Rx Renewal

I have a tendency to be late to things.  It is not on purpose and I do not like this fact about myself.

Over the years, I have grown mature enough to pinpoint my faults that cause this personality flaw of being tardy.  When younger, I have to admit it was a bit of a “meh” attitude.  I didn’t not care, but, I didn’t care enough.  Slowly, things started to change.

The second phase of my tardiness resulted from my impatience. I hated (and still do hate) to be on time and then have to wait around for everyone else.  There were a few times that I made a rewarding effort to be on time, just to be the first person at a gathering and have to watch the hostess (who was running behind) still wrap prosciutto in bacon.  I’d have to make myself busy playing games on my phone, if not asked to chip in to help with final preparations, until the other guests arrived a fashionable half hour late.  (My customary “running late” arrival time btw.)

The third phase was that I started adding too many other chores into my “getting ready” routine.  When I was supposed to be blending my eye shadows, I would remember the load of clothes that needed to be moved from the washer to the dryer.  Or I would finally decide after three weeks of dryness, to water the plant in the front room while the iron was warming up.  Getting ready to leave always seems to be the perfect time for any odd task to be performed.

The fourth phase was that I wasn’t as spry as in younger years.  The shower that used to take 7 minutes turned into 12.  I couldn’t move as fast as I used to, so I now needed more time. Doing my hair took longer, figuring out an ensemble took longer.  Makeup application needed advance planning and prep!  Good lord, I irritated my own self with the extra time needed to do what I was doing before.

Well, this now brings me to phase 5.  The current culprit of my tardiness isn’t anything to do with my lack of effort.  It has now become the amount of pills, drops and ointments that I have to take before I can get out of the door!  With the drops that I have to take on an empty stomach — but not before or after brushing my teeth — to the pills that need to be taken with food, to the essential oil that has to be rubbed into the skin afflictions, there is no way I can be on time to anything!  I am appalled at all the combinations of pills and remedies that I have to take, with conflicting instructions on how they must be taken.  And I am baffled at how long this process takes me.

It has gotten so, that I sometimes have to carry a bag with me, out the door, so that I can finish taking the meds on the ride to my destination.  Couple this with the fact that I decided to groom the dog on the way out and pull the weeds out of the mulch bed, and it’s a sure set up for being late.

With pill-popping being phase 5, I am so nervous to see what phase 6 of this plight will be…!  Dear god, what about phase 8?  Will it be a diaper issue by then?

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Dual Perceptions

I had the privilege of having a short story titled Dual Perceptions published in an anthology called Double Entendre. I decided to post it so it can be read by those unable to get a copy of the book.  I hope you enjoy!

Dual Perceptions

by LS Jackson

©6/2017

Clarice walked between the swings of an old play-set.  The grass was worn in this area of the church yard.  The boy walked with his head hung low, away from her and toward the stone ledge that surrounded the property.  She sensed that nothing she was saying to him was making him feel any better.  But she kept trying. 

                The boy climbed the ledge and stood looking over the edge into the flowing water below.   She was a few feet away from him and began to speak louder so he could hear her over the blustering wind.  He was grappling with an intense feeling of confusion that was making them both sad and she wanted nothing but to help him and show him that she was there for him.

                He looked back at her once more before jumping off the ledge.

 

Clarice startled awake and stifled a scream.  Her husband snatched off his headphones and reached out for her, almost spilling his Jack and Coke.

“Honey,” he said with alarm, “are you okay?”

Clarice could see the flight attendant’s concerned look as she headed toward them.

“I’m alright.  I’m alright,” Clarice gasped as she waved the attendant away and held on tight to Brian’s hand.  “A scary dream.”  The passengers seated near them returned to their previous activity before her disturbance.

A moment later, the attendant brought over a cup of water that Clarice was thankful for. Her heart rate was already starting to slow down.  Brian accepted the cup as the attendant gently closed the curtain separating them from the travelers seated in coach, to give Clarice a little privacy.

“Stop chewing your tongue and take a sip of this water,” he suggested.  “Are you really that upset about visiting your sister?”

“Ugh.  That woman and I are not made from the same mold, let’s not forget!”

Brian sighed.  “You only acknowledge you’re adopted when you’re mad at her. And the way you’re gnawing on your tongue is telling me you’re stressed. You sure we’re going to be okay taking this trip?”

