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Musings from the Laundromat: Loud Little Red & Quiet Pink Edition

First 15 minutes in here were jarring.

I’m literally in the shirt I slept in, hair thrown into a braid.  This after my intended replied to my “I’m tired …”  with “Yeah, you look tired.”

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Don’t you love that?

Even worse, is when someone gives you an unsolicited “You look tired.” Which, basically translates to “You look like crap today.” In Amandapedia.

Anyway, I KNEW if I didn’t just run inside the house (ok, it was more of a shuffle) – throw shorts on and tame my mane and grab the laundry, it was NOT going to get done.

So I’m still half asleep as I enter and am greeted by what sounded like a Chuckie Cheese.

Radio blaring, children playing a land version of “Marco!” “Polo!”  The assault on my tired little ears was … as I said, jarring.

Here’s one of the little ones – (I blurred her cute little face because I don’t think pictures of kids should be randomly thrown up on a stranger’s site.)

 

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Little Red Riding tu-tu.

And another tyke in the background.

And a rare sighting of my laundry lady in the back.

Then it suddenly and blessedly got very, very quiet.

Ahhhhh.

So, why am I so tired?

Well, certainly wasn’t because I scrubbed the entire house as planned yesterday.

I did something I haven’t done in YEARS.  Friday my honey and I stayed up until 5 flipping a.m.   By choice.  We had a lot of fun, but I have got to tell you, my body does not recuperate the way it used to.

I’m old now!

Well, too old for that shite anyway.

And I knew it would happen, I knew I’d only sleep for a few hours and then answer the maternal call of my tired body.   There were animals to be fed, walked – there was food to be made.  And yeah, ok, then I binge watched the Real Housewives of New York.  (Shame is washing over me just typing that.)

Then … CRASH!  I ended up sleeping away the rest of the day.

(Not before burning the roof of my mouth on a pizza that my refreshed, newly awoken honey prepared for us.)

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So here I am, clothes in dryer now.  Polystyrene coffee to my right and … new children in front of me.

But, to their credit,they’re being very well-behaved.

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Hozier is belting out ‘Take me to Church’ in the background.  And in 10 minutes, I’ll be folding and then returning to my nest.

I’ll do something constructive around the house when I get back to assuage any guilt of planning another nap later.

It IS the weekend after all.

 

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Gently into water

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The thing is … lately I feel like I’ve been ‘wrapping things up’.

Letting those who mean something to me know it.

Giving back treasured memories of the past to the people they belong to.

My writing has not been good lately.

I know it.

My positive attitude has taken a turn.

I know this too.

I know it – and don’t have the energy to change it.

I’ve reached emotional, physical and mental exhaustion.

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Someone received an arrangement at work a couple of weeks ago – and I became caretaker.

The vase was bursting with vibrant color and fresh cut blooms.

As they faded and withered, I removed them.

One by one.

I kept doing this – refusing to throw them all out because some part of the whole had passed on.

It came down to one stemless flower this past week.

I found the smallest container I could, and placed it gently in the water.

I couldn’t find it in my heart to throw it out while it still had some life in it.

While it still looked so beautiful.

It wasn’t finished.

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Contrary to this, I found my pen writing the most obscene sentence in my own diary last week.

That I had been having fleeting thoughts of death.

Mine.

Thinking that perhaps all that I was here to do had been done – and all that I hoped for might never be.

Perhaps not meant to be.

And that ink bled out onto the page with such rawness and so bravely – that I allowed the pen to finish the sentence.

And I’m not ashamed.

Because thinking of things does not make them so.

And because allowing myself to admit something so dark, even to the pages of a book no one will read – shocked me necessarily.

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I find the smallest light I can find – and gently place myself in it.

I give my soul water – salty – and shed when I am alone.

I continue to share my memories with those who made them with me.

I don’t stop telling people how important they are – how loved.

And I steady myself for what the future might hold – and know that I’m strong.

 

 

 

The first 12 of 45

I fell asleep last night wondering if musicians get goosebumps or tear up when they play their best songs live.  I thought this after getting goosebumps and tearing up to this.

Comfortably Numb, live.

