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muddling, marching, meandering

For it is, indeed, March.

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The move, still looming on the horizon, has turned out to be less of a marathon and more a series of intermittent sprints.

Which is to say: I haven’t started packing at all, not even a little bit.

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Lent is here, now halfway through, and it’s been a quiet one so far. I’m making my way through Elder Thaddeus’ teachings bit by bit, not wanting to rush through and over them before they’ve had the chance to settle. It’s been a good pace-setter for this Lent.

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I’m reading other books too, though at a bit of a faster rate. My reading habit tends to swing between “take five months to read one book” and “read five books in one week” and it’s currently on the upward trajectory. Among the dozen or so books I’ve read this March, I finished the Southern Reach trilogy, and it was weird in the best possible way.

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The reading habit has flowed from my new daily habits: getting up early to walk before work means getting to bed early, which means not being on the computer at home (I’m usually full-up after a day at work anyway), which means time to read and relax and drink tea and say my prayers before bed. It’s a whole routine, or rather…a rhythm. The rhythm of a life seeking striving grasping for balance.

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One particular beat in our new daily rhythm has been an evening playtime for the cats. It’s been several months since the apartment complex decided that the cats’ patio enclosure was incompatible with apartment guidelines, and the girls have been cooped up inside since then. Stifled and bored, they’re slowly climbing the walls and stepping on every last nerve that exists between the three of us.

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I am reminded, of course, that their world is small. It consists entirely of this apartment, and their socialization exists entirely of me - the one who’s gone 50+ hours a week (and sleeping for just as many). Most of my time “with” them at home is not really spent with them at all, but rather with them around while I cook or clean or sit in front of a screen.They needed an outlet and I needed to practice really being present. So we play now, every evening after dinner & my date with a book, before tooth brushing & saying my prayers, we take at least twenty minutes to get out their energy and spend some uninterrupted time together.

I’m almost sad to admit that this one new habit has changed the entire dynamic of our apartment, because the cats crave a rhythm too, and this one beat has settled them in most all other areas.

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When I read in bed now I have to be careful how I get up again, because much of the time the cats have quietly come up to sleep on the bed by my feet, content to just BE in one space all together. That simple love and affection humbles me. Their world is so small and I am quite central to it. We all needed to find this rhythm together.

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Truth be told, I haven’t been out to walk this month as much as I’d like to. The weather hasn’t been in my favor and a multitude of odd events have compiled to steal what nice times there have been to go outside and just breathe deep, but that’s okay: the rigidity of the routine is not what sustains it. It’s just knowing what I need to do and where I need to be.

It’s a beautiful evening right now, so I’m going to change up the usual rhythm of the evening…and go chase it.