It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve sat at the laundromat. Not for lack of trying. Came 2 weeks ago – but no one showed. But today, I’m here and in a show of solidarity, the WIFI is actually working!
So! Let’s catch you up.
I’ve been ‘peopling’ in an effort to throw myself out of the house and beat this anxiety/agoraphobia stuff.
Last Saturday night I was to attend my bosses house for a small party with dinner and drinks.
Let’s just say, it ended with me bleeding and spending the week applying neosporin to the scrape above my cut and swollen upper lip. May or may not have fractured my nose too – Super tender and I woke up last night to it bleeding again.
But, as they say, if you’re going to have too many beverages, it should be at your bosses house.
Said NO ONE EVER!
I called my boss in the morning and was assured I wasn’t inappropriate and that everyone had a great time. The ‘incident’ occurred when she and I were outside waiting for my taxi.
She left me unattended for a brief moment to flag said taxi down, in which time, I managed to get out of my chair, lose my balance, break a fall with my face and stand up again. See, this is why they hired me! Excellent time management!
Last night was a long anticipated concert that my mum managed to get tickets for.
Now, I don’t know all of their songs, I’m not going to lie. But the ones I know, I enjoy. And KISS is such an iconic band that you really have to say “YES! I would love to see them” when asked.
She had 2 tickets, and with my bird out of the nest I didn’t really have anyone to take.
She decided to give the other ticket to a friend of hers who really wanted to go. Then didn’t.
I met up with her at a casino she was staying at and received my ticket.
She mentioned that the other guy wasn’t going – but that she would walk with me to the venue. (There’s no parking at this particular event center – it’s either take a shuttle or hoof it.)
We began walking and I started to get a tad nervous about how large the event was.
The seat assignment on my ticket soothed me however, front and center, 6 rows back!
We approached my destination and she stood with me in the line for security.
“What are you going to do with the other ticket?”
“Oh, it’s claimed.” She replied.
“Mum, you can go, I’ll be ok. You need to get back and get the ticket to the person so they don’t miss the start.”
She kept walking with me and suddenly we were both at security and she was being scanned.
“You’re coming with me?!?!!!”
Did NOT see that one coming.
“You owe me big time. I’m sacrificing myself for this.”
As it turned out – she had a blast. As did I. Seats were amazing, show was fantastic.
“Which ones are the originals?”
“Which ones are my age?”
Lots of questions – then much standing and dancing and singing along.
A great deal of that confetti landed in my top – in my bra – in my purse and in my eye. LOL!
I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about Paul’s voice, but I’ll tell you that live he sounded amazing. Of course he’s not going to sound like he did decades ago – but they all performed incredibly!
We walked back to her casino (and my car) hand in hand.
“Look at us – like when you were little – only, now I’m the small one.”
A small firecracker! Who went to see a band she had no interest in seeing to spend time with me.
This getting out and about thing may leave me with bruises sometimes – but I’m conquering my fears and making memories.
I hope for many more.
Alarm was set for seven this morning, it needn’t have been.
I was rudely awakened by the persistent bark of the neighbor’s corgi. Butters joined in and I dragged myself to my bedroom window.
Said corgi was staring at the side of my house and would not stop alerting.
I threw some ‘outside’ clothes on and headed out to see what the fracas was about.
A newly dug hole now exists leading to under my home.
This after a trap sat unsuccessfully for a week in the very same spot. (Sans hole.)
I’m assuming my skunk is back.
I’m over caring. As long as a) Skunks stay nocturnal and b) Nothing else moves in under there to startle it.
Had a long day of napping yesterday and (without too much information, wishing I had an epidural) so I was wide awake.
Headed out to the laundromat after a shower.
Laundry Lady: Hey! I missed you last week.
Me: Yeah, I didn’t even have half a basket.
(OK, that works two ways lol.)
I tossed my items in the machine and took my usual spot.
This was only after I noticed a rock on the table.
My first thought, “Oh, now we’re claiming tables with place rocks?”
Second thought, “Wait – there’s another rock … Must investigate.”