“Yes, yes, I’m sure. But come on, Brian, this is ridiculous!  To blow through an inheritance, get evicted twice, and call me both times to come and help?  It’s just stupid.”

Brian gave her hand a reassuring pat. “But you’re a wonderful woman to use your half of the inheritance to help her out.”  He raised her hand to his lips and kissed it.

Clarice blushed from the compliment. “I guess.  But I am mad about it.” She paused to sip the water. “Even still, it will be good for us to see each other.  It’s been a long time. Everything will be fine. I will be fine.  I promise.” She rolled her shoulders to loosen the tension in her neck and adjusted her legs to prevent a later backache.  She inadvertently looked at her purse on the floor and longed for one of the cigarettes she had hidden in there.  She once more promised herself she would quit the habit again.  And soon.  “How much longer before we land?”

Brian checked his watch. “A little over an hour.”

“Okay.  I’ll just rest my eyes then.”

Brian kissed the freckle on the tip of Clarice’s nose and gave her leg a light squeeze, then pulled on his headphones to finish watching his movie.

Clarice hadn’t dreamed of the boy in quite some time.  It used to be that she dreamt of him frequently.  These dreams had a vividness superior to all others.  In most, if not all, he was always so sad and it was her job to cheer him up. She didn’t mind because he was such a nice boy.  He had frequented her dreams most when she was a teen. She’d helped him through so many hardships.  About the time she turned nineteen, she didn’t dream of him much, and only thought of him every once in a while.  Maybe when shopping and seeing someone who reminded her of him.

It wasn’t always that he showed up needing help.  There were a number of occasions when he had come to her aid.

A dream before fifth grade:

Clarice and the boy had laid under a large canopy bed in a bedroom deep in the west wing of a castle. She had finally finished crying.

“I can’t even say that word,” he’d said. 

She chuckled.  “Sco-li-o-sis. It means a crooked spine.  And surgery.  And an awful back brace for six months!” 

“Won’t you feel and walk better though?  And won’t you get ice cream and presents afterwards?”  

When her mom was in that really bad car accident:

 “What if something happens to her?  Who will take care of us?  What will happen to me?” 

“She’s proven loyal to you, hasn’t she?  Why do you doubt her now?” he had asked as he’d handed her one of his treats.  She tried to hide her displeasure in his snack but promised she would eat it later.

When she received her college acceptance letter:

Clarice sat cross-legged inside a palanquin being pulled by a horse.  The boy rode atop the saddle holding tightly to the reigns.

“This should be a happy time for me,” she sighed.

“It is,” he said turning in the saddle to face her, “isn’t it?”

“Not for long.  Once my grandparents learn I want to go to Berkeley to be with Brian rather than the family Alma Mater in Chicago, the fits going to hit the shan.”

The boy looked confounded.

“It means it’s really going to be bad,” she explained.

  The boy contemplated. “The way I see it, they’ll appreciate you being up front and honest with them.  Let them know you plan to work hard no matter what.  And explain that your education, as well as your happiness, is what matters to you. They’ll come around.  They may be mad for a little while, but they love you.  Eventually, it’ll all clear up in the end.”

Clarice smiled as she reached out to tousle the boy’s hair.  He felt inside the front pocket of his shirt and tossed her a biscuit. 

In all the years she dreamt of him, he had never aged.  He was always a 5 year old toddler.  The advice he gave her was always insightful, but so bizarre coming from such a young child.

Clarice wondered why he was appearing after all this time.  As usual, she wondered who he was and what it meant that he appeared in her dreams at all.  She felt that she had disappointed him this time, that she hadn’t done enough.  She wasn’t sure if falling asleep would bring him back in to her dream so that she could help him, but she hoped the last hour of the flight was enough time to try.

∞                                           ∞                                           ∞

Carlton sat on the ledge, swinging his feet back and forth.  His bow tie sat crooked around his neck, and he kept adjusting it, trying to get it right.  He could hear footsteps approach and knew it would be Doug.

“Thinking of jumping, are you?” his friend joked as he leaned over the ledge to look at the water below.  “That’s a better choice than going back in there,” he laughed pointing toward the church.

Carlton snorted a laugh.

“Why are you out here?  Having second thoughts?”

