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.
I held the plank last night.
In correct position, and with my arms shaking – I held on.
And when I got home, I started to get undressed when I noticed that the work I’ve put into my body these past weeks, is showing results.
I originally took a photo of my stomach for myself. When I looked at the picture after I took it – I noticed my arm. I was shocked. And excited. And I was sharing that!
I posted it to my Facebook wall, completely ecstatic that my goal of achieving tone was being realized.
I have other goals.
And what I tried to convey in my last post – was that I am trying to allow myself to want those things.
I found myself feeling on the precipices of a breakthrough – of starting to feel like a woman – in my prime – of wanting more for her.
At the same time, feeling very much confined to my hamster wheel and with no resources for even a change of cedar chips.
I needed to talk it out with someone.
So I did what I am only now learning how to do, I spoke up and reached out.
I had the most amazing conversation with one of my best friends.
I miss her.
This is the friend who wore a ball gown one casual Friday.
The friend who smeared cake on her own face just so she could turn around at the right moment and say “What cake?”
The friend I danced to P!nk with – and swooned over Dave Matthews with while we sipped Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.
The friend who was there for me during a devastating chapter in my life.
I love her.
She fought cancer and won. If that wasn’t enough to make her my hero, she’s bold and authentic, funny and smart, balanced, human and oh so loving.
She also happens to have the maiden name of my mother. First, middle and last. The odds of that are bonkers.
So I told her early this week, “I need to talk. I need a friend.”
We had a time planned, but then another friend needed me. The thing about true friends, is that there is no explaining, no awkwardness, just ‘can we talk another time?’
Yes we could. This weekend.
So I called her with tonight with “Are you home yet? What about now? What about now?”
No. She wasn’t home. But now was a good time.
She then proceeded to blow my ever so ‘undeserving’ mind with:
“It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful. It’s okay to acknowledge that you obviously have needs on many levels that are not being met.”
The thing about getting older, is that the window of opportunity for any significant life change gets smaller.
The older we get, the more likely we may become ill – become lonely – become someone we didn’t plan to be – and there are only so many do overs.
That is reality.
But so many times, ‘reality’ becomes an excuse for not trying.
As she said “We have to candy coat reality a little bit at least. To make life less bitter. We have to be able to dream, to want things for ourselves.”
This is true.
I can think of a million reasons why I can’t take a big step and make the little girl I used to be proud and excited again.
But all it takes is believing anything is possible and allowing myself to want something for myself. And that is NOT selfish.
I don’t know if I’m brave enough yet.
I don’t know if I believe enough in myself yet.
But I’m getting there.
If I can just hold on … even while I’m shaking.
I am happy. I am off the hedonic treadmill and go to lengths to be sure I don’t visit that apparatus again!
I wondered today, if I asked everyone to take a week to come up with 3 things that make them happy, what would they be?
That in mind, I thought I should do the exercise first and found there was no way in heck there were just going to be three things!
This will be part 1 of ‘Happy and I know it’ because there’s just so much to say!
I brainstormed and these things came flowing out first:
The unexpected, scents, laughter, LOVE, giving, harmony, nature, imagination, innocence, music, animals, simplicity, synergy, absence of ego, rhythm, anticipation. I added: Faith, sparrows, having ‘enough’, beautiful actions, learning, kindness, compassion, gratitude.
In no particular order – a little on a some of the big ones for me.
Laughter. I’m talking the real deal – eyes closed, authentic, almost no sound coming out laugher. Side splitting, tears in my eyes, can barely breathe laughter. And if you’re laughing, I’m laughing. SO contagious. My son makes me laugh at least once every single day.
Imagination. From reading to movies, dreams and writing – expressing myself creatively or losing myself in someone elses creativity – that’s a big one for me.
Love. Love for a child, love for friends – loving complete strangers and ok, that first kiss and having butterflies in the tummy. This has to be my number one. Love is absolutely, I believe, what ‘it’ is all about. I’ll never forget J.K. Rowling telling Oprah how she thought of the passengers on one of the 9/11 flights – how they KNEW they were going to die, and the last thing they wanted to do was reach their loved one and just get to tell them “I love you”. Powerful. Truly powerful. They weren’t thinking about work, or their cars or their jewelry. It all came down to love.
Gratitude. Oh am I ever grateful! For everything I have, for everything I don’t have. I’m grateful to have ‘enough’. I don’t want more than that. I’m grateful for every breath, every moment, everything. I say ‘thank you’ every night. I get down on my knees, squeeze my eyes tight and bow my head and say ‘THANK YOU!!!’.
Compassion and kindness. I love seeing these in others and strive to practice them myself. Being of service to each other is so important. Forgetting ourselves, getting lost in bringing joy to others results in absence of ego.
Scents. Wow. We have the obvious – rain, fresh-cut grass – puppy breath, bacon cooking (or is that just me?). Some of my favorite scents though are attached to memories. I keep a bottle of mint sauce (that reminds me of tea time and a blue checkered table-cloth) in the fridge, just for an occasional sniff.
My Nannie’s green house where she grew tomato plants. I had recurring dreams of that smell … the plants mixed with the warm wooden planked floor and the soil. I could sit in there and just breathe that in all day long.
I love the soap she uses too – and the smell of her bed sheets after they were hand washed and line dried. Dreamy. ^_^
Anticipation. I LOVE being ‘next’ in line. I love Christmas Eve. I love that feeling BEFORE an upcoming event. I think this is because there’s still that delicious excitement buzzing in the air. It hasn’t happened yet – it’s not over. I love, love, love looking forward to something.
Music. Opera, classical symphonies, every decade, every genre, music makes me so very happy. Andrea Bocelli brings me to tears, Freddie Mercury’s voice elicits goosebumps. Music makes my heart and soul leap! And Theres nothing like a live performance, love that throb you can feel in your chest from the speakers!
Being deliciously tired is another thing that makes me happy, and I’m feeling that now. So I’ll wrap this up with a couple of quotes that I didn’t come up with.
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
“By not seeking your own happiness, you find it”.
— Unknown (to me at this moment … I’m seriously tired lol)
Tired, but HAPPY!