Things I have learned today:
- A bowl of Rice Krispies and a bottle of chia kombucha makes a reasonable lunch when you have Sudafed brain fog.
- If you’re wearing heavy-bottomed slippers and you’re really busy in the kitchen, you might not notice important things.
- Cat barf can be the same color as wood flooring. This is an important thing.
- The mess created by #2 and #3 combined is more extensive than the mess created by #3 alone.
- Some folks can Jesus Juke anything.
- Fluid acrylics are fun.
- Straight lines are kinda neato, but I’m lousy at walking them, drawing them, or thinking in them.
- Taking a nap in a room where I need two blankies to be warm enough is glorious.
- Therapeutic massages are not fun, nor do they feel pleasant, but it’s worth enduring pain and discomfort when it’s redemptive pain.
- I can’t really think of something for #10, but it just seemed weird to end with an odd number like 9.
The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity, most of it involving some sort of travel. It’s rather mind-boggling when I stop to consider where I’ve been and all I’ve done since last August. Even more so if I back it up to last January and consider the year.
I have to admit I’m enjoying this season of life, although it’s sometimes a challenge to learn to navigate it in a way where I don’t let myself become stressed over it. I’m having to learn to move and shift more quickly, and how to plan for transitions. And it’s definitely a skill to learn, because my natural wiring doesn’t like to feel rushed. My natural wiring wants things ordered, but not boring.
God is really smart, you know? He wired me really well, just like He wired you really well. Our lives are full of wonderful things that are testaments to our specific wiring. We approach life and relationships according to a funky mix of our wiring, our experiences, and the belief system the combination has produced in us. We need our own wiring. It’s how we live, mostly.
But then God, in all His smartness, starts throwing pitches we aren’t naturally wired to hit.
And that’s when we learn that we’re more than we know. We can change. We can shift. We can learn new things and new ways.
The super cool part is that we don’t stop being who we’re wired to be when we start learning things outside of our natural wiring.
When I learn new things, I become more me than I ever knew I could be, just as you become more you when you learn new things. This is how we step closer to being the best possible version of ourselves.
As long as we’re breathing, we get to keep stepping.
No doubt about it, I’ve come a long way…but there’s equally no doubt I’ve got a long way to go.
It had already happened once this evening.
I was sitting here tapping away on the keys of the computer when I began to hear “hork! hork! hork!”. I could tell the sound was coming from a carpeted area, so I jumped up and discovered Agent Mooshie about to deposit the contents of his stomach onto the rug. I began hollering and shooing him towards the wood flooring.
He ran to another area of carpet, of course. Cats are so unhelpful.
I eventually got him corralled into the back room, which has a wood floor, where the inevitable occurred.
After doing clean up I sat down and resumed tapping. It was maybe half an hour later when once again I began to hear horking. I sprang up.
This time he was parked on the Christmas tree skirt and was in full urp position. I knew I didn’t have a moment to spare and so I was making noise at him before I ever managed to leave my chair. Once again, he began to run to other carpeted areas.
I chased him around the sofa, which is much closer to the wall than it is when we don’t have a tree taking up space in the living room. He kept stopping, and I kept hollering. I was determined to get him onto the wood floor before he ralphed up his kibble.
Who am I kidding? He wasn’t just ralphing up his kibble. He was also ralphing up Doctor Love’s kibble. And Queen Fancypants’ kibble. And probably some hair balls and dust bunnies and heaven only knows what else. He doesn’t exactly have a discriminating palate.
As I was rounding the back corner of the sofa, yelling and shooing and hoping I wasn’t waking the entire household, I smacked the back of my left hand on a corner of the wall. Hard.
I gasped and yipped and grabbed my already throbbing hand. Moosh cast a shifty eye at me before unceremoniously dumping his remaining stomach contents onto the carpet and then running off into the back room.
Dork butt cat.
I fought back tears and got the carpet cleaner spray and swabbed up another vile mess. Nasty.
It appears I broke some blood vessels on the back of my wrist and hand. I also scraped a few layers of skin off my hand and index finger, which has finally stopped oozing blood. It’s still swelling and aches like crazy. No reason to believe I broke any bones, but it hurts to type. Once I hit “post”, I’m going to break down and take some ibuprofen, which I don’t like to do, and go to bed. I should probably ice it from the looks of things, but I’m tired and whimpery and don’t feel like it.
I mean, seriously…the tree skirt? What kind of grinch cat tries to puke on the tree skirt?
Santa is so going to hear about this.
Sometimes I get so irritated with my own restlessness that I start peppering myself with questions out of frustration.
As if that’s helpful.
As if I’m going to hear anything different from the last time I did it.
What do you want?
What are you looking for?
Sometimes I know. Sometimes I don’t. More often than not, it’s like standing in front of the open fridge with a raging case of the munchies, only to discover that in spite of all the containers of mystery leftovers and half-empty jars of condiments, there’s nothing in there to eat. Or better put, nothing in there I want.
I live in blessing. And I am grateful for that blessing.
I am also hungry. What I am hungry for can’t be found in any fridge.
I have to keep reminding myself that my hunger isn’t a condemnation of what’s wrong with me. It’s simply a facet of how God made me and the desires He put in me. I am not trying to be hard to please or overly picky. I’m just trying to be a good steward by not settling for what I know isn’t going to scratch the itch and will just lead to more restlessness.
But hunger is a tension, and it’s not easy to live in tension.
It’s Thanksgiving. Although we have a historical reason for such a holiday here in the United States, it really boils down to recognizing our blessings and remembering to be grateful.
