This story might be a little intimate. It’s about my morning routine. I know, seems innocent enough, but when you think about it, we are all very unique in how we wake up to the day. It feels pretty personal to admit that while I am generally an optimistic person, I am not, and never have been, a “morning person”. It takes me a while to get going – and I can’t blame this one on grief. In fact, not everyone in my history has had the patience for my early morning persona; she’s kind of high-maintenance, and needs gentle coaxing. But those who have understood this, and have loved me despite my grouchy early morning demeanor, are gems. When I was young, my dad was always really sweet to me in the mornings. My husband too, bringing me my coffee. My dog? Not so much. She doesn’t really apply that “fine touch” when it comes to waking me up.
Just making a quick blog assessment here. Down and dirty, because for some reason, my spirit feels light…and I can see out, toward the world, beyond my own nose.
I see that my posts are awfully long. And surely too heavy, wordy and dramatic. I’ll work on that.
I have a few wonderful followers, though I’d be surprised if anyone has read all my rants. No offense taken. I flit around WordPress like a distracted bee, barely capable of remembering where I found good nectar. I’m surprised, and thankful, that anyone visits.
If you happen to be one of the few, who had a lot of time on your hands, or wandered down the wormhole of my blog one sleepless night, you would know that in one post I referenced a lewd act that involved Mickey Mouse’s “extremity”.
How blasphemous! I’m surprised Disney hasn’t written a cease and desist. But I actually thought it was kind of brazen and funny. Maybe even worth a reader’s dig.
At least, in this moment of clarity, it tells me that I am still kicking.
There was a very popular WordPress blog posting a week or two ago, in which the blogger wrote about his dislike for the phrase “I’m spiritual, not religious”. I was intrigued by his post and the discourse that followed. Since the death of my husband, one of the many struggles I have had, has been with “faith” and my beliefs. I did not grow up with religion, but I have always felt spiritually connected to “something”. I remember using the same phrase years ago; it was a good way to describe myself. I am not sure I would use it now, but I was a little taken aback by the many vehement attitudes against it. The last sentence pretty much sums up the blogger’s opinion,
“It is perhaps one of the emptiest phrases ever developed in the English language.”
I see another storm coming, too. The storm of “firsts”. The initial wave already hit – my birthday – and it was crippling. It really knocked me down, and I wasn’t expecting it. But I am happy to report, that I am back up, hobbling around. For the moment. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to post something “softer” than my last rant. I actually wrote this before my birthday, before I realized just how hard some of these upcoming anniversaries would be.
The last triple date that we will experience in our lifetimes, a lovely trifecta of lucky numbers, a choice date for weddings, a golden birthday…mine. Thank god it’s over.
I’m not looking for anymore best wishes, I’m not asking for pity. I couldn’t even write on my birthday, or the day after, because I was so messed up. I just have to get this out to the universe…send my anger hurling, release the flying monkeys, spew out the poisonous agony so it doesn’t consume me.
The first snow fell today, well “official” snow, one worth mentioning. And I’m one of those kids…if they say it is going to snow during the night, I wake up every couple of hours to peek out and make sure it has started falling. Not only is it in my nature, it’s in my blood (I am part Swiss). I love snow.
So out we went, the dog and me, for our morning walk. And she kept pulling on the leash, spurting this way and that, she was excited too. I really wanted to let her go, to run free and be crazy. Because if there’s one thing about walking an excited dog on a snowy sidewalk…it’s called “dangerous”. The dog pulls, you slip, and you are on your ass. A broken ass is not a laughing matter. Not when there’s shoveling to do.
I have been lucky. My family is kind and uncomplicated. My in-laws, too. I didn’t suffer any over-blown drama with relatives, friends, or exes when my husband died. Just the rawness of people grieving. And much, much kindness from friends.
For the past 9 years, we have lived in a wonderful place, the soft, rolling, warm-hearted Midwest, salt of the earth people, indeed. I wouldn’t have wanted to be any other place during the past half year. This was our home. We would roam the ‘hood with our old dog, then with our new one, we knew people from many streets over, we paid attention to the details…changes in gardens, fences, families and pets.
I don’t know how many times I have started a post about “spirituality”, faith and beliefs, and what it all means in light of the recent deaths I have been dealing with. It’s a stumbling block that I keep getting tangled up in. But the blogging world is full of engagement, inspiration, and truly good writing, and I like where it can take me: away. I follow SwiftExpression, a very thoughtful and engaging blogger, and she recently posed some challenges. The one about “guilt” seemed like a meaty one to sink my teeth into. I actually thought I could write and avoid the topic of death, but nope. It works its way in everywhere. So here goes.
Blog Challenge: Does the feeling of guilt serve a purpose? If so, what is it? If not, why not?
Man. I’m under it today.
And it’s only Saturday.
I know why they are afraid to ask, “how was your weekend”? On Monday, it will be written all over my face. The signature look of grief. It would be a compliment to call it a “hot mess”.
Most of the week, I am in “zombie mode”. On Fridays, I crumble. Saturday is “mad dog” day. I walk around in circles trying to remember where I hid my bone, or put my keys, unable to settle in a comfortable spot. But better drop that ass quickly because here comes Sunday! The variety-pack of anxiety, fear, and what-the-hell-happened-to-my-life?
Monday. It’s just not something people can take – early in the morning – seeing the big gaping hole in my chest, the dark circles under my eyes. Weekends are for rest and recovery, aren’t they? I’d be afraid to ask, too. So away we go, allowing clients, deadlines and pressing needs distract, derail and lead us all astray from the important things in life.
A presumptuous young doctor, (strutting around in his self-perceived cloak of immortality), asked my husband what he would “do” with his precious remaining time. I think the guy was seriously expecting some kind of fantastical answer about blasting up into space, base jumping from the Eiffel Tower, or frolicking over to Disney, and sucking on Mickey Mouse’s dick. Is that offensive? Well, so is asking deathly-ill people what they are going to “do” before they die.
Seriously. I wanted to punch him. But then my husband answered. And he melted my heart.
“The only thing I want to do, is go home, and spend time with my beautiful wife, our dog, my family. Enjoy our garden, sit out on the front deck with my coffee, listen to the birds…I don’t need to go anywhere to find what is most important.”
Is it any wonder my weekends feel like a barren landscape, leaving me with dried-out eyes, and a mouth full of sand? It’s not something happy-hour and a little mascara can fix. I’m still under it, and can only dream of being over it.
Though I guess my morning cup of coffee does help…cheers, baby. Thank you for seeing the beauty.