…every hour of every day.
Yup. Good advice. Especially after one gets on the scale and sees a four pound gain and almost instantly bursts into tears. Yeah, it’s not the freaking number. Who cares about that. What’s the different between one number and another? But it’s what the number represents, and the mindlessness, or ridiculousness, that it represents.
I am an adult. I know what to do. I need to change my attitude.
So today’s posting is different than usual. Good things happen every hour of every day. Richard needs to remind me of this. Often. And I nod my head. I know it’s true. So today, a reflection on the hour:
11am: It’s fall. I wore my quilted jacket for the first time today. It’s deep red and the only coat I own that isn’t black. With it, I wear a red and cream colored paisley scarf (I need a scarf with a coat—otherwise I feel unfinished!) My mother had a drawer full of scarfs, many that were not my style (or anyone’s) or they were weird or pilled or static-y or scratchy or moth-eaten and full of holes. I found a few that were keepable, as sample memorabilia if nothing else. Maybe I’d keep them and then send them to Goodwill one day. Last year I found them in my own cluttered dresser drawer, tucked away in a plastic bag. I’ve been wearing the purpley/pinky one longest, with my black rain coat (and even sometimes with my J. JIll hyacinth ballet-sleeve top). There are splashes of cornflower blue even, so it exactly matches my wardrobe. Last year, after I decided to buy a new smaller size jacket, in this out-of-character garnet color, I found it matched exactly this ruby red/cream scarf of my mother’s. So now I get to think of her every time I tie either of these squares of fabric around my neck. I’m grateful or fall and this small intersection of mother/daughter fashion.
(OK, let’s see how far I can go with this! Updates on the hour-ish…)
noon: Apples. I’m grateful for apples. Granny Smith apples are a Good Thing.
1pm: Yay! A new baby has arrived! A women I’ve worked with (who still keeps connected as an occasional teacher) is a friend on Facebook. She’s been waiting and waiting (due date was last week), and now Theo is arrived! Everyone’s healthy. Yay and yay! Today is also my dearest friend’s AND my parents’ wedding anniversaries. Auspicious day!
2:30pm: Bad-thing-into-good-thing moment. One of my colleagues got all frustrated trying to do this, well, small task. Said, “RP, I don’t have time for this…” and stormed off. He’s busy. I get it. But like I have time? Hey, I’m busy, too. A hierarchy moment. I got miffed and pissed and all crappy feeling. I was suddenly dark and mad. But I went and completed this the mundane task, which was no less my responsibility than my colleague’s, really, and I did it with very little effort. No big deal. So then I decided I don’t need to be mad. I need to be empathetic. This was, perhaps, a friend reaching out—not a comment on pay scale. I can summon calm better than my colleague can. I can finish this small task, make it go away, move to the next step. It’s not that this was an unusual moment, really. Little stressors like this happen all day. (Thinking about the impatient driver behind me this morning.) The difference was I noticed it, I let myself be pissed for a minute, and then I let it melt away. Move on. So what am I grateful for? I’m grateful I didn’t turn a nothing into something. Whew!
3:30pm: I’m grateful I’m not 18 anymore. Seriously. It’s OK. (The angst I just witnessed in the restroom was wrenching. To them. Not so much to me, but I remember those days.)
4pm: There’s so so much. How do I choose? Friends. My friends who love me, even when I eat a whole package of Oreos. Even when I cry at the drop of a hat. Even when I’m bad at returning phone calls or finding the positive or waking up early or vacuuming. I am fortunate. I am. (This mid-afternoon fever brought to you by hunger pangs. I just realized I haven’t had lunch yet. Yikes. I’m grateful my little frozen dinner is waiting in the office fridge. I have high expectations for Organic Bistro Ginger Chicken. Don’t let me down!)
5pm: I am strangely grateful that my brunch plans for Sunday have been rescheduled to another time. I need the day for project work. And class. (I’m rather behind.) Maybe even writing. Maybe even a swim!
6pm: Chai tea. It makes me warm. And happy.
almost 7pm: How often do I mention my car? I know, I know. Lots. I love my car. I really do. It’s reliable and zippy and takes me where I need to go. I made a good choice back in 2004—and I’m reminded every time I turn the key. (Knock on something now, like the black plastic dash!)
OK, now I’m playing catch up—but that’s OK.
8pm: Bookstores. I’m grateful. Sure, you can get more online, and often for less money, but here you can appreciate the heft of a book in your hand, get a better sense of the package, the color, the feel of the flip of the page. I love my Kindle—I carry it with me everyday. It is a god send in the waiting room. I’m toggling between several titles. But the tactile feel of a book is still important. Plus Porter Square Books smells like coffee.
9pm: Yes, I complain about it often, but my cozy apartment works. It’s not too much. It’s just enough. Sometimes it’s all that I need. Like tonight. Plus it’s warm. (We’re bordering on winter outside.)
10pm: PBS. Let’s see: tolerable political analysis. Rick Steves on Barcelona (I want to go) and a NOVA edition on the recreation of a Nordic sword (much more compelling than it seems—history and sociology and craftsmanship) and the history of the musical on Broadway. The other night I chose to watch, instead of the VP debate (which I switched to on occasion, a curiously melded documentary on Obama and Romney, their biographies, and very much enjoyed these narrative takes. I didn’t know Romney spent time in France, that Obama went to Columbia. I can watch PBS all night long (a benefit and a curse).
11pm: Sleep glorious sleep.
3am: And then Gwen Ifill and company wake me up…
The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.
The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.
Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.