It’s Friday, and I’m meeting up with the community of Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo Baker’s Tales from a Gypsy Mama for some free writing. Here are the rules: follow the prompt, no extreme editing, write for five minutes flat and encourage the person who linked up just before you. Might you consider joining?

(I was honored to be chosen as Lisa Jo’s featured Five Minute Friday for last week’s post on the “Welcome.” Thanks so much, Lisa-Jo.)

Anyhoo, today’s word is a doozy…RACE.

{GO}

I wake up before my alarm and my mind is doing the race about the conversation I had with her, the one I didn’t have with her. And what does she think about me? I’m filling in the gaps with bad stories because this is what I do.

Why do I do this?

I hop from my bed to write the email. Race down Prescott for Thursday morning with girlfriends, talk over coffee. We pray, and I feel my heart under shirt.

I hurry home to take littlest to preschool, and we are walking now, and I feel her hand in mine and see perfect maple leaves tipped fire on concrete.

For a moment, I slow. The air is cold.

I come home for standing up breakfast and a phone conversation.

I say good-bye just as I hop into the shower, dropping the phone next to the sink and letting water drip down my back.

But I hardly have time. Only a few minutes for my shower, and so the conversation doesn’t soak in until later. After the teeth cleaning by the hygienist and the tip-it-y-tip-it-y-typing away on keys.

Then I remember what we’d said about my body needing to heal, about decreasing stress, about a different kind of attention.

My mama and I talk about how some people set alarms on cheap plastic watches to remind them to breathe, slow down, drop their shoulders, but we recognize this would send my mind to the crazy races even more.

When’s it going to go off?

Why won’t this thing stop beeping at me?

So, instead, I’m thinking maybe I can take those moments when I want to check email, when I feel the need to stuff my face with the marshmallow crammed chocolate chips, when I clean something fast just to feel a moment of calm — maybe during those times I’ll breathe instead. Receive the in and out.

Let racing subside under a wash of still.

{STOP}

Five Minute Friday

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