In spite of my most fervent admonitions to myself, I am looking ahead to September with relish. I know, i know...we're supposed to enjoy every day as if it's the last and treasure it always. More and more of my days are becoming that way ,with seasonal exceptions to the rule generally lasting the last week of the current one, my spirit racing ahead to feel the sharp change in the weather. Right now a low of 55 even after a high of 90 looks like heaven. My birthday month usually brings that around for the first time following months of hot'n'humid Tennessee. I wondered to myself today if we're ever satisfied with the way things are. Long time married women look at me as better off without the hassle of an other-half which is a nice perk that dirfted into my consciousness not too long ago. For years, every waking minute of my life was spent caring for everyone except myself. After therapy, that begain to change. It's called a co-dependent " aha " type of moment. I was 32 when that started through a crisis in my personal life, and the next two years were devoted to finding out who I was outside of mother , wife, employee, and friend. There was much head shaking goin' on about why "Mama cries everyday." And I did. I had reached the point where I realized that all of my angst originates within myself...some pissy ass event or a big loss that colors how I view certain interpersonal relationships and their comfort level by transferring some other unresolved issue onto that person or situation. Some times it was months before it became apparent to me what I was reacting to so vitrionically or sadly. More often than not, it proved to be a skeleton that I had flat out FORGOT was in the closet...like my being with my grandmothers and aunties and uncles when they died at the hospital where I work. While it gave me a unique opportunity to bond with them, they are all memories that I keep vividly in the back of my mind, not really sad, but just...well, real. Fortunately all of them were of the terminal we-knew-this-was-coming variety. Someone once told me that dealing with death can be done in two ways....digging through the grief slowly prior to someone's ending or grieving after the shock of a sudden death occurs. Both take the same amount of time, the order is just different. Makes sense to me. I look at that as the ministry part of my healthcare employment. Most patients and their families don't have that luxury.
My weak point with men has always been going for the "silent type" which means their emotions are frozen up in a block of damn ice so thick you can't chisel it away, and if you do you're too tired to deal with it . My husband was like that, as were all the other guys with whom I had "emotional affairs", meaning we didn't do the deed, but the intent was sure there. Most of them were at work so I was firmly handed back my somewhat clumsy come-ons as cute but not worth the risk. The last one nearly took me under, because I was divorced and out of the safety net of I'm married/He's married. That is when the stakes change consideably. Those high maintenance big ego guys get tiresome in a hurry to a woman lookin' for the real thang.
My daughter turns twenty two next month and is going back to college in ernest which is a blessing, in a bittersweet sort of way. She has floundered emotionally for years, fighting the currents that can sweep a child of divorced and addicted parents away if he or she doesn't get a grip. BabyGirl finally did and it's such a relief I can't describe it. She has a goal now, and by that token I see her walking away from me right at the time when I'm ready to let go. Funny how God works it out that way. She has a boyfriend who grew up dealing with the same issues that she has so they're a nice little support group of 2. Their attitudes toward a good buzz run from Ho-Hum to Yee Haw...which is healthy for people in their twenties. Putting together the video montage for her birthday was good therapy for moving to our next chapter as mother and daughter. Maybe it will help me to keep it together through the wedding that will surely happen in a few years.
What is scary to me is that I never expected to be negotiating these passages without a partner to bounce things off of. The move that I made to end a long marriage was based on emotions, sure. But my previous marriage so helped me to define what it was that I really DID need that I came out of that courtroom certain that I knew what I wanted in a relationship and that it was just.around.the.next.corner. Umm...not. Like I told BabyGirl, it was my turn, but not quite yet.
There's no fear that I'll miss out on Mr. Wonderful because the past few years have honed the list down to a very few important attributes that must be present or he's "a nice guy, but...." The important points in my book are actually very simple...honesty and integrity. Nature boy who knows and loves animals. Sense of humor that can complement my own slightly twisted view on life. Financial and emotional equality. Other than that, the rest is just details. He could have hair down to his knees or none at all with multicolor eyes and a lisp to boot. There's a certain blissful freedom in having that sort of an agenda instead of "lookin' for a man."
