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too busy to notice

December 20th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

I waken, I connect, then move through the motions of prep for my day; a lunch for later, breakfast for now, then a shower, fixing my hair, some makeup and a trip in the car, mostly without noticing anything. Not anymore. Light follows me in, then darkness ushers me home.

I move through my hours, work hours that either stretch on endlessly or fly by in a flash and I don’t notice the little things, or sometimes I do. The pretty purple coat, the lovely glittering pin on a collar, the purposefully ugly Christmas sweaters worn by the staff at the coffee counter, brightly cheerful and festive. I’m too observant for my own good sometimes, but then moments pass and I realize I haven’t seen anything at all. Not the pleading eyes of two cats that adore me, not the dust settling in the corners, or clinging to the high walls in the kitchen, not the Jade plant, observing it’s annual Christmas tradition of bursting in to bloom.

And life feels like it’s whirring by, a blur of events that I’m not noticing. My world opens and shuts, morning to night from daybreak to sunset and I go here and come back from there and share a meal, then climb the stairs to collapse before it begins all over again. My friends go places and enjoy themselves and I see it all happening and I think “Why not me?” and then I’m too caught up in what I’m doing to even really care all that much. But I do care. Because the Jade plant knows when to unfurl it’s tiny pink flowers, showing off to celebrate the season, and I seem to just watch the clock to make sure I’m not late, carefully folding the blue coat for work, making sure my socks are all clean and my pants aren’t dirty and I face towards the garage and I go. And I return and then do it all again.

Can resentment live with gratitude and not mess it all up? I’m so grateful for this job that I am so good at, with people who are strong in spirit and mind, funny and yet focused, ready and willing to help. I’m so blessed by my work, the customers with their questions both silly and serious and opening one’s eyes to the wonders of amazing food. It couldn’t be more perfect for me. But it takes me away from my life right now, with it’s rush here, go there and be on, on on all the time, with a smile and clean hair and a professional manner. And I struggle with resentment that I can’t enjoy it all. Next year, I say to myself, will be easier; I’ll know more about the job {{because this is my first year at it, I remind myself about a billion times a day}} and I’ll be better about the balance and the focus and noticing the goings-on around me.

I want to strip these blinders off, suffering from whiplash as I take in the world around me, the events of the season, the sparkle and shine. Why haven’t I seen that light display? I drive by this block twice a day and I’ve missed this, every single time. Why am I not noticing, where have my deeply observant eyes gone? I don’t buy in to the excess and stress of the season; I don’t shop for perfect gifts, nor create award-winning platters of amazing food worthy of a magazine spread or decorate as if House Beautiful is coming over. I celebrate the reason we celebrate, with the birth of a baby to a barely teenage mom in a lowly barn of filth, a baby that changed the world. And maybe so much of my resentment isn’t of life, but of how far off we’ve gone from this season, how badly we treat each other, how desperate lives have become, how sad the world seems to be. And there in itself is more reason to see those light displays shine, to throw off the blinders, to observe the good that remains. I just can’t be too busy to notice.


It’s ‘Just Write Tuesdays’ with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary. This week = the 15th installment.

5 responses to “too busy to notice”

  1. Kori says:

    This struck really close to home to me today; i needed to read it. So thank you for the words.

  2. Teresa says:

    I absolutely adore your writing (and your thoughts!) So good to notice the resentment, and wonder if it can live with gratitude. I find they are often both there in my heart as well. Isn’t it strange how we get caught up in the “not noticing” even if we’re purposefully trying to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas?! Shows how powerful our culture can be in its pull. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kate! And again, I adore your writing.

  3. Galit Breen says:

    I love the open, the honest, the noticing, the jade plant.

    {Beautifully written}

  4. Maureen says:

    My potted jade plant is just about to bloom. It is right out the front door,I look to it each time I leave my house. It has been there for years, but for some reason never really looked at it when it was about to bloom until now. Love your writings.

  5. Renee says:

    Your jade plant blooms? I’m jealous. I’ve had one for years and it has never bloomed. What variety is it? I need to get a blooming one.