It’s all in the attitude

Do you ever find yourself walking through a store, looking at all the items for sale around you, and feeling utterly sick at the thought of it all?

Walking through a Marshalls today with my aunt and cousin, on a trip my cousin had been wanting for a while for some household things, I had this experience as I walked to the bathroom, just before leaving.

I thought of my best friend, and how she had lived in The Gambia…. the way things are there…., and I thought of how things are in so many similar places, where air conditioning and mattresses and safe showering and clean water are not a given but a rarity and a practically-unachievable luxury… and I felt repulsed by the few items – some foods and soaps and a bottle cleaner for my water bottles and tea bottles – I myself had pulled out, let alone the overwhelming sense of the thousands of items surrounding me that even I found entirely unnecessary and wasteful…

And I felt terrible…

And then I looked into it further than merely being upset…

And I saw that this is the life and the part of the world and the lifestyle in which I have been placed and in which I have opted to remain… there is much I dislike about it all, and yet there is more than enough to keep me in it, wanting to be part of it… to some degree, anyway…

And it reminded me of what I would tell my students whenever they complained about school rules or homework from other teachers or the administration, that this is the school and the society in which they are choosing to participate, and so they can follow the rules and either get over it or work toward change, or they can go somewhere else to have different rules… as long as they select to be at this school, though, they are agreeing to follow this school’s rules.

And so my Marshalls visit was a lot like that for me – I want to be in this culture, and so I have to accept the ‘rules’ this culture follows… I can work toward change, as I already do, and I can work for myself to buy and to use and to produce what I feel is appropriate, as I also already do, and I can encourage and empower others to do the same, all while accepting that this is the way things currently are here, whether I like them or not.

And I totally wanted to go check the dumpster, instead of walking the inside of the store, in hopes of preventing the sad waste that likely was back there… unfortunately, circumstances did not quite allow for such a move today.

So it goes… an attitude of gratitude is a good way to start, and then we can make some real progress. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

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Memories

My cousin and I were talking tonight about old, old memories in our lives.

Growing up, I had a situation that was incredibly unique at the time (and that still is a bit unique nowadays), in which my parents each had children from a previous spouse, only had me together, married when I was three, and divorced one another when I was four.

My siblings on my mom’s side not only lived in the same neighborhood as I did, but my mom and I were regularly at their dad’s house, spending time with them and, even, their dad, who was my mom’s first husband, but with whom my mom was no longer involved in such a relationship.

My siblings on my dad’s side moved to Georgia (until they kind of moved back, off and on, one by one, starting when I was about nine), and so were only around for certain holidays and for what I guess to have been about a month each summer.

My cousin pointed out that she remembered being often at the place my mom and I lived for many years together after she split up from my dad, the one that was in the neighborhood with my brothers and their dad.

I, too, recalled that they often were there visiting us, and we often were at their house (two hours away, by the way) visiting them.

She then presented the interesting and confounding concept of accepting the idea of someone seeing one’s cousins more often than seeing one’s own siblings…, because that’s really how it was in the first decade and a half of my life, so far as my mom’s sister’s children and my dad’s children were concerned.

I have many more memories from earlier childhood with those cousins than I do with my siblings on my dad’s side.

Certainly, I saw my brothers from my mom all the time, almost daily…, but my cousins were, as I can pull up old school activities and projects to show, some of my favorite people in the world, and they were often on my mind, because I saw them often…, such was not the case with my siblings on my dad’s side.

Sure, I cared about them, and I had spectacular memories from the brief time we all spent in the same house when my parents were married to one another, but I really think we could say that I had more a relationship with and attitude towards them that people have with cousins, rather than one with siblings.

So, my half brothers were like my brothers, my cousins were like my half siblings, and my other half siblings were like my cousins… relationship- and attitude-wise, anyway.

Kind of crazy, huh?

I hadn’t really ever thought much about it, because, as my cousin also pointed out tonight, it can be amazing what kinds of things we just accept as children, not concerned in the least about whether they are uncommon or absurd.

I guess the absurdity doesn’t surprise me, of course, because, well, even now, absurd is normal in my life, as this same cousin so graciously pointed out to me a few years ago. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Road trip, again

“Okay, butterfly woman, let’s go.”

“Just a second – I’m holding a box of dogs.”

I made it home to Houston on Saturday afternoon, and delighted in my new home Saturday night and all yesterday.

I haven’t even unpacked everything, and I still love it… I even stayed up until two AM last night unpacking boxes, because I was so happy about where I now lived that I wanted to get things set up as soon as possible.

Tonight, I am back to an odd sleeping situation, sharing a sort of shack-like room – an average-sized room that stands alone in someone’s backyard – with my aunt, a family girlfriend, and a box of puppies, all in what feels like the middle of nowhere (aka Oklahoma).