I love music, but he doesn't have to as long as he appreciates that it's a passion of mine and always will be . When I'm cranked up on Skynard or AC/DC don't bother me unless somebody's died or something equally serious like you "want to talk." *snort* Like that's gonna happen! Cooking is also a joy when there's not somebody watching sports waiting to be fed every meal but who enjoys both the teamwork of creating something yummy and recognizes the pure joy of being catered to..on both sides.
Every waking moment of mine is spent with a keen awareness that the perfect shot is just laying in wait for some fool with a camera or a cause. *raises hands on both counts* My HTML is confined to strike and link but I learned it the hard way and am damn proud of it. When I write, the words and letters tumble out all intense and shit, and I sometimes, but not always, go back and re-arrange them. I'm working on lettin' go of that one. That's what editors do for a living.
An unexpected monkey sighting at the grocery store or bird at the bar just tickles me to death. Not as plump as I once was but not skinny as my 30 year old Poop. It's all me and I care for it by sleeping when I'm tired and eating when I'm hungry and seeing the doc now and then. You wanna go hunting or play golf? Have at it dear, as long as you know that turn about is fair play with no pouting allowed except on mental health day. Or if you nibble my neck while you're pouting.
I'm a Christian...believe that Jesus did what he did for me and for you and the rest of the sinners. Which was everybody besides HIM. I believe that we all worship one God, just in different ways and not the "Allah says blow the shit out of whitey" way or the " marriage=one woman+one man " kind of way. Judiasm is cool to me, just like Islam and Buddhism and all the others venues for worship. I believe we will only find peace and understanding through tolerance and empathy. Except when you take advantage of our kind natures. At that point, you're a big fat ZERO in my mind. Hey...file a complaint with the management or call the ACLU.
I am old enough to remember Vietnam and the after-effects on a nation of young people who were drafted into service to fight a war with no cause that they could see and inhumane conditions that screwed with a lot of heads. The only difference this time around is that the young people were pressured into doing the "patriotic" thing by overzealous recruiters whose salaries depended on their sales pitches. Everybody the world over was pissed as hell when the plan all came together on 9/11 and brought us out of our complacency into the present moment. That is what I see as the blessing of the whole thing, if there is one...and I choose to believe that there is. In a fit of anger, an administration was voted in by Americans who were still in shock from the hatred that got their attention on a Tuesday morning around nine AM when most of us were just trying to make it through from morning break until lunch. From that point on, our future as a nation shifted toward the real reasons behind the whole shitstorm....which was and still IS the interests of oil companies and war contractors. I won't call any names 'cuz my Momma told me not to tattle. It ain't ladylike.
The state of healthcare is outrageous here due to a lack of focus on dying peacefully and naturally vs lining the pockets of drug companies and medical conglomerates who award their top sellers with trips to tropical places where the average citizen eeks out a living by selling souveniers to tourists so they can feed their kids. The absence of support for those who seek social change in this area is plain old discouraging. Oprah can raise millions of dollars from fans to make a change in a life on the other side of the globe yet we fail those right next to us in our own communities. Somebody remind me again why being a lobbyist is a legal profession.
If you have ever fed a homeless person or listened to a down and out friend for a few minutes, Big Ernie tips his hat and reminds you that it's all written down in the book. You know...the one St. Peter tends to. Sheep to the left, goats to the right if you please. Y'all keep the faith with me, umkay? I still believe there's strength in community.
I smoke and drink beer....deal with it. It's cheaper than buying diamond rings and roses for myself, ya know? When your Mama dies or your Great Aunt Maude goes to ICCU for a month, I've got yer back. Promise and cross my heart. Hell, I'll even go with you to bail Cousin Earl out of jail...if you drive. Can't see too well at night anymore.
My life is filled with a bazillion friends who know all that and much more about me. They're mostly married or somehow attached yet we have kids or work...family, or just plain old time invested hangin' out in common. There are stories that each of us share, some overlapping and others shared with each other at the damndest times.
This is my new place to tell them.