Monday, November 26, 2012

the beginning of the end

Certain friends of mine would say that it shouldn't have come as a surprise. They've been seeing the signs for quite a while now. First there was the shameful addiction to Lifetime movies and Hot in Cleveland. Then there was the crazy crocheting obsession. But none of these things made me feel - deep, deep inside - like I was getting OLD.

That feeling came when I picked up a bottle of wine to read the label and found myself pulling the bottle away from my face while squinting and rearing back my head in an effort to find that sweet spot where everything would be in focus and legible to my apparently aging and weakening eyes.

And I let out a yelp and stopped myself mid-adjustment.

Because I had just felt exactly the way people look when they struggle to read menus, instructions, ingredients on a label, etc. It had happened. This was the beginning of the end.

Soon I would be the proud owner of a collection of stylish reading glasses from the supermarket, complete with attached chains and such so that I won't lose them along with the rest of my faculties and final dregs of sanity.

I have to say it was the single most terrifyingly profound moment of aging I've ever experienced. Sure, I've felt the pangs as my baby girls have become college women and I have the bad back of a much harder-working 70-year-old woman  - but I've gotten used to those.

I'm the girl who couldn't pay the eye doctor to give me a prescription so my mom would buy me what I had deemed "cool" glasses that I desperately wanted to complete my new wave high school look.

I'm the only one in my immediate family who has never needed glasses.

I can read ridiculously small type from ridiculously far away.

I don't want to be the one doing a chicken impression while I try to decide which wine to order.

But - as always - you have to look on the bright side. And in my flailing attempt to find the silver lining, this is the bright truth to which I will cling: at least I'm looking at picking up a pair of spectacles and not a package of Depends.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


i feel pieces of myself coming back to me



and that timid slow sometimes

brings a rush to my spirit

a buoy to my soul

a meager comfort that i am not completely gone

i've been lost and found so many times

in the course of my small life

that it never occurred to me

i could become so lost that i wouldn't even notice

my own twisty wandering

but notice i did

and i feel the resurgence of life

the familiar spark

that tells me i am here


that i persist

and more than that i have passion just like breath

and i can wake from this slumber

and soar

Sunday, March 11, 2012

my week in review: a comedy of errors

so, i'm just going to give you the highlights, but suffice it to say that it's been one mere week since I had the tiniest bit of blonde put back in my hair and it instantly triggered the blonde that runs through my veins and lives in my marrow.

on wednesday morning i decided to check the mail on my way to work. since i'm lazy and i conveniently drive by my mailbox on the way to the rat race, i decided to make a quick pit stop at the mailbox on my way down the driveway to the daily grind.

i pulled over to the side of the mailbox, but out of the way of other cars that may need to traverse the driveway. i was wailing out the tune blaring from the speakers inside the car, and jumped out of the car - leaving the door open as i knew i would be popping right back in.

as i stepped away from the car and toward the mailbox, i couldn't help but notice my car moving steadily forward - toward the fence and busy street beyond.


i not only left the car running, but failed to even put it in park.

i have had nightmares where this happens and i am paralyzed and unable to make my foot slam on the brake. in those dreams my chest is tight, my breath is shallow and my legs and feet will not work.

if i can't stop an out-of-control car in my dreams - where sometimes i can fly - what are the odds i can do it in real life?

pretty damn good, it turns out.

oh, yeah! i was a rock star in real life. i was johnny on-the-spot. i jumped right in that car and slammed on those brakes - before any tragedy ensued. WHEW!!!

that brings us to this morning when i looked over at the fish bowl and couldn't find the fish.

having a probably natural, but definitely acute aversion to both finding and dealing with dead things, my heart instantly leaped to my throat as i feared the worst.

i approached the bowl with trepidation, all the time knowing that a 40-year-old woman should not be squeamish at the possibility of a dead goldfish. but i was.

with my eyes squinted, i peeked over the edge of the bowl and spied the poor fishy. he was laying on his side, eye wide open (like they are) with no obvious signs of life.

i picked up the bowl and swirled the water a bit to see if that would rouse the fish to action. no dice.

he did float up a bit and then, like a feather, slowly wafted to settle on the bottom of the bowl in his sad, fish-death repose.

at that point i sort of panicked - trying to figure out how to dispose of the body. i don't know if it's my addiction to law & order and true crime that made me panic, but i ended up with pretty much all my cupboards and drawers open while looking around frantically as the fish body lay in the bowl waiting for me to make the right decision.

i grabbed a ladle, then a bowl, then a tupperware, then a measuring cup. should i scoop up the fish and flush him to a burial at sea? should i scoop him up and dispose of him in a box of some sort that ends up in the ground or dumpster?

