Or maybe, change in general.