Facial deception

I guess my brain just automatically assumes that everyone else is really pretty and handsome. More often than not, when I see someone, whom I previously have only seen wearing a mask, remove his or her mask, I am mentally extremely surprised at the face I see. The features are not bad, necessarily – they are just not what I expected. And I have noticed that what I have been expecting is almost always something that would be classified as quite good-looking (if not model-like, even).

Kind of funny, huh?

Makes me glad that I wear a mask that has a photo of my face on it. Sure, my lips don’t move when I talk, and it’s a bit off on sizing, and the coloring is slightly jaundiced, but it is my face, and people get to see that. And they won’t let me forget how much they are grateful for the opportunity to see someone’s actual face. And I am grateful.

Post-a-day 2020

Turning insignificant into loved

I started working at a clothing store as a part-time job recently. And kind of ‘just because I wanted to do it’. I had never worked in retail before this, and I had often felt that I might be well-suited to being paid to organize and fold stuff (something I already do when I go into stores as a customer, anyway, but, of course, not for pay). So, I am giving it a go.

Walking to the store today to work, I had geared up for the pouring rain: Waterproof boots, a long raincoat, backpack waterproof cover, and an umbrella. The only thing not covered directly by waterproof material was my sweatpants – odd how that is singular yet not…. a single item of clothing, yet referenced as a plural for its two legs… yet we do not reference a shirt as plural for its two arms/sleeves…

Anyway, so, I am being very careful as I walk on the sidewalk. It is placed directly beside the road, with no buffer – genius, I know (meaning What idiotic brain fart planned this sidewalk?). Whenever I come up to a spot where there is a puddle in the road, I quickly run a large arc away from it, before joining back with the sidewalk, doing my best to avoid any possibility of being splashed by passing cars.

Just after I cross the train tracks, when there is nowhere to arc , and I am just running in a straight line to pass a puddle, a single car comes speeding up from behind me. There are no other cars around, and the car easily can move into the left lane and avoid hitting the massive puddle on the right lane… and the bright yellow individual who cannot be considered invisible right now.

The car does not move over. I notice just in time to jump forward and pull up my legs as best I can in front of me.

Almost my entire left pant leg, and some of my right, is suddenly soaked, completely through to my skin. My leg is actually dripping wet on the left.

I curse in an outraged yell, as I continue on my way, somehow embarrassed.

After setting everything down in the back at work, I change into my regular shoes, and head out to check in, eyes already beginning to burn. The moment she asks me how I’m doing – the standard check-in – I starts to cry. I cannot help myself.

I’m okay, but I’m not okay right now, I manage to say a couple times. I explain briefly what happened and that my pants are currently soaked through, and that, as I am now seeing with clarity, I am not only physically uncomfortable, but I am living in the experience of having been unworthy of being noticed. Insignificant out on the street, thus completely missed by the driver. That was my experience, no matter what logic told me, and I was still processing that experience and all the emotions that went with it.

She got it completely. Do I want to go change? she offers. I don’t have anything to change into, I reply, still in active tears.

“Okay, do you want to go pick out some pants?” I hesitate, considering how it doesn’t work for me to go buy something for myself right now.

“I’ll get you some pants,” she clarifies at my hesitation to respond. “Go pick something out from the sales rack, and come check back in with me, and I’ll get them for you. And then you can go change.”

And so I did. And she did. And I changed into dry, fancy, brand new pants. And the world was suddenly a lot easier to take in when I was no longer soaking wet and mentally preparing how to survive the next five hours as such, and somehow be in a good mood and help people and walk around with ease.

I checked back in with her once I was changed, expressed clear and direct gratitude for handling the situation so well – so immediately and so effectively – and for creating a space for me to clear things up for myself by removing the strong physical discomfort aspect of the situation. (Think how we are miserable and can’t function properly when we are super hungry, and then our brains suddenly work again after we’ve gotten the needed nutrition. Better yet, think about how a bull or horse will buck and buck like crazy, even after the cowboy is off its back, until that miserably tight burr strap is loosed off its hindquarters.) It has been a no-brainer for her, and she was glad to have been able to help clear it all up for me. After all – and she didn’t say this, but we both know it – I can serve the store and its customers best when I am at my best… and wet and miserable is certainly not my best. So, it was beneficial to the store for me to have the new pants, more so than just the cost of the pants, but for the cost of all the customers with whom I would come in contact the rest of the day.

I don’t know if she bought them herself, or if there is a budget for the store to be used for such odd, here-and-there occasions. And I’m okay with it either way. I am nonetheless grateful that this person considered such a solution, whatever the details of it, and made it happen. And immediately. It made a world of a difference for me, and I was and still am extremely grateful.

Plus, I actually really like the pants. They were comfy to wear, and they are a really pretty color. Thank you, K. You turned a terrible experience into a lovely and loving one. And I am grateful.

Post-a-day 2020

Family movie night

Tonight, we watched “The Replacements”. It was delightful. Aside from the egg scene – well, both of them, really – I loved watching the film. I actually cried with laughter more than once. It was just that fun of a film. I had definitely seen scenes from it as a child, and probably in this same house, but I have now consciously watched it, and I am grateful for this opportunity. I very much enjoyed it.

