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My aunt is sporting a new look. One couldn't call it stylish. More, um, disheveled? Maybe just careless. She stopped wearing earrings, then eye makeup, and now not even lipstick. She quit working with the downtrodden and depressed. Said she wasn't good at caring anymore; just ran out of sympathy. "It's all new again," she said. "I've become a person instead of a women. Like I stuffed my ego in a box and walked out on it." I asked her, "Why?" "It just happened, maybe with the divorce. I don't need to make anyone happy. How lovely." she said. Grinning.
Mother Nature is very goal oriented. She casts a spell so that we fall madly and blindly in love, procreate, become mothers with powerful instincts to protect our young. We use most of our resources for their benefit until the offspring can fend and thrive on their own. If all goes well, grandparents can assist the next generations. After that, well Mother Nature doesn't doesn't much care what happens to you, grandma. One has to create a purpose for oneself. Truly, maybe our extended lives are just greediness for more. What purpose is served? Hangers on. Limping along, so pathetic.
If the fairy-grand-mother gave away gold stars for all the words that should be said--but by someone else--not mom, then I should be covered in gold. Case in point: I call Sonny last week and SOMEONE has to talk! so I tell him happy news that I have joined a gym. I describe my anticipatory fun seeking--health building activities. Still, he's not talking. So Sonny, have you been able to exercise? He says, "no, I don't really have the means." So here's where I get the gold star: I don't say, "walk around the block."
Lots of blue squares greeted me when I finally realized I missed my 100 words practice. 18 to be exact. Ah, practice, discipline, tenacity. We know the importance! Commitment, follow through, achievement, satisfaction...why is this, sometimes, not evident? The world still turns even when the writers fall asleep on the job. Other things too, have fallen by the wayside. Flashes of images of old friends, I mean literally, old, have haunted me. I owe correspondence all over the place. I'm thinking about you, but haven't acted and I have an excuse. I'm calling it winter funk. It's upon me.
Drinking: Do I have a problem? There was a new study on NPR. If you have 8 drinks a week, you could be an problem drinker. Really? Shit! I never drink more than one drink a day with my meal. Yet, I'm one drink away from a problem? Don't they have wine with every meal in France? I'm in the wrong country. I started having a drink in the evenings as a reward for going the whole day without a cigarette. Ok, so I traded one vice for another. But it wasn't, it isn't, an addiction. Or is it? Crap!
Consider: taking your own life, as in suicide, or taking your life as the responsible way to end it, avoiding necessary, unrealistic heroic measures to prolong it. The line gets so fuzzy when you reach a certain age. We're taught by culture that all life is precious. That to end it is a sin. But it's all about judgement, isn't it? If there were no religious overtones of sin, then maybe we wouldn't cringe at the thought. We'd be logical, measure the pros and cons. No, it's always an emotional upheaval, no matter how loss comes. Practicing endings is wise.
Dear Son, Remember the time we went to Cozco on Princess Tours, and after we toured the Pyramids, walked to the city square, chilled by the fountain and generally had a great day? One of many? Finally free to use my vacation miles, free of work obligations and yet still spry enough to keep up with most of the crowd. Remember? No! because you didn't go. And the biking days we had in the mountains in Ca? Right, same thing. And the great meals we had during holidays, our family all together to celebrate? Oh, yeah, no, you weren't there.
Once upon a time, I had an Aunt J. She and my mother shared everything. In fact, I would even feel a bit offended if I had to tell her a big piece of personal drama myself. It felt like my life was not being adequately reviewed. "She didn't tell you?" I'd say. Aunt J. visited mom at least twice a year, flying cross country. She needed escapes from her husband, mostly, I think. Getting caught up with Aunt J. was a cozy, wine sipping, kitchen table story tellin'fun time. Until it ended. We still can't fathom why it ended.
My ex-husband still owns a half an hour of my day, everyday. If he and I live another 12 years, and this daily phone bore-athon continues, then I will have given him 131,400 minutes of my life. That's 2190 hours or Shit! 91.25 days! No! I refuse. My life is finite. I will not talk about cats with him anymore. Won't. I'll hang up. It grinds me. It's torture for me to listen and act like I care. Act like I don't mind being polite. My insides are in a knot. I won't stand for it!!
OMG, I'm being so proactive in researching my options for changing health insurance. I went to a drop in site of BCBS. I waited 2 whole friging hours waiting for their one insurance expert to finish taking to the 2 people ahead of me. I was on the verge of tears of frustration. I made approximately 20 phone calls, to the hospitals, the doctors office managers, the BCBS people, trying to get the facts lined up in a way that I could comfortably sign up for an affordable plan. No. I have to wait until BCBS educates the PCP offices.
