Monthly Archives: November 2020

Time For a Reset

I was standing in my living room, looking at my wall of knick knacks and pictures from the perspective of Christmas and what needed to be packed away to make room for decorations, when my gaze fell on a photo of me with my mother. It was the year I unexpectedly became pregnant with little E. I had booked a cruise with my mom and, despite her doom and gloom protestations, I was still hell bent on going at two months along. That cruise provided sweet memories of morning sickness, no alcohol, and early bed times. But I firmly believe that ten days of people handing me well cooked meals along with buffets of unlimited fresh fruit gave me a great head start on a blissful pregnancy. It also gave me a small slice of time with my mom, who unexpectedly passed three years later.

My daughter walked into the room while I stood there so I asked her to look at the photo, and told her my mom was the same age I am now. Her jaw just dropped. She couldn’t believe it. Now, my mother had major health issues and she passed away from them as they escalated. And people are just more health aware now, trying to neutralize the diet of our youth when fatty beef was our friend and the fridge held things like head cheese….which I ate alongside my dad, who also died too soon.

This post was motivated by the fact that this year has crapped all over my strength, my self control, and just my overall personal mental and physical balance. And as I gazed up at that photo, I realized how much more feeble I feel. Feeble is a bit strong so I checked with my friend the Thesaurus and came up with a pile of better words: fragile, frail, inadequate, strengthless, and my favorite – out of gas. Whatever the word, it needs to perfectly define my state of being since, when screwing in a bathroom doorstop the other day, I couldn’t get back up off the floor. I mean I needed both the tub and toilet to heave myself to standing. And that is just not acceptable.

I can’t wait for a vaccine or for the world to reset to get it together. Otherwise, I will be climbing out of a much bigger hole. I’ve gained 6lbs throughout this time of craziness so I am better off than some but it’s the flexibility, strength, and the mental sturdiness where I’ve taken my punches. Annually as the weather grows cooler, I have always started my push for healthier eating habits, which has never failed to draw blank stares from my co-workers, their minds already on stuffing, mashed potatoes, and Christmas cookies. I am so glad that at least one of my deep rooted habits still remains.

It’s almost Thanksgiving. A time to be grateful – for my family, my friends, for the life and good health God gave me. And it’s time to throw a razzie over my shoulder and pull myself back up, literally and figuratively, and find my way through. Wishing you all your own curative path.

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The Big Clear Part Deux

I knew it would come and, with my dear E no longer little, it came with a vengeance. She has moved onto another chapter and the Vietnam Veterans, along with others, will benefit yet again. Without prodding, box after box came in from the garage and went out empty. She culled with such determination, I was both proud and panicky. Some items added to the pile tugged on my heartstrings but I stopped myself from pulling things off. The temptation to say “Awww” was overwhelming sometimes but this was strictly her deal and, if she could say thank you and goodbye, I needed to stay strong. Well, mostly. A couple of things have found their way to the cedar chest. But only a few special things she may see in photos years from now and wish she had kept. A belated surprise just from me to her.

This drive to clear puts me into gear to mine my contacts for new dads and grandmas. I feel I have a direct line to a few because over the last 6 months, I have collected money at work for several new babies. It makes me feel like Santa. With the nod from my good friend, E’s Disney fairy godmother through the years, I sold the two 3-foot Mickey and Minnie dolls to a friend who was on her way to her grandson’s birthday party. He was turning 1 year old and loved Mickey. She would be the winner that day. Many of these things can fetch money but it’s not worth the hassle. It’s much more fun giving things away. However, selling those two meant money in E’s bank account as she moves forward.

I gave away Pooh and friends to a 3-year-old who just became a sibling, three little boys got Buzz Lightyear and more (I am still hunting for Woody. I found his hat but so far, he hasn’t answered my calls), and Dumbo went to a little one who was still on the way. It’s all so much fun. I am still looking for that little girl who loves playing with baby dolls.

Throughout all this transition, my garage shrinks. I have a donation corner that is growing like weeds in a neglected garden, empty boxes to the ceiling, and, for a time, cartons of flooring took up a slice of valuable real estate. The floor was done last weekend so that has simply moved from one side to the other onto my empty box pile. As my previous postings have clearly shown, nothing in this house happens consecutively – everything happens at once.

The flurry is now a trickle so there is undoubtedly a part three and beyond in my future. Now it’s about breaking boxes and organizing the donation, adding extra kitchenware since the Veterans come in a little over two and a half weeks. I had already relocated Christmas decorations down from the loft to its own area so that won’t be an issue this year, thank goodness.

I look forward to one day soon opening my car door without it bouncing back on me. It’s the small wins that make me smile.

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Death of Debate

Isolation isn’t just about COVID. Isolation can be about being separated from people by more than a glass window.

I am a reader. I take more of a scholarly approach. I read everything. I read all media stories showing different interpretations on the same argument. I seek out differing opinions on a subject to see what everyone thinks. I try to look at all sides. And then I want to talk about it. That is until this last election.

I have found this way won’t work this time. Either I am for or against. Either I vote for love or I vote for hate. There is no discussion. My different perspectives are suspect, I am part of the problem because I see both sides. I always considered myself straddling the line between left and right. Now I am expected to pick a side or I am just the enemy and part of the problem.

My friends. My family. My co-workers. I respect their views but can’t relay my own. I have to stay silent because raising a differing read on an incident or person or subject is not allowed.

There is no longer discussion or debate. Either you are on one side or the other. And I don’t know how to function. My process is no longer welcome or tolerated. And it is incredibly isolating. I feel alone and the effect is polarizing. I found myself gravitating to media that gives me comfort and it’s something I have to fight in order to keep deep thought alive.

But it’s hard, it’s sad, it’s painful. And it is isolating.

Something to keep in mind.

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