A Retirement for the Day

We had a lovely retirement party for my uncle this evening… 35 years working for the same company, doing, essentially, the same work, day after day… completed.

Of course, we are not exactly permitted to be together for a party, so we did a Zoom video conference party – which, actually, allowed even more people to come than would have been able to make it even if we had been allowed to have the party in person, and saved All of us loads of time in driving, and even allowed for last-minute (literally) guests to join the party – and made it a total surprise for my uncle.

I ended up organizing the call, since I was the most apt to figure such computer-y things out, as well to manage a group of people and make things happen the way we want them to happen, and so I arranged with everyone (via a liaison I enlisted – aka my cousin who was originally put in charge of organizing things, but who quickly handed them to me, when we discovered his lack of and my having experience in such a thing) when to meet and how, explained the goal of the quick conference and how it would run, offered up and accepted my mother’s ridiculous idea of our all singing, “For he’s a jolly good fellow”, after the initial surprise – yes, we had discussed how we would be all out of synch, but that that merely would add to the enjoyment of my aunt and uncle, who would be the recipients of our group singing – and informed my aunt that we were all ready.

The surprise was lovely, the singing hilarious; the photo I was asked to share was a hit; the ‘quick five, max ten minutes’ for the call turned into 45 minutes; as arranged, my aunt went through and had each of us say something individually, and lots of tears happened, even from those who avoid tears, especially for such occasions as this public one; and we all had a lovely time from all across the country, and even down to El Salvador.

Also, fun fact: the grandparents (my grand, that is) couldn’t quite get the technology to work for video conferencing, due to their having older phones, and so they each were Skyped or telephoned in and held up to the computer screens of others, so that they, too could be part of the celebration, despite their lack of technology or technological skills. 😛

It was adorable.

In short, it was a spectacular 21st century retirement party, in more ways than one.

Our family is no stranger to long-distance and cross-country calling and video calling (and jut working with what we’ve got and making it work wonderfully) – we have had our fair share of people living here or there around the country and world – but this was the first entirely digital event we have had…

And it was actually really quite cool.

Technology is quite spectacular, when we allow it to do its best and we use it well.

I express tonight extreme gratitude to all those who have played a role in the development in technology connected to what our family used today – thank you, all.

Post-a-day 2020

Stand up, and lose the pants

Yesterday, I was oxen the glorious opportunity of seeing a friend of mine complete an online challenge…

***Small tangent: You see, everyone has been – and by everyone, I mean a lot of people, not actually everyone – doing various challenges in their homes, and, upon completion, challenging someone else (often multiple someone elses) to complete the same challenge.

The ones I have seen have ranged all over the pace, including but not limited to juggling a toilet paper roll like a soccer ball, doing ten push-ups and nominating ten people to do them, doing 25 push-ups, singing a praise and worship song, chugging a beer, and doing specific hand motions to a fast song without being allowed to practice… to name one more than a few. ***End of small tangent

Today, I woke up focused and ready to complete my task, to complete this challenge with which my friend had presented me yesterday… hoping, at the very least, that I could complete it, for it was not an easy one…

Now, what was this challenge, you may wonder… I divulge:

The pants-less challenge: Either take off or put on a pair of pants, without using your hands, while holding a handstand.

Wow, right?

Of course, that’s the kind of challenge you get when you have acrobatic friends who find it funny that everyone is working from home in pajamas most days right now, and who imagine that a good chunk of everyone is at home with no pants on, since there is no one to see…

So, anyway, my friend did it with her onesie, which I found somehow hilarious, and so I elected to do the same with a onesie of my own.

Hers was a panda, and the one I selected for the task was a rainbow unicorn… equally suiting to our personalities, in a way…

It took many efforts – perhaps close to ten – for me to figure out how truly to make everything work and then actually to do what I had worked out to do… I can’t hold a handstand, – just pop up onto one and then come almost immediately back down – so I knew I would have to use a wall… behind that, though, all the rest of the strategy had to come from giving it a try and seeing what happened, finding out from trial and error a bit as to what works and what doesn’t.

