Something of a List

I need a(nother) tattoo. Or a road trip to California. Perhaps a one night fling.


I am staring at a blank page. I’m up in the air about where I want to live, what I want to do, who I want to love.

And like any writer, blocked from the first word for fear it will be the wrong one, I just stare.

I need to make that first bold scratch and not re-read until chapter four.

In other news…

Many things are making me happy tonight. These include

1) Latkes made with organic potatoes, onion and eggs. Good for mind, body and soul.

2) Hitting the CD shuffle jackpot with “Birdhouse in my soul” by TMBG.

3) The broken-in softness of my pj bottoms.

4) Buying Christmas cards.

5) Lighting all the decorative candles around the house.

6) The feeling that, for this moment, I am completely happy alone.

Pile It On

I have listened to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for the first time this year. It is now officially Christmas season for me.

I think I shall ask Santa to bring me someone who will sing it with me.

I have 2,943 words left. My back still hurts and I don’t think typing is making it better.

I’ve decided that I finish tonight, no matter what. So far today my consumption has included 4 cappuccinos and the crust of leftover pizza. That pretty much screams “masochist” already, why not just pile on?

It Jumped on Her Head!

Evidently my way to handle pain is to watch movies. Spiderman, to be exact. (I thought it was OK) And “As Good As It Gets”, one of my favorites.

I got about a third of what I had planned accomplished. Then I went to volunteer. In the middle of evening chores, the cold front came through, raining. Only a new volunteer or a bitch complains about the rain. Everyone else cracks jokes (wet T-shirt contest anyone?), splashes through puddles, and huddles together for warmth. I provided comic relief by way of my frog phobia. (It jumped on her head! Clearly it was going to eat her brains out!)

I did speak up for myself and state I could not work a 12-hour day tomorrow. Morning or afternoon, take your pick. Afternoon was picked, which was a win-win situation. I get to sleep in (Vicodin, here I come!) and they get me for a longer period of the day.

Now that the rain has stopped, it’s nice and chilly outside. Pajamas…Mexican hot chocolate…pizza on the way…painkillers…5,000 words left…and tomorrow morning off from volunteering. I’m in heaven.

Pity Party or Revelation?

I’m ignoring something. I’d consider it the biggest step I need to take in my life right now, after the divorce.

The volunteer I work do is not good for me. Over the years, more responsibilities have crept up, official and unofficial, on and off-site of the facility. It’s too much.

I’m not blaming anyone but myself. I love to be needed. I am a caregiver. And the work I do not only cares for the animals, but for the other volunteers whom I consider family. I am always willing to consider a heavier load if it means someone I love can stand a little straighter and wipe their brow in relief.

But there is too much load to go around. I pile more and more on my crippled back, and the people I want to see stretch and smile and joke just pick up another, heavier load to tote around themselves.

I don’t miss the people or the animals until I walk in the door. My entire drive there I think about how normal people don’t work such an insane schedule.

Then, I am there and caring for the animals and people and I scold myself for ever thinking I could leave.

All of that is subjective. My emotions, my guilt, it’s my perception of the situation. On top of that is a raw fact that I have been ignoring.

I volunteered yesterday morning. An hour into it, the right side of my back was spasming. By the afternoon, I could not sit still to watch “Finding Nemo”. I took a painkiller for the first time in two weeks. And the pain did not go away. Now I’m sitting here, 700 NaNo words behind with a huge to-do list on the counter top, and I’m still in so much pain I cringe at the idea of picking up a cup.

If I were good at listening to my body, I would have left my husband a long time ago. It was telling me I wasn’t happy long before I took that vacation and felt that twinkle in my smile and said out loud, “Oh! THIS is who I am!”

My body has been screaming at me to quit for over a year. It begs for time to heal, relax. I beat myself up for beating myself up, but continue on. I can’t believe that there’s not a compromise here. Surely if I just twist this way, or only carry the buckets in this hand, or take a five minute break and use an ice pack…

No. Nothing has changed the fact that I am causing myself pain.

But if I quit, how will I be important and special? Caring for the animals makes me different. Without it, I’m just some woman who lives alone and works a job she dislikes.

I’ve been struggling with this for a few months now. I’m trying to learn how to be good to myself. Really I am. I hope I learn soon.

Nothing to Speak Of

He used a ton of unnecessary references in his email. “My youngest sister”, “My other niece”, etc. before mentioning them by name.

I’d love to remind him not only of my incredible (and annoying at times) memory, but also the fact that just two months ago we were close enough that their names dropped from our tongues as if speaking about mutual friends rather than his family whom I never met.

But I won’t.

He seemed to ignore the real reason I wrote him. I know Thanksgiving is not a happy time for him and I wanted to make sure he’d reach out for a friend if he needed one.

I’d love ask, “Did you see your father?” because I know him well enough to realize he needs some prodding to speak of such things and might thank me later.

But I won’t.

I’ll answer his questions and inquire on his decision to speed up his schooling. I won’t mention my upcoming trip. I won’t mention the fact that I can read through the lines no matter how much he edits.

My intuition always awed him, but also freaked him out.

I was eager to show him how much I understood. It made me feel special when his voice would get soft and shaky every time I gave him a peek inside his own thoughts. I’ll admit it, I showed off a little.

