The best time of my week is Friday night. My weekend is fully ahead of me (like saving the middle of an Oreo cookie) and the week is over.. The endless possibilities of how I fill my time- in front of me. I can really say that I appreciate these evening moments. Usually I may do some chores here and there but then…it is time to relax. This is my breather before I determine what tomorrow will bring. I pour my glass of wine – maybe more, and the respite begins.
I no longer relate Friday to being a night out. Oh I remember the days of not so long ago. When Friday came with a rush to get ready, out the door and connect with friends to party. Maybe it is my age…but I don’t apologize as I love just being home. Watching t.v. or reading a book, with my husband nearby. I feel myself hugged by contentment. I draw a sigh and appreciate the moment. Appreciate my life with my best friend. Cliche! I know… but it is true. Maybe that is why these Friday nights are so special. No rush for tomorrow. Just simply being in the present. Relaxed with a feeling of accomplishment for another week completed -together we share our thoughts, our concerns and most importantly our laughter. And frankly, that makes Friday night my favorite time of the week.
There I have said it. I own it. But how can that be? How can I become that for which I possess such contempt. I can’t answer this. I don’t know where I picked up this disease. I don’t like it. I really don’t like it. Charlatan screams in my head as I try to make sense of my feelings. I am bias on behalf of diversity, prejudiced towards benevolence. I feel the rightness of it is so clear that my clarity is now clouded. It is possible that I am so infected by this virus that I am delirious.
Where do I go from here? How do I justify my beliefs without trampling upon those of others. I wonder if I should carefully clasp my beliefs to myself like a butterfly within my hands. I wonder if I should quiet my thoughts to a whisper to be only heard by my heart. It is only with those efforts that my intolerance would be reined in and corralled like a wild horse.
I will continue to seek a cure for this which ails me. I do have moments, quiet times, when I believe that I have contained this beast. Time when I can clearly see that we are all on this journey together yet each carrying our own baggage with our own personal reflections lighting our way.
I wonder if I should hold my thoughts and beliefs within…and if I do, am I sending a message that I condone hatred and discrimination and the violence that goes with it. As I write this, I have had an epiphany of sorts. Maybe more people should stand up and be heard on behalf of diversity and advocate for change. Maybe I should not quiet my feelings of intolerance. Change needs numbers to push it forward, change needs validation and witness. Maybe… I should become more tolerant of my thoughts, my feelings…myself.
Simpler times…I long for them when life seems way too complicated. I look back with great fondness at life before computer chips and digital progress. Times filled with coiled phone cords and pretty stationary and the unforgettable smell of old books. I Love Lucy and sappy romance movies that bring genuine laughter and real tears to my eyes- free from special effects and cinematic movie scores. Today “reality shows” (as they are ironically known) take over primetime as we pretend we are legal voyeurs into the lives of the rich and dysfunctional. But these are times of progress they say.
Today the world is literally at our fingertips through the internet, youtube and the like. Computers run our cars, our homes, our lives. The old familiar hum of typewriters in the office long gone replaced by the hollow click of plastic keyboards. Whiteout and correction ribbon once used to fixed our mistakes of yesterday. Replaced by the delete key that neatly erases our errors and questionable thoughts. We “word process” our files, our records -our life. Progress they say.
Just yesterday (or so it seems) the phone hung on the wall in the kitchen or sat next to the bed. Now I must search through my purse, my car or throughout the house looking for this little device. A machine that I am so dependent upon one would think its importance equivalent to a pacemaker. No longer just a connection to home and family- it reigns as a global connection. Leaving the house without a cell phone has become unthinkable. Progress they say.
Today we buy “smart” tvs. What happened to the day when there were three local channels and UHF. When you got up to change the station dialing clockwise ever so brief. Now channels numbering to infinity in HD, cable, satellite and 3D. And a lost remote is much more than an inconvenience. I sadly admit, if I lost the remote to our flat screens I would not know how to manually work them without a bit of research. Progress they say.
Simpler times…the 6:00 pm news was the news reported with an air of unbiased calm. No pundits, no spins and no need to check the latest social media for accuracy. We cared about facts. We expected the truth to be published whether it was in print or on the airwaves. Corporations did not determine what we heard and how we heard it. We are now blasted with news-twisted and turned inside out like dirty socks. I think.some of it smells like dirty socks too. Progress they say.
Don’t get me wrong. I am totally wrapped up in today’s technology. I am a slave to my phone, my computer and my e-book. I read online, communicate online and blog online. My technology has begun to own me and not the other way around. But I love them.I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring. What new device or connection will we tell ourselves we could never exist without. I know that technology has such wonderful potential but will we use it wisely. My head and heart whispers caution to my being. Telling me that progress can not be judged on what makes life easier for me. Progress is measured by its sustained contribution to humanity. It is all progress they say. I wonder if they are right.
Today my world was pulled deep into pools of thought. My mind was filled with “if only” and “almost” and all of those words that make me feel like I am hanging on the edge of a cliff. Words that carry life changing meanings in the blink of one’s eye. A day of life defining moments. Not my first – not my last.
