There are wet sheets in the washer from three days ago, I totally forgot about them, or intentionally avoided the whole soggy mess, but regardless I’ll have to wash them again before I can start a new load. I dump the dirty bundle of clothes on the floor, set the old load on light wash, and turn off the lights before leaving.
I feel like my life is on repeat, work, laundry, meals, coffee, shower, sex, hair, make-up, and struggle back into tight clothes, repeat next day, only add grading, food shopping, cleaners, and the mechanic. Everything needs to be fed. The animals, children, students, friends, houseplants, cars, bank accounts, twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all screaming for something depleteable. Will there ever be enough food, words, gas, money, or energy to satisfy our needs?
Life is exhausting but this deplorable attitude might be due to the fact that I got three hours of sleep last night. I had my first sleepover with my granddaughter Audrey. It was fabulous. We played, shared a burrito, danced in the kitchen, chased the dog, looked at the stars, messed up the T.V because she is obsessed with remotes, it will never be the same. I bathed her in the sink, fed her a warm bottle, and she fell asleep in my arms. She did great, slept almost twelve hours straight. We hit the jackpot with this one and I openly admit I’m smitten.
What happened to me? I reverted to what I used to do when I had young kids, I squandered away three to four hours reading, playing with my my iPhone, and tweeting after I put her to bed (time is depleteable too). A total repeat from two decades ago, I worried for another hour about when she would wake up, my son and his friend slammed the front door at midnight just when I was about to dose off, then the dog started barking around 2:30 am at some imagined stranger in the backyard (I freaked out, went exploring with a fire poker, and flashlight), then just to be obnoxious the wind kicked up at 4:00 am knocking around the patio furniture. Really? Are you familiar with the sentiment, “you can control your attitude but not your life,” well screw you. I only got three hours of sleep.
I immediately revert to my bitchy mom persona, threatening the kids, the dog, and the wind with uncalled for brutality if they dare wake up that baby, no one paid me any attention. It might be hard to tell but I get kind of grouchy when I don’t get my full eight hours, ask my mother. I become like Eeyore, but I’m more of a menopausal ass, than a charming caricature. It’s discouraging and I really want to blame someone, but I’m right in the middle of Rising Strong by Brene Brown, and now I feel guilty about making others feel guilty. This is the one thing I’m good at, it’s a gift from my ancestors, and now she wants me to give it up? I need to be a tad more selective about what I read if I want to remain stagnant. Which I do.
I decide to blame the light, it’s doesn’t care, and I can flip it off (figuratively) when it glares at me. I’m swatting at the metaphors like flies but they just keep coming. But seriously, there is never enough light, I walk into a room, switch on the light, and I’m greeted with this dull, listless illumination. Half the bulbs appear to be out (another thing that needs feeding). It’s the kind of light that allows you to see just a fraction of the truth. But in the light of day, with three hours of sleep, things only look worse. The kitchen needs painting, the wood floors are worn, and behind the heavily fingerprinted cupboards it looks like a schizophrenic lives here. Ouch. The truth is we’re all deteriorating along with our things. Deal with it.
The sheets are finally done, and it is time to rotate, maybe that should include my attitude. The kids are coming to dinner tonight. I’m excited. I have some ribs defrosting on the stove. After rotating the loads, I look around and decide this shabby chic look is kind of charming, and with the soft lighting, it borders on romantic. I dump my dirty clothes on the bathroom floor, shower, hair, make-up, tight clothes…I hear kids, the front door, laughter and suddenly I am restored.
I wonder if I had a glimpse of today, twenty years ago, would I have done anything differently? Oh baby, you betcha. The things I worried about that amounted to nothing, the things I took for granted that were really important, and the people I slaved over who are no longer in my life. Nothing is stagnant, regardless of how immutable you remain, life requires engagement, and a good amount of discernment (I realize this is tricky when sleep deprived). I might be viewing life today through a progressive lens but I believe some things are definitely worth repeating.
Clearly it’s time for some wine! How are you doing today?
If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy: Sometime I Wake up and I’m Not Happy or We gave up a lot when we stopped washing our clothes down by the river
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Just catching up on some of your posts! Love them because they are good and because I love you. Write on! SMG
Thank you SMG! If I live a thousand lives I hope you are repeatedly in all of them. Love you and the mother load.
I don't know who wrote this definition of contentment, but I love it, especially the part about expecting little and giving much: \”Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, and scatter laughter wherever you go. These are the links in the golden chains of contentment.\”
Beautiful words to live by Donna! Thanks for reading and responding. I saw the movie The Letters a few nights ago. It is the story of Mother Teresa. She lived your definition of contentment her whole life. What an amazing person. Warmly, Cheryl