From Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger


Life is where you sleep and what you see when you wake up in the morning, and who you tell about your weird dream, and what you eat for breakfast and who you eat it with. Life isn’t something that happens to you. It’s something you make yourself, all the time. Life is that half minute in the morning before your cat remembers she’s kind of a grouch, when she pours out her love and doesn’t give a flying newton who sees it. P 281

Maybe you’re like me and you need a little reminder, something to help you keep it all in perspective.

Maybe you need to remember that all the upcoming capital letter events don’t need all of your attention. Forget all the pressure they’re putting on you. They are merely moments amongst other moments. They will pass by and you will move on.

Think of all that has taken place already today; those quiet happenings to which you didn’t assign any meaning:

the blissful moment when you opened your eyes and realized that the morning was unscheduled

the woman who complimented your cute car

the hand holding on the way into town

the unexpected burst of sunshine you felt when you glimpsed a friend’s woven scarf

the rows of jams and jellies on display that captured last year’s bounty

the thrill of seeing the rhubarb poking through the ground

the little girl who ran up to you and hugged your legs

the little boy getting ready for a birthday party who showed you where the rabbit was hidden in his tophat.

the conversation with a friend who laughed at this week’s snow flakes, who insisted they weren’t invited and that they should go back to where they came from.

the electric blue sky and the clouds floating by without purpose or care

Tomorrow will be what tomorrow will be. The days that follow will be busy and chaotic. The next few weeks will be filled with parties and ceremonies and tears and laughter. You will make your way closer to what feels like a bittersweet ending, but will surely be extraordinary in the way that most every day can be.

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