I haven’t mused from the laundromat for a while – and that’s been odd. My weekends have been filled, to my delight.
When I DO go, I do try to be there when my laundry lady is there also. She told me I was missed.
I believe her, because I miss her too. The routine – the ‘regulars’. But I wouldn’t trade another Sunday there for what I have now.
I’ll start with this, I’ve been so happy lately that even my son, (who has moved again across country and who I haven’t seen since January 6th of this year) has commented on it.
Keep in mind, our chats have been minimal and our communications brief. So, it’s a pretty big deal that he sees a change in me.
My heart is more peaceful, my anxiety lessened. I smile more – I treasure moments no matter how fleeting. I’ve been exploring, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. Doing things to make someone else happy and in making the effort, found myself happier too.
Life has taken a turn and whether it’s for a reason, a season or a lifetime – I’m just very glad it happened.
And yet, I still find myself waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’.
As if I’m not worthy of a happy ending. Or, just so used to not expecting one that the possibility is absurd.
I think the more I let go and the more I trust that I can pinch myself and not wake up, the less I’ll be waiting for things to go wrong.
I’m still also painfully aware at how brief and unpredictable life can be.
I’ll be participating in a 3K walk to benefit my sweet friend with stage 4 cancer on Saturday. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not think of her.
Every visit is cherished.
I find myself wanting to curl up next to her and just … be. Of course, it hurts her too much to move or be bumped or even to hug. So, her toes are mine. I gently rub her feet in some attempt to offer comfort where I know I can’t.
I think I’ve been living for her lately too.
Pushing myself with the ever-present thought, ‘She would LOVE to be able to do this!’ I’m not just talking about adventures. It’s the little things like, getting out of bed, standing in the shower, dressing myself. Standing in line at a store! (I WILL give you the lecture if I hear you complain you know – “You realize there are some people who would give ANYTHING to be in this line?!”)
I especially thought of her when it was finally cool enough to join the man who has my heart in the desert. She would have given anything to sit where I sat after navigating a climb. She would have been in just as much awe of the view as I was and welcoming the sweet sleepiness that was sure to follow that night.
So there it is.
My life at the moment.
Filled with hope and also with impending sadness.
Certainty and uncertainty.
Immense joy knowing that I am capable of such love now and willing to offer it with no expectations.
To them both.
Knowing that losing either of them is going to break my heart. And yet, knowing them for however long I have makes it most definitely worth it.
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 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.
Long chats with my Laundry Lady and Glaucoma Man today.
I gave Laundry Lady my phone number in case she ever needs anything. She doesn’t have a car. Depends on her roommate to get her to work and home. She’s been working there for over 8 years – no vacation pay – no benefits. I learned so much more today about her.
She mentioned she hates working the morning shifts, but loves seeing me. That made my day. Because I feel the same way. For over 6 years I’ve waddled into that building, weighted down by my laundry baskets. And I can count on seeing her sweet face and her beautiful smile. I can count on her putting on the coffee and having a brief chat.
I’m making a point of being more involved and engaged with people in my life.
Received some bad news recently about someone I love dearly … And it rocked my world. I’ll keep them anonymous, but, the news was the ‘C’ word.
Inoperable ‘C’ word.
And what angers me so much is that this person is so very good and kind and loving and giving. And too young for such a diagnosis.
This person has so much to share with the world and the world needs them!
It’s that stage of life now isn’t it? Late 40’s. Where you start hearing about people falling ill or worse.
There are some other people in my life, who will also remain anonymous, who have been madly in love for over 41 years. I mean, seriously, deliriously and obviously in LOVE. Still get butterflies when they see each other. It’s palpable. Their love is something you can almost reach out and touch it’s that real. They’re ridding themselves of material things and readying themselves for retirement. They want to spend the rest of their lives traveling and loving one another.
I think that’s beautiful. And I find myself envying what they have in a non-green way. I’m happy for them, so very happy for them – but yes, there is a part of me that knows I will never have that and a part of me yearns for it.
I’m flying again on Thursday – to see that someone special again. Spreading my wings, exploring options – overcoming fears and giving life a look.
I will say that I AM fortunate. I’ve done more in my lifetime than most. Traveled and soaked up other cultures, beliefs and people.
From France to India in a bus full of eclectic passengers. I’m forever grateful for that experience.
Had an amazing day yesterday seeing another person I love. A dear friend and practically a brother. We grew up together in England. His mother is my God Mother and there was a point our parents, who are still dear friends, lived together. We reenacted a photo taken 43 years ago.
Here it is.
But as I was leaving, I had a sinking feeling we may never see one another again. And it made me sad and so very aware of time. Time and the passage of it. Of life and its beautiful uncertainties.
My son leaves in January. I was reading a Facebook memory yesterday (thank goodness for those by the way) and it was me sharing my gratitude of spending time with him. 5 years ago yesterday we were curled up on the couch watching ‘Up’ and I expressed how precious I knew that moment was.
I was in that moment and knew with my whole heart how important it was just to spend that time – because life is so fleeting.
I hope I never forget to feel that way.
No matter what happens, I’ll endeavor to cherish the important people and things.
Because once the curtain comes down, there’s no more time to say “I love you.”
And the clock ticks on. Life is in session.