I got my first job in the sixth grade. My parents both had the bad habit of saying, “Oh, my daughters would love to help you!” to people at church – which is how I ended up with a long-standing housekeeping job for an older couple around the block from us. They were so, so nice, but oh, I hated that job. It felt impossible. They had lived in that place for at least fifty years, never moving the furniture or changing the drapes, never changing anything, using the same blackened skillet, frying things in grease that lived in coffee cans on the back of the stove… and it showed. I washed the walls in the kitchen every week, and still felt that a scrim of grease remained on every light switch and square of that old linoleum floor.
I would walk home, all of thirteen years old, with hands cramping like an old person’s from squeezing the 409 trigger so hard, from having thrown myself at something so vast it could never be encompassed. There’s nothing you can clean or tidy that will change Worn and Old.
I learned the Serenity Prayer at about that age.
You may laugh, but realizing that there WERE some things I couldn’t change was… revolutionary.
So, thanks, for that. For the strange relief when we realize that our best efforts will not fix everything, and that a hard reboot might be our best bet.
not every door must open.
each fresh beginning
brings its own predestined end,
…at times, mere moments later