Carlton rolled his eyes.  Doug knew he was having second thoughts.  Third thoughts and fourth thoughts, for that matter.

Doug raised his arms in mock defense. “Alright.  Sorry.  Calm down.” He let out a nervous laugh.  “I’ve known you most of my life—what would you say–a good 18 years?  And I’m not really sure what I’m to do here, buddy.”

“Why do you keep forgetting to add the time we were together at that mission home before you were sent to that first family?  It’s been almost 21 years now, my friend.”

“Oh yeah.  The Miller’s.  I do seem to always forget that.  Maybe ‘cause we were so young for that one.  But, still. We’ve stayed friends through a lot of bad times. You and your stint in juvie and all those times you ran away and left me in that hellhole group home all by myself.”

“Yeah, but you were placed in all those foster homes, leaving me in that hellhole place by myself!” Carlton retorted.

“But I kept getting sent back to you, didn’t I?” Both men laughed.  “We’ve stuck with each other through all of that, but I’ve got to say, Carl, I don’t know what to tell you on this one. This is a decision you need to make on your own.”

They’d already had many different versions of this conversation — with them both saying the same thing — and Carlton was tired of it.

Doug grabbed Carlton’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze.  He reached into the breast pocket of his tuxedo and pulled out a pack of Marlboro’s. “You want to keep chomping on your tongue, or do you want one of these?”

Carlton hadn’t realized he was chewing his tongue. He looked at the box and hesitated.

“What? Did you quit again?” Doug asked as he shook loose a cigarette from the pack. Carlton took it, placed it between his lips, and waited for Doug to light it. The burn of the nicotine was a welcomed feeling that Carlton missed.  He would have to once again muster the energy to break the habit.

The funny thing was that he knew what he should do.  He was just still trying to convince himself to do it.  And there was no way he could explain to Doug that his decision would be based on a dream.

The black and white Border Collie had come back.  It was a long time since he had dreamed of her.  Actually, a long time since he had needed her. She’d been there for him as long as he could remember.  He never understood why the dog had such an influential position in his dreams, but later understood it to coincide with the most afflicting times in his life.

The building of the group home sat atop a rain cloud.  Puffs of smoke rose with each step Carlton and the dog took as they walked toward the edge of it.  Carlton pulled on his backpack then hooked the puppy parachute pack to the dog and told her to jump.  They both fell free for a few moments until they saw land.  Carlton pulled the ripcord on the dog’s pack, followed by his own, and the pair glided toward earth.  They safely landed and Carlton looked up toward the dark cloud floating high above them.  “I hate that place,” he sighed. They walked to a nearby field and Carlton used his deployed parachute as a blanket.  He tirelessly threw a Frisbee that the dog would catch in mid-air.  The repetitive play soothed his thoughts and calmed him.

Another dream:

Carlton ran through the trees, tears leaving a clean line through his dirty cheeks. The branches whipped at his face, but he would not slow down.  He had to get away and stay away this time.  Suddenly, the dog appeared running next to him with a mirrored determination. The wind hissed cruel things at him as he ran, things he’d heard that whole week.  “Control that temper or you’ll never leave here.” “No one wanted you when you were born, no one’s going to want you now.”  “Nobody takes a kid your age.” Carlton’s leg caught onto something. He looked down to see that the dog had his pant leg between her teeth, pulling him to a stop.  “What are you doing?  We’ve got to keep going.”  The dog growled low and tugged harder.  Carlton resisted the urge to pull away from her, but knew she was right.  He had nowhere to go.  She sat and he sat with her.  She whimpered before laying her head in his lap with her body curled next to him.  Fresh tears leaked from his eyes as he sat in the woods, petting the dog, wondering what was to become of him.

No matter the activity, her appearance in a dream was a constant source of comfort for Carlton and helped him through many trials. After leaving the home and no longer being a ward of the state, Carlton had flourished working in landscaping with a friend of Doug’s foster father. He had quickly branched off and started a prosperous business of his own.  Carlton hadn’t dreamed or thought of the cocker spaniel since then.  But there she was two nights ago.

