It’s been a slow week … actually no. I’ve had my life blow up, settle, blow up again. Repeat forever. It’s a damn rollercoaster but do you know what I am? Fucking resilient.
At this moment in time, as in this actual moment, I’m pretty good and that’s saying a lot. If ever I’ve learned anything it is to stay in the moment and trust my process.
A thing happens >> I have lots of feelings >> time passes >> I accept whatever it is >> feel fine again >> repeat forever.
In the case of my sweetheart, I have come to really trust him and us. I don’t trust easily though I often go through the motions of appearing to trust. I will myself to fall backwards hoping that I will be caught before I hit the ground. All too often I fall flat on my back and get the wind knocked out of me. JJ has always cautioned me to be less trusting, to reserve it for when it has been earned. I wish I could always take her advice.
That said, my sweetheart has always proved to be trustworthy. He shows up for me in a way that makes me feel almost (almost) grateful for our struggles as they are an opportunity to know each other and ourselves better. I have always been curious about my inner workings, my knee jerk reactions. Why do I feel the way I feel? Why do I react the way I do? Does it serve me? Is there another way?
He holds my hand as we look at ourselves through the mirror of the other. We truly resolve things because we see each other and feel empathy. I love these quotes above by Esther Perel about love, they affirm my path.
He makes me feel so safe. He doesn’t talk down to me. He doesn’t call me crazy. He first figures out what I need (safety, protection, security) before we talk about anything else. I love him more each day and it doesn’t feel scary or strange anymore, it feels right.
The other day I looked at my phone and I noticed that it had voice-to-texted my prattling on to the dogs. I like to speak on their behalf, sometimes holding robust two-way conversations. I saw the above text, it seems I have become fully unhinged. It tickled me.
You know what doesn’t tickle me? People who won’t follow basic health guidelines. As of now, one in 500 Americans will die of Covid. Those are shitty odds but people insist on “doing their own research” and I’ve hit my limit. Cory posted this convo he had with a friend, an actual epidemiologist. I don’t know what good it does to shout into the void, but here it is. More frustration.
Also this. I am still furious about what it means to be a woman, the double standards and the male fragility flagrantly on display right now.
I’m tired of my complicity in sexism and racism. My silent consent because I’m afraid of raising my voice, of making people uncomfortable, of being perceived as disrespectful. I’m tired of all the affronts on my person I’ve accepted over the years because I thought I had to put up with it. This is me now.
I’m getting better about scheduling my rentals so I’m in my house Sunday through Wednesday. It’s so great when it works out this way. I’ve been engaging in my favorite form of self-care. I come home from work and enjoy a late lunch of a yummy salad while watching What We Do In The Shadows, perhaps the funniest shit I’ve seen ever.
Something else I love doing is cooking for my kids. I have a great schedule with them now they are back in school. They are less interested in visiting me at my house unless I ring the dinner bell. But that can be difficult because their schedules vary widely with sports practice, tutoring, and social stuff. I wake up in the morning, walk Chief and then go over to Lonny’s to make them breakfast. They are fully capable of doing it themselves but I know they love it when I do. It makes them feel cared for.
I get it. I like to feel cared for, too, and not because I can’t do it myself or need help, but because someone loves me enough to do it. So I give that to them. Then I make some kind of evening meal for them at Lonny’s and wait for them to get home. I can count on them show up and I have a meal ready and we sit and talk for a bit before they dive into homework or whatever.
I get to eat at 4pm – which I love – and they are super hungry from school so they power down whatever I make. Lonny can provide snacks later in the night and I feel good about having put a decent meal in them. Everyone wins, everyone feels supported and I get to spend quality time with my kids.
Today I cooked up a giant batch of shepard’s pie and penne with bolognese. The boys are into taking their own lunches to school because they can skip the line and go outside to eat with friends. I pack the meals with lots of vegetables and good stuff and the whole process just feels like love to me.
