Ever the procrastinator?

Well, I have four days remaining in a 100-day challenge to go 100 miles of cardio activity. It could be swimming, running, walking, cycling, rollerblading, etc. in any combination, just so long as it is 100 miles achieved in 100 days.

I started out strong, and was determined to have all my miles be from running. But then I had that fall that one ridiculous Friday evening, and my running (and general walking for a while at first) plans were ruined. I had hoped that I would be able to start running much sooner than I was able, but the bruised bones really pushed that back for me. I can run mostly okay now, but have to be careful with the cold weather, as it makes the pain show itself in my knee.

However, that all being said, I had accepted conceptually that I would not be able to run my whole hundred, based on my body’s situation after that fall. I had begun walking with my mom on occasion, and counted that toward my hundred. But my subconscious somehow missed the part where I needed actually to start these other cardio activities of my own. I kept just thinking I would do the whole thing running, when I was able to run again, and the only walking I did was once a week, give or take, with my mom. I wasn’t able to start running for real until just a few weeks ago… at which point I wasn’t anywhere near half of the way on those hundred miles. Even as of this week, I wasn’t half way through the hundred.

So, despite my efforts to be ahead of the game here, I ended up doing the bulk of effort right at the end of the whole thing.

But it has been nice, actually. I rode my bicycle around, looking at Christmas lights last night for an hour and a half-ish in the cold, and it was lovely. And I got ten plus miles out of that ride. The other night and tonight, I hung out with my mom at the office where she works, and I used the elliptical-type machine to get some run-walks in not out in the cold. And, this morning, my dad called me and invited me to go to a casual spin class with him at the Y, so I could get some more bicycle mileage in without having to ride outside in the cold.(Actually, I’m not sure how that will be, masks and digital class and all, but it will be nice to be doing it with my dad, and that’s the point of tomorrow’s plan anyway.)

So, fingers crossed that I manage this all appropriately in the next couple days, and I am able to turn in my sheet for the challenge, fully completed!

Post-a-day 2020

December 6th

I asked my mom the other night if she thought Heilige Nikolaus (Saint Nicholas) would leave presents in my shoes if I set them outside my bedroom/studio door in the house where I currently am living (Not a great idea to leave anything completely outside overnight in this neighborhood, you see. It could be okay, but it isn’t amazing odds.), or if he probably only visited the suburbs (where people can leave shoes outside overnight safely). She told me that he probably only uses people’s permanent addresses.

And so, when I arrived to my mom’s house this morning – in the suburbs and the location of my permanent address – I was delighted to find atop her new blanket my croc-like shoes that always remain at her house, filled with delights. There also was a pair of traditional Dutch wooden clogs, also filled with goodies.

Note: When I first arrived, I set a few things on the sofa, plugged in a camera charger for the photo session I would do shortly for someone, and wandered to the kitchen for something or other. As I did all this, my mom asked me if I saw her new table. I turned back and looked toward the fireplace, opposite the sofa, and saw a small table decorated with a new winter blanket and covered with the shoes etc.

I’ve been clear to my mom several times over recent months that I would like, at last, to have a sewing machine of my own. I do not often have gift requests or wishes for my birthday or for Christmas, but a sewing machine and all of its necessities is something that I really need help managing – I do not know enough about brands or specifics or technologies even to guess appropriately what machine to get myself, or in what price range, let alone all the pins and wheels of everything one uses with sewing machines. I think it can all be in the mid-hundreds of dollars for a decent quality everything, but I am not one to know which ones are the decent ones yet. Thus the request for a Christmas present from my mother, a woman who has made clothes (and more) her entire life.

