Caring for Others

The most rewarding things that I’ve done in my life involved doing something nice for someone else.

Many times, the recipient has been not so thankful. But, I still felt good anyway. I think it’s important to not let other people’s reactions rob us of the joy of kindness and good deeds. This is VERY hard for me to do, but I’m working on it.

I thought about writing this today because I made some meals for my elderly uncle. I cannot cook like his late wife (my aunt) but I know that he will appreciate my effort.

Do you appreciate other people’s efforts without being critical or an asshole otherwise?

I think that’s easier to do than we think it is.

When I was a kid, I hated bananas. I’ve grown tolerant of them as an adult because I put them in smoothies and the potassium makes my old body feel a little less old.

But honestly, I could never see another banana again and be fine, even happy.

But, when I was a kid, one of my grandma’s friends used to love giving me bananas. It was her favorite fruit and perhaps she thought that she was really being kind to me by offering me one.

I still hated them.

But my grandmother, in all her wisdom, instructed me to not eat the banana but to always, always take it and be completely gracious and thankful.

Eventually, I went from kind of pretending to be thankful to having a better understanding of what grace is. Eventually, my thanks was heartfelt and not at all pretentious, even though I never ate the damned bananas.

I learned to be gracious when someone thought enough of me to do something. I learned to not take the joy from them for being kind. I learned not to essentially punish people for being nice. I learned a little bit of what it’s like to not be an asshole.

And now, when I do nice things for people, I get to learn how to be on the other side of the equation. Sometimes something that I do that I think is kind is met with welcome and enthusiasm. Sometimes, it’s not. But regardless, I’m working on not attaching my feelings to the behavior of other people. I take the pleasure and reward of kindness from what I can control: only myself.

What do you think of this topic?

Until tomorrow my friends…

Geezer

I’m feeling kind of old today.

Long hours behind the computer made me into a modern version of the tin man. Almost immobile, definitely inflexible.

What makes you feel old?

Kudos to you if you’re still young enough to not feel old yet.

And kudos to my massage therapist who helped take at least 45 days off my knees. They still feel like stiff, yet wobbly knobs, but hopefully that feeling will go away.

And hello to my fellow old people!

Until tomorrow my friends…

What It’s Like: PERIODS!

I’ve decided to do a few posts where I describe, in a humorous, yet truthful way something that I am experiencing or have experienced in the near past. I don’t know how many of these I will do, but I am already really entertained by this idea, so I might do quite a few of them.

These will give me fodder into the new month, which is only today and tomorrow, but, well, let’s hope for the best.

Let’s start off with an explanation of what it’s like to have a period, aka menstruation cycle.

If you’re a man, do NOT stop reading right now. I will not give you any of the more moist details. Instead, I will regale you with anecdotes about the monthly visitor with which you have no experience. Men, be thankful for that! Oh, you already are? Oh, great.

Without further ado, I will “femsplain” my experience with periods.

Symptom One: Everyone Else is Awake

Welcome to the special hell that is the emotional roller coaster period town! The most awful part of having a period is really not the pain or the inconvenience. The worst part is OTHER PEOPLE. Other people will constantly walk around you, awake, alert, and existing, all while you sleepily look at them and wonder how you can make them all disappear.

This symptom is my favorite one, and it decided to come later in life, which is entirely, and utterly bullshit, in my opinion. Once, I was so tired, that I had to close the door to my office. I told myself that familiar lie: “I’ll just put my head down for a moment.” Of course, I immediately fell asleep and the next thing I knew, a co-worker was knocking on my door because it was time to go to Panera Bread for lunch. I’d been asleep for 30 minutes. Don’t tell my former boss.

Symptom Two: Everyone Drives So F*cking Badly and Even More F*cking Slowly

I don’t know if this happens to other people, but when I have my monthly marauder, the rest of the town somehow finds out. I think it might be the FBI tapping into my phone and then publishing the news in the local newspaper. I am sure of it.

The drivers of my town obviously read the newspaper and then simultaneously get in their cars and use the GPS on my phone to find my location. Then, all of the drivers in town proceed to follow me around, consistently driving at least 5 mph below the speed limit. This synchronized driving hell happens for the duration of my ailment, and then miraculously, everyone drives like the regular assholes I’ve come to expect on the road. It’s strange. Should I call Snowden and report this? Everyone is plotting against me.

Symptom Three: My Refrigerator Becomes Small

For those few days a month, my refrigerator shrinks. There’s simply not enough space in there to keep all of the food that I need to consume. I need space for sparkling water, yogurt, donuts, sweet tea, pie, cake, steak, baked potatoes, salad, salad dressing, avocados, etc. No matter what size refrigerator it is, there’s simply not enough food inside. It’s strange. The thing works fine the rest of the month.

