Monday, June 8, 2015

Because I know he'll stay.

I read an article today about a man who watched as his wife slowly died of cancer. In the piece, which is really remarkable both for it's laid-bare description of her illness and of his reaction to the loss, he discussed her anger. Her lashing out in frustration and confusion, and how she directed her anger towards him because, his friend told him, "She lashes out at you because she knows you'll stay."

Because I am able to make almost anything about me, narcissist that I am, I read that line and immediately felt this tremendous wave of guilt. This knowing. "I do that."

And I am not dying.

So what the fuck is my excuse?

 (I, me, my, mine..... narcissus, thy name is Daffodil. Oh man, it's all coming together for you right now, isn't it gentle reader?)

The point here is that if I took only one thing away from reading the article, it was not how fucking awful cancer is (but like I said, this article was eye-opening in that respect). I took away a reminder that I am going to carry with me for some time - if not forever - that I need to treat my husband well, every day.

Not because he will stay no matter what, but despite that fact.

My partner is a good man. A tremendous man. An excellent partner, a loving father, and my biggest cheerleader. He deserves to be treated not just with respect, but with kindness. No matter how fucking aggravated I am. No matter how tired, hungry, hot, stressed out or sad I am. No matter how much I need a cup of coffee, or how many loads of laundry I still have to do, or how many planes we still have to board to reach our destination.

No matter what.

This is not about cherishing the ones you love because who knows how much time we have. I get that. And that, quite frankly, doesn't really do it for me. I mean, carpe diem all you like. I am all about it. But to see a simple explanation for behavior that is clearly unnecessary and unhealthy and not a true reflection of myself or my feelings? Well. That one quote nailed it right to the wall for me.

All the same, I don't know what makes me think that this particular article is going to get me to change my passionate, bull-headed, hot-tempered ways. After all, I have seen friends experience the loss of their spouse. While it was shocking and heartbreaking at the time, it was pretty easy - too easy - to slip back into life-as-we-know-it. Which translates into me yelling and waving my hands in the air to express my frustration a great deal of the time. But today, I feel as though some invisible switch has been flipped.

I would so much rather be holding hands, then waving them around in the air.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Just when you thought you knew me.

I was going to title this post "Epilogue" but the idea of this being the end was too unnerving.

I mean, really. I am not going to close the door and turn the key and then walk away forever. You know I could never do that. I haven't got the willpower.

This is my 1000th post here. Isn't that something? And I have been thinking quite a bit about what I wanted to write for this milestone. Want I wanted to share. But really, what's left to discuss? There's not a lot that you don't know, gentle reader.

We have talked about self image and stretch marks and the infamous 11's that I Botoxed to kingdom come (several times).
We have talked about miscarriage and infertility and menopause.
We have talked about loving men and loving women and having sex and not having sex and how all of it was okay.
We have talked about giving birth and adopting and fostering.
We have talked about raising other people's children, and deciding not to raise other people's children, and the fact that sometimes, I don't even LIKE other people's children.
We have talked about finally writing a book, and then not finding an agent or a publisher.
We have talked about waitressing and roller derby.
We have talked about traveling, and about not wanting to get out of bed.
We have talked about severe depression and extreme joy.

We have talked about my life, and the lives of my family and friends, and everyone has been a very good sport about the whole thing.

And we have talked about Life Lists.

A few months ago, Sarah gave me a Passion Planner. Her note inside reads: "Author Your Fate".
And I sat down, and turned to the page corresponding to the date, and I wrote "I want to start my own business." And in the box labeled This Week's Focus I wrote: "Give notice at work."

So I did. Because I don't do shit halfway. I think we can all agree about that. I am an ALL IN kind of girl. And I knew that something in my life had to shift. I had to get control over my attention-deficit approach to life, dabbling in a million things and investing whole-heartedly in very little.

CPS had just called to see if I was ready for a new placement, so at first, I thought maybe I was about to get another foster case. They called again a week later while we were away on vacation, and when I didn't answer the call (I was on an airplane over the Pacific) they left a message assuring me that I was next on the list, and would get a call the next time they had a baby that needed fostering. So I sat around, very unemployed, the vision of a domestic goddess - cooking dinner and washing baby clothes and organizing things and waiting for the phone to ring.

When it finally did, it was not a social worker on the other end of the line. It was my destiny calling.

I don't really understand it myself, but I am buying a food truck and hitting the road.
I'll send a postcard when I have an update.