 Carlton swayed back and forth on a swing of an old play set and threw a tennis ball, which the dog brought back to him each time. He dug into the pocket of his jacket and realized he had no treats for her, but she didn’t seem to mind.  She dropped the ball and sat at his feet as her wagging tail displaced the dirt between the swings. He crawled onto the ground beside her and she lovingly licked at the freckle on the tip of his nose.  Carlton began to talk and poured out everything that was stressing him.  His fiancée was a pleasant distraction from his loneliness, but he wasn’t sure that marrying her was going to fix the void in his life. The familiar petting of the dog’s soft fur brought the usual comfort that he realized he had missed.  After a while, she picked up the tennis ball and trotted away from him.  Fifty yards away, the dog turned in a circle and sat.  She turned to look at him and let out a soft whine before walking another fifty yards and sitting again.  Only when she saw Carlton stand to brush the dirt off his pants and finally start to follow her out of the yard, did she stop the low whining in her throat.

“A lot of people in there?” Carlton now asked, his cigarette half smoked.

“Well, her side of the church is almost full.  Not much to your side, though.  Those two guys from your job with their wives, and one of their kids.  Sharon is late.  She’s mad at me again.  I’d actually be surprised if she shows up at all.”

“Another one bites the dust?”

“We’ll see.”

Carlton was glad that Doug let him finish his cigarette in silence. After the last drag, he threw the butt into the water below.

“Ready to go?” Doug urged.

“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” Carlton answered as he pivoted around on the ledge and hopped onto the ground.  He and Doug walked shoulder to shoulder toward the left side of the church.  Carlton hobbled past the swing set. The cause of his limp was recently diagnosed as an untreated curved spine as a kid. The docs couldn’t do much for him now outside of a surgery that Carlton wouldn’t agree to, so the minor hitch in his step was a permanent part of his character.

Doug headed toward the entrance of the church and noticed that Carlton wasn’t following him. “What’s up, Carl?”

Carlton turned from the parking lot where he was headed.  “I think I’m gonna take the Harley out and ride around a bit, then try that new hibachi place for lunch.  Let’s do our usual at Gary’s Pub on Tuesday, though, okay?”

 

No praise for Wonder Woman

My husband works full-time and has made it that I am able to work part-time, so that I can be home to take care of the kid.  Naturally, most activities that involve her, are primarily my responsibility.  I handle the playdates, kids’ parties, and doctor appointments.  I arrange extra curricular activities and align my schedule to sit there while she’s participating.  Hair appointments, day trips, school picnics, swim-gymnastics-art classes and the entire gamut of summer and winter entertainment during school breaks.  Not to mention the family outings that need to be arranged and put together for the three of us to enjoy together.

I am sure you see the painted picture. I am a very busy amusement director.

I don’t want to portray an image of my husband not doing any work or being uninvolved.  He is great with his fatherly chores.  Making lunches, combing hair, checking homework, picking up and dropping her off to school, annual father/daughter movie night, Disney on ice every year.

Again, you see the picture.  The point of this story is not his lack of activity in raising our kid. I feel that we both handle our responsibilities equally and fairly.  The point of this story, though, is the kid’s response to it.

Case in point: A friend arranged for a group to head out to Cook Forest for a canoe trip.  Because of previously set plans, I was unable to go.  But my hubby and the kid still did.  And they had a great, fun time.  After my activity was complete, I actually enjoyed the free time to myself before their return home.

So, here’s the thing–the praise my husband got when they got back!  I had to hear about it for two days!  My daughter was non-stop in her compliments and pride in her father taking her on the trip.  She couldn’t stop talking about the fun they had and regaling me with multiple stories of what happened in the canoe, on the riverbank and on the ride home.  The food they ate, the heat from the sun, the cold water.  “Daddy did this…” “Daddy said that..” “We laughed at this…”.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am so glad when those two share happy moments together.  What mother wouldn’t be?  But what took the cake was when she passionately told me that she really appreciated his taking time out of his busy schedule to spend time with her and that he deserved a thank you card.

So, okay.  She is right.  He did do a nice thing.  She should show appreciation, and he did deserve a card. But…uh…where is mine?!!!  What about all the days that I spend crawling through bouncy houses getting rubber burns on my elbows and knees?   The parks and farms we’ve traveled to–stepping in goat, bunny and chicken poop to feed the animals? The bee sting from blueberry picking? Getting lost and walking a mile, in the heat, to get to the museum for her to draw on the sidewalk as part of the Chalk Festival?