I turned it over to discover the purpose.
So! There are now painted rocks hidden in our town and if you find one, you can post a photo of your find to the Facebook page – then re-hide it or keep it or leave it.
What a wonderful way to begin the morning though – with the word, “Joy.”
I was a little upset that once again the WIFI the laundromat boasts was not functioning again.
That was ok though, I came prepared with a book.
It’s taking me entirely too long to read, not because it isn’t good, it’s amazing! It’s taking me too long because I’ve slowed down on my reading time (not good.)
There was a particular sentence I savored.
“The scratching of the bushes no longer sounded cozy. Spindly fingers asked to be let in, dark figures flitted around the house and looked for a gap, a small opening to squeeze through” – Stefan Kiesbye (Knives, Forks, Scissors, Flames.)
I kept reading until it was time to check the wash.
That’s when I noticed my laundromat neighbor.
Not to be unkind, but only honest, the first thing I noticed was his ripeness.
Then, his table. (Which, also had a rock.)
I set the book aside after seating myself again and observed.
I took all of him in.
His table, his stance, his belongings.
I make the assumption he was homeless.
I make it because he had a small bag of food items, a small bag of toiletries and because he removed his boots and stood bare footed to include his socks in the wash.
On his table, 17 cents – a small tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush, an insulated drinking vessel and some clean folded socks.
Yes, I felt some guilt sneaking this photo – but he’d disappeared into the bathroom to groom and I couldn’t let the moment pass.
My first thought now? This man had everything he carried with him, and I was going to watch his stuff.
My second thought? He was laundering his items and if anyone had a problem with that I was going into momma lion mode.
This photo breaks my heart a little – and was not intended.
A serendipitous snap of the camera.
And while all we shared was a brief smile, he shared more with me than he’ll ever know.
I chose to leave that rock at the table by the way – so that perhaps someone else could find ‘Joy’.
I peopled yesterday.
Tuesday night, my heart decided to go into overdrive – not anxiety, but my ticker issues. I reached out to one of my bosses who talked me through it.
I was terrified. Especially when I began experiencing disassociation and couldn’t form sentences correctly. THEN began the anxiety attack.
Wednesday morning, I couldn’t walk Butters.
(Who, by the way, is enjoying a cuddle day today – she’s been slowing up of late and walking stiffly.)
I was exhausted from the previous night. Shaky, and experiencing the ‘anxiety/heart cough’. Those who have anxiety know this. It’s an involuntary action that seems to try to regulate the heart beat.
Called another boss and explained I needed time to get into work as I didn’t trust myself to get in the shower. Dizzy, and felt like a new born lamb – wobbly on my feet.
Bottom line, ended up not going into work at all. Rested a lot and recovered.
I get so frustrated with the anxiety. I also get frustrated with the few people in my life who seem to think I choose to have these debilitating ‘spells’.
I do not choose this.
My heart is a horse of another color – and is pretty much managed with the digoxin.
Thing is though, because I do NOT choose the anxiety, I decided to put myself out there. Out … There. Eek.
O.K. So, onto the good stuff.
Yesterday I had plans with one of my dearest friends. We were going to have breakfast.
Simple enough no? Driving is hard for me – when I go outside of my comfort route.
I did it though.
Had a lovely time and rented a delicious meal. Lol.
(I got the veggie skillet – but it was still greasy, so, you get the reference, I won’t go more into that.)
At one point, my friend said this:
Her: I’m a terrible friend. I don’t call, I don’t visit.
Me: No you’re not! I know you love me, and I don’t call or visit either!
And truly, that saying – about friends who pick up right where they leave off is so true. I don’t question her love for me – and I hope she doesn’t question mine.
Actually, she can’t lol! She still works at the bank where we met so many years ago and every time I leave, in front of the entire room I say, “Bye for now, I love you.”
And she says it back.
Part two of the day.
Movie with another amazing friend.