When I got looking at the shoes and goodies, I was tickled that, aside from the delicious-looking babyfood snack packs – yes, they are amazing, if you get the right ones – there happened to be obvious sewing machine supplies: thread, bobbins, pins, machine sewing needles, etc. “Hmm! Clearly Heilige Nikolaus has a hint of what I’ll be getting!” I laughed, and my mom laughed with me. I went through all the items, delighted that they were here, essentially solidifying the fact that I would be getting a sewing machine of my own at the end of the month. Whether it would be new or just my mom’s (and she would get an upgrade for herself) was still to be determined, but one of my own I very likely would have by the end of the month! (At least, it was more likely this time than any other that I’ve asked for one.)

Just as I was about to leave for the photos, I began to pack up. “But you still haven’t finished,” said my mom. “You didn’t see it all yet.” She wanted me to see it all before I left, I knew, but I hadn’t realized that I’d missed something. I went back to the large clogs in the center, and pulled the bits and pieces of sewing materials out of them, looking for what I had missed up in the toes of the shoes.

But there didn’t seem to be anything else. ‘Is it under?’ I ask. And my mom replies in the affirmative. I pick up the clogs, find nothing, and set them back down. I check the wreaths next to them, and it is the same story. I look over the back of the table and ask if it is the cute new-to-me nativity scene just behind everything. No, it is not.

Without thinking much of it, nor expecting much out of it, I flip up the blanket to see under the table.

And it isn’t a table after all.

It is one of the big cardboard fold-outs for laying out sewing patterns and measuring, and it is sitting perpendicular atop another box. It takes a moment to process that the box is a brand new sewing machine.

Even thinking about it, my eyes are welling up now. It was so unexpected, and so amazing, I started crying when I realized what it all meant. Not only did my mom really find me a sewing machine of my own, but the found me a new one. This is something I have wanted for years, but hadn’t figured out how to make happen yet. I felt that I really was ready for it this year, and my mom showed me today that she agreed.

“I figured you could get started on some of the things you’ve been wanting to do lately, instead of waiting,” she said. 🙂

It is time, my dear. It is time. Sew on, love.

Danke, Heilige Nikolaus, Saint Nicholas!!

And thank you, Mom.

And thank you, God, for all this love and joy today and always.

Post-a-day 2020

Advent

Today marked the beginning of my Advent and Advent calendar for this year, complete with presents and my mom falling face forward up the stairs to my room. Trust me, despite the fright in the moment of that final piece happening, it was all extremely delightful and quite festively fun (even the fall, while my mom was lying there, laughing on top of the pile of presents she had been carrying).

You see, firstly, I didn’t know my mom was coming over, and my phone signal was still off. So, when I heard a knock behind me, I genuinely thought it was a raccoon or possum doing some construction work in the attic (or the likes). But then, my bedroom door was opening – by the way, the door to my room is down a flight of halfback stairs, because my room is a converted attic – and I started to freak. out…..

“Hello?” I asked in both annoyance and trepidation. It was my mom. And yes, I had locked the door, as I always do – my fear was that I hadn’t locked it, and I was now about to be attacked. I heard her voice, relaxed, reminded her that I was tutoring, and I went back up the stairs. Just as I was finishing telling the student to log off and back on again to see about resetting her computer’s connection and sound, I looked back down the stairs to see my mother falling forward as she turned the corner to head up the second half of the stairs. She has similar stairs in her house, but there is no step on the turn at the midpoint. Hers are just half and half. Mine are four, then one on the half turn, then another ten in the last part. The light in my stairwell is minimal in the first place, and the baskets of presents she was carrying certainly didn’t give her much help in seeing that single turn step. But they did help her land more safely, fortunately. I rushed down carefully and, basically, lifted her up off the ground on my own, as she had almost no leverage to get herself back up, her arms still wrapped around the presents now beneath her chest.

Even as I lifted her up, we were both laughing. She had determined already that all was well and whole within her body still, and so we could not hold back. It was ridiculous and hilarious to the both of us.

