When I listen to the stillness lurking behind every frenzied activity, I hear the murmuring of discontent. It’s a familiar discontent that has haunted me ever since I began to dream. The curse of being a dreamer is you’re hunted by unmet dreams. Your life becomes less about chasing dreams and more about silencing them. You remind yourself there are legitimate reasons for putting a pause on all the things you said you would do. But that rationalizing does little in placating the deep-seated feeling that you’re meant to do something great. So, when you’re clearing the snow from your driveway because your postal deliverer left a note asking you to clear it, you grumble at knowing the last ounce of energy is being spent on yet another menial task. (The night before I spent several hours awake tending to a teething toddler and a whiny-ear-ached Kindergartner so it’s understandable that both the physical and mental energy required to scrape unforgiving packed snow from cement would wipe me out for the rest of the evening.)
But here I sit writing words as an act of defiance.
I’m tired and am still fighting a cough that’s more relentless than any telemarketer I’ve encountered. I feel anxious about all the tasks I need to complete tomorrow and the stress-inducing decisions I will need to make. My biggest panic is worrying that tonight will be a repeat of tomorrow night. Please, Dear God, release a million milligrams of heavenly melatonin into their little bodies!
There is little control I have these days and yet I’m fully aware I create my inner world. I can’t negotiate my insecurities and disappointments with the outside world because it is harsh, indifferent, and unforgiving. Instead, it’s my interior life I need to pay attention to. It’s here where Creator meets me and says, “Settle down, Omar-you’re being overdramatic.”
The highlight of today was when I picked up one of my sons from school. His eyes smiled as wide as his mouth when he saw me outside his door. I’ll treasure that. When we drove home I sang him songs my Dad used to sing to me. Maybe that’s a fraction of what greatness is: being able to pass something to the next generation in line, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem. It’s a silly song but it’s a song that makes him smile. Tonight when I sleep and listen to discontent begin its gentle growl, I’ll remember my son’s smile and I’ll smile too.