this is a comfortable life,
the repeating of words
did you brush your teeth?
please pick up your shoes
the toilet’s still broken
please, pick up your shoes!
tasks and outcomes
faucet still leaking
more piles to pick up
it’s fine, really
we take on titles
our names irrelevant
with each metamorphosis
this is a satisfying life,
the repeating of words
why don’t you buy a wallet?
please fix the gazebo
the wipers are broken
seriously! pick up your shoes
brake-fluid still leaking
more hats to pile on
we take on roles
our names irrelevant
with each version
Tired. No time for anything. Do vacations even count when you have two kids? (The baby.. AND baby’s daddy:-) Look how I have to type my journal entries now. Abridged! Remember the days when I could just sit around with candles and an Erykah Badu CD? Then drive 27 miles or so, take myself to Ryan’s restaurant, waste money on a new smell good and CD, then buy a book, the self-discovery ones where you have to fill in the blanks? “All About Us,” “List Yourself,” “To Our Children’s Children” (Who knew the last one would serve a purpose.) Sigh… That was the life. I’m losing part of my sleep just writing this. I should be napping with the little one, like the parenting magazine says.
*A couple of years later, my second child came along. I can honestly say that my name is S, and I have no nerves.
*Parenthood and family has a way of bringing us out of ourselves and into something much more meaningful and special.
* I ditched novels and dove into magazines. They’re easier to digest, and you can do it mindlessly. Just flip the page, no need to actually read.
* Occasionally, I’ll splurge on a self-discovery book to stay sane.
* Who am I? What did they do with that other me, you know, the narcissist?!
YOUR TURN: How has your life changed over the past decade? How would you say the world in general has changed?
I’m not a morning person. Even after eleven years, I l struggle with crawling back into bed after morning drop-offs or ignoring the alarm clock altogether and burrowing deeper into the covers, especially on cool or wintry days. Yet, on this particular morning, begrudged, I answered the phone, wondering who in the world could call at such an ungodly hour. Didn’t people know my wake-up time? No earlier than noon?!
To my surprise it was my mother. She didn’t call often and she wasn’t an early bird either, so instinctively my mind told me something was wrong. That part is a long story but involves a drunk lady, a car, my challenged cousin, whom stoned-lady had on top of the car holding down a mattress, and a hospital. Cousin’s injuries were many, his diagnosis not so good.
Minutes later, as I lay in bed, someone knocked on the door. It was a repairman. He informed me he’d come to fix my leaky faucet. Finally! I thought. I let him in, opened the curtains, realized what a gorgeous day it was. If only I could wake before noon every morning, I thought to myself. I even opened the windows, took in the breeze signaling the imminent change of seasons. While fix-it -guy tinkered with the sink, I switched on the television. That story too is long, painful, and all too familiar to us. It involves an anchorman, several planes, and two iconic towers.
I watched as the newsman reported a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Gosh, I reasoned, that’s crazy! And, as my mind often does, I imagined the people on that plane and what must have gone through their minds as things went haywire. What were they thinking; what did their prayers consist of; who did they call, if anyone?
But then, shortly after, another plane. I froze. Mouth open. Thoughts churning. Something wasn’t right with the scenario. At all. I didn’t understand how and why it seemed to just…aim for the building, almost as if on purpose.
Fix-it guy stepped into the room. He too stood there. Mouth open. As news continued to develop, we learned of another plane; and I knew, maybe we all knew then, that some strange ish was going down. As networks replayed footage throughout the day, my heart just…I don’t know, I can’t describe it, even now. People–jumping., running, crying, in a daze, in a state of disbelief?
I went to work. The city went wild. There were rumors of gas prices sky-rocketing so nearly everyone in the small town where I live was at a pump. Of course my car sat on empty. I didn’t even try to get gas; that was the least of my concerns. What did concern me was our future. And, vain as it was, I wondered if I would get to see my upcoming birthday. Would any of us live to see our birthdays?
That night, I snuggled closer to my boyfriend, listening for the sound of planes overhead, even though all flights were restricted. I closed my eyes and knew that something significantly changed that day. Mind-sets changed, the world changed…and hasn’t been the same since.