Anyway, the whole unexpected arrival of my mother was due to a request I made of her weeks ago. Would she print out my Advent calendar for me to use this year? I had made one for my cousin years ago, and loved it. I wanted to use it again this year, but I didn’t want to risk seeing the days ahead of time by printing it all out for myself. I had wanted them to be a surprise as much as possible, but I wanted to be able to write down my responses, instead of just look at it on my phone, as I did last year. (Each day has a question/prompt of sorts to which I am requested to respond, you see.) So, here we are on the first day of December, which lines up with how I had created the calendar initially, as a 25-day Advent calendar. My mom has gone above and beyond, as is regularly her style when it comes to fun, creativity-related things – the exact reason I had asked her to do this for me in the first place – and come up with presents for each day, wrapped in Charlie Brown Christmas wrapping paper – the Advent calendar I made is based on A Charlie Brown Christmas – to go with each day’s paper prompt.

Today, I got a box of tea, from which I can have a cup every morning when I open the day’s card and present – again, the original calendars we made are referenced, as they were tea Advent calendars, with a different tea for each day – as well as a Christmas lights necklace and green and red jingle bell bracelets to give me extra festivity this month. Then, my mom proceeded to open up the box of tea and make us each some tea. She actually hung out with me in my room while we snuggled up to our cups in the cold morning air, and just hung out together. Oddly enough, those were two of the things on my list for the first day’s prompt, checked off unexpectedly just about as quickly as I had gotten them written down.

Then she went off to work, and I snuggled in my bed another few hours before going to work myself.

All-in-all, it was a beautiful start to my Advent and my Advent calendar for this year. I am extremely grateful, and feel a strong sense of love and care for me today (for which I also feel extremely grateful). Yesterday was an odd sort of reminder for Advent’s ideas for me, just perfectly timed. And I have a feeling that there is much value to be found for me in and through Advent this year. I look forward to it all with cautious and grateful optimism.

Grazie, World and God. Here we are. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Wow – impactful interactions

Today at the clothing store, I had an amazing exchange with a mother and daughter that lasted close to an hour. I helped others on and off throughout that time, but most of my time and efforts were spent either folding clothing or interacting with the two of them. While part of me wants to go into extreme detail with the whole event, for right now, a greater part of me wants simply to acknowledge that the interaction happened, and then dwell in the delight of it here in my own space, without sharing anything else about it at present.

And I am going to go with that part within me, because it feels true to what I want for myself right now.

Perhaps I will share more about it later, and perhaps not. Either way, you can know that it was a spectacular interaction for me, and it has me slowly thinking more and more about what might be next (or, even, later at some point) for me in my life. It was that amazing for me. : )

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

Bedtime, for sure

You know, I had something that I felt was really good to share today… yet, I am so tired, at this point, I have no idea what it was.

And it was only a couple hours ago (if that) that I was thinking about it.

Man…

To be fair, it has been a long day. I woke up to use the bathroom just after 5:20 this morning (not seven hours of sleep), and did not go back to sleep. I went for a run and showered and made a smoothie, and I did loads of other stuff, too, all before 7:30, at which point I drove my mom and myself an hour and a half East to my aunt and uncle’s house for a known photo shoot and a surprise tea baby shower (complete with social distancing and a garage turned completely into an old style tea house, working chandelier included). (It really was an awesome event, and an even more awesome surprise for the mom-to-me.) I did photos in a field and from some tall grasses, then drove my cousin and myself to pick up our grandma for our tea time (which was all the two knew about, but which was only the beginning of a whole surprise event). Then I did photos and helped with serving for the party all day (it certainly takes a lot longer to do a party one family at a time, but those 15-25-minute visits are wonderful in their intimacy), and struggled to stay awake on the drive home (I wasn’t the one driving)… at 7pm. Now, as usual, I have taken ages to get ready for bed, and I am finally about to do it… at 11pm… only about 18 hours after I got up this morning…

Wowzer.

P.S. I remembered the thing, but I was already writing this. I’ll use it for tomorrow now.

Post-a-day 2020

All in three hours’ work

Well, today, something amazing happened(!!!)!