We’ve done things, people!!  Fun things!!  Well-planned and thought out things!  I haven’t gotten any “thank you” card!  I haven’t heard her speak with passion to anyone else about how great I am for taking her anywhere!  This is just the recent story of many with her applauding her father for his spending time with her.  She tends to sing his praises after any outing that they share!

But, I will never stop her from doing this.  I will always encourage her to say “thanks” to him and go the extra bit to write a card.  Let’s get out the glue gun and put bows, pom-poms and glitter on it to jazz it up.  Let her understand that her dad is kind and that she’s special to get some special time with him!

Dare you say that I am jealous, though?  Why, yes.  Yes, I am!  lol

Summertime Sadness

I love the sun.  One of the reasons I feel that my husband and I should uproot our entire lives is so that we could move to an area where the sun shines most of the day, month and year!  I feel like sunshine helps me to grow and be creative and feel better! I’m happier, motivated and more positive.  (And I think I’m cuter–because you wear dainty, freer clothes in the summer, right?)

During the winter months, I start to feel like I’m being held back from so many things I could be doing– if I wasn’t being weighed down by snow storms, slushy dangerous streets and winter advisory warnings to stay inside.  That is when I begin making plans of all the wonderful things I am going to do as soon as the weather breaks and the higher temperatures start to roll in.  I literally create a list and start to imagine the tingle of the heat on my skin and the elation I’m going to feel as I engage in the listed activities. I get fantasies going and include my daughter in these–both of us discussing the snacks we may take along or the outfit we may wear.  Whether we will go by ourselves or include someone in these sun-filled, perfect-weather activities.

So summer comes, right?  The weather is hot and brilliant, right?  And one day (last Wednesday) I realized that it is the middle of July and that I have only done one thing on my summer list!  I still have so many other things I was supposed to do but now there’s school supplies replacing the beach gear at stores.  The board of education is starting to send out medical packets that need filling out for the new school year.  And I keep getting a groupon email, reminding me that I haven’t used the voucher I purchased in February to visit a nearby safari park.

Now is when the panic seeps in!  I am starting to depress, thinking of all that we have not gotten done and probably won’t get done!  The sad part is, I can’t give you a list of things that we have done, that replaced my summer bucket list!  How in the world does that happen?  When another mom asks “how the summer has been going”, I have no exciting stories to share of what we have gotten ourselves into, yet I have been so busy and slightly overwhelmed on the day to day with so much (of what?) going on!  Again, I ask you, how does that happen?

There are three 1/2 weeks left before the kid goes back to school.  Although I look forward to the quiet of her going back and the toned down days from the hustle and bustle of unknown sources, I am really going to try and fit in at least three more of the listed activities we thought we were going to fulfill.  A sleepover, a waterpark and I tell you–I will feed a giraffe at the safari park, doggone it!!

And who knows? Maybe we can squeeze a in a few more items over the weekends.  Perhaps get the bike rack out of the box and setup so we can enjoy that bike-riding picnic down the towpath that we listed.

I’ll try not to let the incomplete activities get me too down and in the dumps.  And I’ll just keep viewing posts of folks doing fun energetic activities that I’ll probably add onto next year’s (unaccomplished) list!

Come Out and Play

My daughter is an only child.  I always assigned this as the reason that she wants my husband or I to be part of all of her activities.  If she’s making a sock puppet, one of us is asked to participate so she doesn’t have to do it alone.  When she learned how to crochet, she asked me to sit with her while she did it–just to have someone near her.  While outside riding her bike, one of us has to be present to watch her circle the cul-de-sac.  Any task, craft, activity or job that she is involved in, has to be accompanied by one of us.  Whether adult supervision is necessary or not.  Again, I thought it was just a peril of having one child.

That is why this year, we decided to bring along a cousin (with two siblings of his own) who is close to her in age with us on vacation.  We really felt that this would be a good idea, as well as the key for us to sit by the pool and actually get to enjoy some relaxation time while the kids frolicked and played together.  We planned ahead and thought we covered all bases for the two of them to be aptly occupied.  What we didn’t plan for, was that now we had two children making requests for us to come and play!!

What?!  What happened?!

We provided them both with floatation devices, snorkel masks, water tasers, and alligator shaped rafts.  The pool had three water slides, multiple waterfalls and grotto hot tubs.  Not to mention there were numerous other kids in the pool they could have easily asked to join them in any kind of made up game. But, no.  After the first trip to the pool, after only a mere fifteen minutes, both kids approached the edge to ask when either my husband or I were going to come into the water to play.