I missed how much he didn’t understand. And how much I didn’t as well. I remember thinking, “Did he realize I was just joking?” “Why didn’t he tell me about her before?” “Why didn’t he ask about the necklace?” “How can this work?”

I brushed them aside, stuffed them in a journal, and chalked them up to nerves and insecurities. And in hindsight, that wasn’t very honest of me. I should have shared those questions, they were part of my intuition as well.

So, now I’m going to trust my intuition and keep my mouth shut (or keyboard un-touched?). Because I can only do so much. I might not like it, he might not even like it, but it’s what fair to us right now. Because I’m not allowed to ask those questions I brushed aside anymore.

I don’t believe in second chances. I believe in one chance that stretches for a lifetime. There is no do-over. There is no clean slate. There is only learning, forgiveness, and time.

Giving Spirit List

I’ve had a million witty tidbits just sparking in my brain today. Perhaps because I’m too busy to actually sit down and write?

Well, that’s a lie. I always have time to write. If I say I don’t, there’s something out there that I don’t want to admit and I know the minute I start writing it will sit on my page until I’ve acknowledged it.

I have been writing a lot of lists today. I’m in heaven. I have five I could share, so be thankful I’m restraining myself.

My giving spirit has included of late:

1) Lunch for three.

2) 3 pumpkin pies (2 for a potluck I’m attending, one for a friend to bring to his).

3) A fairly large loan to struggling friends.

4) Advice to not wear a dress on a first date (to a guy).

5) Dinner for five.

6) A dollar in the first Salvation Army Bell-Ringer pot that I’ve seen.

7) A promise of paying for a resume-builder.

8) A spiced eggnog latte.

9) An invitation to lunch for my current and former bosses.

10) The promise to feed a sick animal so someone else can sleep in.

11) An email (see above post)

I’ll write more later. I’m not ignoring an issue. I swear. It’s ignoring me.

No Good Answers

Oh, so you’re having one of *those* nights, are you? You’re tired and cranky and you’d love to whine to someone except you’re worried that if they suggested you relax, you just might beat them.

You are beyond relax. You need a coma.

So why are you still up? Why aren’t you showered? Why aren’t you snuggled in those sheets that are better than sex?

And while we’re asking questions, why don’t you have any clean socks?

First Mention of the Sanctuary

Well, about 4 hours into my day I stopped caring about my job again. It was bound to happen.

I’m 14,000 words away from “winning” NaNoWriMo and I stopped caring for my novel about 10,000 words ago. This will change. I will finish, then begin editing and fall in love with the beginning again. I just hope I find the plot along the way.

I didn’t care about volunteering until I did it this evening. Driving there, I thought about how I was sick of not putting myself first, refusing myself the freedom to actually have a life. I had been away for two weeks. An animal had died. Instead of there being six of us to do evening chores, there were three. One trainee, the manager, and myself. Driving home in the dark, I felt like the reason I woke up this morning was to live those 2 hours.

Can I get a witness?

I’ve tried to post a few times today, but everything in my head is sad and unfinished.

Good things about today:

1) Hanging out with friends

2) Spiced eggnog latte

3) Catnip

Bad things about today:

1) Finding out it’s not likely I’ll have my maiden name back by Christmas.

2) Laundry did not do itself.

3) New neighbors hammering at 2am.

Walking through a bookstore today, I saw a book who’s main character has just had several horrible things (lost job, boyfriend left) occur in her life and then she gets amnesia. She realizes she has this wonderful clean slate and she can do whatever she wants.

I ran up to a friend, “I want amnesia!”


“I want to start over, clean slate.”

“Yeah, but it would suck when your memory came back.”

“No. It’s not coming back. I want to go away and start over.”

“Oh. You want a witness relocation plan for your brain!”

Sign me up baby. And while we’re at it, could these 10 lbs. that came out of no where be relocated too?

Flying Solo

I can’t decide if I like to fly or not.

I used to be very scared of it. But, like many of my fears, I feel comical about it. I’ll shake my head furiously and my eyes will get very big as the conversation turns to planes, frogs, or love.

But do I really mean it? Am I really scared? I certainly was scared on the prop plane I flew to the wedding. But on the way back, melancholy and cold, I fell asleep despite the cramped space and deafening roar.

Flying at night is beautiful. I love to see the lights of the cities. I imagine jewels laid out on black velvet. It’s comforting and exotic at the same time.

On the last leg of the flight home, I pulled a pewter statue out of my coat pocket (all the business men in first class weren’t very receptive to a woman wearing a motorcycle jacket sitting in their midst. It was classic) and cried.

I didn’t mean to. I just looked at the statue, rubbed it over and over with my thumb, and tears fell out. I don’t know if anyone noticed. I didn’t look around to check.

I cried because deep inside I know I have an amazing connection to someone. I’ve been ignoring that fact, skirting around it. I put away the journals that describe our recent visits with each other. I hid the pictures. I built up logic around me. I confided details to friends who would shake their heads and say I deserved better, he shouldn’t have reacted that way, he needs to figure things out, I need some time to myself…

I have a great list of reasons to put him out of my mind. But sitting there in first class, darkness everywhere except the pool of reading light which illuminated my hands caressing that statue, I allowed myself to remember that I can’t put him out of my heart.