Friday, January 14, 2022

Back to It

Life continues with its twists and turns. I am thankful that this morning I had focused my thoughts on distilling the goodness, on centering my heart, my mind, on whatever is working, feels safe, can be managed. I had this elaborate post all worked up, and then I talked myself down. Process that, I reminded myself. Refine the message, and get to the particulars, the certain points that highlight good moments, progress, comfort. It's not hard for me to get overwrought, these days. I edited pictures off of my phone, happy that I found more than screenshots of memes, and soundbites. I thought about Maria back in school, the start of a new robotics season. I relished sharing a nursery visit, my intentions there. All of this is with mindful focus, and deliberate, as I also handled business emails, and dealt with a contentious miscommunication. Then a text came through, a death in the family. The emotions, and complications, the dystopian surrealism that has proliferated our lives... it's hard to believe, to take in. I am sad for his passing, for his children, and grandchildren, for his siblings. I admit that my own sorrow is for my younger self, who I was when I knew him better. And the sorrow is for the inconceivable future we find ourselves in. I could not have foreseen how strange things would become, how difficult. When we were children, traveling to El Valle was hard, a long journey, but nothing to compare with the obstacles, barriers, risks, and divides, literal and figurative, that stand in the way today.

I will focus on those particulars, my faith, and the happiest recollections, the good times, the small moments that can be so vivid, so imbued with hope, that they prevail, even over time, and loss, and grief.

Love Yourself, And the World. ~Bryce W.

Maria recognized her friend's message, written in chalk, at school. The flowers and heart-faced smiles are a sure giveaway. Bryce is a hearts and flowers life poet. It's a good message. All of these pictures, these moments, are good messages, reminding me of friendships, connections, of funny exchanges, and exquisite natural beauty, and silly beauty, and life's rhythms, the things we get to experience and share, like birding season, robotics season, the next sunrise. Who knows what unforeseen struggles we will face, but thank you, Life, and God, and friends, for the particulars that keep me hoping, and help me get back to it.

Monday, January 10, 2022

It's Not All Bad

A picture of our cat. Not all pictures of our cats are cat pictures. Sometimes they are self-portraits, cloaking as cat pictures. This is actually me after reading another school email about COVID, about COVID testing, about racist and homophobic, or anti-Semetic vandalism spray-painted all over the school, again, or COVID cases, exposures to COVID, or parents that hid COVID and sent their children to school sick. Another possibility... it's a picture of me after another session at the computer designing our new upstairs bathroom.
Well not a new bathroom. Our old bathroom, with the disintegrating shower tiles. We are preparing to update things, which is great, and I feel thankful and fortunate. Do you hear a but coming? We have a skilled and welcome person arriving this week, and he can fix all of the problems, and all I have to do is choose tiles, and paint. How is this hard? Why is this hard? Everytime I feel certain of my taste, my style, I am thwarted by inventory issues, or delivery times. Everytime I find something pleasing, I find it's a pattern or color that after an hour staring at it, I am already having second thoughts. I keep making new layouts with an app on the phone, and I have found this very helpful. Oh, good grief: I was about to explain my intentions with this layout, but I can't actually remember what I was intending. I've made about thirty of these. I still love those stars. They remind me of Barcelona, the Barrí Gòtic.
The same tile in the shower extends to the floors, and a tub surround. The tub is going, so we will have a 6'x7' area that will need flooring. So, can we tear out all of the flooring in the bathroom? That would be a huge huge undertaking. And if we can leave the orginal tile just for the flooring, then we will have to find something new and contrasting or matching or complementary for the existing tile, to go in the former tub area. Please, do not try to follow along. You can nod politely, as though any of this makes sense, or matters. I just need to write it down, and try to process it. I could never ask drag anyone down this rabbit hole.
Okay, these, at least, I can explain. The small corner, in each sample, would be shower flooring, and the rest would be the three shower walls. But, maybe don't get too attached. I am still hemming and hawing. And also, we already bought a vanity, back in October. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and then I got anxious about it, because over-thinking is a special skillset of mine, and the latest is that I am just glad we have it, because I never never never want to shop for sinks/vanities/marble/quartz/granite ever again. Ever. I am happier that's done and settled than anything else. Another note: I am not shopping out in the world. I refuse. It's daunting enough from the office, but if I add driving, showrooms, and sales people, I will put the house on the market and move to Hawaii... (where I will eventually face similar dilemnas, but that's not the point.)
I have refrained from posting all thirty+ variations and iterations of this process. I am still undecided, and more confused than ever. This is my latest vision layout to contemplate. It includes the stone flooring that we are likely sticking with, but maybe might have to tear out. The mosaic greens would be the shower floor, and the distressed white for the shower walls. Distressed. lol. Oh! Our vanity area will need new flooring, too. Oh, glob. I fear we are going to make a flooring crazy quilt, and not in a good way. Geoff thinks we can salvage non-disintegrating tiles from the shower and lay them down for the new vanity. I think, after we administer the back-to-school COVID screening, I might go upsatirs and take a cat nap.