Eventually, after lots of practice and a short break, I went all-out and got it(!!).

Woohoo.

Super silly, and I could hardly stop laughing, this challenge was so much fun.

I had been thinking at every challenge how unchallenging it really seemed to me to be, and how not-very-entertaining each one was…, ‘These are lame challenges,’ was a common thought from me… but not on this challenge – it was not only interesting, but kind of crazy, a tad scandalous, challenging, it made me think, and it was totally fun.

I loved it.

Feel free to give it a try in your own home – though no video is required, you might enjoy reminiscing immediately with what is likely to be some comical footage… and you might want to share it, anyway, even if you utterly fail… 😛

Wishing you loads of fun and silliness right now – laughter is, indeed, an amazing medicine. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Stressed

Why is it so hard?

Because I let myself suddenly believe that something I had carefully placed at the back of my mind and dreams as ‘extremely unlikely, so don’t even bother, honey‘, might actually be not only possible but likely…, and then it seems to be following a path toward not being the case at all, and being disappointingly unlikely, all the more disappointing for the recent hope, and still more so due to the original evaluation of its being unlikely, and yet I changed my evaluation…

So, I not only feel like I am losing a sort of dream, but I feel stupid over changing my mind, and embarrassed at ever thinking it was possible.

And then – as though that weren’t already enough – I have the part of me that believes anything is possible…. and that other tiny part that still, despite the stress, believes that this dream is possible and could really happen, sometime soon, too…

So, it is all so very hard, because I have basically the whole spectrum of positive to negative feelings around it all, each side seeming to be at odds with the other, going back and forth between which one will won out for this particular ten-minute span of time…

Yeah…

Also, I’m tired of having this weight at all – because it does weigh – yet I acknowledge that my dismissing and letting it all go would include letting go of the parts of me that believe it can work out beautifully… and, though I seem to be leaning more and more to the ‘unlikely to happen’ side of things, the fight between the two sides is what makes it feel real, possible, even… without the struggle between them, it wouldn’t be real at all right now… and O want it to be real, so that the possibility of its happening can still exist.

I have not and shall not give up hope… I just feel I need a different approach.

Post-a-day 2020

Friday night sucks…

Let’s talk for a minute about how we live into the future…

You know, on any given weekend, Sunday is kind of the sucky day of the weekend, because we are acutely aware of having to go back to business Monday morning… and then, if we have a vacation coming up, we’re overjoyed and excited all the time, all throughout the day, even if it is Monday morning, and we have work to do…, because our vacation is soon(!)… The boring meeting right now has no power over our cruise that starts Saturday morning…

In that sense, we live into our future, right?

Right.

So, for me, I need to be around people – I need to have my solo time, but I also need to be with people, really be with them… a friend(?) recently mentioned the term “ambivert” to me, and I like it… it very well describes my situation with all of this being extroverted and introverted…, which people almost never seem to understand, by the way…

Anyway, I need people in my life.

For the past two weeks, I have been living with very few people in my daily life… it was enough to get me by last week and the start of this week, but then the working from home this week has crushed all interactions with people in my daily life now…

However, I had work to get me through the week, e-mails to exchange, interactions (though cyber) guaranteed to be had throughout the day…

But tomorrow is Saturday… I have no work, no e-mails, no semblance of human interaction…

And I am miserable… I almost – scratch the almost, I feel like weeping, I am filled with such an experience of stress and of being unloved…

There is that beautiful quote of, “I have called you by name; you are mine,” and, though it is used initially as defining a part of the relationship between God and humanity, I feel it applies to how we interact with all things and beings in our life… when I have called you by name, given you a name of my own, I have given you a place in my heart, and you are dear to me – in some way or other, you are mine.

When people interact with me, call me by name, I often am filled with the love that is present in our relationship, whatever that relationship may be… essentially, when people interact so directly with me, I feel and experience their love for me.

In contrast, when people do not interact with me directly…, I sometimes lose sight of that love…, I sometimes begin to convince myself that the love has faded, and that I am left to myself, to be loved by no one else…

And the experience of that always sucks.

Just saying, it does.

