suspended time

Urgency Day 80

500 Things Items 407-08: Watches

  • History: Similar to my scarf obsession, I like novelty watches
  • Value: New and working—maybe $40
  • Parting Pain: None until I saw them together looking cute
  • Un-possessing: Donations

I love the idea of traction:

Of feeling a sense of efficiency and commitment as all parts are pulling and adhering in unified coordination even over rough spots: Traction.

Yesterday, I fell off my bike. So much for traction.

That was a very literal instance of traction giving way to friction; I’ve got the bodily scrapes and bruises to prove it. Recently, I have also experienced a more figurative loss of traction. I haven’t posted in over a week. I’ve got the mental scrapes and bruises to prove it.

Every one of us is busy, but busy-ness ebbs and flows. I am just emerging from a very busy stretch which included the Self-Contained Unit’s graduation from high school and the attendant valedictory celebrations– obviously lifetime milestones– which I consciously prioritized over a simultaneously appearing opportunity to increase my Project’s traction. But hey, we all know parenthood involves some sacrifices.

A few weeks back, a wonderful local website, Go West Young Mom, graciously ran an interview with me about the genesis of the 500 Things Project. A few initial interview questions from talented editor Tara Burghart evolved into a far-reaching conversation about my family’s experiences with downsizing during The Great Recession; my highly personal thoughts on raising children based on the successful launch of the Self-Contained Unit; and how we managed the transition from Easterners to Mid-westerners with a child in tow.

In other words, all the things I’ve been blogging about for the last 420 days!

The publication of this profile was the perfect moment to capture some energy and invest my Project with increased traction. It was the perfect moment– except the timing was all wrong.

Instead of seizing this opportunity, I chose to huddle with family and friends in a cold windstorm and watch 785 graduates receive their diplomas with hilarious solemnity; I chose to attend award ceremonies and commemorative tributes in sodden wonderment; I chose to belt out lyrics personalized by my talented sister to the tune of “High Hopes” wishing Sam success in college:

I chose Sam’s moment over the Project’s future. And really, there was no choice.

Sam’s moment was about the future and about ensuring continued traction in his life. My Project, for all its traction and skidding, its zeitgeist and ephemera, is still here, a few days late, and it will be here for another 79 days.

As will the Self-Contained Unit.

Sam in the moment. (photo by Marianne Mather, Sun-Times Media)


5 Responses to “Traction”

  1. Megan DeAngelis Says:

    Thank you for your traction. It gains more momentum with me in more ways than you may ever know. Wherever our worlds may continually land, I am a better person for having known you and your family.

  2. sthibeault Says:

    Megan, you have me in tears. Your family is now my family, and we are all blessed!

  3. james yarbrough Says:

    Ah, all the moments that Sam brought into your family and my professional/personal life had an asterisk placed on during the high school graduation ceremony. Now the work begins again (both his and yours)! Keep in touch.

  4. sthibeault Says:

    I’ve often wondered how the people feel in those pictures that seem to perfectly capture one precious moment… and now I know. Thank you for everything you brought to Sam’s life (and our family’s). There is no asterisk next to your name for us; only a big bold exclamation point!

  5. melanie Says:

    1) Love the photo 2) Love the caption on the photo 3) Love the inspiration of the photo 4) Enough about the photo – On to your watch obcession. Aagree that the adornment that goes around a person’s wrist is worthy of obsession. I, myself, have 9 watches which are the result of culling the herd down from 14.

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