Tuesday, November 02, 2021
I am pretty sure life has a lesson for me, and I am pretty sure I've faced this lesson before. The recurring test revolves around housework, shame, exposure, and being far too concerned about what other people think. I'd love to write a poetic essay on this lesson, reflecting my humility, and essential truths about time management, how physical spaces can reflect internal struggles, about unhealed trauma being irrepressible, no matter how much I shut my eyes to it. And! Naturally, I would be remiss if I did not include a nod to COVID, lockdowns, and the insular, safe-space I hid in, where I could shirk both healing and recovering from the domestic perils and collateral damages of not being able, nor willing, to keep things in order.
The house has been simultaneously in a state of upheaval, change, and stagnant neglect.
It has become pressingly necessary to both keep the good upheaval and changes moving forward, and to shake up the rest: Clean the dang house. A lot.
I was trying to do more in one week than I have done in three years, and it was really really really hard. Hard and impractical.
I got my ass kicked.
I kicked some ass.
Some of it may have been me, kicking my own ass.
Four minutes before the architect arrived to walk through the whole house and measure things, and get familiar with what we have and where we are going, I started crying uncontrollably, and having a basic panic attack. 99.99% of my life I have been embarrassed, shamed, or strong enough to know damn well when it's ok to cry or get emotional and that's almost always never, and this was not the time, nor place (according to internalized beliefs and expectations, which I have come to realize don't hold up against trauma that has been suppressed and masked and cast aside to be dealt with later.)
I acted bravely, and out of character: I called a friend. Actually, I texted, which was easier to do than speaking aloud. I reached out, I bore my heart, my weakness, and vulnerability. This counterintuitive move made a world of difference... another lesson for me: Ask for help. My friend came through, and I didn't even have time to read her response, but she came through, and even just knowing I was in a safe (virtual/cyber) space, gave me enough relief, to rally, and compose myself, and see a time beyond this moment when it was going to be ok.
The house is way cleaner. I am way tired. And the architect didn't inspect half as thoroughly as I dreaded. And if I have any sense, and want any life lessons to stick I should look into getting back into physical, and emotional, therapies, I should keep moving forward... ride my bicycle, make salsas, call friends (or text them), take risks, take naps, learn and relearn, and question my beliefs, challenge the internalized messages that guide my instincts and actions, push myself to do more, and still, let go of the idea that I am not enough.
I don't want to publish this, but accountability and vulnerabilty are in the lessons, too. And when other people share their truths, I often find it remarkably encouraging, comforting.
Let's change the subject.
I have been making design cards... with Layout, which is an app that works with Instagram, I can create a photo collage. I used it to put pictures of different elements together so we can have a first impression of ideas for the hall bathroom. Since I was ordering things online, it was trickier to get a feel for how all of the different parts would come together, and this has been the most accessible way for me to sort of compose a look. The green tiles surround the white tub. The black and white tiles go on the floor, and this is the blue locker we are putting in there for storage. Last step... find a paint to bring it all together. I chose one of these. Don't worry, I am not asking anyone to choose, or taking a poll. The deed is done. In fact, today the bath wall is getting tiled. It looks amazing! I love it! By the end of the week, I should have a before and after post, in case anyone wants to see what finally happened.
Good things... my favorite beans, lots of salsa, and guacamole, I marinated carne asada, roasted onions, squash and potatoes. We had corn tortillas, cilantro, and a good fire going. And we had friends drop by, and I ate, and sat, and chatted. I loved watching Maria and Acorn, then joined by Bambi, sit together to sort, organize, and swap their treats. I always love that classic Halloween scene. same shop where and when I should have got the needlepoint doggie (that ended happily, anyway!) Once I got home, "real life" took over, and the frame was lost in the shuffle. One nice thing about cleaning is putting things together, like this woodsy frame and my woodsy painting. I am projecting hopes and wishes into this... for warmth and comfort and a simply wonderful holiday season.
Here is Saki, looking like my darling smol boi. He is short and round and shy and insecure and darling and funny and I just love him. My baby landseal. Oh, my heart.
Potpourri: /ˌpōpəˈrē/ noun A medly of things heaped together, oddly tempting to eat as a snack, but not necessarily tasty or safe to ingest. May smell pretty, or for others, smell offensive. To each his own. Can be displayed openly, flagrantly, or discreetly concealed in a pretty, covered dish.