And I know that my love is enough, and I know that the pieces of God that reside within me are enough to sustain me and fill me in every way…

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck to feel unloved by the rest of the world.

I know I will be okay… I will be far more than okay…

I’m just letting myself experience this overwhelming feeling of sick right now, so that, in acknowledging it, in allowing the intense, hiding yet ebbing emotions to express, I am able to let it all go, to release it all in a cathartic convulsing of body and searing tears…

It is already late tonight, but I know that I will go to bed in an intentionally much improved state…, and I will get out of bed in the morning and take care of myself – I will play music and make art and work my body as hard as it needs to release anything else that might remain in the morning… if I cannot focus my love on others, perhaps there is something missing in my love for myself, something on which I would do well to improve… I am worth loving, and I know that and experience that with my whole being… even when I stray to wonder at its being true…

Nonetheless, I will take care of myself… I will do what I wish others would do to show their love for me, because I love me, and I am worth being loved (and even lavished), and being all alone for so long and for so much foreseeable future is scary right now…

But perhaps it is this problem exactly that has me in this situation… perhaps I need to grow more comfortable with providing all the love on my own, so that I become fully clear and comfortable in the fact that I do not need the others’ love – I merely want it.

As I was thinking in a dreamed conversation just today, do you really want to be with someone who needs you?… Would you really choose that over being with someone who wants to be with you?

I have said it before, and it still holds true entirely, I want to be with someone – in all my relationships, really – who doesn’t need me, but who wants to be with me nonetheless… who wants not to be without me, and so chooses to be with me.

It is in times of these feelings of isolation that I wonder where the people in my life stand on this spectrum, to what degrees they want me in their lives…

I have yet to find the far edge of the spectrum of wanting me…, but perhaps it will come some day… soon…

Anyway, I’m off to clean up and get ready for bed, now that I’ve finished this whole cry fest… who would have thought that Friday night and an entirely open weekend ahead could be so upsetting??

Haha

Anyway, this was how I spent my evening: eating fancy stew straight from the pot, while watching the first half of one of my favorite films, which was just recently gifted to me for my birthday, all while detachedly wondering about something that won’t seem to leave me alone lately… (I mean, what are you gonna do, right?… it’s like when a song gets stuck in my head… just let it ride, and it eventually will be replaced by something [hopefully] better, you know?)

Post-a-day 2020

Dreams are my reality*

These dreams feel so real, so vivid… I can almost smell in them… and yet, they are so good, I wake up from them with a seeping feeling of sadness at the loss of them – when I awaken, they end, and I return to a lesser world than the loveliness that was my world five minutes ago.

The tips of my fingers still tingle, and the sides of my arms, too, from the touch of hands and arms in loving embraces.. I can feel the residual pressure on my chest, and the hands in my back… such embraces are filled through and through with satisfying, tactile love…

And, though they are not real in terms of taking place physically, they are exactly what I most need and want, and my mind allows them to be real, so far as my brain is concerned… we already know that watching something being done activated the same parts of the brain as actually doing that something… my mind knows I want this physical expression of love in my life right now, especially considering my current experience of physical isolation, and so it helps to take care of me, to give me what I most want and need… to love me…

And so, tonight again, I suspect, I shall have some more such dreams, and I will encourage myself to be glad of it – it is a beautiful blessing for my mind and brain to take care of me, and I want to respect their efforts with appreciation and gratitude, and to let go easily of my letdown upon waking and discovering that my world has suddenly transformed from exactly what I wanted…

But then…, what I want truly is possible…, so perhaps, one day, it will be my physical reality, and not just in my head anymore.

Now… that would be amazing…

Fingers crossed(!!!).

*Bonus points for knowing the song and singing along!!

Post-a-day 2020

Friends

I believe that, perhaps, one of my favorite things in life in whenever I have the opportunity to experience, even to witness, someone who is in the presence of his or her true and dear friends… when we are with our closest of people, we do not have to ‘try’ to be anything – there is no effort to be made – because we are able simply to be ourselves… that is the glory of friends…

When I am granted such an opportunity as to be able to witness someone I know with his or her true friends, it is truly a blessing and a gift… one for which I am dearly grateful.