I drifted off to sleep having been wished ‘Happy Birthday’ from 3 countries in which I was already born – and with David Gilmore and Roger Waters echoing in my head.

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9:30 p.m. I hear my son coughing violently in the kitchen – then:

Nic: “Don’t mind me – just choking”

Me: “Obviously you’re breathing”

Nic: “ha ha. Don’t rush out to check on me or anything”

Me: “K.”

Nic: “That’s my mom!” (as if he’s got a crowd he’s informing of this. “That’s my mom ladies and gentlemen”)

I smile and close my eyes.

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10:30 p.m. Eyes back open. My son is church mousing around in the kitchen, the house shakes. He has inherited my delicate elephant stomp.

12:04 a.m. Awoke from a dream involving two special friends from the past and a mystery man – we’d gone on a crazy roller coaster and then to a Depeche Mode concert. Ended up on stage and of course, I was taking photos.

2:00 a.m. Butters stands beside my bed, breathing on me. I try to ignore her.

2:30 a.m. Butters stands closer – breathing more heavily. I get up, let dog out and leave front door open for the dog and any and all serial killers to have easier access to me while I returned to bed.

4:00 a.m. Seriously??? Dog is nowhere to be seen, so what the hell has roused me this time????

5:00 a.m. Peer at clock with gritty, tired eyes … too tired to roll them in anguish

5:30 a.m. I give up.

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Didn’t have that ‘it’s my birthday’ feeling as I scooted out of bed and wobbled to the bathroom.

I always at least have that ‘it’s my birthday’ feeling first thing in the morning (well, on birthday mornings anyway, not every morning obviously)

I guess 45 is the cut off for that pink frosted feeling.

Son sleeping, dog still outside.

I microwave a cup of yesterdays coffee, because I’m too lazy and uncoordinated to make a new pot.

Shower cap in hand, towel at the ready, I sit and wait for my alarm, because I have no clue how to turn it off prematurely.

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6:00 a.m. Shower. I ponder while I’m in there.

Why do men have the best razors??

Seriously, considering the skin footage we women have to shave compared to men – shouldn’t ours be cutting edge? (No pun intended) and don’t give me that ‘But men have to shave their delicate angled faces’ crap, because you know as well as I do that women shave a hell of a lot more ‘delicate’ places and we have curves and angles too!

I will only buy mens razors.

7:10 a.m Dressed – still sipping my microwaved coffee – my mum calls and sings at me from the dog park.

7:20 a.m. I’m milling about the house now … always ready early – always restless.

I spy a banana in the fruit bowl that looks like a duck. I think perhaps it was bored, in there all alone – and decided to morph in order to have some fun.

I decide I like that banana instantly.

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I give Butters two of her biscuits and then proceed to tip two vitamins in my hand and pop them in my mouth – along with dog biscuit crumbs.

Nice one.

*sigh* I’ll count that as breakfast.

7:35 a.m. I decide to plant a kiss on my sleeping sons cheek – he’s shirtless in bed with a sunburn

Me: “Hey naked … I’m outta here”

Him: ….

(I’m sure he’s got ‘Happy Birthday’ planned to exit his mouth later.)

Out the door I go.

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I hope for a really amazing song in the car – no luck. I end up pretending to know the words to a new Shakira song and sing out of key.

7:45 a.m. Arrive at work.

I unlock the door … notice the ‘Happy Birthday’ sign place above my desk has fallen off of the wall. I put it back up after I disable the buildings alarm. Then I wonder if that’s self-appreciating or just helpful. Decide it doesn’t matter, my OCD needs that sign back up where it was.

There is a birthday card on my keyboard.

A little while later, another card heads my way in the hands of my sweet friend Ruth. A tiny ribboned box perches atop it.

The card cracks me up.

This is it:

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The little box opens to reveal a teeny tiny necklace. This friend knows me well. I love ‘little’. I love delicate. I love the necklace and she stands behind me and puts it on.

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Friend: “Now we’re married.”

I’m thinking I could do a lot worse. She’s amazing. And she knows my humor and taste.

We would be bound to have a long and successful union – except she’s still madly in love with her husband.