As we sat in the car, which was freshly parked by my dad, I told him the final detail of what I wanted him specifically to know before we went inside. ‘I only want to work with someone I like, someone with whom I feel comfortable doing business. So, if I don’t feel comfortable with whoever comes up to us, I’m going to tell him to go help other customers and that I want to be left alone, please. And then I will find someone I do like and trust to help me. Okay? I just want you to know that, because I am not working with someone with whom I don’t want to work.’

He surprised me by not saying or suggesting anything in disagreement with or contestation with my words, and just saying a genuine and semi-excited, “Okay.”

Not quite three and a half hours later, we drove out of the lot in separate vehicles, my having leased my first car (and that included over an hour of just sitting in the finance department, waiting for an agent to become available to let me sign paperwork, after we had already settled everything with the car salesperson).

My dad was blown away. While we were waiting on the final bits of negotiation between our saleswoman and her manager, my dad kept commenting on how he had never gotten a car on the first time he had walked into a place. He once bought a suburban on the same day he first saw it, but he had test driven it, then gone home and discussed things with his then-wife, and they had gone back later that evening and purchased it. Other than that, though, he hadn’t gotten anywhere near purchasing a vehicle on the same day he first saw it.

But I was prepared. I had been looking at used cars for so long, to no car-providing avail, and I was sick of them all. When I had looked deeper into leasing and discovered that I just might be able to lease a vehicle all on my own, despite my annual salary being iffy, so to speak, and my being self-employed. I had enough money to put down, after all, and my credit history is amazing, despite my work history being wonkers the past few years. I’ve had a credit card that I have always paid on time and usually paid in full for over eleven years, and I paid off all my student loans within three and a half years of their first being required to be paid upon. Do someone with so little money going back and forth in her life, I’ve done a great job of building a positive credit history and credit score, greatly due to my father’s initial step of having me open a credit card in order to begin that process. And I had a back-up plan, if needed, for a co-signer on the lease, but it didn’t sound like a likely necessity. I just had to make sure the car price (MSRP) was under my yearly salary last year.

What’s more, I did some research on car salespersons’ commissions (I suggest reading the basic info and a personal account I found in my research), and I knew I wanted to take as little of a salesperson’s time as possible. And that would benefit me as well as the salesperson – win-win. And my dad… win-win-win! 😛

So, we walked into the showroom this afternoon, I , in a comedic way, found myself kind of loving the energetic older Chinese lady with a very strong Chinese accent who greeted us right near the door, handing us her business cards from her blue-gloved hands, and reminding me of Japan and their business card culture, as well as the shamelessness often found in Chinese culture (ironically enough). I told her why I was there, and she took me to her desk to figure out some details of what vehicles were available for lease that matched what I was seeking.

While sitting there, she comments to me that I have very pretty eyes, and I thank her. I happen to agree, so I determine that I will accept the compliment despite its potential aim at being falsely friendly in order to get a sale. After a few minutes, she says-asks that I’d been there before, right? I told her that I had not. After an Oh exhale, she says that I just look familiar. Another possible “move”, but it doesn’t bother me. She could also be being genuine. It wouldn’t be the first time for me.

After a few minutes more, she asks me again, asking if I’m sure I’ve not been there before. I tell her that, no, I have never been in here before today. She genuinely seems a bit bugged about this, and tells me that I just look so familiar. I smile.

When we get up and start walking to go outside and “Pick the color you like,” she says suddenly, “Well, do you dance?” still looking at me quizzically. I stop and look at her more carefully.

“Yes,” I tell her.

Within a few more sentences, we have both worked out that we know exactly who the other person is. She wasn’t anyone who did dance classes, but she was friends with some guys who did, and often would go out dancing with them, and that sometimes meant with a group that included me.