(No offense to Oklahoma here – it just feels like the middle of nowhere to me, quite similarly to how I say that the college I attended is ‘in the middle of nowhere north Texas, almost to Oklahoma’.)

What a January if absurdities and adventures, eh?

P.S. I saw a super Texas Chevy truck yesterday, while out riding my bicycle (looking for Target, and taking about an hour to go the estimated 16 minutes that Google Maps thought it would take me), that had a vanity license plate with “NHL EH” on it, and then two hockey stickers on the back window. ❀

Post-a-day 2019

Shaving

Oh, what a thing, shaving…

You know, it usually takes me two to three days to shave my legs effectively.

The first day happens when I 1) have decided to shave and 2) have remembered actually to bring my razor to the shower with me.

You see, I keep all of my things out of the shower, so that everything stays clean… I was already looking for a solution better than having to keep the water really low, so that it wouldn’t splash and get anything else wet while I showered, when I read Marie Kondo’s fabulous recommendation of just removing everything after each shower…, and I accepted.

Therefore, I must remember to bring a razor with me to the shower before I am in the shower and washing my body, suddenly recalling that I had intended to shave three days ago already…

So, that’s the first day of actual shaving – if we counted all the days I forget to bring the razor, we could get into months of waiting around, so we’re going with the days on which I actually do the shaving.

Now, I typically shower before bed.

I also typically have lower lighting on in the evenings and at night, as a sort of preparation for bed, allowing my eyes and mind and body to calm down in the lower, softer lighting that would be terrible for daytime hours but that is perfect for bed preparation.

Therefore, when I finish shaving the first day (night, really), what looks like a job well done, I can usually expect not to be so.

And so, the following day, in daylight (or, at least, daylight lighting), I examine my legs – it originally was on accident, and still usually is, but I occasionally remember and check intentionally – and almost always find hairs here and there, and occasionally even a whole chunk or strip of missed hair.

Oops… oh, well… I’ll fix it tonight.

And so, remembering where the missed areas and spots were, and also doing a bit of a close-up look under the lights before I get into the even darker shower, I shave a second night.

That’s the second day.

Usually, at this point, I’ve gotten all the hairs off my legs.

However, there are the occasions where I have yet again missed a hair or fifty.

And so, on the third day, upon discovering the again-missed hairs, I typically go directly to a razor and dry – extremely carefully, of course! – shave those missing hairs in the good lighting.

Thus concludes my monthly or quarterly or, on extremely rare occasions, weekly leg shave.

If I ever have forgotten too many days in a row, and I have an event that night or the next morning, the whole thing happens in fast forward: jump straight back into the shower (if I’m even showering, and not just shaving my legs directly from the side of the tub), and then do the cautious dry shave for the final stragglers I notice while dressing.

So, in a sense, shaving is quite the event in my life. πŸ˜›

Therefore, if I shave for you, you can know that you are really important in some way. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2019

Accents

It takes the smallest of things sometimes to shoot us into a mood or an attitude.

This time, it was an accent that shook me down.

This evening, the comedy station was playing, and an Australian comedian spoke for a couple minutes or so.

Only halfway through his couple hundred seconds, I was pulled helplessly and hopelessly into a desperate desire to be around a specific friend of mine, who is Australian.

I have multiple Australians in my friend store, one could say, but this one in particular shot to the top of my mind, wrenching my stomachs into an empty ache of longing just to hang out with and chat nonsense with this particular friend.

Crazy sometimes how these things happen, isn’t it?

Post-a-day 2019

Quality time with Mom

“Go,” she says.

“With what?”

She points at the tv show that was paused long before she arrived, and which has yet to be referenced.

“We’re Talking,” I declare, happy, but a bit indignant.

“I’m done,” she says back, chomping on a cracker.

Uh!…”

And we both crack up into laughter at the absurdity of our conversation.

Times like these make it all worth while, visiting my mom. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2018

Happy new year

Lady-stuff-talk below:

There’s nothing quite like starting off the new year by dropping out a pint of blood…

Add to it the uncommon pains and extreme headache that seem to be hanging this time around, and it kind of really sucks.

I was even curled up, crying earlier on this evening, it was all so uncomfortable and stressful.

Yet, as a sort of blessing, I was visiting my mom’s for New Year’s Day food when it all started, and my headache has me stranded here for the night, making my bathroom within ten steps of my bed, as opposed to the entire floor, three doors, and double staircase that usually sit between us.

My mom has, therefore, lent me the sleeping clothes and underwear I’ll use for the night after a normal shower (woohoo!) (the shower head broke at my place, so it’s a bit odd showering at the moment), and I can hopefully rest calmly, if not so comfortably, for the night.

Post-a-day 2019