Today I was late getting ready for work. One of those times when nothing, absolutely nothing seemed the right fit or color. It is a woman’s conflict and I imagine every feminine soul out there has gone through this at least once. I piled the clothes on the spare bed and glanced repeatedly at the clock. I knew I was going to be late.
Finally I took my usual route to work, rural back roads for part of my trip. And then the “almosts” and “if onlys” invaded my head and numbed me- I came upon a very serious accident which had happened moments before I arrived. A woman and baby were hit by a truck and her car was crushed around her legs. Three of us were there trying to take control of the situation, contact authorities, stop any traffic and reassure her. She seemed in terrific agony and I am sure it felt like hours to her before the ambulances arrived. Eventually, she was cut out of the vehicle and rushed to a life flight. I hope that the woman I briefly met fully recovers. Her life forever changed in those moments. Mine too but in a very different way.
I could not help but think about the accident all day. It almost had been me rounding that corner. If only I had not taken so long at home. And these are the thoughts that meditate inside me…they push me to explore the whys of the world. Yes, my family and friends are relieved that I am safe. I am relieved that I am safe. But I am no more blessed than that woman. I refuse to go there. I refuse to believe that somehow I earned a pass today. I am no more special than another.
I am a spiritual person but not a religious person- in the fundamental sense. Today was very spiritual for me. It was a day of reflection on life, a time when the fragility of living comes into focus. A time when living in the present smacks me in the face and yells “wake up.” I don’t know what tomorrow will bring me. I don’t know if I will rise in the morning or be here to lie down tomorrow night. But at this moment I live simply as me. I take a deep breath and feel myself grounded in the present. This day has given me another reminder of how delicate and vitreous life is for us all.
Procrastination… sometimes I get bit by this nasty bug- the sting is undeniable. Once bitten, I talk myself out of doing something because tomorrow is just around the corner and frankly, I can do it then. The whole time that I reason with myself about delaying my task at hand, I know in the recesses of my mind what I am doing…procrastinating. I feel myself becoming weak with the symptoms. I tell myself tomorrow I will feel better. Yet tomorrow is always out of reach…conveniently a few steps beyond the present and never quite in my grasp.
I am a list maker and to come down with the postpone flu or delay delusions can make life complicated. My rationalization must be sophisticated. Anxiety can become a secondary symptom and then my mental state is flush with regret. So there is a lot of chatter between Me and Myself. A few “I told you so” and “shouldn’t have done it-s” are shouted. Our resolve is tested. We must join forces to fight this urge to dilly dally.
I think I will look over my latest list- the mental one in my head. I haven’t written this one down yet. Haven’t been able to bring myself to do so. It is rather long, detailed and cumbersome. Maybe tomorrow I will face it head on. Maybe tomorrow I will tackle the details…well maybe …. I really dislike the procrastination bug. I wish there was a vaccine for it.
Yesterday I took a wonderful, lazy walk into the woods behind our house. It was simply soothing to my soul and warm to my body. The sun peeked out from behind a cloud teasing me as I meandered past the corn fields and along a creek bed. The cool breeze sang in a hush to the wild flowers and tall grasses as they swayed to its music. It was mesmerizing to witness nature and the earth dance together. It is in these moments that I feel authentic and valid and part of something bigger.
As I walked into the woods and through the fallen limbs, I heard the wind as it brushed the tree tops of the tall sycamores. Magnificent sycamore trees. Their tripled trunk like three friends willing to support each other throughout life. Their branches ever reaching towards the sky with confidence. Looking up through the leaves as they were waving hello, I saw the sun shining through. Wonderful, warm sun. She lit up the tips of the trees- so far above my head. Thank goodness I had my camera. I so wanted to remember that moment looking up as I leaned against the trunks of those majestic trees.
I sat for sometime back out in the sun and watched the world go by. Butterflies and bees, cat tails and wild flowers all knowing winter would not be far away. But not yet…yesterday was a gorgeous afternoon. It was a fine fall day.
I have never known a man so logical yet willing to explore the world he does not understand. A man so compassionate he gives of himself without a second thought. This man is gentle, kind and quiet. He has never been one to call attention to himself but always stands in the background ready to help at a moment’s notice. No fanfare, no need for recognition or accolades.
He has been a great teacher to many including me. He has shown me the power of education, the influence of the written word and love of reading, and the beauty of working with my hands in creativity. As a child I followed this DIY magician and watched as he seemed able to fix anything. He has taught me to think through my problems with logic and reasoning.
He has always been there to support me even if he did not agree with my views. Reserved with his emotions, he never made me feel unloved- quite the contrary as he was never far away when I needed a hug. He helped me prepare my wings for flight out in the world. I am a better person because of him.
Today Dad turns 83 years young. Only this week he was slinging a sledge and repairing his garage. Amazing man, but he will never ask for help. Two hip replacements and he still owns ladders. He and my mother were married for 51 years when she died suddenly. My father has learned to live life with whatever comes his way. He has truly inspired me and has made my life richer for it. He will continue to offer another the shirt off his back, lend a hand whenever he can. Gentle, kind, quiet and unassuming. I smile, I believe he is an old soul and he is my Dad. I love you. Happy Birthday Dad.