Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

After reading The Artist's Way, I now keep what's called a Morning Pages journal. I won't go into what you are supposed to write about in it, but I will let you read what I wrote today:

Happy New Year!

I guess this should be the day that I make New Year's Resolutions. I normally never do that because a long time ago I realized I never kept them. I just never followed through on my well-written resolutions. Maybe I should have called my resolutions a "Wish List." "I wish I could lose 20 pounds." "I wish I ran 2 miles every day." "I wish I did 100 sit-ups every day." "I wish."

I'm too practical of a person to waste my time writing down things I want to/should accomplish. I'm too busy doing laundry, washing dishes, mopping the floor, cleaning and picking up the house, babysitting, and working to take the time to remember and do my resolutions. Who came up with the phrase "New Year's Resolutions" anyway? Probably a very High-D personality who lists his To Do List on a daily basis and not only checks it all off daily but probably supersedes all of his expectations. He probably enjoys being under self-inflicted pressure to get things done and think about getting things done.

I don't want to "get things done." I want to "be." I want to "become." And in the "being" and in the "becoming," I will "do."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Inevitable

I didn't want to do it, but I knew it was inevitable. It had to be done, would be done, eventually.

So I slowly ascended the stairs, in the dead-quiet, and as I knew it would happen, the emotions got the best of me, and I let them. I entered the bedroom, the room now devoid of their breathing, of their laughter, of their souls, of all the things that belonged to them and made them happy, those things that are them. I stood there, in the middle of the room, crying. Letting it go. Letting them go.

The closet...nothing remains of them. There are no clothes. No shoes. Nothing that smells of them. Nothing. Just the packing tape lying in the corner of the top shelf, reminding me of their leaving, yelling at me that there is nothing left. Stop looking for something!

And then I turn around. And on the wall are three posters. Posters that are them. Posters that were left behind. Japan, San Francisco, Chamonix-Martigny. Were they left behind on purpose? I don't know. I don't care. Right now, they make me happy. They remind me that no matter where my loved ones venture, something will always be left behind.

Memories. Grand memories. Memories of laughter, of sharing meals, of sharing thoughts and feelings, of the ever-present sarcastic remark made in pure fun.

I will remember this last year, once I finish mourning their leaving. I will remember the shared menu planning and dinner making. I will remember all of the times we sat at the kitchen table eating a gourmet meal made by them and talking until there was no more talking. And the many soups. Ah, the soups! I will remember the shared fire in the fireplace. I will remember their faces, the smiles, the comic looks, how his smile couldn't be any bigger. How beautiful she looks in the mornings. How she is never without something kind to say, something sweet.

Hopefully these memories will fill the void that is left by their leaving.

But I know what's going to happen. I know that when I make that first pot of soup my emotions will get the best of me. I know that when I go to chop something on the cutting board, it won't be there. I know that when I wake up tomorrow morning and they are not here to say "Good Morning," the tears will come. When 4:45pm rolls around on Monday, I will be waiting for her to come home from her job and then jump into the pool. And I know I will wait all week long for Friday to come around so that he'll drive in from working all week. I know full well that neither of them will be here. But I will still wait by the door, waiting for it to open, as long as it takes for that door to open again.

It's inevitable.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Letting Them Go

I'm not sure if it is harder to see one's child go off to Preschool or off to Life.

As next weekend approaches, and the time for my son to leave us for his life with his wife, my heart perches on the edge of tears constantly. I can't help it. It just comes, and at odd moments when you really are not expecting it. I am hoping that when Saturday arrives, I will have it together. I am hoping that there will be only smiles and good wishes and exhilaration at the thought of all the new and exciting things they will explore together.

But a child starts and grows inside of you. You care for it when it isn't even an "it" yet. You give it a name. And then it comes out from you and into the world, and it becomes a little girl or a little boy with your eyes or your hair or your smile or your temperament. The years pass and he grows into himself; still keeping some of what you are inside of him, but branching out into his own self. You know it is coming, the day when the proverbial umbilical must be cut, and he must live on his own as an adult, making his own family, keeping their own traditions.

You know you have a storehouse of memories to keep you. To fill the void that is made upon his last wave goodbye as he leaves your driveway. You know he is excited to make his own journey, his own stamp on the world. You are excited for him.

But the can you stop them from coming as your child is going?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Little Kindnesses

There are many kindnesses in this world, and I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time to witness one today.

I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of the local hotdog eatery, eating my dog and drinking a Coke, reading The Mosquito Coast. A woman pulled up behind me in her dented and rusted car. Very quietly, without any fanfare, she got out of her car with a bag and a small glass. She walked right by the side of my car, went into the branches of the huge Oak tree in front of me, bent down for a while, and then started walking back to her car. I noticed she had a bag of cat food in her hand.

Earlier, I had commented to my husband, upon his return from ordering our food, that I had seen a lone cat cross the road, go into the branches of the tree, hang out there for a while, then came out and crossed that same road in that same spot, walked up the stairs to the apartments, and vanished. I had wondered what had made him cross the street.

And now I knew. As this woman walked by our car to get back to hers, we started talking. This woman has been coming to this spot every day for the past three years just to feed the hungry. The “hungry” being this one cat. She also brings water.

She was not much to look at. Her hair had not seen shampoo in a while. She obviously needed a trip to the dentist. Seemed lonely. Just a lone and lonely soul in the midst of a crowded world who had connected with another lone soul.

Somehow, she found a way to buy cat food in order to bring nourishment to a little cat that she thought was “skin and bones” three years ago. And she has made a commitment to come every single day.

What have I done to help feed the hungry? Every day. For three years.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Lone Mower

Alright, so my husband and I just went to Hardee’s for a Thickburger. I know, not the best choice for our health. But we were tired, and he had to get back quickly for a seminar. So we had to eat in a hurry. Isn’t that what FastFoodJoints are all about? It is sort of like that old saying, when you are working on any project; you have to decide between Price, Quality, and Time. You can get two of those, but never all three. Such is the case with Fast Food Places. You can eat Fast and Cheap, but you won’t get Healthy.

Anyway, that’s not my point.

My point is this... as we were eating our burgers in our car in the shade of the parking lot, we couldn’t keep our eyes off The Man on the Riding Lawnmower. He was obviously one of those Employed By The City to keep our highways and byways beautifully shorn. And he was doing his job meticulously. Over and over and over, mowing the 6' curbside swath, back and forth, forth and back. At least 6 times. I mean, how many swipes of a mower does it take to cut a swath? If he took one more pass over that stretch of curbside grass, I think he would have started his own private dig to China. Us tax payers got our money's worth. Or should I say, The Lone Mower got our hard-earned tax-paid money's worth? Over and over and over...6 times over.

On our way home, we passed The Rest of the Other Empoyees huddled in the median around several behemoth vehicles whose engines were not running. Obviously, the Lone Mower was doing the job of eight paid lounging men.

I thought to myself, while these men are talking about the cars that are passing them en route from The Hardees, why couldn’t they just cruise over to my house and work on my yard since it is my taxpayer dollars going into their pockets? I am sure, with all of them working, it wouldn’t take them all of five minutes to do the job.

On second thought, I think I’ll go with The Lone Mower. He’d get the job done, and it would probably take him just as long, he’d not leave one blade of grass unshorn, and we've already overpaid him.