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

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

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

Brain waves: zero

Do you ever find yourself sitting down to do something, possibly late in the day or close to when planning to go to bed, and having no idea what on Earth you are supposed to be doing sitting there? Not because you don’t understand the process of the task, but because your brain has checked out and either is napping or has gone to bed for the night… without even fully forming the mental question of, ‘Why am I here?’, you have the sense of the question, the uncertainty and slight sense of being lost that go with it… and, rather than having various thoughts about why you might be here, your mind brainstorming the millions of possibilities as to why you have just set yourself here, your thoughts are just kind of off. The gasoline has run out, the power switch has been flipped – whatever the case, you find yourself sitting in front of something, with no idea as to why you are there, no thoughts to brainstorm your way through it, and no real understanding of what to do about the lack of knowing.

Well, whether you experience it or not, I most certainly do.

Post-a-day 2020

Home is where we are at ease

I guess one of the measures of knowing we feel truly at home somewhere is when we feel any sense of annoyance at having to stay the night away from that somewhere. My mom and I have to go out of town for the day tomorrow, and we are leaving around seven AM, so she convinced me to come stay at her house to get. It felt absurd to drive separately, and I didn’t want to deal with her constant complaints at ha but to drive an extra fifteen minutes to pick me up and drop me off on the way. (So, instead, I drove half an hour out here, to ride with her tomorrow an extra fifteen to twenty minutes each way, and then to drive myself the half hour home afterward… right?! And I’m the one who lives in the “inconvenient” place in town… closer to everything…)

Anyway, so I’m at my mom’s house… and I really just wish I were at home, in my own space and my own bed with my own decorations and systems and energy. I had a time this summer where I was very uncomfortable being alone at my place. This is the first time since then that I have noticed a distinct feeling of annoyance and disdain for having to stay at my mom’s instead of my place. Her house was my safe refuge before. Now, my space is my safe space, my oasis of calm, where I feel I belong.

And that is a very beautiful thing to discover for myself. I am extremely grateful.

Post-a-day 2020

Español

And suddenly I am using Spanish again. I had a desire to reply in Spanish the other night to a coworker’s message – I was only guessing from context that she spoke Spanish, of course, but it was a highly supported guess – and went with it. And we have been doing Spanish ever since. Yippee!

Yes, it has genuinely been fun for me. I haven’t used Spanish for real in so long, it has been slow-coming. But it is already faster now than it was two hours ago, and then even faster than it was the other day to start. This is a part of me that has been in waiting for quite a while, I think. She is ready to live vibrantly again, and much more so than way back when when I lived in Spanish as a child.

Let’s go, woman. Vamos, chica. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Money, money

$500 later, I expect next week will feel like childhood Christmas for me – lots of things ordered online last night and today, and all of them with a expectation of intense delight. I do not regret any of my purchases – not in the least. It is certainly more money than I typically spend… on anything. But I see great value in having all the items I purchased, they all bring me joy, and they handle my need to keep checking for things all the time (either online or in a store) anymore – I have them and it is all handled. I am both delighted at their future arrival, and relieved at having them all ordered and on the way. I am quite practical when it comes to things I buy and do not buy, so it is nice to be able to be so practical with all of this and have it handled already.

One odd part is that, likely due to the fact that they are all doing from different places, they are each being sent separately… so, not great in terms of packaging, but great in terms of t feeling even more like childhood Christmas! I won’t know what is in what. I have to wait almost a week for it all to arrive at my mom’s house, then go over there and have a present party. And I get to play with my new toys right when I open them, and forever afterward! Super excited. Happy Early Celebration to me. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Online shopping and Christmas Trees

It is absurdly late – 3:20 AM – and I am exhausted, but I have been online shopping discounts after having discovered my sizes in the store today. The discounts are amazing and so worth it. And that’s exactly why I wanted to do them tonight, instead of waiting until tomorrow, at which time they genuinely might be sold out of stock. It was also exciting to get myself some fun “presents”. But the pricing was amazing. Just amazing. I am extremely grateful.

Now, I shall rush to sleep for the brief period of time that remains to me before my alarms will sound in the morning (slash later this morning).

Super fun fact, though: I set up my “Christmas Tree” tonight!

Shown here:

I always have the white lights up, as they are like my lamps for my room. But I’m thinking of moving the white entirely, so it doesn’t clash with the tree. I wove it in a bit, instead of just having it cut straight through the tree, like it did in its original “lamp” position, but I’m thinking that isn’t enough.

I’ll contemplate it tonight and tomorrow, and see how I feel tomorrow night.

At that, I bid you a lovely and restful night! 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Running trauma

I ran again today, and much farther than the other two times from this past weekend. It is really cool to be able to run again. I am grateful and relieved. However, I have noticed that I definitely received some trauma from my fall six weeks ago (September 25th, y’all). When I run, I have a slight panic in my space, and I eye the ground with trepidation. It we better today than Sunday, and that was better than Friday. However, it is definitely there, that emotional and slight psychological trauma from such an intense and unreal fall and injury. I was actually scared to run on Friday, as soon as I started out. I took it easy and went slowly, but that wasn’t just to be gentle with my knees. I was scared. I eventually laughed at the point I found myself contemplating what running safety would or could be, because I knew I wasn’t going to wear it and I also knew that it would be ridiculous. (Basically, I imagined myself running in what I wear to ride my motorcycle, helmet and face mask and all, and I cracked up in delight as such an absurd idea. That helped with my fear somewhat, though it didn’t heal it.

Today, I was still scared when running, but the repeated activity was always becoming more casual and passive mentally, so my brain was able to relax some more for the run. It was a good time today.

Post-a-day 2020