ultimately, i was creeped out at the idea of scooping up the dead body and flushing or boxing it. i decided i needed to move ahead with baby steps. i would slowly pour out the water in the bowl - making it easier, i suppose, to deal with its final resting situation.

as i moved the bowl from its usual spot to the kitchen counter, the fish didn't move. as i started to pour out the water, the fish didn't move.

after about half the water was gone the fish suddenly jumped in the bowl. i stopped. i sat the bowl on the counter. i looked at the fish.

it settled once again on the bottom of the bowl - laying sideways, that one damning eye staring up at me.

maybe it was some sort of death throe. maybe it was a last fight for life. whatever it was, i wasn't prepared to flush a fish with any sign of life left in it.

i decided to scoop the fish after all - using the soup ladle to retrieve the lifeless body from the bottom of the bowl. there was no flopping. no protest to being scooped from one container to another.

fortunately, i have a spare fish bowl. i filled it with some water and relocated the fish to his vacation home.

he settled to the bottom.

i stared at him.

his gills started moving aggressively and his mouth was making fishy-faces like he was working hard to catch his breath. he laid sideways and continued the aggressive breathing.

hmmmmmmm, i thought. i know it's early, but this might just be some kind of easter miracle. i am partial to christmas miracles - and i don't need it to be christmas time for one to occur - but given that we're in lent & all, i thought maybe this was a sort of resurrection scenario that was seasonally appropriate.

i watched the fish for the next couple hours (i tried to resist, but i couldn't - i was obsessed - this was a life-or-death situation and i just couldn't tear myself away from the drama). i also wanted to be emotionally prepared if i did have to perform that burial at sea that was interrupted by the surprise resurrection earlier.

as the fish fought for its life, i added water to the bowl. his first few attempts to reach the top ended with him once again wafting to the bottom like a feather. eventually, though, he made it.

he started to be less sideways and more right side up.

i gave him some food and he's now swimming around, good as new.

before i started the initial pouring of the fishbowl water, i texted friends and family to alert them of our dear friends' demise. after the fish perked back up, i had to send an update letting people know (particularly the daughter who won the fish at a state fair almost two years ago) that i cannot, apparently, tell when a fish has shuffled off this mortal coil.

that is a really lame text to have to send (except, of course, for the daughter who's glad her fish isn't dead).

apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence. savannah has a friend who's fish did this near-death thing five (5!) times! the fish did, indeed, die on the fifth occurrence.

i have decided to call the fish lazarus from this day forward, and i pray to all that is holy, that i don't have to go through this four more times!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ugly nasty hard shit - sick of it

i don't know how many times the "lucky" people who have to encounter me on a daily basis have heard me shout out, spit out - almost sob out - that i'm sick of it.

i'm sick of the people who cut you off in traffic and in life (who care more about themselves than the people around them - who continually think they are more important than everyone else) getting away with it.

i'm sick of being the bigger, better person. i'm sick of always saying "i'm sorry" first. i'm sick of making other people feel okay about treating me and people i care about like shit.

and i'm taking a break.

it may not be healthy. it may not be christian. it may not be who i've tried to be as a mother, daughter, friend, colleague, stranger. but it's where i'm at - and it's what i need to do right now.

i need to give myself a moment to feel hurt, tired, brokenhearted, fed up and pissed off.

i'm sick of walking the tightrope between tears and laughter every moment. and i know that that's just life - but, for the tiniest second, my anger is like a deep breath i haven't been able to take for months or that elusive nite of sleep, after which i might finally wake up without feeling tired.

there's something about reaching this limit that i need right now.

and i don't feel it just for me - but for everyone around me who is being disregarded, overlooked and even beat the hell up by accidental (and not-so-accidental) assholes. assholes who oh-so-often abuse their position as friends or family to justify their treatment of you while at the same time self-righteously judging the fact that you even have the balls to let them know that you're hurt by their actions and that their special brand of douchebaggery just isn't gonna fly anymore.

yup. i'm sick of it. and i'm going to ride this wave for a little while.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ugly nasty hard shit - a brief introduction

my silence has been the direct result of things i have just been too busy mucking through every moment to face head-on. i am now at the place where i need to look the ugly, nasty, hard shit right in the eyes and deal with it.

i like to be entertaining. funny. oddly touching, at times. but i have been too self-consumed and too balls-out in survival mode to do any of those things. mostly i've been scared shitless of baring the really sad, scary, broken parts. but it's come down to broken parts or nothing - so broken parts it is.

i'm just breaking the ice, here - mostly for me. but hopefully it will evolve into the greater purpose of writing some good stuff that is worthy for human consumption.

this is your only warning. what comes after this will be dripping with hurt, anger, pain, love, sadness - and the odd drop of hope.