Hiding our annoyance, my husband kindly explained that the two of them were to entertain each other.  This “revelation” was met with sighs and whines.

The funny thing I noticed, was that a few lounge chairs away, a mom was trying to relax and have a conversation on her cell phone.  She, too, had provided her two daughters with inner tubes rented from the resort to help with their entertainment.  The girls started off fine, floating together in the tubes, trying to flip each other off, when their cries for her to join them mingled in with my kids’ cries!

I was shocked to see that these two sisters continued to ask for their mom to join them–the same behavior I see from my only child!  The same behavior I experienced with her and her cousin!  I must say that I am astounded at this because this is not the way my sister and I acted when we were young.  And we didn’t have floatation devices or goggles or any such fun equipment given to us.  We were shown the pool and told to make due.  And that is what we did.  We made up contests, played ‘telephone’ underwater, saw who could hold their breath the longest, baptized each other, did handstands, made dance routines, flipped somersaults, swam like mermaids, played freeze tag, tried to stand on each other’s shoulders.  And all of this was done before we invited other kids in the pool to join us.  Then we did it all over again and again until our parents told us it was time to go.  (Suggesting these activities to them was again met with sighs and whines!)

So, why isn’t this the case with kids now-a-days? It makes you wonder why kids aren’t as imaginative anymore?  Is it the electronics?  Too much tv watching?  Over-stimulation?

I’m not sure we’ll ever know.  I just hope I can gain some patience to deal with it as long as it lasts!

 

 

Keys, please?

I took my kid to the dentist a few weeks ago and needed to empty my bladder before her appointment was over.  On a previous visit to this same office–with this same issue of needing to pee–I was shown a cute little bathroom in the corner of the office to use.  On this new visit, I figured I’d be given this same allowance.

Not the case.

This time, I was told to take a key with a large chunk of wood attached to it as a keychain and to go up a flight of stairs to use the restroom.

I’m sure you can guess how annoyed I was with this new arrangement.  And it of course got me to wondering–why do certain offices (and I find that it’s usually a dentist’s office) make you use a locked community bathroom?  Realize, though, that the question does not lie in the community portion, but in the locked aspect?

What previous patient, perhaps under general anesthesia for oral surgery–or one who needed laughing gas to calm down for a filling–went on a drug induced rampage and ransacked the bathroom that they now have to lock them up and monitor who goes inside?

I remember these same rules growing up as a kid and wonder how it all started in the first place and why it hasn’t changed today.  Have we not shown ourselves mature humans now to be able to handle using the restroom without monitoring?  I guess not.

The answer to this phenomena may be plain, obvious and understandable.  But when I’m restricted by the reason, it makes no sense in the world! lol

Time Wasters

There’s a song by Kings of Leon with the lyric “..take the time to waste a moment.”  The first time I heard this verse, I wrote it down so that I could reflect on ways I could do this.  I thought that wasting time with my husband or my kid would be a good choice.  Or with both of them together.  Perhaps wasting some time to take the dog for a nice long walk when I’m supposed to be washing dishes or folding clothes.  Or maybe just doing something for myself that can bring me some inner calm.  Any of those would be great ideas of how I could put into action the words I heard.

But of course, I got to thinking—why do we have to be reminded to do this kind of thing yet we find ourselves constantly wasting time on Twitter, Facebook or any other commonplace activity?  Why are we okay to waste time bingeing Netflix shows but have to be coerced into wasting time with our loved ones?  I have found myself swiping through pictures and videos on Instagram, of persons I don’t even follow, before I realize forty-five minutes have passed.  But I will quickly turn up my nose at my kid if I’m asked to look at some box she’s made out of a box.  (This is not a typo.  I have literally been shown a dismantled shoe box, cut up and re-taped back into a proud square!)

I’ve never taken much time to look and see what the song is actually about.  I could be taking this one lyric out of context and changing the entire meaning of the song.  But I did feel that verse sent a good message that we should take time to waste moments so that we can recharge ourselves or reconnect with whomever we deem necessary.  This is some sound and good advice that we should strive to heed from time to time.  Stop being so quick to rush to the next monotonous and mundane chore that we have to fill every day. Stop carrying the rushed and over worked attitude that we got when we left the office.  All we are doing is running toward our next stressful situation!

