Break’s Over

We took a break from the news, from our reality and from talking about hurts yesterday.  My Chef sat in his chair, I laid on the couch for most of the day, rising only for trips to kitchen for food, the back yard to throw the ball a few times for a restless Lab who didn’t quite buy into our lounging day. I need those kinds of days more often in the heat, my neurological issues flare as the temperature rises. Usually I resist by finding chores that need my attention until I begin to drop things more, trip as my left foot drags and I am forced to slow down. I am not a slow down person. I find sitting for more than a few minutes to be a punishment. My Chef though found himself sucked into the chair, a habit from working hard and little time off, watching tv to be one of comfort. Except he has much time off now. The chair was too comfortable. We sat and laid all day. We escaped the world for the day and binged our way into the Bartlett administration, longing for leaders with vision, surrounded by advisors with integrity. We were immobilized while we stared at youthful passion in action. It didn’t inspire us to get going. We knew the world outside of our living room was too different from the one Josh and Toby and Sam were bringing about. We knew Bartlett wouldn’t be on any ballot we could cast. We hit “play next” and wished we were friends with Donna, we mourned the death of Mrs. Landingham again. We didn’t talk about President Bartlett’s MS. For one day we took a break.

We went to bed with unexpended energy, caught in the between worlds after the last glow of the tv fades. Frustration bubbled up at a wasted day, reality returned with force as two pups recognized the cooler night air to be play time. I am more used to those days, frustrating days of little accomplishment when my body calls a halt to activity. I accept more readily that I can stop one day, knowing the next will be better. My passion will match my ability, I will hit my chore list again. My Chef is not there right now, the chair is too comfortable, too inviting. He watches these actors and longs to be back in the game. He isn’t good at being still either. The never-ending work days portrayed by the staffers are his norms, the constant calls, checking emails, looking at numbers. Now he is stuck in the chair, watching others do it. I watch him grieve, turn back to the tv, hit next. We go to bed with nothing in our world resolved neatly in an episode. The good guy doesn’t win in our world, not yet.  Then I realize we are watching seasons. Not just a snippet, not just popping in to see a snapshot from each year of the Bartlett presidency. Seasons.

This is a season for us, for my Chef. We are in different seasons, he and I. I see the possibilities, I feel hope. He is caught in despair, each call from a regular guest resurrecting the loss of relationships, identity, purpose that he is trying to ignore.  This is a hard winter season for my Chef but I know a secret. He will get out of that chair, he will find new passion and purpose. He will get emails and look at numbers again, but with a choice this time. During this hard time, he gets to wrestle with God, he gets to shout out his anger, he gets to find himself and his faith at the very center of his soul. As firmly as we were planted in our respective seats yesterday, we are also planted in the heart of our Father. A Father who is pursuing my Chef tirelessly. Our lab will chase the ball in the extreme heat, tongue swollen, relentlessly.  He just keeps bringing it back, ready for another pitch. His focus and instinct on the task render him incapable of stopping until we hide the ball, all the balls and make him cool down inside. My God is chasing my Chef like that, only there is no way to make him stop. He wants my Chef to work for His kingdom, to rely on His arms and not those of a comfy chair. There is a beauty in the suffering, watching my husband grow into this. He will be chief of staff again one day, he will be Leo, in a different season. I know him, I know my God.

We took a break yesterday.  I didn’t push him out of the chair, I didn’t push me beyond the best for my condition. The sun rose though today, fulfilling the promise. Today I will put away the remotes and we will clean out the garage.  The West Wing will manage without us.

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