When I met this guy – I felt an immediate pull. His aura is so genuine and lovely. He has many hidden talents and his authenticity is worn on his sleeve. I knew I adored him after just a few chats. Felt maternal and very happy to have found such an amazing soul.
We had plans to see Beauty and the Beast.
This is where things get funny.
I met him in the lobby of the theater.
(Another thing I love about him, he’s an ‘on time’ or ‘early’ person, like me.)
We get tickets and drinks and eagerly head to the theater room.
As soon as we enter and turn the corner to see the seats, I notice the back row pretty much filled (ok, maybe 8) with teens.
One says, “Hey, can you get me a drink?”
I didn’t think much of it, my eyes were still adjusting to the light and I figured he was talking to someone else.
He was not.
I ignored this and we chose a seat behind a mom and her two little ones.
Then when two more teens came in and sat further up, the ‘gangstas’ threw a flip flop down at the newcomers.
“Why you sitting down there?”
Now I’m alert.
My friend and I decided to take bathroom breaks one at a time before the movie. He went first.
While he was gone – things escalated a tad.
Now, I may be anxious, but I also have my moments of courage.
The back row was in full swing and when I heard one of them loudly toss the word ‘fuck’ around I whipped my head in their direction.
Me: HEY! There are little kids here!
Him: My bad – did you get me my chili cheese fries?
(Teen giggles from the peanut gallery)
Oh NO he didn’t. What the actual hell?
Me: You want me to stay here or am I going to have to get up?
My friend returned shortly after and mentioned he’d advised the lobby that there were some degenerates needing discipline. After I emptied my hamster bladder, I did the same.
When I sat back down, the irony of the entire situation occurred to me.
These wanna be thugs were thugging at Beauty and the Beast!
Movie was amazing, I cried the minute the iconic ballroom scene began. I remember thinking, “good thing Emma Watson has had so much experience acting with things that aren’t actually there.”
Then I had another thought, “what if wannabe thug has an older brother with a gun?”
But I did the right thing.
After all, this little Princess was there too. (Face blurred on purpose)
My friend and I left the movie and promised to see more together and after a hug said “Bye for now.”
Peopling worked out.
And today, with not even half a load of laundry, I stayed home loving on my pup, leaving only to grocery shop and pick up medicine. And on the way home … Teared up a little at such a lovely weekend.
I peopled yesterday.
I SO peopled.
Made a return at a major store – found no replacement, went to another major store – this is after an uncomfortable drive to the first place.
Care for pets.
Thought of leaving brings on another need for bathroom.
The drive: “OMG, why are they going so fast?” “Am I going too slow?” “I have to be in this lane.” “Are they mad at me?” “They’re not going to let me in if I don’t move now.”
Get me out of here!
Last store – my heart was ready to come out of my chest. I entered Safeway.
Wiped my cart with the sanitary thingy – reach into my purse for my pen (I always do a ‘tally’ as I go) and ‘POKE’ … And OUCH.
I pulled my hand out of my purse and … Blood.
A trial size perfume spritzer had shattered and the ‘poke’ was a shard of glass.
I headed to customer service because A) I am NOT going home now without my provisions and B) I needed her to check my lottery scratcher tickets because I am blind as Clarice Starling in Buffalo Bill’s cellar these days.
So I’m standing there – dripping on not only the cart, but the floor, my clothes, anything in my midst.
Me: (placing, very calmly, scratcher tickets on the counter) Um, do you have a band aid?
Her: Wow. You’re bleeding pretty bad.
Her: OK. (Scurries off for ‘things’)
Me: I’m so sorry.
Her: Don’t be sorry. How did you do that?
Me: (Feeling woozy, trying not to bleed everywhere and becoming increasingly aware of how much I am) I, um, I was by the dispenser, the thing ..
Her: The sanitizer? You cut yourself on the wipe container?
“Do you want to file a claim?”
No, no I didn’t lol. Because it wasn’t the dispenser’s fault.
She kindly patched me up and yes, I had missed a ‘winner’. $10 in my pocket and a band aid on my finger and I was off.
