Before anything else, I have to tell you that for the first time ever I finally beat my sister, Ducky, at Scrabble. You have no idea how excited I am!
(Or I was, until I realized that it took me almost four decades to beat my sister at Scrabble. Hey, she’s smart.)
In case any of you were calling around, after my last post, to find a spot for me at Shady Brook or some another ubiquitously-named mental health institution, I’ll try to put your minds at ease.
Akelamalu pointed out “What choice do you have?”
She’s right–the alternative to keeping on, bucking up, or keeping one’s chin up isn’t so great. But there are a lot of choices about how we go through a day or a week or a year, and I what I hoped to find out from all of you (and did) were the things that make the rough spots more bearable for you. What invisible thread pulls you forward, or what activity works like balm to soothe your nerves.
Who knows, maybe the routine saves us, too, even as we bemoan the day in and day out of it all. If we didn’t have to see to the basic things–the meals, the bills, the floor that needs mopping, the refrigerator door that needs fixing, the ants that need removing–maybe the vacuum left behind would be what would lay waste to an essential part of us that needs to feel like we’ve got things handled, that we even can handle a reasonable amount of hell and come out stronger on the other side of it.
So, I have choices. I can get together with friends (always makes me feel better), or not. I can clean my house, or not (hate the cleaning, love the result). Take time to play with my children, or not. Read a good book, listen to good music, go for a drive, or not. Do something to be financially productive, or not. Cook something good to eat, or…wait, there’s cooking? Never mind. But I’m good with the rest of it, for now, especially the part that includes hanging out with friends.
Because not sounds like a big downer.
My cousin Louise reminded me that exercise might change the face of things, too, and she’s right. Mrs. G inspired me earlier in the week to get back to it, so I am. School starts in a week, and I won’t have any excuses left. And feeling stronger and/or having a smaller ass won’t exactly make my life worse, will it?
(Ooh, good point, she thinks.)
So even though the ratio of sunshine to what-fresh-hell hasn’t changed much in the last couple of days, I’m going to move on. Hopeful, and maybe even with a less cluttered desk (it could happen).
Radical times, my friends.
Now, I have some karmic housecleaning to do.
Some lovely people have given me some lovely awards recently, and I’ve been slow to acknowledge them here and to pass them on (hence, the title, which I borrowed from Rilke and for which I will give him full credit in just a minute).
First, a huge thank you to the four people who kindly shared this first award with me, the Arte Y Pico award (four! I’m a lucky girl). From Cath at Crazy Cath, Sandy at Momisodes, Natalie at Tell Me About It, and Tootsie Farklepants at Vintage Thirty:
I think the instructions were to share it with 5 others, so here we go (opens envelope):
I’m passing it on to Stacey at Any Mommy Out There, because her writing is brillante.
And last, and not even close to least, a heartfelt thank you to Louise at Potted Frog for this next award. She always makes my day, too!
I’m passing it along to all of you, because you write things that make my day more interesting and more fun, and because you showed up here. And that always makes my day.
It’s not fall yet, but with school starting in a week, it feels like the end of summer. I love this, especially the last few lines.
Lord, it is time. This was a very big summer.
Lay your shadows over the sundial,
and let the winds loose on the fields.
Command the last fruits to be full;
give them two more sunny days,
urge them on to fulfillment and throw
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.
Who has no house now, will never build one.
Whoever is alone now, will long remain so,
Will watch, read, write long letters
and will wander in the streets, here and there
restlessly, when the leaves blow.
–Rainer Maria Rilke