Friday, January 25

needing a hole in the ground

I woke up at 9.30 am, next to my dog, who had taken my man’s side of the bed. Today was my day off the gym, and I felt very much inclined to take it easy and embrace relaxation and healing. I decided right then and there that I was going to have a pyjama day. It was the first pyjama day I’d had in months and months. I leisurely spent my morning sewing, writing an email and ignoring the piles of dishes, clothes on the floor and general household chaos. Goodness, I’m good at not doing housework now.

3.00 pm arrived and I felt that great bodily weariness which often surrounds me at this time of day. It didn’t seem wise to push through it considering I’m meant to be look after my health post-move. I decided to snuggle up on the couch for an hour’s recuperation. 

3.24 pm. My eyes are flung open by the distinct sound of people coming up the drive. The first thought that flashes into my mind is, “It’s the Jehovah Witnesses.”

But almost instantly this thought is replaced with another, more accurate, more terrifying one.


My heart is suddenly pumping like a mad thing, and I feel all shaky and weak and gushing with something they call adrenalin. I am standing up now, in my pink dressing gown, with my overly excited Wolfgang barking like crazy. They are just approaching the porch.

I am not meant to be in the house at all, neither is Wolfgang, and the house is not fit to be seen, and I’m in pyjamas and....

I open the door before the real estate agent gets a chance to unlock it with her keys.

“I am soo sorry! I completely forgot. Can you just give me two minutes?” I say in a manufactured- calm voice, as I just peak my head out of the door in the hopes that she won’t see my pink dressing gown.

She graciously grants my request, and I close the front door as I run full pace into my bedroom, skidding along the wooden floors. The bedroom floor is covered, as always, in my clothes. I tear off my pyjamas and dash on my track pants. I start wildly picking up my clothes and stuffing them under the doona, armful at a time. What can I do, when there is no cupboard to jam them in? It looks so she-just-hid-her-clothes-in-the-bed, so lumpy, so obvious.

The sewing room...well, I just hope with all of me they don’t walk in there, because they will come out with sewing pins stuck in their feet.

I run outside to where Wolfgang is, and in my sweetest voice I coax him into putting on his leash. Then I skid back to the front door, wondering how long my re-dressing and bed-stuffing took. I’m pretty sure it can’t have been more than half a second.  

I open the door again. This time I have opened the door a lot wider as I’m not trying to hide my dressing gown. I glance down with embarrassment to see the cords of my track pants hanging out, just a little reminder of my panicked dressing. I apologise again with genuine I’m-so-sorry tones in my voice, and tell her that I haven’t been well so it quite slipped my mind. She replies that ‘there has been a lot of that going round’ and I gladly take this illusion to my having a virus. Four year virus, what of it.

After all this turmoil she says that the potential buyers have just looked at the backyard and it’s not what they were hoping for. They don’t want to look through the house after all. I close the door.

I’m still flowing with nervous energy. I’m quivering inside, and feeling a big looming dose of anxiety coming my way. I also feel some escalating self-hatred for forgetting an appointment. And then I look at my chalkboard, which this week says, 

“Grace for the things that matter.”

It’s something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. It never works when I say to myself, “It doesn’t matter, don’t worry about it!” Because, all of me disagrees. All of me says, “It does matter!” 

Picture source

What I’m learning is that I cannot be perfect. I can’t remember perfectly, or be the perfect wife, or the perfect host, or flautist, or friend, or writer...and that is ok, because there is grace and understanding, from God, from me, and often from others too. Life is important, and flute, and relationships, and the house, and my arrangements with the real estate agent are important. It’s a lie to say they’re not. But there is grace. So even though they do matter, I don’t have to feel anxious when they don’t go quite right.

There is grace for the things that matter. 

And so I applied some grace to myself, and got over it all faster than I have ever gotten over an embarrassing mistake before. 

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