When I ran into dance friends at dinner tonight, I relayed this story to them. Brows were crooked and eyes were rolled at first, but everyone laughed and sighed when I said the, ‘Do you dance?’ line – they know exactly how that works in life. You can’t place a person, but dance is mentioned and it suddenly all clicks into place (and you sometimes have to evaluate what side of you this person has seen in the dance world before moving forward). One of the girls at dinner knew just whom I meant when I described the car saleswoman. The dance community is like that – we kind of all know each other, even if only distantly or in passing of sorts.

Anyway, tangent ended…

So, I introduced her to my dad at that point, and explained the connection to him. He was surprised and obviously a bit more at ease. We then chatted about dance stuff while walking out to the cars, and it was just kind of really cool.

Once at the cars, we got down to business. My dad and I browsed details and asked questions, both agreed that the dark gray was not only a good-looking vehicle but also the best-looking one out there.

We test drive it. 2.0L versus 1.8L engine made a huge difference for this little car. We were impressed by the pickup and by the interior quiet and vehicle stability feeling on the highway. Really impressed, actually. This car was much better than I remembered from the oneI drive in college that belonged to a friend of mine.

I liked this car.

And so, after the test drive, I said a clear yes to wanting to see about leasing it, and the saleswoman got to work. Tentative prices were shown, and I approved a credit check in myself. When they approved my credit score, real negotiations began. My dad helped me with the bargaining part – I’m not the greatest with that, which was part of why I wanted him with me in the first place – and the saleswoman was actually really awesome throughout it all. Frankly, the directness of her Chinese culture was a huge relief to both my dad and me. It is just utterly annoying having to deal with the excuse and BS nonsense I so often hear from salespeople from US-born culture. We don’t need to come up with excuses for why you are offering this versus that. Just say your offer, and I’ll say mine, and we’ll continue easily that way, with no one getting offended on either side. And that is just what we did.

And it was so easy, I barely even felt any stress at all. My only actual stress, really, was when I realized I needed to go to the bathroom, but I kept having to read or do something or wait for my dad to come back from the bathroom and then an important time-sensitive thing he had to do on his phone for a few minutes (sign up for his lap swimming at the pool as soon as the registration room opened at 3:00 for Tuesday, that is)… literally the only time I felt actual stress at that place.

When our offers were getting pretty close to being met, my dad started to retract his statement of waiting to call back until Monday or Tuesday. “We might be able just to do this all today,” he said, slightly amazed. And then repeated every so often, when a new price drop had occurred.

Eventually, our exact number request was met, I signed a tentative proof and filled out some further information, and we were walked over to and dropped off at finance to sit and wait to sign the real papers.

We had spent roughly twenty minutes doing the initial desk stuff, then just over half an hour on the colors and test drive, just over half an hour on negotiations, another ten finalizing , and then over an hour just waiting for finance, and not quite half an hour in a finance room, signing papers.

Then, after one last bathroom break, I met the saleswoman and my dad in a certain covered vehicle area just outside, and took a few pictures and connected to Bluetooth and played around with the keyless start (my dad was quite delighted by that part, actually), before driving on out (and then immediately calling my mom on the car phone system…, which turned out to be quite decent, actually).

And so, now, I have a car that is reliable, super covered under warranties and full maintenance coverage, high-tech, handsome, and, really, quite fun to drive.

I am grateful for such an awesome turnout for today. Thank you, Life and World and Dance. 😀

P.S. One of the photos the saleswoman took while I was talking to my dad for his photo.

Post-a-day 2020

Unprepared

I don’t really want to write about this right now, but here we are and here I write.

I am taking care of myself like a mother to myself, because my mom is on the other side of town, likely long asleep for the night, and I am up here, house-sitting on my own. Even the dog is wiped out asleep.