The broker comes through the door with the most adorable tulips – and yes, they’re for me.

I’m feeling spoiled – and it’s only 9:15 a.m

 

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10:48 a.m. Finally got a Happy Birthday from my son.

He has accompanied his girlfriend to the dentist and the following instant messages ensued:

Him: I just saw a turtle wet a fallen flower

Him: *Eat

Me: It would have been funnier if it HAD wetted it

Him: Lol, well the flower just fell from a nude into the water, and the turtle ate it and went underwater, So I guess he did. Lol

Me: Nude??

Him: Bush*

Me: I don’t even want to know why your ipad confuses ‘bush’ with ‘nude’ lmao

Him: lol, oh no.

Him: Happy birthday by the way

Me: Finally

 

We have the strangest conversations. I hope he doesn’t eat the duck banana before I can point it out to him.

Yeah sure, I could show him a photo – but it’s so much better to meet a duck banana in the flesh … peel?

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My boss takes me to lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  We sit outside and chat.  The view is gorgeous.  I enjoy her company.  We shared a room on a business trip to Phoenix a while ago – and over 8 hours in the car together.  I like her. That’s the true test you know, a long car ride and sharing a room successfully.

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I have the Mahi-Mahi wrap with wasabi and soy – SO good.

First meal of my 45th year, other than that dog biscuit crumb I had for breakfast.

You know, I never thought I’d make it to 30, let alone 40 … and now I’m half way to 90 for crying out loud!

And 90 is doable. Considering my little and delicate nannie just celebrated 91.

If I wore her on a necklace, close to my clavicle, she might see 101.

Home now,  my parents have just left – and wouldn’t you know it?  A pink frosted thing came with them.

I’m too full and too tired to eat any of it – but after the first 12, I did catch a glimpse of that ‘it’s my birthday’ feeling.

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Musings from the Laundromat: Mops, Larks and Clowns edition

The thing about blogging on any consistent basis – is you end up with something akin to a journal that anyone can read.

Good days and bad – you’re basically reading my diary.

That’s fine by me – but I find it a little eye-roll worthy sometimes when I’ve had a bad day, to read a previous very upbeat post.

If you find your eyes rolling with mine, just know that at that moment, when I’m typing, every fiber of who I am and what I feel and know to be true is being transcribed upon the screen through my fingers.

No one can be completely happy and upbeat ALL the time.  “Even the best of souls”  which, is what I heard last night when I stumbled upon ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’.  I’ve only seen one episode, so to any devout fans reading this, my apologies.

Dawn French’s character, Caroline Arless, had returned from a stay somewhere, with new resolve.  She was going to watch her mouth, keep her skirts down (that cracked me up) be grateful and humble.  I saw myself in her immediately.  And my lips twitched into a smile watching her exuberance for her metamorphosis.

As she was telling this to a woman who, it seemed had mastered those skills to some degree, the woman remarked (and I’m paraphrasing) that was a tall order ‘even for the best of souls’.

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I thought of my day – I thought of my last post … the juxtaposition of the two not lost on me – and then, I thought of clowns.

Yesterday: I am sick again.  And for someone who never gets sick, this is getting annoying.  This is twice now in 3 months.

I woke up, watched a couple of movies in my bedroom and did something else I never do.  Went back to sleep.

I crawled out of my infirmary after 2 in the afternoon.  I had cleaning to do that night at the offices.

I really almost put it off until today – but needed to go into that neck of the woods anyway – and you know, two birds, one stone.

So I’m cleaning, and feeling rotten – and I’ve said some unkind things to Nic in the car on the way over.

Things that needed to be said, but did not meet the rule of three that I try to live by.

It goes a little something like this – Before you speak, ask yourself:

1. Is it kind?

2. Is it useful?

3. Is it true?

It was useful and true, but not kind.  And in my depleted state, I had no right venturing into conversations that required a positive attitude.

I poured my last energy into cleaning, while my head wouldn’t shut up about the things I’d said to Nic.  You know, I don’t know if it’s a bad thing that I realize I’m doing something wrong and still do it?  Or if it’s a good thing as I’m clearly growing and learning?

Then my mop broke.