Last year I wrestled with the dirty bird blues. This year I enlisted Mr. Sparky’s assistance when I spatchcocked and dry brined the turkey. It came out beautifully, to say the least. Cooked perfectly in about 70 minutes, moist and well-seasoned with crackling crisp skin.
I bit my tongue really hard whilst chewing my dinner and I have to admit, I’m not particularly grateful about that. I am grateful for the dinner, and even for the opportunity to prove that while Mr. Sparky has picked up the bulk of the every day cooking around here, I am still quite capable of reducing my family to a symphony of contented sighs and groans of I-ate-too-much-but-it-was-so-good misery.
While I puttered around in the kitchen this afternoon, my people watched the extended version of The Return of the King and I watched from across the counter. I’ve actually never seen the un-extended versions of any of the LOTR films, so I don’t know what other folks might be missing. All I know is that is one incredible film, with an amazing story. Except for that scene where I have to leave the room because I don’t do little spiders…and so I surely don’t do giant nuclear mutant spiders who chase hapless little hobbits around a dark twisty cave. That scene alone is enough to make me glad I didn’t attempt to see this film in the theater. I would have been traumatized.
But the rest of the film is awesome.
Tomorrow I haul myself out into the crazy world of Black Friday retail. Not to shop. To work. This will be my sixth Black Friday, although to be fair my first one in 2010 was cut short because I was really sick, still battling the vestiges of good old-fashioned flu, and while I had the sense to not even attempt to call out on Black Friday, my co-workers also had the sense to send me home as soon as possible. This year I am grateful for health, and a job, and a vehicle to get to the job, and gas to fuel the vehicle, and coffee to fuel me. I am not very grateful that the air-conditioner is broken at my place of employment. It is late November and I will be dressing as if it’s early August…in Florida. But I have clothes.
I reckon everyone ought to be grateful I have clothes.
I drove to work during a tornado warning today.
You know how drivers are always admonished to “KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD!”?
I was not doing a very good job keeping my eyes on the road. I was keeping my eyes on the sky. The dark, twisty, sullen, ominous sky that had already produced at least one water spout in the Gulf of Mexico, and apparently also one in Choctawhatchee Bay, I later heard.
I didn’t see anything, to my relief and slight disappointment. But I drove through mucho raino, which did have its dramatic moments.
What is it about the sky? What is so magnetizing about it?
On days like today it’s a no-brainer: the sky has the potential to produce a monster, and so we watch it for signs of swirling anger. But even on beautiful days we gaze into the clear blue, or at the puffy clouds. We marvel at rainbows and sunsets.
It’s just as good at night. We stare into the heavens, gaping at constellations and planets and the cold burn of faraway stars, gasping at the flash of meteors streaking to their doom, burning out bright.
Perhaps it’s because it’s so vast. Perhaps it’s because it is varying and unpredictable.
Or perhaps it’s because we’re earthbound, envious of the birds who, with the flick of a feather, defy gravity and soar far above the petty grievances, desperate heartbreaks, and soul-numbing tediousness that taints life on this whirling ball of dirt.
What is it about finding out that you can’t get something that makes you obsessively want nothing other than that thing you can’t get?
Sometime during the middle of last winter, my beloved polar fleece booties gave out. I have worn polar fleece bootie slippers for decades. They are like pacifiers for your feet, making them feel all comforted and happy. Mr. Sparky hadn’t really liked the redesigned pair from Lands End, so he gave me his barely worn pair. They were fine except for one glaring issue:
They weren’t red.
Don’t be laughing, now. It matters. Red is warmer. Mr. Sparky’s pair is navy. They are dignified and manly and very un-red.
By the time I needed new slippers last year, the stock was getting low and so I decided to wait until this year to get new ones since there would be a fresh selection of designs and colors. Little did I know, Lands End would not be offering the polar fleece booties this year.
So I checked out L.L. Bean, which is indeed offering the booties in the design I actually like best (although they call them slipper socks for some odd reason). This would be exciting except for one problem.
You guessed it. No red.
L.L. Bean is offering their booties in two colors: navy and dark gray.
I just can’t.
I’ve scoured Al Gore’s internets and dang it all if I haven’t come up empty-footed. I don’t want polar fleece socks. I don’t want moccasins. I don’t want crafty booties that are polar fleece on the bottom without a real sole of some sort. I don’t want booties made of sweater knit, fur, satin, or quilted stuff that looks like the Stay-Puf marshmallow man. I definitely don’t want granny scuffs. I would consider settling for another color if it wasn’t so…drab. But $40 to settle for drabness?
I just can’t.
It’s a first world problem. I have the slippers Mr. Sparky gave me last year, and I can probably get another season out of them. I have awesome fuzzy socks which are fun. And I live in Florida, which means my risk of frostbite on my tootsies is quite low. I’m blessed.
I don’t know what it is, this thing that drives us to want what we can’t have. Maybe it’s just human nature. Maybe it was the chink in the armor that the snake exploited in the garden of Eden. Whatever it is, it’s so much deeper than a pair of slippers.
Because it’s not just that we want what we can’t have. We also obsessively want what we think we can’t have or what we perceive is being withheld from us, even if isn’t really. And if we think we can’t have it, then we’ll almost certainly entertain jealousy towards those who do have it. It’s a nasty cycle that perpetuates a very distorted concept of justice and fairness.
I do my best to avoid rolling like that, but just to be safe, do a sister a favor and don’t be gloating if you have red polar fleece booties.
Unless you can tell me where to find a pair for myself, that is.