Friday, January 28, 2011

A wrap-up of the wrap-up. Taking time to notice.

Something keeps biting at me, ever since this whole Free Time experiment wrapped itself up into a delicious, colorful, comfortable, furnished place recently.

Has some fundamental change occurred in me because of the pursuit of my whimsical Free Time idea?

There have been some signs that have pointed me to a bit of a personal paradigm shift.

Prior to my Free Time time, I'd spun so fast.

Let's look at the facts, in a purely emperical way, without a shred of poor-soul pity.

Underemployed single mother of two teenaged boys. Too many interests, not enough time, never enough money. Constantly catching my tail of obligations, just in time for the next wag.

Did I not notice all of this kindness, all of this interconnectedness, all of this conspicuous beauty, before this Free Time experiment?

As they say, whoever they are, hindsight is 20/20.

A few weeks ago, I spent an evening picking up and dropping off kids. It was rush hour. I turned right at the light, but the light at the intersection wasn't working. I said to the kids in the car, "let's visualize. By the time we pick up Joey, let's hope the light is working."

I had to drive a car full of kids downtown at rush hour, and I had to take a left onto a very busy, rush-hour-crowded intersection after picking up Joey. No easy feat.

After picking him up, we hit the intersection.

Just as we got there, the light started working again. Red, yellow, green. No flashing yellow.

I have witnesses, although I think most of us tossed it off as coincidence.

A few days ago, I texted my friend Miriam. Moments later, she called me. She hadn't received my text that I'd sent, just moments before.

We had a lovely chat.

Tonight, we went out for dinner. We were handed a box of magic that was programmed to light up when our table was ready. We were told our wait time was somewhere in the range of 60 to 90 minutes.

But we could sit in the bar, if we could find a table.

Within a few minutes, we were seated at a lovely booth, after just a moment of eye contact with someone who was getting up to leave.

I know how it sounds.

It can all be passed off as coincidence.

Right place, right time.

And if I were way deep into ego, I might think that all of these lovely moments could be attributed to my recent Free Time media overexposure. Oh, be nice to that gal who looks vaguely familiar, they might say.

But that would be crazy. I'm sure my face nicely blends. Some folks may have heard the story, but they're generally not tied into the visual recognition.

These and several other moments seem just a bit too magical to fit nicely into my daily predictable comfortable box. These moments have accumulated into something that seem too special to ignore.

But therein begs the question: have these magical moments been happening all along? Have I simply wrapped myself so tightly in my personal busy-busy crap prior to this point to render these moments as inconsequential prior to recently?

I think that's exactly what's happened, until lately.

Opening myself up (just a little teeny experimental bit) to the possible, seems to have colored up my world in a way I was completely not expecting.

The change seems to revolve somewhere in the noticing.

The taking a moment.

The recognition that we're all fragile, and we're all strong.

Again, I'm sure that, to some, I'm speaking to my hippie stereotype.

But I don't care.

It's been so nice to notice.


  1. That's why I call you Magical Mary!

  2. I love this Mary!! What great insight to the benefits of kindness...... :) What an amazing experience for you and I am glad you sharing it with us for us to experience as well... and open up our eyes to kindness. :)