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(Insert Metaphors here)

Rust particles spilled onto the freshly vacuumed floor and tile.  

I did the best I could with a smaller, less absorbent mop.  Then, having decided I was as done as I could be, I excited the building.

It was then I noticed I had lost my car key.  I stomped back into the offices, accidentally set the building alarm off, then proceeded to stand in a door jamb crying my eyes out.

Nic came to me as I stood there, arms up, head buried, I could have been counting for ‘hide and go seek’.

I broke.  “I am tired!  I can’t do this!  The floors look horrible and I need help!  I don’t feel well!”  This was not about the floors.  Not just about the floors.  And we both knew it.

Still, I knew I couldn’t leave without being satisfied with my work – but I only had so much to work with. 

I tried again, with a new floor cleaning device, making the best of what I had, into something I was willing to leave for the night.

I had promised Chinese food.  Of course, thanks to my mouth, I had knocked any hunger Nic might have had for it right out of him.

He was still hungry, but his feelings weren’t in the mood for food.

We got it anyway and I tried to mend the wounds.

There’s still a heaviness in the air today – residue from yesterday.

Once again, I almost put off my chores in favor of staying in bed.  But I got up, and went to the laundromat.

This is when I thought of clowns.

I’ve never liked them.  For two reasons I think, one being the mask factor.  Hiding behind a facade … The other the impossible constant smile.

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I’m funny and mostly happy, but I am not a clown.

No one can smile all the time – and no matter how often I remember that, I can’t seem to cut myself a break when I don’t feel like smiling.

Musings from the Laundromat: ‘Green Blue and Red things’ Edition

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Came SO close to not coming today.

I’ve been ill since Christmas, yesterday I felt a lot better after becoming one with the couch all day, only throwing clothes on for my weekend job.

This morning I woke at 5:30 am and ended up falling asleep again like some modern-day old lady.  Instead of reading glasses slipping down my nose and a book in my hand, I nodded off with my ipad on my chest.

I dreamed then of my keys and trying to figure out how to take my dog through a mall and outside so that she could relieve herself.

Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big right?

My subconscious was obviously telling me ‘get your arse up – you have somewhere to be and a 4 legged manatee that can’t let herself out. ‘

I realized at my second waking – that I felt rotten.

I mentally counted how many pairs of clean underwear I had remaining and decided it didn’t matter.  I can’t relax knowing I have skipped a chore anyway.

So here I am.

Ooo!  But not after this sign I ignored – I got into the car and the first lyrics I heard were those of a Maroon Five song.

“Please don’t go …”

Of course then I sat in the car wondering if Adam Levine knew something I didn’t.

Still – duty won out.

The drive was uneventful – then at the counter I was faced with a conundrum.

The laundromat leaves their key cards on the counter for you to select one.  I usually pick yellow.  Today there were only two, blue and green.

One of my favorite people on the planet favors the color blue, another, green.

What should have been a simple task of just grabbing a card became an internal conflict.  Felt like I was picking one person over the other rather than a piece of plastic.

Yes, this is how my mind works (or malfunctions?) all the time.

I picked this one.

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I hope the person who loves green doesn’t see.

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Found this in my sons pants pocket …

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It’s a good thing I check pockets.

Last week I found his debit card – which made me wonder if perhaps the time to stop doing your child’s laundry for them is when they OWN a flipping debit card.

I have no idea what the ‘thing’ is.  But judging from the three tiny batteries inside, it’s probably good I rescued it from a certain watery death.

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I’ll ask him when I get home.  I won’t be able to sleep tonight not knowing now.

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Clothes are now in the dryers.

It’s become ever more apparent that I’m under the weather – as my OCD is accompanying me on every small mission.

I picked dryer number 43 and dryer number 45 for the honor of participating in my task at hand.

Because I’m 44.

These next 30 minutes had better go fast, because I’ll either fall asleep at this table, with my head on my ipad – or start arranging the laundry carts according to color.

I think definitely I need more rest.  After I clean the house – and discover what the ‘thing is.

Unless I hear a song with the lyrics: “Don’t clean” or “Don’t worry .. about a thing”

Wait – isn’t that Bob Marley??

He liked green too.