A Tuesday in List Form
If I am being honest, I have let the last many weeks slip into kind of a blur.
(I was going to just say, "the last few weeks were kind of a blur, have been kind of a blur" but then it felt like, hey, I must have had some say in the matter! Remember all that wonderful mindfulness training I've done in the past?)
Suddenly it's hard to distinguish one day from the next, even though during the actual occasion of it, the actual happening of it, it feels fine, normal. Not like anyone dialed the knob lower.
It's just that the retention is much less. The cataloguing process, for whatever reason, does not see the majority of my day's moments as being memorable. The webbing of my memory-saving net is getting wider and wider.
This morning, I woke up realizing that with a jolt.
Like, when you involuntarily doze off and then wake up like, "oh god, how long have I been sleeping?"
So I vowed to collect the moments of this nondescript Tuesday, to tighten the webbing of my memory-net. I carried around a little notebook and pen, and tweaked the wiring in my head to pay attention as if life depends on it. Turns out, even the most ordinary, rainy, COVID Tuesday is as rich as ever with fodder and delight. (More than I even had room to share!)
Here are six of the noticings:
1. I put a slice of bread in the toaster that was baked by Opal's godfather, Michael. I cut it all lopsided and, in some spots, it was thick as nerf. In the periphery, I noticed my five-year-old, Ruth, was moving things from the recycle bin to the refrigerator. Empty Almond Milk carton placed back into the door. Empty butter box placed back into the little butter slot in the door. I didn’t feel the need to intervene until she reached for the stool to climb up and place an empty can of LaCroix into the freezer.
Playing pranks on daddy?
Good one! High five.
2. If it was my birthday and I made a birthday wish, it would have been for an hour (hell, if it were a wish, I'd have wished for a DAY, but for realistic purposes, the conversion rate would be one hour) with my husband, in the morning before we begin to sag from the weight of the day, when we are still fresh and spring-loaded. With no interruption. I want nothing more than that right now. Bodies that overlap in the same house, the same space, are much easier to take for granted. It feels like connection-time—guarded with a gate and a lock—is what the world needs to get back into alignment. A regularly allotted coffee-chat with my philosopher-genius-comedian husband is the vitamin I need. You understand.
3. Thinking more about how absence makes the heart grow fonder. Not a human on earth can argue the validity of that statement. We are wired to go away from each other and then come back. I'm pretty sure that cavemen couples even parted ways during the day. Regardless, I don't imagine them hanging out in the same cave day-in-and-day-out for the better part of the year? This is all just to say that it's a satisfying thing for Jesse to go to work in Boulder. For the last few months, he's gone to his actual office a few days a week. Up to then, for a solid year, his office was strictly our bedroom. Often, my bras sat on the bed next to his lined-up paperwork. (Occasionally still do.)
Sure, I miss him the moment he walks out the door, but it breathes fresh air into the situation like a crack in the window. And vice-versa, I sincerely look forward to being the one who leaves the house on occasion. Good bye, dear ones!
4. Some days I wake up with the profound understanding that I need to move a room-full of furniture.
This morning, it was Ruth's room. She doesn't sleep in there so it has a stale, unlived-in feel. (Her room is downstairs from our's and Opal's rooms—a situation we never anticipated when we moved in to this house, years before Opal was born. That either the kids share a room or one ends up downstairs and pissed off about it.)
So I moved her fancy hand-me-down Pottery Barn bed to the far wall which required me to essentially take a backhoe to a mountain of stuffed animals, encased in a wall of American Girl Doll (and their generic affiliates) furniture. Like an exoskeleton. For the better part of an hour, Ruth's room looked like a natural disaster had visited. The dog just stood at the doorway, gazing at the wreckage. Ruth frolicked on the periphery as things found their place, as the stars sunk into their new places in the cosmos.
5. We FaceTimed with Ruth's former preschool teacher, Gail. (She was Opal's preschool teacher, too!) Gail retired when COVID struck and we stayed in touch as if she were a beloved auntie. Ruth tells me to LEAVE THE ROOM when they talk, so I sit in the doorway and see Ruth just staring at the screen, chewing on her hair. Ms. Gail, bless her heart, holds up one side of the conversation as she has learned to do so well over the years. I can't help myself but to shout from the doorway, "tell Ms. Gail who is coming to visit us tomorrow!" To which Ruth physically shoos me away like a pesky dog. Shoo, shoo, go upstairs, MoM!
6. Today was one of the five rainy days Louisville will have for the next year. Part rain, part snow—a sloppy ole' last hurrah for winter.
Things are getting better, no question. Grammy and grampy have been vaccinated. WE (Jesse and I) have been vaccinated. (YAhoooo.) We are slowly going into stores again but that means nothing in the face of an 8-5 day with no preschool or indoor playdates. What, Ruth and I will hang out at Target for four hours to break up the day? Wearing masks??
Things are getting better. We are within arm's reach, but on this bone-chilling wet Tuesday, I am reminded that we are not /quite/ there.
So we went to visit Grammy and Grampy in Boulder. Again, a blessed new possibility as of about a month ago, since we are all vaxxed. Driving to Grammy's, as we played eye-spy, I accidentally hit the down-window button on my car door. I let the window slide down halfway before I stopped it. I didn't rush to slide it back up, either, and by the time I did, there were water-pock marks on my sleeve and hand that sent an invigorating chill up my arm.
I usually get a slump in the middle of the day. I usually feel like I need a break or a 10-minute session of legs-up-the-wall. But as Ruth and I drove to Grammy's house with the windshield wipers slick-wiping the windshield like a metronome, back-forth, back-forth, and the back of my hand pockmarked with rain drops, I was struck with a very clear wack of joy. I had the notion that maybe it wasn't a rest that I needed on all those days after all.
Perhaps it was simply a change in perspective.