But what WAS their fault? The barricades in the aisles. Stock people, I know you have to stock, but, damn! It’s hard enough for me to be in the store at it’s best time (which I still haven’t figured out) but when I’m doing a grocery version of a maze/obstacle course that’s ridiculous.
I was so DONE with being out, SO done with peopling and so mad at myself for allowing the sweet customer service lady to believe the sanitizer dispenser attacked me.
The rest of the day I spent cleaning and cooking.
It’s time for my annual home inspection – or as I like to think of it, ‘intrusive visit where photographs are taken of all my belongings’.
I clean all the time, but this visit calls for the white glove kind of clean.
You know, all the things you don’t do all the time. (Or, maybe it’s just me?) Like, removing and washing the floor vents, cleaning the top of the fridge, cleaning under sinks and tossing items not used even once since last inspection.
I got most everything done except my bedroom.
I just can’t get into gear to do it!
We all have that one room everything that doesn’t belong anywhere else ends up right? Well, that’s my bedroom.
And it really sucks the ‘nest zen’ right out of my budoire.
I’ll get to it eventually. I have a deadline after all. That always motivates me.
But for today … I’m going to chill out a little.
Luckily, I am done with outside errands and there’s no more peopling in Sunday’s forecast.
I spent this weekend relaxing, for the most part – and at one point, dancing! By myself in the living room.
Just because I could I suppose, but also because the weather is mild and there was (and still is) a mellow breeze in the air.
This is the calm before the ‘heat storm’.
Calm climate brevity.
It won’t last long. Soon I’ll be plugging the fans back in and paying extortion type rates for electricity to run the A/C
Also now regretting ‘the bangs’. Shortly they’ll be wet and plastered to my head.
Began reading again.
The WIFI in the laundromat has been touchy. Today wasn’t working at all and in anticipation of this, I packed a book.
The thing is – I stopped doing things I used to love a while ago.
When was the last time I wrote in my diary? Last time I painted? Last time I grabbed my camera and left the house in search of something wonderful?
My life used to revolve around my kid and now … I’m stuck with myself.
When people say (and, I must be odd enough for them to actually say this) “I wonder what it’s like in your head”. I respond with “Well, don’t go in there unattended”.
And now here I spend all my home time doing just that.
I feel like a bird in an open cage – choosing to stay inside.
There are amazing days. Revelations and epiphanies. Also darkness and fear.
It’s like a ginormous abacus is before me and I’m pushing the beads – weighing pro’s and con’s – trying to calculate my future (as if I have a say in that ultimately).
I’m no spring chicken anymore. People I love have passed. People I love are sick.
I have health issues myself – a few I haven’t shared with anybody and I’m afraid to know more about. Ignorance is bliss no?
My patience wears thin at those around me with no gratitude. No sense of urgency to enjoy their abilities or what they have. Or, to push further to have more connection to what is really important!
My go to example is the bank.
When there’s a line and I hear someone whining about standing in it all I can think is:
There are people who would give anything to stand in this line! Seriously.
The ill and the housebound.
Just to have the ability to stand unaided – without pain. Even just to BE at a bank, which, clearly means you’re there for a financial transaction.
Those with nothing wouldn’t mind that particular inconvenience.
Sadly, I haven’t been living up to my potential either. So, rather than be a hypocrite, I’m owning that and sharing it with you.
I’ve let my very humble home go – when it comes to deep cleaning.
I’ve lost joy in things I used to love.
But this peri-Summer breeze is a gentle awakening.
I want myself back!
And I want MORE for me.
Not more ‘stuff’ – in fact, I need to purge my life of a great deal of material things.
I want … Hope.
I want to feel like I contributed at the end of a day.
I want the people I love to FEEL it without any doubt.
I want to get pulled back into books and to be a better writer.
I haven’t been proud of anything I’ve written in a very long time – and I used to be good.
Admitting that alone is huge!
And, I want to dance in my living room.
LIVE in my ‘living’ room and not just beach myself on my Chaise Lounge with a remote control in my hand.
Time to get my finger off the pause button and press play.