Life Must Be Lived

Life Must Be Lived

Life Must Be Lived 150 150 JJ Landis

I found our kitty curled up sound asleep, nestled in a pile of blankets on the bed early this morning. So I let her be, and the bed remained unmade. I envy her sometimes – her ability to drop and sleep anywhere.

I went to the couch to drink my coffee and enjoy the slower morning. The roads were covered with a layer of ice, so school was delayed two hours. Once my body and brain begin to move, they are reluctant to slow down. But in the mornings, I find it easier to simply sit, easier to resist the pull of productivity.

When Emma woke up, she came to me – cold because our furnace went off overnight – and hugged me. I buried my face into her neck and soaked in her body heat and shared mine.

She asked me to drive her to school so she could arrive early because it’s her day to read the morning announcements, which is important and makes her proud. Reading over the loudspeaker is a big deal when you’re ten. When I was her age, I got to be a safety patrol. I stood guard at the intersection of Berkley and Boulevard wearing my official hat, belt, and fancy badge and made sure no kids crossed on a red light. The pride that Emma feels – I remember that feeling.

The escape into catlike oblivion, though appealing, cannot be my way. Even though sometimes it’s good to seek respite and discover sanctuary in the smallest sliver of sunlight on the living room carpet like the kitty does, life must be lived.

I took Emma to school, cherished the smooch she gave me before she left for her announcement-reading responsibilities, and entered into my day, noticing all the morning’s ice had melted in the sun.


JJ Landis

JJ Landis is the author of "Some Things You Keep." She is a librarian in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and three children. She blogs about parenting, marriage, and getting through the day at

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