Symptom Four: Dogs are the Best and Children Can’t be Quiet Enough

I am a cat person. I could also be a dog person. But, a period makes me want to adopt every dog on television. I hide my credit cards during period time so I don’t end up adopting every dog that comes on those “save the pets” infomercials late at night. The insomnia, which also comes with this time of the month, ensures that I am awake to watch infomercials, so it is very important that I do not have a credit card handy. I need to keep all that money to buy food that won’t fit in my refrigerator.

And speaking of small, living things, children become extra noisy during this time of the month. Even if a child is sleeping peacefully, and snoring quietly, I still secretly want to yell SOMEONE SHUT THAT DAMN BABY UP when it’s that time of the month. I don’t know; I guess I get something like super sonic hearing.

Symptom Five: Morphine Drip Bags are a Necessity 

Midol? Ha ha ha, get that shit out of here. Give those to your infants when they have a fever. Pamprin? Ha ha ha, pink sugar pills with no use other than to drop in your tea for sweetener. Morphine? Yes, please pass the drip bags and the needles. Thank you, very much.

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. You now know what it’s exactly like to have a period! It’s not so bad, is it?

Gentlemen: did you read until the end? Give yourself a big ole pat on the back. Go treat yourself to a Snickers bar.

Ladies: What’s your favorite symptom? You, too, deserve a Snickers bar!

Thanks for reading and being weird with me.

Until next time, my friends…

My Calm Birthday

Today is my birthday.

Last night, I had to pleasure of sitting around a large table, in a restaurant, eating, drinking, and enjoying the company of people I am fortunate enough to call friends.

I also did not have to wash a single dish yesterday or today, which is the beauty of going out to eat.

I love the energy of my friends. I might not see all of them very regularly, but I love them all the same, regardless of the frequency of our visits.

Today was my actual birthday, however. I turned 35. I don’t feel particularly old in my heart, even though I often times feel a little beat up or achy in my body. I am working on remedying that through a better diet and more active lifestyle.

I think there are a few clues to the youth of my heart, however. My mind  and soul are old. My body is getting older. But my heart has the joy and interests of probably any teenager. Here are some random highlights from my day.

I Tried to Help

The first thing I did when I left the house today was to check the mailbox. My mom had sent me a card and I went to get it. Somehow, the door of the mailboxes had come undone. I honestly stood there, in mild horror, trying to figure out how to fix it. I even looked around for an older person, even though, one could argue, that at 35, many people would consider ME the older person.

I thought: maybe if an older person, or a handy looking man (or woman) walked by, they’d know what to do. They’d have tape. Is it ok to put tape on a mailbox? Is that a federal offense? 

Not wanting to commit a possible federal offense by using tape on a mailbox, and not wanting to draw much attention to myself as the discoverer of the undone mailbox, I left it in this state, using some construction materials I found lying on the ground.

It is not the best solution, but perhaps there won’t be mail and sales flyers all over the place by tomorrow, when the real adult, ermm, I mean, the mailman, comes by to check out the situation.

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My Music Tastes are Both Low and High Brow

John Mayer’s “Badge and Gun” is one of my favorite songs, but I say that about almost all John Mayer songs. I mean, really, it’s like he’s in my head sometimes.

The song is about a guy who has tried really hard to do what he was supposed to do, whatever that was, and now he’s just going to go on about his way, both metaphorically and literally.

It’s both joyous and somber, which I know sounds odd, but those are the things I feel when I listen to it. It’s basically an ode to the peace one feels when you can honestly say, “I tried real hard” but in the next breath say, “But I also give up.”

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And while it’s nice and all to be all cerebral and listen to the seemingly deeply personal lyrics of a John Mayer song, of course I also had to listen to “In Da Club” by 50 Cent because there’s literally only one day of the year when, yes, shawty, it is indeed, yo birthday.

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My Fashion Tastes Are De-Volving 

Devolving is the opposite of evolving. For a long time, I was a school teacher. Then, for a longer time, I worked in corporate America. My wardrobe has changed, but just between you and me, I absolutely LOVE fashion with whimsy. I will buy and wear almost anything that is red, any shade of red, from light pink to one of my favorites, a deep, moody shade of oxblood. I love it all.

These shoes make me especially joyous and with the light wind and crystal bright sunshine, they seemed to dance off my feet. A random guy even passed me and yelled: I LIKE THOSE SHOES. He, too, was wearing red shoes.

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I Am Still Working on Other Parts of Being an Adult

I am working on reorganizing my closet and I ordered this thing from Amazon. Of course it came flat packed and required assembly.

It was pretty easy to assemble, but I absolutely hate assembling things, so I had to fight my disdain for 30 minutes and use another 30 minutes to assemble it. But, when I was done, I was actually quite proud. I did something productive on my birthday, and that was nice.

However, I am also a 35 year old woman who bought a $16 fabric thing from Amazon to put stuff in. Shouldn’t I be at Ashley Furniture, buying a proper chest of drawers? Perhaps, when I am 40.

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Over all, it was a beautiful day. I had a very peaceful day and am still reeling from how thankful I feel for all of the people in the world who love me.

Until tomorrow, my friends…