But I am sitting on this bed, preparing to go to sleep – for as long as my menstruating will allow at once, or course – with eyes burning from the tears shed during my shower… my throat just a little sore from the sobs released… my brain struggling to see straight with this potential upturn of its outlook world. I have myself a glass of ice water, and it has already helped with my burning eyes and shaky throat and hands, soothing everything like a balm…

You see, I watched the film Remember Me tonight, the one with Robert Pattinson wearing the same bracelet watch he wore in Twilight. I didn’t know anything about it but that it had him in it, it was some sort of romance, and, due to the title, this romance clearly was going to end before the film did. Usually, it is death of some sort, but this film was giving vibes that it potentially could be just that death brought them together and they helped each other heal and move on in life, though now without one another.

…. Yeah…

(*****Spoilers coming up here, so stop reading the post, if you want to watch the film without a super major spoiler.*****)

Okay, so, the moment they showed the date on the board, I was stressed. I was already stressed-annoyed at the film in various ways at this point, how there just wasn’t enough of anything. But, at the date, I was beginning really to stress. I was extremely grateful there was no footage or re-enactment or anything of the sort of the buildings or the smoke-dust-rubble clouds. There is that. However, I was actually angry at the turn of events. At the obvious phone call. At how it no longer felt like a poorly done feature film I had just been watching, but like a small glimpse into what could have been someone real’s real life. And that that was how it actually might have gone for someone real.

And it just felt so real, I couldn’t let myself face anything other than anger at such an ending being sprung upon me like that – how dare they? This was supposed to be a film, not a sop story about our misery that day… and forward…

I was only a kid at the time. I didn’t remember that it was a Tuesday, but I remember that we were coming back to our classroom from gym class, and Kristen and Trish-Anne and I stopped to look at the television that was on in the ESL classroom – the televisions were almost never on, except for a rare film. But it wasn’t a movie.

What is it?? we all wondered and asked each other and no one in particular. Kristen had seen the longest view of the television. “Someone bombed the twin towers,” she said as she turned back to me. I quickly reviewed what I had glimpsed on the television: tall buildings, smoke and fire somewhere in the middle near the top. Her words make sense in such a way that they do not. She was wearing overalls that day. With her words, I didn’t understand how to feel, nor how I felt anyway. But I knew none of it was good.

Our teacher sat us down and explained what had happened. So far.

The buildings still stood at that point in time. That’s why it had looked just like a bomb had gone off. Not what had really happened.

I only remember near the end of the school day onward, now. There is nothing after the beginning of our teacher telling us what had happened. I don’t remember if we had the live news coverage on or not, but I know I saw it somehow… it is brandished in my brain, so I know I saw it eventually.

(**** Another warning: Graphic references coming, so be careful.*****)

While it was difficult to see such beauty disappear so suddenly, like a game of Godzilla at home with our massive cardboard building bricks, although more effectively, as they even went to ash instead of merely falling down everywhere, what probably hit me the most was – and this is difficult for me even to write right now – the people…. It was seeing those people, desperate in their last hope for physical salvation, jumping, as the building shrank toward gravity’s command. That and knowing how so many people had been able to phone their families and friends to share their verbal love one final time while living on this planet… knowing one’s impending doom, and having to say goodbye while still so seemingly whole and safe and well.

……

We have a few major incidents in our lives, ones that give us a kind of foundation to our ways of being going forward. Something happens, and it is mentally significant for us – we are usually extremely disturbed by it – such that we decide then and there that we never want to have to feel that way again, and so determine never to be such-and-such again. Therefore, to avoid such-and-such, we will do this or be this going forward. I have never been able to figure mine out. Not ones that really stand out above the rest. Not ones that show me the source incident for my desperate need to be right, or, at least, to know, whatever it happens to be.