I was largely left to fend for myself growing up, being the child of divorced parents that were preoccupied with their own lives. I get it, my mom was in full-on survival mode and I don’t think my father really knew how to take care of a child, lots of men don’t appear to. So I cooked for myself and saw to my own housekeeping and it was fine, I was ready. There is a hole in me, though, and I fill mine by cooking for my boys. I swell with pride when I look at how much they have grown, the tall and straight-backed young men they are. I helped make them.
My time with them is running out and soon our relationship will be optional. I take nothing for granted. Having exercised the right to exit a parental relationship that repeatedly brought me pain, I know all-too-well that they may do the same and I won’t necessarily have a say in it. It may have nothing to do with me as I’ve seen how people take on partners that seek to separate them from friends and family. Therefore I am leaning in as much as I can while still building a life for after they fly the nest.
I am grateful for every intimacy they share with me, their humor, even their grievances. It is all welcome because I chose this role and everything that comes with it. In not too long I will step back and watch them become adults and I will meet them in that place, as a fellow adult, and I will learn from them and continue to grow. I refuse to be sad about it.
Fortunately I have my fur babies who are always here to snuggle. Well, except for Mr. Bates. He came up to me while I was watching Dug Days with the boys. I couldn’t believe my good fortune! Micah texted me this …
Dug Days is a spin-off the Dug the Dog character from Up! The show reminds me of our favorite series when the kids were little, Shaun the Sheep. Both are short little misadventures of cute animals engaged in low-stakes drama. It is like a bowl of potato soup and hot buttered bread … nourishing, warm, and goes down so easily. I love it that Micah heard about it and texted me immediately.
I’m enjoying my new hair. I figured out a way to put it up at night so I get these fun, bouncy waves. Most of the time I wear it up, but I like having some more options. As a person with straight hair, I’ve always wanted what I don’t have.
My music family got together to see Alison Wonderland at Red Rocks. On New Year’s Eve my sweetheart found her music to be the centerpiece of our tiny party. It was a tough year and it took a lot to make me feel like celebrating. It was that very night that my dear Marcia passed away. I remember getting the call from Lauren while we were eating a meal I made. The food tasted like nothing. My sweetheart held me as I sobbed, it was swift.
Then I pulled myself out of my grief, I had to. I could hear her voice telling me to, reassuring me that she is still here. And she is, I talk to her all the time. She is so deeply a part of me that I know exactly what she would say if I asked for advice. Seek peace. Calmly solve your problem and fall apart later when you are safe and have the space to do so.
My sweetheart put on one of her sets out in the desert and I wasn’t feeling like music but he said, “Honey, I know you and I know you will like this,” so I trusted him and let the music wash over me. We danced together and then we decided we had to see her in concert … we bought tickets to Red Rocks that night, December 31, 2020. Now here we are with our friends in this beautiful setting and dancing so hard. God, life is strange.
That was Wednesday. On Friday we had tickets to see The Polish Ambassador at The Mishawaka, an outdoor venue on the Poudre River. It has some of the charm of Red Rocks but in miniature, like it is in someone’s backyard. It’s easy to get to, a shuttle picks us up and drops us off about two miles from the house. We had such a fun time Friday night that we decided we had to go on Saturday because he was playing a second night.
It was just us the second night, but not really. Some friends from Boulder came up and brought Lonny with them. I was surprised to see him and although we didn’t hang out, I was happy that we could enjoy the same show. I still need space to feel comfortable so we were on the other side of the venue, also because we enjoy being near the water and having an easy exit from the crowd. Lonny and I continue to build our new way of relating to each other, a way that makes room for us to to enjoy mutual friends and activities. I think we are doing a good job.
We slept until 11 the next morning, a luxury for me, and he made breakfast for us on the porch. I left feeling replenished, connected, and joyful. I returned to my boys, my home, the city I love, and I felt and feel gratitude.
Yeah, shit is weird right now. There are things that don’t make sense both in the world and in my tight circle, but I really can’t complain. The things that matter to me the most are in good working order. Everything else is merely a problem to be solved.
I’ll close with this picture of me and Toto at the second house I owned in Boulder on Devon Place. I was 27 but I looked 13 in this photo. Totes was a great cat.