Of course once I decided to address happy, happy was nowhere to be found. Just the opposite. Nothing went anything like I planned; frustrations galore, mistakes, do-overs. I ended the day saying, I’m not going spend tomorrow like I did today! Oh yeah! This morning wasn’t much better; mistakes needing do-overs, and not feeling so well along with 10 below zero bumping into plans to go to the gym. OK, so I can either continue this day like yesterday or stop. Stop it is. I decided I have until noon to hit the gym so I’ll go later, it’ll be “warmer”, and I should feel better by then, and if not, there are three more days this week to go. Then I sat down to write; to breath. I will address all I wanted to accomplish today, and am especially looking forward to making humus which entails pulverizing the crap out of garbanzo beans! I don’t have to fight against the onslaught of the incoming tide. I can change direction and take a different channel, head towards a bay of calm water, and tie up at a dock and walk around for a while. Chaos or happy. My choice.
Inspired by a few things my kids said to me, I decided to address happy. I used to do lots of things that made me happy, but most of them didn’t go anywhere or weren’t appreciated by anyone else, or because of my limited vision I can’t figure out how to take them beyond the four walls of my house. I’ve let all of these stall my happy engine. Shouldn’t the reason, this makes me happy, be the only reason I need to do it? So what if others don’t appreciate it or if it will never take me anywhere. Anywhere? Where else do I want it to take me but to happy? And if it does take me somewhere else, it would make sense it would take me to even more happy. I’ve been unhappy long enough. No more excuses involving others. No goal of taking it anywhere. I want happy and I’m not clueless about what makes me happy – the perfect combination and yet I don’t know why I’ve let those two drift so far apart. It’s time to smack them back together like cymbals – BONG – wake up, you have a clue, re-start you engine – happy awaits!
As I looked in the mirror I thought, I want to feel beautiful. It surprised me I used the word, feel. Why not desire to look beautiful? It’s been a long time since I’ve felt beautiful; not pertaining to just inward beauty but me as a total package. If I actually looked beautiful, I would probably be some of the way there. I’m sure it’s possible for woman who are, to still not feel beautiful, but it seems outward beauty has to help. For me, feeling beautiful actually came through someone else’s eyes. My husband would say so, but could also tell me just by the way he would look at me. The sweetest path to feeling beautiful, but it’s based on what someone else sees, and when they’re gone, I’m left with my eyes, that can’t quite take in the entire package. I can see some inward beauty, but not in a sufficient amount to bubble up enough to reach my eyes. What if I stopped the free-falling into the dark well of not beautiful and started purposely reaching deep into the bright well of am beautiful, drawing inward beauty up into outward beauty to become someone packaged beautifully!
After writing my last blog, the words, too late, had their chance to spin around in my head. Too late for my apologies. Dying is a fact, but one that’s easily ignored, and in doing so I often saw my husband as not precious enough to curb my anger, patience, or criticism, to choose my words wisely, or as not worthy enough to compliment, encourage, or appreciate. Instead, lots of bad behavior, often followed by an apology because I recognized I behaved badly, but not deeply enough to change my behavior. Why was that? I believe it was my interpretation of his presence. He made an easy target, close enough to kick with words or step on my toes. I believed I’d always have him, making it easy to take him for granted, and believe how I treated him didn’t matter. I preferred holding onto my poor behavior than holding onto the fact that death could come any minute, which seems like a morbid thing to do, but not if it helps keep appreciation from slipping, keep common courtesies from becoming trivial, and keep my words flowing through the “life is not a given” filter. Too late; hopefully never again.
I spun, I’m sorry, around in my head last night after longing for him to be here with me came again. I’m sorry can mean two things. The first is it’s me who’s sorry, and the second, I’m sorry for you. These words come after something happens and I feel bad about it enough to apologize, and that something is always bad because why would anyone be sorry for good. I’m sorry you can never play your guitar and sing, or go fishing, again. I’m sorry I was such a stubborn person to live with. I’m sorry you didn’t get the chance to be a grandpa or live out your retirement in the Adirondacks. I’m sorry I wasted so many minutes being angry with you over, in retrospect, what amounted to nothing. I’m sorry you can no longer teach or have amazing adventures in Alaska. I’m sorry for all the words that hurt you. I’m sorry you had to stop living and telling your amazing tall tales. I’m sorry for enjoying our time living apart more than you did. I’m sorry you can no longer love and I’m sorry I can never show my love to you again.
There’s something comforting about the rhythms in life. Routines, patterns, habits, whatever you want to call them are something to rely on, and pretty much free of surprises, difficult choices, and the need to figure it out. They include people, as well as when and how to do things, and who does what. They can stomp on the chaos inherent with working or living with others. Rhythms make it possible to not wonder too much about what to do, when, or how; wash, rinse, repeat. I had many and so for years I just did, until I didn’t, until just about everything familiar was yanked out from under me. I found myself out of rhythm, meaning there were no longer any strong, regular, repeated patterns of movement. No comfort, no regular, no repeat, and little movement beyond survival, sometimes to the point of catatonic. Patterns without him; painful and seemingly impossible. I was bombarded with all kinds of unexplored territory. Territory that would need a rhythm, and territory, where once was more than enough. Establishing new rhythms took years and that’s OK because unlike getting a new set of teeth, I don’t have to replace all my rhythms at once.
I sometimes find it difficult to put, how something makes me feel, into words. Thoughts are a different story; bunches and bunches can mingle peacefully or harass each other regularly and I don’t care. And if I don’t need to express them to anyone or desire them to make any sense, then all jumbled up, far-fetched, or totally contradictory doesn’t matter. Sending them out into the universe as spoken words takes less effort than as written words. I get one stab at spewing them forth, so I’m somewhat careful, but once they’re out, they’re out and even if I need a few more to apologize or explain, I don’t agonize too much over specific words. I battle the synonym war when writing. Do I mean calm or peaceful? Is, don’t rush, more meaningful than go slow? I said very little during the days immediately following my husband’s death. I don’t know, would have answered any question asked of me. I took in very few words; hearing but incapable of listening, and all because reality had departed. Words need reality to make sense, come alive, be meaningful, make a difference, and bring joy, and sorrow too. Words; expressions of reality!