Whether I am interpreting the song correctly to having a profound meaning or not, I really hope that I can be better about setting more meaningful, as well as necessary, time-wasting moments.

$.50 refills on a small coffee

I love coffee shops.  The sit down, work on your thesis or read–coffee shops.  It started back in high school when my best friend and I would go to Arabica’s around our neighborhood to work on school projects, study for tests or have our own two-man book reviews.  Ever since, the place always had a feel of bliss for me.  Ethereal, Eclectic and Inspiring bliss.  You walk into a good coffee shop and feel that everyone there is being creative in their own special way.

The day to day activity of life had slowed down my visits to any coffee shops for a while.  But recently, I found myself needing a place to sit myself while my kid attended one of her current “must join or I will die” after school activities. Parents were not allowed to stay and observe and I didn’t feel like driving all the way back home.

Lo and behold, the heavens shone a light on a nearby coffee shop.  I have posted here ever since and immediately fell right into the groove from my first visit.  I was able to journal with deep emotions and read my book with a keener sense of understanding.  I even sent out the most meaningful email responses none have ever penned. (Well, typed actually.  You get the idea)

I say this with tongue in cheek but honestly, you can’t deny the overall feel of reflection vibing off of folks. With the quiet flow of Indie music piping through the speakers and the sight of persons free to be bold with their self-expression.

One such individual caught my eye the instant I walked into the coffee shop that first day.  A young and pretty barista stood behind the counter.  She had her eyes outlined with a black smoky rim and had drawn black diamond shapes the length of the left side of her face, from the top of her eye down to her chin.  One blue diamond broke up the black trail.  The shaved left side of her head added to her edgy look.  But in its own way, it was still quite soft and feminine and looked lovely on her.  Perhaps her bubbly and kind attitude added to the softness of the dramatic look.

I quickly envied this young lady of her confidence.  Again, adding to the overall feel of the coffee shop being a place where you can be who you want to be.

The next week, I was surprised to see the same barista but with a new design on her face.  I don’t know why I assumed the week before was a one shot deal.  To observe some celebration that I was not aware of.  But I thought: how cool is it to work at a place where you can do this kind of thing?  Be who you want to be?  And be accepted?!  I ordered my Chai tea and smiled at the prospect of such a thing.

I found myself looking forward to see what she was going to do the next week.  And I was not disappointed.  This time, she had a rainbow of beautiful eye shadow colors blended nicely over her lids which were accented by a sprinkle of small silk flowers that matched her choice of shadows.  The flowers were arranged once again over the left side of her face.  A nice spray that started above her eyebrow and scattered to her mid-cheek.

I finally spoke about her face art and told her that I loved her bouquet.  We talked for a moment of how she kept the flowers in place and about the brand of eye shadow she uses.  Adding to my first impression that she was a nice young lady.

The emotion of the coffee shop on this particular visit was shattered moments later when an older gentleman walked into the place.  After marching up to the counter and kindly being welcomed into the establishment and asking for his order, the man responded with a harsh: “What is that crap all over your face?”

My barista, as she has now been pegged, kept her cool and replied: “They are flowers, sir.  What can I get for you?”

Who did this murderer of creativity think he was barging into my land of inspiration and ruining the bliss felt by all?  In honesty, I think I was more offended than the barista!  So much so, I felt it necessary to speak to her of his rudeness and compliment her on handling herself aright!  I hope on my next visits, that this man never infects my haven with his presence ever again.

It saddens me to wonder: Can it be that not all feel the effect of the quintessential coffee house?  Perhaps some feel that it is just a place to drink a caffeine-infused beverage.

None can be that obtuse could they?

The Joys of Teen Angst?

If you asked me if I would like to go back to being a teenager to experience that phase of life all over again, I would hesitate slightly before saying no.  The hesitation would be because of the health and energy I enjoyed as a teenager.  But the firm “no” would be because of the emotional ball of drama that I displayed.  The upset, tears and hormonal imbalance of being a teen is overwhelming!  (And I dread being a sad, unwilling participant when my kid goes through it)  The complete horror of not having the right shoe to set off an outfit; or a hair coming out of place if the outfit was just right.  The complete devastation if your friend didn’t call you after school — although you just spent the entire day together.  The utter dismay of everything involving the person that you were crushing on.  As a teen, anything could have been the cause of serious emotional upheaval.  And who needs that?

