I know this to be true: I'm terrible to watch movies with, at home or in the theater. The biggest reason for this statement is the fidgeting as I most likely would rather be somewhere else, working on or reading something else, and for as much patience as I believe I have, it escapes me as soon as the film begins. The other reason, the one which spurred me to think about what I've come here to share is that once it is over and you want to know what I thought of the film, I will want to focus in on that one breakfast scene from somewhere near the middle and have a conversation on the merits of eating at the table and taking one's time.
Case in point: this morning we watched Hitchcock over coffee and banana muffins, and while yes, I did enjoy it as a whole, I was caught by one small moment that became a very big moment in our morning conversation. In the scene, Hitchcock and Alma are sitting at a small table outside eating breakfast, reading a bit, and having conversation, and as Alma spread jam on her toast, I turned to Andrew and said, "I want a life where we can do that - sit and have breakfast at the table and read and talk." It was out of my mouth before I heard the words, or I guess more accurately, felt the words. I'd just likened eating a quiet breakfast at the table to leaving all of our responsibilities behind and setting off for an apartment in Paris. It sounded impossible as it rattled out of my mouth, and I felt silly for setting it up as so unattainable. The only thing standing between me and "that life" is myself. Andrew, bless his heart, saw the look on my face and helped me with the excuses for why it wasn't practical - time, focus, habit. He mused on the reality that we would have to prioritize time differently, and that's just it isn't it - that it would be a shift in priority, but not impossible, not really even all too difficult. All it would take to have "that life" I'd just mooned over, would be to begin. How fortunate I am to be in the business of beginning this year.
And so, another small beginning is on the way, and I think this small one could lead to more and bigger shifts, because it's hard to reprioritize time, to decide what we value, without stumbling upon others.
I want to take time to make change in thoughtful ways, to remind myself that moving forward isn't a race, and that slowing is sometimes the best way to pace the route and to pay attention to all the possible finish lines along the way. We will finish so many routes within the larger scheme of things, have a thousand tiny victories to keep us moving, and I want make room for all of them.
So tomorrow I'm clearing off the table a bit, and tucking away all of the holiday baubles that might deter me from sitting and enjoying a slice of toast and jam at the table before the work day begins. I want to begin so that three weeks, two months, or even a year from now I can look back at this post and smile, remembering that scene, how my heart leapt at such a small moment, and how "that life" will just be "my life".
Beginnings are crowded with small steps, so I am taking each one by slowing a bit, and making it count. I want to see footprints from where I've been, and hopefully this time, they'll lead to the table.