But, in my shower tonight, as I gave in to the rising emotions within myself, and allowed them to surface and release, I began to wonder if one of my incidents just might have been somehow around September eleventh. Around that footage of those people, falling…. falling… hopelessly falling. It wasn’t exactly anything that happened directly to me, but seeing that footage happened to me. For days and weeks, and possibly months and years afterward – actually, yes, years, because I still do it today, both in the original way and in other ways – I would have these visions and thoughts of how people could have survived, what they would have had to do to get out okay, to make everything okay again in so many ways…. to make it just buildings and lost architecture. I had so many plans, mentally tested to every degree. Not everyone would make it out, I knew, but I would. Even if I had been on the upper floors, I would have. Because, perhaps in that moment, I became a sort of MacGyver. I had to have a way out of there. I had to…

I even had one idea – and this is big for such a little kid, I think – that involved rappelling myself down after Spider-Manning it to some nearby buildings and careening down a makeshift zip line… possibly even making several back and forth between the two towers, having people work together to get more of us out of there, and fast.

But why did I have to do this brainstorming? I didn’t lose anyone directly in the event, so I had an odd connection to it all to be so strongly enveloped by this idea. For me, though, it made life suddenly real, the danger of it real. I had recently been in New York City. We had gone into those buildings. But it was raining that day, and hard, so the observation decks were closed. So, we didn’t go up all the way. But we could have. And we could have gone later.

Why did those people die? Why didn’t they find ways out, or ways out in time? My answer back then, whether I ever said it aloud or not, was, “They weren’t prepared.” And, so, I would be. This was my wake up call and the beginning of my own preparations.

Preparations for what, you ask? For life. I was saying today how I kind of have a rough ten backup plans for any specific thing. And, though I was slightly joking, I know that I could start listing and probably reach ten rather easily. And that’s for anything I do or intend to do. And, also, for things I have done. I have evaluated them, too, and determined how I could have done them better… in myriad ways.

What’s more, to this day I take any scary scenario I see in a film or show, or just hear about, and end up going through, in the side of my mind, the best ways to get out of it safely… even though it has nothing much to do with me and my life. I cannot face a scary scenario in anything without automatically doing it. I just have to figure out how to get out of it, get out of there, and survive, stay alive, be safe again.

Anyway, my stomach is hurting in an achy, sleep-needing type of way, so I’m going to close this out and get to sleep already. All of this has been just some brainstorming on my part. I have always held a weird space with this event, especially in that whole reliving the crashes and shrinkings of the buildings and how to get out of them safely and effectively… in my fear to accept that there might be nothing that can be done when it is truly one’s time… in my desperation to make sure I am ready to face whatever comes my way. There is a shaking terror within me at the idea of being unprepared, caught off-guard… a life-threatening terror. And seeing this in this new light has shaken me somewhat tonight (and also a lot quite physically).

We didn’t go up all the way that day. I had figured and intended to go back and go up another time, on a clear day. I would be like in the Godspell film.

Except, now, I never would be. And neither would anyone else be…

Instead of crying myself to sleep, though, I determined that I wanted to be held and taken care of and loved and accepted. So, I am doing that for myself, instead.

At that, goodnight. 🙂 ❤

Post-a-day 2020

Squirrels on the loose

My mom asked me this week if I have been noticing more squirrels than usual lately.  Whenever she is out somewhere, usually driving, she feels like she has been seeing loads more squirrels than usual.  At first, I was thinking about mating seasons, and wondering whether we were at a time of year where there just happen to be lots of recently-added squirrels in the mix.

But then something else occurred to me… and then she said that something else. “I just wonder if, because everyone had been staying home and not going anywhere for a while, she began.

And I finished, barely able to restrain my laugh before finishing, “No one was out driving to run them over??”

We both laughed.  But we both considered the idea as a genuine possibility.  Lost of things were affected this summer by people’s not going into offices and work anywhere near the typical amount…, perhaps this was just another of those effects.

And perhaps not, but the idea is a lot more fun to consider that the poor squirrels this summer actually had a chance for once.  Kind of like the air, you know?

I still laugh when I think about her specifically bringing it up to me to ask my thoughts on the matter, as though it were something of significance in our lives.  Just in the squirrels’, I suppose, but we both totally loved considering it, nonetheless.

Post-a-day 2020