I tend to come out the Gates of Summer roaring like a lion ready for fresh meat: new ideas, new people, new projects, new experiences. Two weeks into the semester the weight of the promised towers above me, curling and foaming like a bright green wave against the setting sun. "I do this every year." I tell myself as I crunch acorns under foot on the way home from class. "What happened to having time to read Dostoevsky and The Paris Review? What happened to daily yoga practice and PRing an October half marathon? What happened to blogging?" I glance up at our third floor apartment, windows glowing orange with the warm light within. These questions linger as I trudge up the stairs and turn my key in the lock.
Inside, the inimitably dressed Archie Goodwin banters with the wise and bulky Nero Wolfe who is downing a German pint as my wife bustles in the kitchen. "Ah," I think to myself, making sense of the inattentively gathered scents on the way of the stairs "we are indeed having fig and olive roast chicken for dinner!" I wander through the living room, backpack a-sway (I always forget I have it until that moment), and wrap up my Love in an embrace, soaking in her hue, smell, warmth, and flavor. "Hello my Love! How was your day?" "My day?" the question catches me off guard in a sense because I have to pull it out of my experiential flow, "it was good!" I go on to recount chronologically the events of the day, recalling agenda items as I wander from place to place with my voice. "Let me grab a pint and brain dump for a moment, Love."
Swinging off my backpack, I slide onto a chair at the kitchen table and pull out my moleskine. I'm a huge lists person. Lists remove things from my head and make them concrete and recallable for me on a page. I categorize under four areas: school, student orgs, work, and life. School always comes first on my list. I don't know why really, maybe it's because it's such an expensive area of my life. Maybe because I spend the most time there, but certainly not because I value it most out of all those categories. I pore over a page entitled "10/4-8: Agenda:"
Homework: check. "It's all reading, and I love reading. Besides, I'll have time for Thursday and Friday on Thursday morning. Oh yeah, that patent posting for Cyberlaw needs to happen. Damn business school class."
Note research and writing: "I won't ever really be done but it's progressing, I'll work on it more this evening. Thank God I get to choose the topic. Can't imagine having to spend this kind of time on something I didn't love. Hopefully I don't make it too philosophical for my editors. It'll be an amazing paper. Ooh, I need to talk to Kohler about the Dialectic of Community."
Student Organizations: "Public Interest Law and the coordinating Mock Trial are both taking more time than anticipated. Well, maybe not PIL. Treasurer is pretty basic and routine. It's all the meetings. They are killer. Mock Trial has been amazing, but rewriting the problem was a workload I didn't plan on. Ah well, it's good to be meeting with people and working on practical things."
Fizzy Media: "Man, I love web development and learning PHP/CSS/HTML5 but I wish it was my full time job. I could do this for a living. Well, I am actually. I just hate doing it part time. It's the only reason school is getting old: I hate working part time. All these apps and opportunities! It's a whole new language and I'm on the cutting edge. Can't wait to blend it with law."
Looking up, I realize fifteen minutes have wandered by and dinner is nearly ready. "I heard from the adoption lady today!" Annie says, her words full of light. "She said the birth mother from two weeks ago has thought about our book and would like to meet with us." Instantly my world is back in the here-and-now, heady-organic, ripeness overflowing of human life, married life. In the swift transition I recall Fr. Peter's homily from Sunday, "Do everything you do so at the end of it you'll be able to say, 'That was Awesome!'" If you do everything with that sort of energy, that sort of drive, that sort of overwhelming joy, nothing is too hard, nothing is too mundane, nothing can keep you from pumping your dreams full of adrenaline and flying them to the stars.
When you are done with your day, peering out of the cloud-wrack of this world, your body bearing man's smirch and sharing man's smell, steam rising from the murk and moil of vasty agenda, can you still say, "that was Awesome!"