But then again, if you try to take a counter view of it—when have you ever felt as passionate about anything? Why don’t we carry that same fervor for things ever again?

Wouldn’t it be great to feel for our current mate as we felt for that crush we had as a teen?  That every conscience moment was consumed with thoughts of them.  That you honestly felt that you would fade into nothing if you didn’t talk to them multiple times a day.  Remember how your entire body would respond to just feeling the heat of their bare arm next to you at the lunch table? No, not touching you—just next to you! Can you imagine the change in the state of marriages today if we all still had that kind of ardor?

What if our friendships were nurtured as well as they were when we were teens? Minus the immaturity, of course.  I can’t handle all that female backstabbing again.  But if we called our friends on the regular, talked about all of our hopes and dreams like we used to—lay bare all of our thoughts and fears—can you imagine the strong bonds we would have?   I wouldn’t want to feel that total devastation if a friend doesn’t text me back in a timely manner, but no longer holding back our innermost thoughts and being open books to our closest companion(s) would be amazing.

I don’t think I would have the energy to be as emotional about my hair and clothes as I was back then, but I guess having a stronger interest in those areas would be nice!

Overall, I guess my point is that I wish I could copy some of those intense feelings I had as a teen.  To dream big.  To love harder.  To experience happy emotions with my entire being.  Take away the disquiet of the teen experience and you have a raw passion that is unfortunately lost as an adult.

To wash? Or to wear?

Wornclotheschair

A little while back, my sister and her husband were over for dinner and lightheartedly got into a dispute about dirty clothing.  My sister was fussing that clothes belong in one of three places–the drawer, the closet or the hamper for washing.  But my brother in law disagreed.  He felt that the arm of the chair, the side of the footboard or gently placed on the floor by the bed were acceptable places as well and should be added to her list.

My sister looked to me for support–because in most cases (an estimated 9.99997 times out of ten) I agree with her–hands down.  But to her bewilderment and my husband’s excitement, I agreed with my brother in law.  (Who has been and still remains one of my 6 arch nemeses)

Here’s the logic behind it.  Some clothes just aren’t dirty enough to be put in the hamper, but not clean enough to be put back where they belong.  Short and simple.  So where do they go?  To one of the aforementioned areas.

I don’t know of which opinion you find yourself on the matter, but let me give a detailed scenario to explain myself.

Say you wake up one fine sunny day and want to sit out on your patio.  You wash, pick out a shirt and pants from your drawer or closet and go have breakfast outside.  You read the paper, check email, play games on your phone or enjoy the family. After this, you perhaps help your little one build a fort or order a few household items online.  You then decide you want to catch up on  a few shows that you DVR’d.  So you sit on the couch to create more space on your cable box and enjoy three episodes of Criminal Minds  (12 minutes missed because you dozed off) and maybe a light lunch until you’re reminded that you have to get up and get ready for your dinner plans that evening.

And here’s the clincher–what do you do with the clothes you just had on?   You perhaps recall perspiring ever so lightly due to the beautiful heat from the sun earlier.  But no sweat glands could call themselves completely expressed from it.  And you’ve done nothing but sat and watched TV for two hours with an occasional long stare out the window.

Whereas the clothes are no longer the best choice for say–a lunch date with colleagues–they are still perfect for another day of loafing around.  Or perhaps a quick run to the store.  You could use them to cut the grass or wash the car tomorrow. (Which would for sure merit hamper status) But you also have to keep in mind that you had two small meals in it.  No stains, but could the shirt imperceptibly smell like that garlic vinaigrette that was on your little salad?  Maybe?  Maybe not.  But you feel as though you cannot put these items back in the closet with  freshly washed items.  So?  Where…Do…They…Go…?

Exactly!!  The floor, the footboard or the arm of the chair.

We discussed this for about 45 minutes over assorted grilled cuisine because there was nothing we could say to get my sister to understand our sentiments nor to agree with our arguments.

I don’t know if I’ve persuaded you or not, but it was 3 to 1 that night; so it could be safe to assume that more of you have clothes lain around your rooms (as do I) than not.:-)