Every morning….every morning….every morning….every morning….the same.
I get up quietly….early, to enjoy some quiet time by myself….and go downstairs to have some juice and vitamins and to make some coffee.
Every morning, I hope that the squeaky tread at the top of the stairs won’t wake up Nate.
I hope this every single morning.
Every morning, I step on the same place on the top step, I hope that it won’t squeak as badly this time, it squeaks pretty loudly…again, and I say, to myself, “I hope that doesn’t wake up Nate.”
I am a portrait of consistency.
Boring, boring, boring….doing the same thing all the time.
The stair squeaks coming and going.
When I go down, it squeaks.
When I come back up, it squeaks.
This morning, I had a wild hair and thought, “I wonder what would happen if I stepped onto the other side of the tread? I wonder if it would squeak?”
So….for the sake of spontaneity…I stepped onto the other side of the tread when I came back upstairs with my coffee.
And…it didn’t squeak.
It didn’t make a sound.
I could pad around, silently, again….quiet…stealth Daddy.
I could avoid the squeaking tread if I could remember my new trick.
I don’t know what made me think outside of the box this morning….but it SURE DID WORK!!
How much of my life is spent stepping on the noisy step….hoping that things will be different this time….hoping that I’ll have the different outcome from the same old activity?
How much of what gnaws at my soul is easy to fix?
How much is repairable with just a small adjustment?
I guess that these are questions for the ages…I’m not the first to feel the quiet desperation.
I’m just a guy who walks down the stairs the same way every day of his life and winces each time the squeaking happens.
I walk down the stairs the same way because that’s the way I know to do it.
That’s my “method”….and I’m locked in to it.
I beat myself up when I’m not satisfied with “pretty good”, too.
“What am I complaining about? What’s this angst? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?!!”
And, truth be told, there really isn’t a problem.
It’s ….have to say it, don’t say it, have to say it….”all good”.
It’s all good.
I wonder about “great”, though.
Is that just a matter of perception? Is it just accepting what is…and being thankful each and every time I think about it?
Or is it something to reach for while I’m being grateful for what “is”…right now?
How great could this life be?
What kind of adventure could it hold if I was willing to find a way to stop the step from squeaking?
Or, even more radically, jump the step completely?
Or, maybe….just step boldly and aggressively onto the squeaking tread and live with whatever sound it pours out….just live with it and move on….move on.
Or…skip a bunch of steps….and never find out where the noise is coming from.
There is such beauty in contentment.
There is so much that is amazing and good in my life right now that I’d pinch myself constantly to see if I was dreaming if I thought about the good instead of wondering “what else” was out there.
I’m happy with what is. I have a good life.
I have a feeling that the adjustment is minor to have an amazing and adventurous life.
Just talking about it falls a little short of “taking the first step”, though.
No matter how squeaky, you’re better off taking the first step than worrying about the noise and never getting out of your bed.
Big….it’s all so big.
“Step It Up and Go” Bob Dylan