(and look forward to…)
– i see weezer play pinkerton in less than a week
– reading dash and lily’s book of dares
– my scarves
– pigeon pose
sure, i should be working.
sure, i should be focusing on clearing off my desk.
sure, i should be actively working to earn my paycheck.
but, right now i need to slow down a minute. right now, i need to quell the rising tide of that stressed anxiety feeling floating in my belly. right now, i need to get to a place where i don’t immediately feel my breath stop and tears well.
why is this happening, you ask.
the simple answer is “it’s that time of year.” as basic as a clock turning towards the next hour or minute, as soon as thanksgiving hits it happens. it doesn’t matter what is happening in my life and how far from feeling sad i am, within a few days i collapse. i have so much to do. i have so much to get ready. and i have so many feelings. and the feelings usually add up to one big feeling. and that big feeling is lonely. it does not matter one big whoop who is in my life and how alone i am not. reality is not a factor in that feeling. i feel alone. and like i will always be alone.
i’ve analyzed this feeling to death. and i think this is the year where i just need to settle in to it. accept it as who i am. but instead of settle into it by wallowing. and crying. i decided to write a list.
this list is a focus on everything good. everything to make me happy. everything to make me feel less alone.
- my new home. it’s been six months since i officially moved in. i adore it. it’s a continuing work in progress and i am so happy there.
- my new life. a lot has changed for me in the past year. and when i’m not combating the holiday mean reds, i am really happy with where i am. and even more importantly, i am beginning to like me.
- my father being healthy. the prospect of surgery was terrifying, but his recovery has been amazing. and he is alive.
- my friends – new and old. i adore all of you. it’s because of you that i am starting to actually like me again. you know who you are. my life is better because of you.
- my shoes.
- my books.
- gluten free cupcakes.
- newington yoga center.
- auto insurance.
- bruce springsteen’s born to run.
- the old 97s
- jane austen
this list is a constant work in progress. i am going to be adding to this every moment i get overwhelmed. it calms me down. and centers me. and maybe will combat the overwhelming lonely.
From The Manbottle Library:
There is a mute who wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing one’s teeth, he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is done.
Now, if there is a blind man who wishes to buy a pair of sunglasses, how should he express himself?
Think about it, and then click through (and scroll down) for the answer.
Did you get it right? Liar!
i am clearly taking a mental break at work as i sift through my anger.
- figure out what i’m making for christmas gifts.
- watch Die Hard again.
- watch Elf – repeatedly.
- find workplace motivation and be productive.
- in the alternative, give myself fake deadlines to force productivity.
- go to see live music (that once a week thing didn’t really pan out…)
- clean out my closet.
- organize my dresser.
- pay off one credit card.
- take naps.
I don’t mean to write about these topics so much. I don’t mean to be the girl who is sad. But lately this all seems to surround me.
My dad has open heart surgery. We mark the two year “anniversary” of my mother’s death. And I learn of three deaths in the span of two weeks. The first was pretty remote to me. The second was less so. And the third. Well, that one did me in.
My father is one of five children. But beyond his four sisters, he has a massive network of cousins and cousins in laws. In some cases, he has know the cousins in law just as long. They all grew up together in a fairly small town in Italy and most then all traveled together to Venezuela. These were/are my dad’s friends. It was his family. But it was his network. And these people were my family and my network growing up. I’d call them zios or compare whether or not it was proper. It was always easier.
In a lot of ways, my dad lives in the happy times he shared with all his relatives. The times before it became fractured and families splintered apart. He misses the unity. And sometimes he stubbornly can’t see that it is still there. It’s just morphed a little bit in style and flair.
But these happy times for him are some of the most entertaining stories I know. And today I went to the funeral of a man who is in many of those stories for my dad. I know it will eat at my dad for the rest of his life that he was never able to see Mike in his last days. The smallness of the world found the two of them two floors apart in the hospital that last week. Michele was on the tenth, while my dad was on the eighth. It gives me a small sense of peace knowing I was able to see Michele. Knowing that I was able to pass some time and hold his hand as he told me how much he wanted to go to the mass for my mother.
My dad could never really go up there to see him because of the high risk for infection. The hospital wasn’t crazy about it. Michele was bed ridden so he could not come down. And no one wanted to risk either of them getting even more sick.
Had my dad not been in the hospital he would have been one of the first persons to visit.
It’s horrible to think about. And my dad was not able to go to the funeral. And he has not been able to call his cousin to offer his condolences.
Being a man of no words, my dad hasn’t said much of anything. But I know it’s hard for him.
I know it was hard for me. I was overcome with so much sadness at the funeral. The memories were unbearable. We were in that same funeral home. Same church just two years and a week earlier.
But it was more than that. Michele was one of the kindest and most loving men I’ve ever known. It wasn’t anything specific. But he just emanated good. Sure, he was a medical miracle living for 21 years with a new liver. And maybe having that second shot at life made a person love everything more. But his soul always felt pure and good.
It makes me wonder about what I’m doing with my life. (which, frankly, feels like not much lately.) I want that love of life he always seemed to have. I will never forget the way he said my name. I will never forget how he always kissed both cheeks. And his kind calm way of speaking. I will never forget being jealous that my mom opened her eyes for him when she was still in her coma back in August of 1992. But he was the one who sat with me and said “don’t worry, she’s tough. Tough like me.”
I am not sure where I stand on heaven. Or god. Or the beyond. But, I like to think that somewhere, my mom and Michele are kicking back having a glass of wine and catching up on things.
I’m a neurotic bastard who freaks out over the littlest things. I’ve been conditioned to always expect the worst to happen. I’m on perpetual lookout for the so-called “other shoe” to come crashing on my head. But, really, the past two years have been calm from the panic.
I’ve even been, what some might say, optimistic.
I bought a place that I love and adore. I finally started to free my dad from his overdependence. I am so abundantly grateful for the new people who have fallen into my life. And I finally started to feel somewhat comfortable in my own skin. To the point where I even kind of liked me.
But here we are. The week long cycle. Waiting for a parent to survive a frightening surgery. Sure, bypasses are normal these days. They’re like oil changes. Routine. No worries.
And I know we’ll survive. I know my dad (one of the strongest people I know) will do fine.
But, I still panic. I worry. And I get angry. I feel like this is the other shoe I’ve been waiting for all these months.
I’m just so sad right now. I’m terrified for my dad. He seems tiny these days. Seeing him scared is one thing I’ve never been able to handle.
But beyond that, having to now step back into that hospital on the same day we showed up with my mom two years ago is torture. I do not want to do it. I don’t want him on that same exact floor. I don’t want him in the same room. I’ll have to dig deep to find the courage to step foot back on that unit.
It’s like a cruel twist of life to bring us back there on this anniversary. How is it fair? It’s cruel enough to have to require him to go through the surgery. But, to be on the floor where you watched your wife breathe her last breath? It’s just evil.
Like I said, I know we’ll get by. I know that I will survive. I just feel so beaten down right now. I thought I was done with all this for a while. Two years wasn’t long enough. I’m not done being sad about losing my mom. I am not ready to handle all this stress again.
This is me now.