By Ann O’Malley
I want another yesterday today.
Yesterday was peaceful. Yesterday was calm. Yesterday was relaxing. Today is tough.
I went to the library yesterday. Not my usual visit ~ quickly turning in a few books and checking out new ones from my list, spending more time on the road than within its comforting walls.
I gave myself a treat yesterday. I slowed down. I took my time. I enjoyed the calm silence.
I’m retired and my energy is limited by a minor health issue. For several hours a day, every day, I need to rest. But I still have that American/Christian sense of guilt if I’m not making full use of the remaining hours when I’m capable of doing something practical.
Because of that tendency, up until recently I seldom took a holiday. Thanksgiving and Christmas were the two days a year when I ignored the writing, and the housework, and the errands, and just enjoyed the day. A couple of years ago I realized that, in addition to my Sunday Sabbaths, I needed an occasional opportunity to recharge my batteries. So I decided to reserve one day a month to do nothing important or necessary. Just relax. Make it a holiday.
Yesterday was that day.
I’d earned a couple of coupons through a program at my local library. A free drink from their snack bar. A few dollars off any purchase at their bookstore. Plus I was ready to turn in the old books and check out some new ones. As my mind wandered over options for any special activities that I could enjoy on this holiday, I realized that it would be the perfect opportunity for a leisurely trip to the library.
It was a lovely visit. From the moment I got out of my car in the parking lot, I slowed my steps and took my time. Placed the books I’d finished reading on the automated conveyor belt, imagining someone else checking them out and discovering the pleasure hidden between their covers. Strolled over to the help desk where I picked up my coupons.
Wandered into the snack bar for a cold lemonade. Only one person was in line ahead of me, but it took a while to fill her order. She had lots of questions and was getting several items to go. The lady behind the counter wasn’t particularly quick, either. I stood there for ten minutes or more before my turn came.
But it was all right. When both women apologized for the wait, I was able to honestly say, “That’s okay. This is my day to slow down. I’m not in a hurry today.”
I got my drink and found an empty table. Noticed the bookshelves nearby with the sign, “Sale! 10 for a dollar or 25¢ each.” Had to check it out. Picked up a couple of titles that my homebound aunt would enjoy, then sat down to read an e-book on my phone while I sipped my lemonade.
Strolled over to the bookstore. Took the time to browse. Visited every section that might have something interesting. Asked questions. Had a long and entertaining chat with a young woman who lives around the corner from me and happened to be there too. Exchanged my coupon for my new treasures.
Meandered into the stacks to choose a few books to borrow. Slowly made my way to the auto-checkout and finally headed out the door, relaxed and satisfied.
Now I’m getting up the next morning. I need an unhurried beginning to each day or I’ll burn out by 10 am. I slowly get dressed and feed the dog. Linger over breakfast. Enjoy a few online puzzles.
Then it’s time to work. Time to write. Time to clean up the dog piles in the backyard. Time to start on my to-do list for today.
But I’m so very weary. Every cell in my body is screaming, “I want another yesterday today!” The memory of the casual pace, the relaxation, and the peace is so fresh. The contrast with today is harsh. It’s tough living in this broken body.
This is My body which is broken for you… ~ 1 Corinthians 11:24 (NKJV). Those were Jesus’ words as He gave thanks and broke bread on the night that He was betrayed, warning His disciples of His coming death on the cross. He knows how it feels to be broken.
A few decades before that, He’d given up a life of perfect joy and energy and peace and comfort in heaven. Not just one yesterday, but a beginningless eternity. Even when He wasn’t tired or thirsty or hungry, or experiencing pain or sickness or emotional distress, He was still far less than what He’d forever been. He was broken. For me.
About the author:
Ann O’Malley is the pseudonym of a new author seeking a publisher for her memoir of suicidal depression. Her pen name comes from “anomaly,” that feeling of being different, of not really belonging, which plagues so many of those who suffer from depression. For more of her writing, check out her blog, “Those Who Weep: Not-Quite-Evangelically-