What were you doing on that fateful morning?
What were your thoughts?
Do you feel the events of that year changed how we think, live, react?
If so, how?
Here is a reader’s take on that day:
Barbara Ann Divine
September 11, 2001
On this day I woke up a lot later than I do now. I had no kids, no husband, and I actually got sleep. I was living at home and my sister and her kids lived next door. I walked up to her house and for some reason I was alone. I turned on the tv to see that the world was finally coming to an end.
I used to think my grandmother was crazy. She always said it was gonna happen. That people would finally get crazy enough to pull something like that. She said, “Girl you better know how to grow your own food and live out in the woods. ” Now I believe her way more than I did then.
I watched just a few people, with hate filled hearts, destroy thousands of lives in minutes. I watched towers fall, and you knew that people were jumping. People covered in ash were running for their lives and ducking into stores in hope that the ash would not follow and kill them. Blood, firefighters, flags, these images would still haunt us today.
I went into my dead end job that afternoon in shock and everyone was talking about it. We all still talk about it and, for those who watched it through a tv screen, were scarred from it. Could you imagine living it? Even now when I hear a plane in the sky I duck and wait. I won’t fly, and never plan to. This is now the state of my world.
I don’t plan for it to get better, and for us that believe in a certain God….one day it will have to get worse for it to get better.
“Ooh, my turn; my turn.” I quickly raise my hand for the free massage my co-worker is giving away in the break room. And she’s really good. I suggest she get certified and knead necks and shoulders for a living; she says she’s been thinking about it.
Anyway, there’s one problem. She keeps telling me to relax. I shrug and say in what I’ve been told is one of the most soft-spoken voices ever, “But I am relaxed; this is as calm as it gets.”
She shakes her head. “You’re extremely tense, all in your arms.” Then she looks at me and asks, “You sure you’re relaxed, because I see a bulging vein on the side of your head. You grind your teeth, too, don’t you?”
How does she know! The dentist has chiseled me FOUR times already. And I don’t even realize I clench and grind.
I sit there, speechless. I mean, three nurses and a doctor said the same thing prior to a surgery. I went in, as calm as I knew how on a level 9 of pain, and the first thing dude suggested was Valium.
Two Valium later, I was still awake, still crying (softly mind you, not boo-hooing), and still asking questions. By the time they wheeled me into OR, a tech said, “We’ve got a nervous one here.”
Excuse me but I was NOT nervous.
I simply laid on the gurney, crying softly. Who wouldn’t upon their first major surgery. (My past c-section doesn’t count because I blacked out and wouldn’t have known heaven from earth if asked.)
Anyway, I’m reminded to chill all the time, even when I’m not verbally saying anything, even when I’m oblivious to the cues and clues that I’m not…chilling.
What does that word mean–relax? Maybe I should look it up, or take a class. I mean, I never raise my voice; I never outwardly panic; I rarely get angry…I’m calm, right? Isn’t calm the same as relaxed?
* WHAT IS YOUR OPINION. HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE TWO?
Feeling some kind of way today that I don’t even have a word for. Depressed? Trapped in a situation caused by a circumstance? Stagnate? My writer’s brain says “caged” but, of course, others would probably say that’s a bit dramatic. It’s a long story that I suppose my conscience has tugged me about before; yep, something has been trying to tell me something for about five years. So when do you say, “enough is enough” when do you just…free fall? Will there be something besides cement down there when I jump?
The abridged version of this story is that the current circumstances and present situation ain’t working. At all. But I, being the cautious over-thinker that I am, am reluctant to open the window and just…jump.
It seems somewhat impractical to starve while being happy, and yet it feels silly to make money while sacrificing one’s self, family, and sanity. Tis the world we live in. We learn to become collages among the chaos of life.
Yes, I’ve seen others plunge into the unknown; some even looked better after what seemed an irrational leap of faith. But, then again, I suppose that’s the point: faith.
In any event, today brings to mind some words written in the journal last year:
Where did you go?
You know, the person,
not the one we see,
the you inside.
Where did you go?
You let them strip you–
of your joy
your energy, your smile,
Lose who you are and you become a collage of everything and everyone else…