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Dancing out of the cage

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?

Sad.

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.

The actual bird cage in my room … Door open and cobwebs

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.

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Musings from the Laundromat – Tick Tock edition.

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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.

-Tick Tock-

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.

-Tick Tock-

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.

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-Tick Tock-

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.

-Tick Tock-

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.

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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.”

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And the clock ticks on.  Life is in session.

Musings from the Laundromat: Moments, and how you can go home again

Checked the mail yesterday and came face to face, or rather, hood to face with a majestic peacock.

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I hear him all the time and in 6 years, he’s eluded me.

We regarded each other for a moment or two, then I slowly drove around him to complete my task.

Those few moments though – kept a smile on my lips all the way home.

It is in the moments.  I know that.  I also know I forget sometimes.

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Laundry lady just came all the way over to tell me the coffee was ready.    The coffee she makes for me.  There’s a moment.

Glaucoma man is here and has already chatted to me twice, excited to share his weekly news.  Another moment.

These people who I share one day a week with who have made such a task as rising early on a Sunday to do chores a pleasure.

Another moment was turning on my ipad after stuffing the washing machines and being surprised by the fact that the WIFI is actually working today.  (Obviously).

It hasn’t been working here for a while – to the point that I just stopped bringing my keyboard and pad.  I didn’t get to tell you about my trip, which I had planned to do last weekend.   I didn’t get to tell  you how I successfully flew.  Not just flew, but mustered the courage to peer out of the window.

I didn’t get to tell you how amazing it was to see my friends and marvel at the changes to a coast I used to call home.

They say “You can never go home.”  But ‘they’ are wrong.

Because it felt like ‘home’ … From the moment I stepped off the plane and felt the immediate comfort and ease of hugging someone special.

It felt like home when I saw friends that I love, friends I hadn’t seen in over a decade.  Held them tight – met children I had watched pregnancy announcements about and birth pictures on Facebook.

If felt like home on the water silently cruising the Elkhorn Slough thanks to my dear friend and Captain, Brian.

I laughed remembering how our dogs used to ‘escape’ our 3 and a half acres of romping room to seek out the slough mud – how my brothers and I had to fetch them and bring them back.

We always returned with the escapees excited and reeking of that mud, while we were exhausted climbing the final hill to home.

Home and memories.

And perhaps new beginnings.

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I’m returning on the 22nd of this month.  I overcame my fear of flying. And I want to make more memories.  To treasure.

 

Musings from the laundromat: Change edition

“If you need change, I can’t give it to you.”

Apropos.

My laundry lady went on to say, “The girl last night locked the vault.”

Made me start thinking about how much I DO need change.  And not the break a twenty kind.

But I’m working on that.  Vaults be damned.

I guess this is kind of a change … Sure not ginger ale.

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And, thanks to our recent monsoon shenanigans, there are all these fun plants wrapped around mundane objects, really found this beautiful.

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So, there’s a couple of changes.

But not the ones I had in mind.

There comes a day when you wake up, look around you and realize, “I am approaching 50 and I haven’t much to look forward to.”

There comes a day when you wake up and repeat your day like a pattern and loathe it.

I’m there.

I have an unchecked lottery ticket in my purse.  A dream of what my life could be and health issues I want mended.

I have a bonkers sense of hope, and a realistic feeling of being ‘stuck’.

Those things coupled become completely frustrating.

It’s like ticking off days on a calendar, only, it’s the countdown to the end.

So, what do I want to change, and how to go about it?

I’ll know more about that soon.

Mostly though, I stay in the moment and appreciate my life.

But I can’t keep doing my pattern forever.  I need more for myself.

I am capable of change, and open to it.

Now I just need to check that lottery ticket I suppose.

 

Musings from the Laundromat: Looking Forward edition.

It’s a beautiful morning.

I showered, tended to my dog and less than half an hour I sit at my laundromat table with almost dry hair.  Got to love the desert – nature’s hair dryer.

OK, sometimes I love the desert.

But there are many other times that I feel too far away from something or someone.

(Side note: I’ve yet to tell the laundry lady that I’ve stopped drinking coffee, and after her smile and our little chat she put on a pot for me.

How do I tell her I don’t want it when she only makes it for me?

I don’t.  I will be having a cup.  Because it makes her feel good to make it for me.)

______________________________

My head has been in the clouds for the past week or so.  It’s been hard to focus on the things I used to focus on.

Which, is a good thing, because left to my own devices and imagination, I’m usually not walking down quaint pathways, but dead-end alleys in my head.

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Negative ‘what if’s’ have been brightened to hopeful ones.

I’m looking forward instead of backward and that is also a good thing, because I’m not the most graceful of creatures and tend to trip up when I’m not focused on today or tomorrow, but rather, yesterday.

“Do you think it’s because we’re older?  That we know what we want sooner?”

“Yes.  We already know what works and what doesn’t in our lives.  We’re more confident and have experiences to draw upon.”

A conversation I had with someone I love.

______________________________

And now I sit, sipping the coffee I’ve given up, and one of my favorite songs,  Killer Queen, plays in the background on the radio.

And there is a faint smile on my lips as I type.

And there is a calmness in my heart.

And there is much on my mind – but I’ll keep that to myself – for now.