Ramblings

electronic gear and gadgets

dry skin

magazine distractions from feeling anything but love and adventure

surreal vicarious dreaming

puppy love with a big old dog resembling a bull dozer

fluffy like a t-rex

moments of joy in between frustrations

doing the right thing even if I curse loudly the whole way

I’d fit in as a New York cab driver just fine

Fist fight? Okay.

Give me mud, lots of mud and trees to wash the shit away

back home my skin buzzes and my muscles hum

thankful

high on endorphins

taking in the warm swirling espresso with cream

waiting

I sit here on one of my 45 minute blips of life waiting for my mom to finish her soup. I have to wait here because she’s getting stronger, but, being plagued by dementia, she still lacks common sense and will try to move around beyond her current capabilities. She’s been getting stronger, ironically, since she’s been home being treated by me and my ways the past nine days. A steady diet of fresh foods, mostly protiens, fresh organic veggies and fat, and exercise, like it or not (she likes it, I think she gets quite proud of herself actually as she counts, “One, two! One, two!” the entire time).

We went to her primary care physician today for a check up and saw her orthopedic surgeon about two weeks ago, so we’re being diligent. Her primary supports what Im doing and it’s hard to deny the results. She also listened to my complaints about the nursing home without surprise, advised me of some resources and had a good conversation with me about it all. When we saw the orthopedic surgeon, he advised “getting her up and walking as often as possible” as that is the only way she’ll improve. He even wrote it on a prescription pad. I don’t think the nurses at the nursing home shared the note.

I think about finishing the book my daughter gave me to read, it’s right upstairs. These 45 minute blips of life are taking a toll on my mind, but I know it’s only going to get worse. I think about how my life was when I had a newborn, a two year old and a 4 year old. Somehow I’m back to chasing run aways and changing diapers. Two year olds are much faster than 85 year olds, but it is much more significant when the 85 year old falls down. The doctor gave me some ideas about full time care for mom. I’m not in a rush to go back to unhealthy conditions after all this work getting back to a healthy upward trajectory. I definitely feel grateful for the ability to fulfill my role as a care giver for more than two decades now. I wonder what else will I be allowed to be, if anything.

That sounds petty, doesn’t it? “Allowed to be” as if I don’t have a will. “Allow myself to be” – is that better? Worse? I’ll throw it in with all the other intangibles such as “Make time for” and “Make myself into” and “Will become” and even worse “Am”. Am, referring to the infinite string of the present moment. I am a writer. I am a parent. I am a care giver. I am alone. I am social. I am grumpy. I am a web mistress. I am a fitness instructor. I am a yogi. I am a dog lover. I am an environmentalist. I am a nature lover.

Some of these titles I never knew about myself. I’ll never forget when someone called me an athlete about ten years ago and I was taken aback. I mean, after all, I wasn’t an athlete in high school. I mean, doesn’t that equate to jock and aren’t jocks the enemy? Still, I felt I now understood this word. And I remembered a football player that was in my English class that kept up with the literature and conversation, who smiled at me, listened and was really nice even if I looked like night to his day.

Or “pretty”. … Worse is “beautiful”. What is that exactly, I thought. Certainly it is not me. And of course, as there are people who will hold you up, there are those that will rip you down as well. Best to have an inner gauge to rely on, be polite, say your thank you’s and brush off those who want to bring negativity to your world. I mean, you already know you’re flawed, right? Some things you can help, so you do make such valiant efforts. Some things you cannot help. I mean, if I don’t like the size of my wrist bones I am not going to rip them out for new ones. And if someone doesn’t like the little fat puffs under my armpits, tough. Ive had these my whole life like it or not. (No, I never liked it.)

Due to my lack of formal education in some areas, I have also been called “talented”. Its a patronizing word, really. “Talented”…. white male speak for either “Sexy” or “Good, but uneducated”. Well, I do have a Bachelors degree, but it’s not in writing or dancing or teaching or fitness or art or hospitality. For those things, and a few other, grittier things, I have a life degree I suppose. Nothing but good old fashioned experience, willfulness and street smarts. And I was definitely willful when I went back to school and got my degree – too bad it wasn’t in a more practical degree for me albeit a “solid” and “smart choice” kind of degree.

But who needs a degree in a subject when you are prolific, passionate and persistent, right? I think about how much cocaine Anthony Bourdain must have ingested to write his book and to stay on top of things all those late nights as a chef and professional drinker of hard alcohol. Not to mention the thick skin and the hustling.

How many words a day? How many should I write? What is the definition of prolific? Where is my jumbled body of work and can I sew them together? Are they salable? Are they scalable? Do I kid myself as I stick my life on a shelf somewhere in between vapid run-away adventurer and pretentious intellectual anti-authoritarian?

Okay, maybe I’m not quite “vapid” … and hopefully I’m not pretentious…. even if I would rather swing from extremes than be as I am, medium. I mean, I shop for t-shirts and try on all sizes. Medium. I get a bike. It’s medium. I order steak. Medium. I get shoes. Medium. I take a test. Average. Go figure. I guess “Medium” and “Average” are just two more things that I “Am”. I think, since I am alive and that has been working for me, I am alright with that. Funny that I’ve never quite felt “Normal” though.

Being single, these days in this neighborhood, is not “Normal” and what comes along with that is all kinds of awkwardness and unintentional intruding on other people’s spouses and other general troublemaking when sometimes all I am is alone. And alone doesn’t mean lonely all the time, it just means being in my inner circle. I remember being in my second year of college and my classes were really difficult so I wanted to be alone and people started calling me a lesbian. Does it really make a difference? No is no. Later I found out this particular study group I hung out in to do my all night study sessions at Denny’s were all high on coke and just wanted to study medicine for the money. I was young and stupid and this didn’t fit my ideal so after a successful completion of that year, I took a break to pursue outdoor education and hike around in Colorado.

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