I slept through my alarm this morning.
That sort of thing is completely uncharacteristic of me; not only do I usually wake up well before any alarm I set can go off, but on the rare occasion when I don't wake up before it goes off, when it does go off I immediately wake up. This morning, though, I must've either turned it off in my sleep, unless I set it for 8:15 PM instead of 8:15 AM last night. (In that case, I'd better turn it off or I'll have a rude interruption during my usual meditation this evening!) So I woke up at 10:05 this morning—five minutes after I was supposed to actually be at my church—and managed to pull a brush through my hair (which is rather long) and pull on some clean clothes and get in the car to drive to church within five minutes. The drive, which is normally about 20 minutes, took closer to 15, thanks to the fact that most of the lights which are usually red when I get to them turned out to be green today. I got there just in time to run to the rehearsal room, jump into my cassock and surplice and grab my music. Everyone else was heading into place for the opening procession, though once I got into my usual place, we still ended up waiting at least five minutes to go in. Good thing I'd taken some of my music home to look at after last practice, because I didn't get to practice it with everyone else this morning!
I took a fair amount of good-natured ribbing from everyone else in the choir about that. It's the first time that most of them had ever seen me be late for anything, after all. :)
Even accounting for the fact that I hate to be late for anything, and even though there were a couple of Sundays this summer when I didn't go to church at all (the first of which being the one that prompted my initial blog post here), I don't think I realized how dedicated I had become to this choir, to this church, before my late awakening this morning threw me into a such a hurry to get where I knew I already should've been.
On reflection, my life has been an awful lot like that in the past three years. In my mind, I know that I should be living on my own, working for a living and paying my own bills. I'll be 27 in November, after all. Yet, for all my attempts to be that productive person I know that I should be, I've been hit with a few curveballs—illness, depression, the need to help my mom take care of herself and even the decision to turn down a job offer at a place where I knew I'd be miserable, even if the pay was half-decent, just to name a few. I know what my life should be like at my age. But I can't help feeling that right now, I am precisely where I need to be, even though to some degree I'm still rushing to be in that place where societal standards tell me that I should be.
To put it shortly, although I don't feel I can complain too much about my life, the fact that I'm a 26-year-old unemployed teacher worries and scares me a bit—I'm terrified that I'm screwing myself over really badly, even though I know that helping my mother as I am now is the right thing to do. There's just nobody else who's in a position to support her in the way that she needs it right now.
Yet, if I don't take time to enjoy the journey now, who knows what kind of opportunities I'll miss? If I'd done what my mind tells me I should've done—take a minimum-wage job at a call centre, which would mean I'd have to take abuse from a lot of impatient and angry customers for eight hours a day—instead of taking time to work through my depression and take courses which could mean that I still have a shot at getting hired by a school board as a teacher someday, therefore letting me be part of the profession that I feel I was made for, I know that I wouldn't have had time for the community choir whose members have helped me to stay sane in the last few years, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to join my church choir, either. I'd have missed out on meeting so many people, doing so many things and having so many experiences that have helped to make my life a better and more worthwhile thing. Maybe my life would have been miserable, or maybe it wouldn't have been. All I know for sure is that for all my present difficulties, I'm not doing too badly and I'm working on doing even better in all aspects of my life...so maybe it isn't that bad after all.