I listen to him breathing as I sit quiet in his room. He snores, and sometimes stops breathing all together. So I have to listen and count and wait. Doctors orders. It scared me at first, he stops breathing when he sleeps! But now that I’m sitting here listening, it really isn’t all that often. And when it happens, it isn’t for all that long. Funny how paying attention to the facts is sometimes all I need to do to dispel the fear.

The tunnel living I spoke of last week doesn’t feel so heavy now. I met my deadline, turning in the latest project to my editor. This time, though, I didn’t dance a jig like I did when I turned in the manuscript. This time, I collapsed on the couch. I looked out the window and noticed the season and thought of Thanksgiving and smiled. And also cried a little. I miss a lot when I’m writing. You would think it would be the opposite, that I would be more aware of things, more open to inspiration. Instead, when I have a big writing deadline, I focus. And the focus is God-ward and inward and that’s about it. And I walk around with a see-through bubble on my head like an astronaut. Nobody can see it, but I know it’s there. And their voices are muffled, days run together, laundry piles up. We eat chicken a lot. As soon as I meet the deadline, the bubble comes off. It’s like magic. I can breathe clear. I see the dirty floors and don’t look the other way.

As I sweep, I realize I could never be someone who has a deadline every week. The bubble would become a part of my head, and I would always wear damp, dirty socks. But there are other things I see as the bubble dissolves into nothing. I see too much and I realize some things, even good things, will need to be released.

We’ve been doing Tuesdays Unwrapped here for nearly two years. What began as a personal project to embrace the messy, the lovely, and the unexpected gifts in the midst of everyday life became a community of women who encourage and inspire; co-celebrators and friends who I have secretly referred to for the past 2 years as the unwrappers. I am thankful for you. I celebrate you. And now, I have to be honest with you. I need a break. I want to embrace these daily gifts and live them – and sometimes hosting Tuesdays Unwrapped takes away from the living. It hasn’t always been that way, but because of the season I’m in, it is that way now.

I’m not sure when I’ll start it up again. But for now, today will be the last day to link up to Tuesdays Unwrapped. At least for a while.

I’m still listening to him breathe. It’s steady now. Loud, but steady. I’m not so worried about it as I was before. Still, an ENT appointment tomorrow to be sure all is well. The photos in this post are all from our front yard, all of the same tree from different perspectives – down on the ground, standing tall, looking up. That’s what you do with things when you want to really see them, you have to walk around and watch, you have to sit and listen to him breathe, you have to look at the facts and not so much the fear.

As I do that with my schedule, when I look at it from all angles, I realize this is one of those things that needs editing out. For now. Thank you for joining me in this space, for your encouragement, for your perspective, and for your grace.