Femininity escapes me now. Weird how what was once so important gradually slips away because it's irrelevant. Living solo means I don't have to be a reflection for anyone else's life. Well, I don't attend any events that require dressing up. When was the last time I wore heels? Or a dress? It didn't take long before I didn't bother with eye makeup, then lipstick became a rarity. I haven't even gotten my hair cut for the last three months. I must look a sight! But it's so freeing. I don't have to impress anyone. Maybe it's lack of hormones.
We were best friends for three years plus,Ingrid and I. She would introduce me to her expansive social circle as her "new best friend." Later, she dropped the new, but kept the best. She is a self described (and clinically diagnosed) narcissist, which is her appeal. Narcissists are charming people. As a community college teacher, she had a vast, dedicated audience. Me, among them. She taught yoga and swimming and biking, my favs. It was easy for me to relate to Ingrid. She is so similar to my biological sister. Eventually, I learned to discerned playmates from true friends.
Dear Son, I know I have to stay out of your life. I let my thoughts about you flow, then, turn them off with a simple phrase: Not my life. But IF I was ever called upon to advise you, I would tell you this: You have spent so long arguing with online Christians about dogma, that the preoccupation with it separates you from others. It might be impossible to connect with and make friends since since no one spends that much time evaluating and researching and persuading others as you. It serves as a wall between you and love.
My neighbor above visited me today. He runs with the most extraordinary crowd from the LGBT community. The stories he tells are full of courage and truth and searching for relief from ambiguity, I think. Today, he told me about a handsome man he met through the internet who was self described as a nudest. They spent an evening together in the nude--in the middle of winter. Really? What is the point? Show and tell? A few good hours were wiled away today at the store listening. I wonder if neighbor and I will become friends. I'd welcome it.
My friend is now taking adderol for his ADD. He described his relief of negative symptoms and his new ability to focus and maintain prolonged attention spans so that he can carry his thoughts longer. He can make contributions to his colleagues, feels smarter and more confident. I listened in awe. I want that! Maybe I should start with more coffee, a stimulant to see if it helps. I think with age and without a crucial career necessity, I might not notice the difference. I'm becoming aware of my trail of time wasting. I catch myself wandering, circling my assignments.
She watches her watch as she speaks to her ex-husband. I know she's spending the minutes thriftily. She told me that she did the math, and that if she spoke to him the 30 minutes as has been their pattern over the last year, she will have given him 91 days of her life if she lives until 75. She was aghast at the waste. To hear her tell it, he has nothing to say and has become an expert at dragging the topic of conversation back and forth three times before he moves on. She says it's maddening.
I am the queen of accomplished things today. Floors vacuumed, sweater knitted and blocked and finished! I took advantage of the late Nov. warm up and hung Christmas lights and installed the front storm door. I tackled the new method of casting on stitches so that I could start my knitted Christmas present to Nell. I finished my sign for the store...I regret that it took me so long, but WTF, it's done. What I didn't do: I didn't write the people who are close to me. I've been too action oriented for that. Tomorrow. Good job Accomplished Queen!
I went to a new yoga establishment today. I've been to the other yoga house many times. I feel uncomfortable there. Maybe it's too advanced or too Hindu for me. The owners are the genuine devotees of some monk. When I attended a "gathering event" I was startled by the amount of worship they poured over him. Anyway. A Sunday session of Yoga to start out the week sounds like a great routine. Afterwards, I met Stacy for breakfast. She's always easy to talk to. I enjoy our social nights, or meals out. We single people have to stick together.
I want to shed the past like fallen autumn leaves. I have a group of followers from the middle ages and earlier who seem to think I'm the same person they met 30-40 years ago. I keep asking myself, is this more about them? Or is it about me? Is it about me now? or the way I was then? Go away. I don't want to cling. It's over. I want new friends, new places, new. The past is too messy (see above.) In socializing with people who have no expectations of me, I'm freer. Accept me, or not.
Dear City of Berkshire: There is a wonderful storefront art studio in your midst. It's a place where you can sit down next to your fellow citizens and create. You can make a project, learn a new skill, laugh with your neighbor. You can be quiet and yet commune in the atmosphere of this art space. There's a piano in the corner in case anyone wants to make music, there is every type of material you'll need for just about any whim. What are you doing tomorrow? Why not stop by and explore something new and fun. It's very afforable.
