Immutable Law and Necessary Pleasures


Anne Michael

There are certain laws of the universe that are immutable. The sun will come up every morning whether we can see it or not and it will go down every night somewhere around supper time. A person will get zits or cold sores at the least opportune time like a date, job interview, public speaking engagement or wedding day.  Roses will invariably get aphids; blind dates can see quite well with or without glasses and if you wear white pants or skirt you will, undoubtedly get something spilled on it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, just because I’d swear anything that there are not actually 24 hours in a day. I know that 24 hours in a day are one of those immutable laws. These days I seem to have either so much to do in my life that 24 hours are just not enough time in which to accomplish everything or I am getting slower at doing these things.

There are pieces of plans hanging uncompleted over things that have been accomplished, and there are things that need to be done vying for space in my pantry of time. It’s a mess and it’s ugly, and there are stale things I’ve promised myself I’d get to and have not because I ran out of time or energy or enthusiasm or found there was not enough of me to go around. I can’t tell which. I’m sure some of you, dear readers, can identify with that.  

Sometimes everything gets managed with grace and ease, but more often than not nothing could be farther from the truth. I’ve wondered if it is just me or not, but the older I get, the more slowly I feel like I do things. I have watched the older people in my life, over the years, and think “I’ll never get that way!” But I am getting that way. And it is scary.

I have spent many weeks pushing myself harder in an effort to prove to myself that I am not slowing down. I’ve been vying for the title of “Queen of the Multi-Taskers.” I was not going to go down easy or give in to this aging phenomenon without a fight! The only reward for this effort is that by the end of each day I have been exhausted, too exhausted to indulge in those pleasures I’ve come to love in life like sipping my way through a pot of tea, one cup at a time, writing letters to faraway friends, daydreaming among my orchids, enjoying a conversation with a friend or family member or losing myself in a wonderful book. In essence, I’ve been running from another immutable law—when we age, we slow down. I now believe we are supposed to.

I came to this realization in the midst of cleaning a bathroom last Sunday and dreading the pile of ironing that awaited me. I asked myself what the meaning of all this pushing to accomplish, to leave a trail of things done behind me was for. This was turning me into an unhappy person. I felt overworked, unappreciated and out of touch with my own life and my own self. It was a gorgeous February day—82 degrees, sunny, brilliant blue skies, sweet breezes, My chaise lounge on the lanai, festooned with a huge spider web that stretched from arm to arm, looked forlorn. That was where I should have been, reading a book, sunning myself and savoring a tall glass of iced tea decorated with a lemon plucked from my own tree.

I’ve worked long and hard my entire life. Taking time to enjoy the things that make life worth living is as important as the work and as essential to the kind of person I am. My sweet spouse was delighted with my realization since he has been encouraging its birth for years. While I didn’t get to the lanai last Sunday and read a book in the sun I did get the opportunity to leave the need to achieve behind. I came home from work two nights this week to find that my hubby had the tea tray laid out for me with a book alongside. The reading lamp was lit and he was firmly committed to preparing supper while I sat and enjoyed these luxuries after a long work day. We were both quite pleased, grinning like school kids with a secret. Steve was thrilled with his gift given and happily received.  I was ineffably pleased.

No longer will my weekends be “marathons of achievement.” Dusting and ironing will always be a fact of life, but there will be time for those things that give me joy too. I have a few books I can’t wait to get into. A ride in the country with the love of my life is in the offing. Bumping into the immutable law that says we move more slowly as we age appears to have a definite up side. I can take more time to enjoy the things I love and not have to rush them. I really like that idea.

At age 10, Anne realized she was never going to get to be Miss America since reading a book was not an acceptable talent. So she went on to get a job and raise a family. Along the way, she fixed meals, picked up toys, helped with homework, and collected a drawer full of rejection slips for her “great American novel.” It was not all bad, however, since she ended up wallpapering a closet with them. She currently designs and creates greeting cards for her tiny company, The Frog Prints, LLC, and also works full-time as a Training Specialist. Anne is currently tethered to reality by a loving spouse, two dogs, one cat and the occasional hurricane that blows through Florida, although falling headlong and happily into a book is still her favorite “talent.” She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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