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Tending to things long-neglected

August 29, 2013

As a parent, my year begins at the end of August. New Year’s Day is merely a chance to clean up the presents and boxes of Christmas with the noise of football punctuating the silence. Resolutions feel pointless when nothing about my schedule is changing. But the onset of school? Now that is a fresh start.

Today was my New Year’s Day. Free from meetings and projects, I found myself gravitating to things that have been neglected for years.

I bought pajamas. Yes, it’s been years.

My handy neighborhood ACE helped diagnosis the multiple problems with our “lawn” and I began with nourishing a tree that is on the verge of death. And who knew grass needed to be fed?

I can now safely say I am not to be trusted in the hands of a Middle Eastern woman. Mesmerized by the lilt of their English and distracted by trying to guess their country of origin, I find myself agreeing to treatment I did not intend to receive. My hair has been straightened, dyed, and cut beneath this spell. Today, I risked having my eyebrows repaired. It had been 16 years since my boss took control of my unruly eyebrows, waxing me to tears, and leaving me to pluck for all eternity. Well, I plucked myself a mess and created two uneven, misshapen lines above my eyes. I went to a nearby cosmetology school for help.

The first student tried waxing and then asked another student to try threading. I have successfully avoided this method for over a decade as this is how they do it in Turkey as well. But I tell you, her eyes… her accent. I am helpless. And now, I am also very sore.

In the mode of self-care, I also touched up my 3 inch roots with my henna dye. Yes, they were 3 inches. The henna dye requires a longer set period, providing ample time to try out my new Magic Erasers. And for the first time since we moved into this house (3 years), I scrubbed our shower floor back to white.

Neglect. I’m amazed at how many things in my life have been neglected over the last few years. Self-maintenance aside, I think of friendships I have allowed distance to rob. I think of my teenager, asking big theological questions, testing God, and realize we have been operating on the “discipleship by osmosis” mode for too long.

Busyness is not to blame. I have wasted plenty of time while the grass turns to weed, my eyebrows get thinner, my far away friend meets a guy, falls in love, gets married… my son wrestles with faith. Afterall, there was time for Downton Abbey, Pinterest, a batch of brownies, Facebook, more Facebook…

And yet, my varied jobs and causes have fragmented my soul. They have oozed into every day, preventing blocks of time like today when I can tend to myself and my house and sort out the kids’ needs and just get a grip on it all. I’ve known this. The question is will I make today my New Year’s Day? Can I tend to things long-neglected and bring them back to health and goodness?

What about you? What have you long-neglected? What is requiring your tending today?

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