I haven't seen my neighbor Kathy in about two weeks. I could attribute this to the new cold weather shut-in routine that we all get into. Or, maybe her work is especially busy. I saw her husband twice and said hi. I keep wondering if they're having problems and maybe she is staying elsewhere? It feels a bit uncomfortable to not text or say hi in some way. They've been married less than two years. Kathy is very easy going and tolerant of his workaholic nature. I don't know why I'm dwelling on this--just need 100 word subject.
Justifying a pushy type of Christmas present/ or, is it manipulative to get a son a gym membership? Or pay tuition for a ceramics course? That says, "I think you should do this." But a blank check says, "I didn't give any thought to what would make you happy." Dilemma. Especially with a rather touchy son. Correction. A person who is ready to reject at any second, or over any little thing. Walking on eggshells...isn't that the definition of borderline personality trait? I should consider not doing anything. End the devotion demo ritual. Maybe it's better for us both.
Why don't I paint anymore? Could it be that I have nothing to work out, nothing to solve, nothing to get off my chest? Because, while I was in the midst of a horrible marriage I certainly used art to throw my spears clandestinely. All my paintings seemed to be saying I have to get outta here! Or, fuck you! or this is a prison. There was a lot of fuel for painting then. Now, life is calm. I know I'm in control of everyday of my life. The problem of no problems. Surely I can start painting again. Try.
Darrell had been suffering from boredom his whole life. He was stuck in the predictable pattern of small-town life. Same people, same routine. They, in turn, expected the same sameness from him. But Darrel had been dreaming of riding a motorcycle-- traveling across the country. In his sleep he could see himself in a very different persona; biker Darrell. In his dream, he had leather chaps, he had flowing, wind caught hair. Then one day, he started to put the pieces of his vision one ahead of the other. Today, he's wearing the smile of someone with a plan.
Donna was bone tired. She thought, it's embarrassing to be so tired after not so much work. She'd moved a little of her stuff each of the past 4 days. This was a smart senior's strategy. Tomorrow's the day she finally leaves this place. All her necessities have been put in order inside the Airstream RV. She'd pre-measure the coffee so she could be on her way by 6:00am tomorrow. It seemed she'd been waiting to roll this baby out of a driveway her whole life. Like the phantom RV, ready to back out of the marriage, finally.
A master at excuses, Sarah plans her day off. Exercise at her new community center is a priority. She already altered her gym pants to make them in the fashionable sleek profile. Her hair is bed matted, a bit dirty, but hey, it's a workout day. Donning workout outfit, and eyeing herself in the mirror, she thinks, well, I could go swimming instead. Yeah. Nobody's making me go to the spin class. So what if I miss it? Bathing suit, where? Donning bathing suit, Sarah cringes. Geez. Definitely need to shave. Screw it. No one is making me go swim...
My life is being swallowed up by details: find a doctor for the new year, follow up on the subscription to Rails and Trails; the magazine should have been sent to a friend as a gift, just received a bill from credit card that shows an extra $30 was sent by mistake. I was sent an invoice for this year's snow removal service that needs to be filled out and returned. Earlier, I call the MI Dept. of Treasury to ask about my LLC annual statement and do I have to pay? is there a penalty? There's more. Lot's more...
Dear Son, Would it be a guilt trip for me to remind you that I will not live forever? And that my quality years are numbered? If I remind you of that fact and you still choose to ignore my presence on earth, will that then hurt me more? I give you this excuse...that you don't have a child of your own. If you did, you might want to get to know me more. I wonder what you think of me? Do you see me as a nuisance? Obviously. I want to be the wise elder in your life.
I am not a foody. I kinda hate them. They seem snobby. And, are there any slim foodies? I mean, it's like going public with, no, flaunting your addiction, isn't it? But tonight, I made up the best dish, I want to share it. I took my turkey stuffing (from a bag recipe) that had sauteed mushrooms, celery, onions plus raisins. I made a savory bread pudding. I went to the trouble of roasting a sweet red pepper, put in some frozen green spinach, covered it with eggs and milk. It was spectacular, if I must say so myself! Yum.
Seeing a thing through until it's complete. This is a new goal for me. It's a hardship, but not impossible. I usually circle over my projects. Coming to one, losing interest or being called to another. I can see the whole array of unfinished works, but since I'm still circling, there's hope and not despair. It's like I have a practiced ADD degree and this is the strategy that I've perfected. The downside, is that the engagement level is lower, thus the accomplishment satisfaction is lower too. Things get done but they're just a blip on the To Do list.
The Tip Jar