Post-a-day 2020

All things considered

I have been thinking about the idea that we need not apologize for our thoughts or opinions…, no matter what those thoughts or opinions are.

I believe that the only place where an apology might be warranted is in one’s unwillingness or total rejection of re-evaluating/reconsidering one’s thoughts and/or opinions…when one denies that another idea might be better than the one one already has. That, to me, is the point at which we might begin to consider taking responsibility for how we could be hurting others, in some way or other, through our thoughts and opinions.

I believe that it is extremely important to evaluate our opinions and ideas, and even on a regular and frequent basis. Everything around us and within us changes over time – why might our ideas and opinions and viewpoints remain stagnant or fixed throughout life? I have found myself go from one extreme on an opinion to the other, simply by learning new and full information on the topic. I do not feel guilty for my former belief, nor do I feel it appropriate or required for me to feel guilty about it. Based on the information and experiences I had had at that point in time, that was my belief. When new experiences and new information reached me, I was willing to re-evaluate my stance and take a new one. I think this is possible in just about any situation for any topic or idea. So, we need not feel bad for our opinions, I think. We must merely be responsible for updating them consistently and actively, especially when something arises that points them out as being inappropriate and/or unloving in some way.

Post-a-day 2020

Stuff… and stuff

I am thinking that, so long as I aim to fulfill any specific desire with anything other than exactly what I want, I will end up with much more than I want filling the space around me – both energetically and physically – and I will be forever unsatisfied in that desire.

That’s part of why trying to fit the bill for a part just never works out for the best. It might feel good for a while, but it eventually catches up with me, and I feel somewhat miserable until I sort things out back to being fully true to myself and who I am and who I want to be.

Yeah… thoughts for bed tonight… 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Love

Does being in a relationship necessarily mean settling, in some way or other? I fully believe that I can find a partner in life without either of us settling in any way. We can be true friends, helping one another be the best possible versions of ourselves, and together. We can be in clear and authentic communication with one another. And we can be a stand for who we each truly are and for who we are together, and what we want to create and be together. And we can always be true to our individual selves and the group ourselves, without ever settling.

Am I just crazy for thinking that? (Not that I doubt my tough it crazy in life, but is this one of those irrational bits of craziness, or just a crazy one in its rarity?)

Post-a-day 2020

Old folks and celebrations

Today was the 67th anniversary of my maternal grandparents (Grandma and Opa), and the 90th birthday of Grandma. And yes, she got married on her birthday.

We celebrated with a small family event, which included a brief surprise Zoom call from almost all the grandkids (and great-grandchildren), who were spread around the country (the ones out of country called in earlier in the morning). It was a real delight, and on many levels.

Considering being married to someone for 67 years is one of those incomparable things that I just cannot seem to fathom. Yes, I certainly understand it conceptually. However, I haven’t done anything for 67 years – not even life – so I cannot grasp such a length of time. And I also am not married to anyone, so neither can I grasp that fully (or at all). Sure, they have struggles and problems beyond just their physical and mental limitations brought on by their aging bodies and minds. Being with anyone almost all day almost every day for even a few weeks can be rough. I cannot imagine doing that for almost thirty years straight (that’s how long ago my Opa retired).

They have also managed various medical concerns and issues that have added significant amounts of stress for them, either directly for themselves and their own health or second-hand from another family member’s health here and there. And yet here they are, ninety years old, still walking around and driving themselves places and carrying on genuine and real conversations and taking care of themselves at home on a daily basis. At times, this frightens me – old age and people in it often have. I nonetheless am honored to be a selected part of their lives, and am grateful for the opportunity to have them in my life and for so long. They are extremely loving people who have taught me much in life, and who continue to love me and to teach me, and in many ways. I love them dearly.

Happy Birthday, Grandma.

And Happy Anniversary, Grandma and Opa.

😉

Post-a-day 2020

Not mine

I am growing increasingly fond of my own home. I say this cautiously, as I have a tendency to avoid the world outside, so to speak, when I reach that intense panic point of my OCD. However, that is not the same experience as what I am currently discovering and referencing. This current experience is one of noticing that I enjoy being in my own home, and that I prefer it to staying in other people’s homes (like my mother’s or my aunt’s house). I am not afraid of staying elsewhere or going elsewhere – there is no fear or overall stress involved in this experience. It is ease and delight that guide this experience for me, instead of agoraphobia or any other phobia. I just enjoy being in my own home.

I like tidying at home, or rearranging furniture, or just plain lying on my floor. I like having a space where I am surrounded by intentionally selected items, all of which, to some degree or other, bring me joy. And not, I have not yet completed the KonMari method. But, just from what I have done already, I can feel the space as one in which I like to spend my time. The only reasons I really even go to the common areas downstairs are because 1)that’s where the bathroom is, 2)that’s where the kitchen is, 3)my barbell just wouldn’t work on the third floor of an old house, and 4)the daytime lighting is spectacular down there. Otherwise, I’m not sure I ever would bother. And, on many days where I get to stay home, I don’t. I’ll spend almost the entire day up in my space. I supposed the only down side to this is that it is a lot harder to get myself outdoors when outdoors is neither very visible nor very accessible, three floors below. But I have been working on that lately.

