In Time

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It’s noon on Friday.

I woke my family to the greeting of “It’s Hamiltime!

Get up, get dressed, there will be no talking, no singing, no pausing, no leaving in the middle. The intermission is one minute long. Please plan accordingly.

When Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that a film of Broadway’s Hamilton performance would be premiering in theatres in October of 2021, I put it on my calendar.

Immediately.

When he surprised us a few weeks ago with a new, moved-up date of July 3rd of this year, I think I may have shrieked and then I put it on my calendar in big, bold, capital letters. Back when Hamilton was on Broadway, and then later on, locally at Proctors [live theatre], I had thought about getting tickets, but it was well out of my price range, and I accepted that, but I also knew that there was a filmed version in a vault somewhere, waiting for the right moment, and I waited.

I believe I’ve been rewarded for my patience.

I mean, I could have watched it at 3am when it began streaming on Disney+, but I waited for my family even though they’re only watching it with me to indulge me. (I must confess that since I was actually up at 3am, I did watch the first song, and let the second one start, but that was it. I turned it right off. Honest.)

Patience is a virtue, they say.

And patience is something we’ve all been living with and being forced to accept during these last few months. Hurry up and wait. It’s been frustrating and sometimes a little scary being in this new place we’ve never been before. Even the meaning of time changed for many of us. While my kids had school remotely, they didn’t have very much online class time so they were very flexible in doing their schoolwork. It didn’t matter when they woke up or when they went to bed, their video game consumption or facetime as long as they got their work done. That same level of “flexibility” stretched into grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning. Things definitely got a little lax there; after all, who was coming to visit?

There was also something hanging in the air. It wasn’t tangible, but something changed. Time is often described as fleeting, but in March… it just stopped. Our whole lives jerked to a stop, and when it started again mere moments later, it began a slow crawl to nowhere and no-when. Days slipped into weeks. It took a year to travel through March, and the next three months weren’t any better. At times, it seemed that we were moving backwards. We weren’t of course. Time wasn’t fleeting, but we also weren’t standing still. Here was where we established the days by Sunday’s livestreamed Masses and Monday’s Rosary [with the Cursillo movement], and time by watching the Governor’s daily briefing. As each pause of society was extended in two week intervals we were given some semblance of a hope that we would return to normal. If only we had patience. Collectively, we learned to focus on our present and be patient for the tomorrow that is yet to come.

And now with the majority of the country failing the present crisis, we try to slip by the inevitable return of lockdown, balancing our lives with our life, and those around us. It’s tiring. It’s frustrating. It’s certainly not how I wanted to spend my summer. But I remain in faith. If we all do our part, together we will get through this crisis, and come out on the other side.

Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr sings in Hamilton, “I am the one thing in life I can control….I’m willing to wait for it.

And as St. Paul tells us in Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

In the meantime, that’s really all we can do.

De Colores.

[De Colores is a greeting, farewell, and song used in the Cursillo movement by many of its groups.]

[This was previously published in our local Cursillo Weekly Digest the first week of July, 2020.]

50-2 – Family Time

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Another week passes. Looking at it in its minutia I’ve learned nothing. I’m sure in two more months I’ll remember something important from this time of the year. Time passes so slowly in the moment, but so fast at the passing of another week, or month, or year. My son will be turning 19 in another month. He was just awarded firefighter of the year. It feels as though it was yesterday that he was dressing up as a fireman and running around the house making siren sounds.

Our family has been doing a lot of family television. We eat dinner, and then settle down in the living room with that night’s program. It’s the mid-season and most of the shows are back. The Walking Dead returned last weekend, and Gotham comes back on the 29th. My kids get very upset when I miss a show and have to catch up the next day, like I’ve done the last two weeks  Legends of Tomorrow. The first week I attended a memorial service and this week was another show I wanted to watch. Luckily, the CW has a great app to catch up as well as to watch interviews and previews. I wish the AMC app was that good.

Last night, we watched The Martian. My husband has been picking out new things for this year. I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing it, but when he put it on, I started to watch it. It was good. I was afraid that it was going to be Matt Damon alone on Mars for the whole movie. I was happy to see that it wasn’t that at all. I did enjoy it, and would recommend it to anyone interested in space travel, suspense, and action. It’s also funny and emotional – all the things you want in a good movie. I told my husband that I thought I preferred Apollo 13. They’re not exactly comparable, and The Martian is more modern, taking place in the future.I think what I found more compelling about Apollo 13 was that it’s history; it’s a true story. We know the outcome, and we still find it suspenseful and we worried along with the astronauts’ families.

Family time is what we make it. Whether it’s watching movies or reading comic books, preparing food or shoveling the walk. We’ve been spending a lot of time together. In the afternoon while my husband is still in his office working, the little ones and I are together with our tablets or our books, reading and laughing, no one doing their homework, and trying to get as many snacks as they can before dinner.

The kids are home this week for winter recess even if it hasn’t been much of a winter. I’m definitely not complaining about the weather. I can’t stand the snow, and almost never drive in it. We’re going to be full up on family time by the end of the week.

Unfortunately, this is also our low money week. The paycheck where we pay the mortgage leaves us not much left. We get by – we don’t use credit cards so we kind of have to work with what we have.

This might be the week I start the taxes.

I wish money didn’t make the world go round.

MY Extra (Leap) Second

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HuffPost posed the question this morning: What will you do with your extra second?

I knew it was coming, but this leap second still came as a surprise to me.

One extra second.

We make fun, and some of us take it a little too seriously, but it’s an interesting question. Each second in our day passes with or without our noticing it. On some days we barely notice; on others we wonder where the time has gone. Seconds pass, and soon they become years past. Decades.

Which second is my extra one today?

That second when I slept in?

Or the second when I was too ill to get up?

What about the second it took to reblog the HuffPost picture earlier?

A piece of the Supernatural rerun I’m watching or is the special second in the commercial?

What are our seconds filled with all the rest of the year?

Can’t my leap second come on my birthday? Or Christmas morning? Or I can take an extra pause between rosary beads?

An extra second, an extra breath taken, an extra glance at my kids, an extra thank you to my son for being chauffeur, an extra hug, an extra like on Facebook, an extra eye raised to G-d.

For me, my extra second is still yet to be used.

I think I’ll keep it saved for an emergency when I run out of time or need to meet a deadline.

I think I’ll save it for that moment when I need to stop and take a deep breath.

I’ll keep that extra second in my pocket like a good luck charm, to be saved and used when I most need it.