Saturday, February 7, 2015

February Inventory

Reading I recently finished Me Before You.  Meh. It was more chick lit than literary fiction.  Little substance or style.  Skip it unless, of course, you like that kind of squishy story.  Sorry if that sounds snobbish.  I moved on to Cheryl Strayed's debut novel, Torch.  I expected it to grab me, and it did.  Although it is fiction, she draws heavily on her own experiences many of which became the backbone for Wild.  That begets the question: Is any work pure fiction?  It's a question she addresses quite powerfully in the book's preface.  I also have on hand her compilation from years writing as Dear Sugar called Tiny Beautiful Things.  It's light and perfect when I only have 5 minutes to spare.

Wondering if the way we live our lives today is changing our brains. All the multi-tasking and the constant connectivity makes me question, at times, whether I have ADHD.  Sometimes it takes all my mite to focus and not give in to that desire for continual external stimulation.  I find myself clicking on the link for a new article when I'm halfway through the first, starting the washing machine and forgetting to load it because I move on to unload the dishwasher and start dinner, half listening in conversations as I try to tune in to t.v., texts or games, or that my mind wanders mid-thought to what I have to do next. That perpetual list scrolling through my brain.  I don't think partial attention makes us more efficient, or that social media makes us closer.  I think it all makes us stressed out and isolated.

Noticing that it takes about 3 weeks to entrench a good habit and a bit longer to shed a bad one.  Also that I am not an all or nothing girl and that it's OK to be kind to myself.  Even forgiving.  And that there is much value in the intention.

Watching the last episode ever of Parenthood.  Coach can confirm that I started to cry before the show even started.  It was a great, albeit teary, hour.  I wasn't put off that it ended so neatly minus Zeke's exodus either.  I needed closure because like so many loyal viewers, I felt like the Bravermans were my family.  That's why I'm boycotting ABC: they exiled my people.  Coach and I watched Fury this week.  Meh.  Another war movie.  That's all I got.

Listening soon to my Parenthood playlist.  I have a compilation of about 40 songs from the life of the series that I'm gathering for a cd.  It was hard to whittle it down to 40 too.  The music was definitely one of the things I loved about that show.  Also listening to Serial.

Eating lots of cereal and salads, and a fair amount of take out this past week when I was a single parent.

Drinking a giant cup of cold water first thing in the morning.  It is more energizing than starting my day with coffee, but I still have a cup every morning.  Just one most mornings.  I used to have two, but I have effectively replaced that second cup with a mug of green tea because, well, green tea equals antioxidants.  I love tea, but green tea has been an acquired taste for me. I enjoy it with orange and cinnamon steeped in the blue mug with birds and words I painted last week with Lily.  Happiness in a cup.

Feeling vulnerable, but knowing I'm strong and stubborn.  This is the last I'm going to prattle on about the last week(s) from hell, but nothing makes me feel more afraid and defenseless than when someone I love is sick.  Coach was really sick.  Like stay home all week in bed, go to the doctor and get turbo antibiotics sick.  He finally turned the corner and is on the mend.  I knew he would no thanks to people who felt compelled to share horrific stories with me and the breadth of knowledge from their Internet MDs, but I digress.  It takes me back to the days at the end of my Mom's life.  There were people there for me...for her...for us.  We were not alone.  I learned to not only accept help, but to ask for it.  I've since forgotten that.  I declined any help that was offered last week.  During that time 6+ years ago, I also learned that most people don't want to be viewed as weak or needy so they try to do it on their own, and also that they often don't know what they need so it is important not to ask, but to just do.  Bring them a hot meal, call them from the store and find out what they need (if they say nothing, bring them wine, chocolate and magazines), shovel their walk, or walk their dog.  Insist.  Just do it.  Don't ask.  I used to be better at that because I lived the life of a caretaker, and I couldn't have done it without support so I learned the value of showing up.  This past couple of rough weeks were more of an inconvenience than an ordeal, but it's still nice to know that we're not alone and to remember to keep paying it forward.

Wanting to win the lottery tonight.  Buy Powerball tickets is on my list today.   My Mom used to say, You can't win if you don't play.

Wearing my Mom's Lake Winnipesaukee sweatshirt, Ted's now too small for him LL Bean slippers and my be present necklace, which was a favorite gift from Coach.

Hoping that Cheryl Strayed keeps writing books, ABC brings back Parenthood, I get the winning numbers, my Mom's sweatshirt lasts forever, and that Coach is good as new Monday morning.

Thinking Isn't that like wondering?  I'm thinking that more fulfillment comes from doing the thing rather than talking about doing the thing.  Capisce?

Enjoying This piece from The New Yorker, and this line because I saw it too...

Now I know for sure that the soul is an evanescent thing and that the body is its temporary container, because I saw it. I saw the body with the soul in it, I saw the body with the soul leaving, and I saw the body with the soul gone.