Monday, August 15, 2011

Thinking, that's all: Uncharacteristic

Lately, I've been doing things I normally don't ever do like painting my toenails bright pink instead of my normal wine or deep red colors

and pushing away a to-do list more than a mile high to instead soak up the last of the summer sun and waves and sand here at the lake cottage in Michigan even though I only planned on staying through late Monday at the latest {and packed accordingly}

I even drove John to the South Shore Line train station tonight, bidding him farewell for a few days so he could return to work while the boys and I linger in the swells of summer here with his mom, my fabulous mother in law.

I laughed a little today after realizing all of these oddities, remarking to John about how uncharacteristic of me it is be so uncharacteristic.

Like he normally does, he shrugged his shoulders and he reminded me of how totally characteristic it is of me to be uncharacteristic for for a few weeks at a time.

He always likes to bring up when we first started dating while in Alexandria, Egypt.

And I remembered deeply how I felt like life became just a little too boxed in and organized and grouped together for me as our class toured the catacombs with a guide ... how I just had to wander off and find the roped off catacombs, explore them with a security guard toting a machine gun who only spoke Arabic and not a trace of English.

Every time I go on one of these benders, these weeks where spontaneity overrides my list of commitments and vibrant colors peak out from behind the normal hues and I find myself residing within the very moments that I've been craving instead of just skirting around their edges, I'm reminded that I'm not bound to some characterization checklist, that I'm not at all a flat character in this novel, remaining the same and constant and totally one dimensional.

Sometimes, in the midst of kids and responsibilities and roles and jobs and all of the things that make up a really full and really wonderful life, it's hard for me to remember that I really am more than who I am in the normal everydayness of life -- that I am a round, full-bodied soul with depth.

That even though I mostly live by schedules and deep color tones and hours and crave a six-month-in-advance action plan, I also sometimes live by timelessness, too, craving a space in which I can sink my bright pink toenails in stretches of sand that collide with cool water, just dwelling in the brightness of a here-and-now summer sun and here-and-now small boys ... that my uncharacteristic hiatuses are as much characteristic as the so-called characteristic ones.