In fact, it is one of my favorite ways to get to know someone new… I do not want to bother with either one of us putting our best foot forward, or putting on any kind of show, wondering what the other thinks, whether she might approve, accept me like this, and then, maybe, one day in the very distant future, accept me as myself…

I want to dive right into the truth of a person, who he truly is… who is she, really?

One of my favorite quotes about friendship was sent to me by the friend of a friend, back when I was struggling to find friends of my own, living in France all those years ago… I have kept it in my files ever since he sent it to me, because it so beautifully expressed my own sentiments, I wanted always to have it on hand…

It is:

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: First Series

Now, imagine meeting a person who is in that state, in the space of being with a friend, all guards and falsehoods down and dispensed… would that not be utterly spectacular?

To see a person for who he truly is, and not for any of the fears or concerns, hurts or airs… just for who she is…, it would be so beautiful, how could we ever want anything else?

In conclusion, I love who people truly are, and I am filled with love at the opportunity and blessing of being able to see people among their closest of friends, where they simply are their best selves, their truest selves… those are the people I want to get to know… and that is how I want people to know me.

Post-a-day 2020

I said I’m sorry, Momma…

I never meant to hurt you-ou-ou…. I never meant to make you cry, but tonight, I’m cleanin’ out my closet.

So, as usual, when with my mother today, though we agreed that we always get into a struggle whenever I have to cook in her kitchen, and that it was best that my mom do the cooking (she was already planning to do) alone, and that I wanted to leave by 7pm…, she did not even finish cooking until after 7pm, and she fussed at me briefly for not helping her cook.

::face palm

Instead of struggling in the kitchen, however, I ventured to the attic.

It is a tiny space for storage, for whatever reason, but I had verified a few years back with my mom that it was okay for me to leave just a few boxes-o-stuff until further notice, and without it being any kind of struggle or strain on her in any way, so I had a few things up there.

Of course, creatures had wandered through the cardboard boxes, and humidity or rain(?) had touched one of them, but the contents were all still okay.

(All except that one doll, that is, whose long, curly hair had started to disintegrate, first falling off in chucks, and then all eventually falling out when I went ahead and rubbed it just to see what the result would be…)

I went through two of the boxes, threw away unwanted, unusable stuff, washed some clothes and towels that had been keeping things safe, put various items into the donation box, and saved the handful of items I intend to bring to my house next week (assuming I am allowed by society, of course), placing the box itself, folded up, into the recycling bin.

Knowing what is in the final box and a half, I have a feeling I will be taking a few quick photos and then tossing most of the remaining contents… I have simply reached an entirely new place regarding having things – having so much actually stresses me out… it felt so good to go through those guys today, and to handle them already… they have been a pressure on me ever since I stuck them up there, years ago… I can hardly wait to finish them up, and to move forward comfortably and confidently with what I own.

By the time we were ready to eat, I had not only gone through most of the boxes and handled the contents, but I had vacuumed the hall (for what had fallen from the attic upon opening it), and I had raided my favorites of my mom’s old cocktail dresses, tried them on, and requested to take one of them and to have another re-made for me, both due to my desire to have it fit a bit more comfortably (especially considering that my legs are a lot longer than hers) and to have it not be falling apart (sad, I know).

I also had raided my mom’s record albums, and taken the majority of them off her hands… I originally was just checking to see if she had had one of my own albums that I can’t seem to find, post-Japan, but it turned into, ‘Hey, you aren’t using these… can I take them potentially indefinitely?’… and she has no record player anymore, so she agreed easily.

So, basically, I went to hang out with my mom, pick up something important from her that I need for work Monday, – I know, kind of crazy that we even have work Monday, but we still do, as of this moment(!) – and to eat food together.

As usual, things didn’t quite go as intended… however, I cleaned out the attic, and gained a bunch of record albums… thus my quick reference to one of my beloved childhood crushes at the top of this… it was an attic, not a closet, but oh, well… 😛

Post-a-day 2020