Anyway, that’s just something I’ve been noticing tonight. I think there is an important balance between loving what I have around me and being attached to what I have around me. I have actively pursued appreciating the convenience of my own things while allowing other things to be what I use, and I feel that this has benefitted me greatly (as opposed to being upset at not having my own something or other, I make it work with what is available to me where I am, and acknowledge that, while my stuff would have been great, the current stuff will suffice for now).

At that, I’m off to bed in not my bed in not my house. I hope I sleep amazingly tonight and awaken rested and blessed with health, vitality, and energy for the day.

Post-a-day 2020

Childhood Christmas

I ordered several items of clothing for work last week. For whatever reason, they were all being shipped separately to my mom’s house. I was excited about them all, but bummed at all the packaging (mostly since they were coming from the same company), but figured it was due to the items being at different origins, and so was inevitable (not simply irresponsible).

Nonetheless, I found it funny that so many packages would be arriving to my mom’s house in sun quick succession. “It’ll be like Christmas!” I declared, laughing at the idea that I wouldn’t know what was what in all the packages, but that each one would be a delightful surprise (since I had selected each one intentionally for myself, but had ordered so many things that I could pretend to forget about what most of them were), as well as the fact that I would get to open them all at my mom’s house.

I shared this thought with my mom, and added that it’ll be just like Christmas when I was a kid, because I will open all my presents and start playing with them right then and there and have a merry time. She laughed and whatever-ed me, allowing my request to come over and ‘open presents’ the next week one day.

When I arrived today to ‘open my Christmas presents’ (from myself), my mom actually fussed at me for starting while she was still upstairs getting dressed. “I didn’t know you actually cared,” I said somewhat questioning.

“Yeah, I was gonna put on Christmas music while you opened everything.”

I was thrilled(!). She then put on a James Taylor Christmas album, I turned on the “fireplace”, and I showed her what I had already opened (just two things), before I preceded to open all the rest with us both in the living room together. And yes, I “played with my toys” (meaning I tried things on) there in the living room with her, and it was an extremely lovely time. I was super excited about my “presents”, and I loved sharing the experience and time with my mom. It really felt like a childhood Christmas for me. 🙂

Our Holiday Fireplace 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Mother-daughter

“I really want that dental tool… and I need underwear.”

What was that?, you wonder. It was something I said tonight on our way home, which was the catalyst for a several-minute cry-fest for my mom and me.

We could not speak. Only the occasional partial word exited our mouths, and none of it comprehensible, even to each of our own ears. Our eyes were pouring water. Our cheeks ached. Our bellies convulsed in silent, intense laughter.

Eventually, we both began to gasp for air, and slowly traded our silent laughter for loud coughing, tears still pouring down our faces.

So, why did this all happen, then?

My mom and I joke regularly about how our brains work on this family. We change topics very easily, but we always return to any topic we have set aside, no matter the reason for doing so. So, it is completely normal that we throw out a complete non-sequitur…. and also normal that the conversation continue with ease and without hesitation or judgement. Oftentimes, the original conversation will continue by one person, while the other person shares a few comments on a non-sequitur before returning back to the original conversation (the one that was continued by the other person).

Example: We are talking about cheese, say.

‘I think Brie would be better, because it’ll work with the crackers.’

‘I’m really glad they banned smoking in bars and restaurants in France.’

‘But a good smoked Gouda is always amazing.’

‘It just would have been miserable for me, if everyone had been smoking all the time.’

‘And a nice Swiss, too.’

‘Like in Japan… ugh. You always just go explore the cheese section at the grocer, and find fancy cheeses all at once there, so just have some in mind, but don’t bother settling on what cheeses ahead of time.’

‘Yeah, you’re right. I always do like doing that.’

See how two conversations kind of just happened at once? Well, we do that.

And we are fine with it.

However, we have, in recent years, begun to notice how it might appear to an outsider, whenever we have any sort of odd or atypical conversation. Therefore, such conversations usually end up with us laughing at some point in the middle of them, as we both realize one another realizing the outside-view-crazy conversation we are having.

Tonight, when, out of nowhere, I mentioned my desire for a dental tool, that was already a bit odd. That I continued with the, “I need underwear,” statement, that sent my mother out of it completely. I, naturally, could not contain myself with her laughing so hard. As I began to laugh, I asked for clarity on why specifically she was laughing, whether at the randomness of the conversation then itself or st the specific combination of those two comments. It was the latter, because she was immediately imagining how the two might go together somehow, like ‘I need bread and milk from the store’. But it was a dental tool and underwear, as though one had to do with the other.

I explained that I had gone to the store recently, but I had forgotten to look for the tool, and they had been out of the underwear I had wanted, so those were the only two items on my list that hadn’t gotten purchased.

That didn’t make it any better, though. 😛

We laughed so hard, it was ridiculous. And it was spectacular.

I love these ridiculous times with my mom, and I am extremely grateful for them.

Post-a-day 2020