40 years ago today at 2:28am, my mother was super happy to NOT be pregnant anymore…I was 26 days late after all. As the story goes, it was July 18th, over 100 degrees, my father was at work and my uncle, who was supposedly ‘on baby duty,’ was sleeping off one too many beers on the couch when my mother went into labor with me. Pissed off that no one coherent was around, she decided to drive herself to the hospital in her little VW bug. Apparently she could barely reach the pedals because her belly was so big.
Anyway, 19 hours later, officially July 19th, I was born and judging from the picture from the hospital above, I had both my bitchbrow and side-eye perfected from day one.
I’m not sure I can sum up 40 years in one blog post or a list of ’40 things I’ve learned by 40’…how does one sum up their life in that way? A cacophony of words come to mind – painful, desperate, joyous, wild, free – and none could encapsulate it. But I’m thrilled that I get more, even if only 60 more, even if only a few hours – I’ll take it and be grateful.
What are you grateful for today?
The train brays softly in early morning; it’s whistle muted by the driving rain on the rooftops. It it is running 3 minutes late today, but I wonder if I’m the only one who will ever know. The dogs have surrendered once again to sleep, their enthusiasm for the 2am walk dashed by wet paws and swelling puddles. The Christmas tree glows so beautifully this time of day, it makes my little spot in this world feel all the warmer, somehow more like home.
The whistle is sounding again…still 3 minutes late. Pouring rain, snores and snuffs are my soundtrack.
You know those days where you’re exhausted and you feel like your brain still hasn’t caught up from the last 6 hours or so? And you want to upload your pictures and dash off a quick post, but you also want to just say ‘fuck it all’ and watch reruns of NCIS?
Yep, that’s my day. Today’s prompt is ‘hands.’ My hands today, at age 39, look almost exactly like I remember my grandmother’s hands appearing when I was a little girl.
I would trace the lines and veins with my fingers, and they were soft…always so soft. I miss her – she doesn’t remember me now, so I have to remember for both of us.
So that’s my night. My mala beads and I will be over here meditating and sending Nana all of the love and joy I can muster.
A lot of people think routines are boring. They want to escape, run away, but feel tied down or that they have no other options. I believe you always have options, but I also love routines – they are efficient, calming to my PTSD, and save me money. Yes, sometimes it’s nice to break out and do something new, but for the most part, give me an ordinary day.
My favorite part of an ordinary day is walking my dogs. I love watching how excited they get exploring new smells or trying to chase chipmunks. It also gives me time to just decompress…no phones or e-mails…just me, the dogs, and nature.
Today’s August Break prompt is ‘drink.’ Per my routines, you could take this picture any day of the week at my house.
What your favorite part of an ordinary day?
The prompt for Day 2 is ‘Pattern.’ Seems sort of simple, no? It made me think of my favorite work bag, which is a pattern I would never have picked out for myself, but I love nonetheless.
And then I went to the movies to see ‘Lucy’ with Scarlett Johansson. It was very good – lots of action, but it also had a nice cerebral twist to it. I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately – how we spend it, how we ignore the passage of it, how we sometimes wish it away and, in the end, beg for more of it. As Lucy says in the opening sequence, “Life was given to us a billion years ago. What have we done with it?”
*my August calender, a pattern of days, with an underlying cool pattern
*my favorite watch, in desperate need of a battery
“Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It’s so unreal.”
-In the End, Linkin Park
I remember the first time I heard those lyrics, the hair on arms stood on end. We spend so much time on autopilot, caught in the carefully constructed patterns of our lives, the clock ticking our life away. Wrapping my mind around that fact has been sort of shattering for me over the last year. What are my patterns? What am I taking for granted? What am I ignoring completely? Hopefully I have another 60 years on this earth…how do I want to spend them? What do I want my life to look like? Do I have the courage to take the steps in a better direction?
Heavy questions, absolutely. Impossible to answer? I guess that depends on where you are in your journey. If nothing else, I hope this prompt cracks the door to at least asking the questions.
With love and luck,