linger with me!
where the moon chases ghosts
planted as shadow trees
between fence posts
until break of mourning
fades dolor into dreams
linger with me!
where the moon chases ghosts
planted as shadow trees
between fence posts
until break of mourning
fades dolor into dreams
I have been in an 8 hour long meeting about navigating government contracts with almost no time to answer phone calls or emails from my clients today, let alone write a blog post. There is one more day to go tomorrow and I have to say: my soul feels slightly dead. I’m not good at sitting still for ONE hour, let alone eight, unless it’s to binge watch Netflix. It is 5:48 pm and I have exactly thirty-two minutes to pull some kind of blog post out of my sleeve before I get to go have dinner at the 3rd finest steakhouse in Las Vegas which I’m NOT skipping, even though I considered doing so and instead opt for room service and my jammies and catching up on work and writing. But I’m in VEGAS and I really love steak. Consequently, this is probably going to be short and dull with a lot of bad grammar because while I absolutely want to put out good content to my small but loyal group of readers, the promise to myself of a daily post in November means I may have to from time to time say “screw content”. Sorry not sorry.
There was assigned seating today at the conference and I was placed at the front of the room in the middle of the long narrow table. They clearly did not get the memo that I am extremely claustrophobic and need to be by an exit sign at all times or I get fidgety and a little panic sweaty. Plus it was awkward to sneak out to the bathroom, (HELLO: six babies equals bad bladder) AND there was not enough table space for all my STUFF. I also kept kicking off the table skirt every time I crossed and uncrossed my legs, which was about every forty two seconds, due to bladder/claustrophobia. To make matters worse, I couldn’t sneak texts and emails because the boss of the conference was very strict about phones being off and attention being on the content. Which I understand entirely. They spent a lot of time putting the conference together and it’s not polite to not pay attention.
But the night before I had figured out how to make videos of my personalized emoji self using face recognition with my recorded voice message coming out of super cute lips, complete with perfect lipstick. Earlier that morning I had sent quite a few videos of my new CARTOON identity telling my kids I loved them, my friends that I was stuck in Vegas without them and sad and thanking a few customers for orders in what I thought to be an amazingly creative manner. So I was getting quite a few responses from the people I texted this morning with my new favorite thing EVER: CARTOON HEATHER. So I wanted to see the responses but couldn’t until breaks.
It turns out that a lot of my customers (and some of my family members) thought I was drunk, which I WAS NOT. So I had to explain to them in NORMAL phone calls during the lunch hour (when I could have been eating TACOS) that I had thought it was great marketing, having a cartoon video of myself. Plus I don’t even have to brush my hair or put makeup like I do when I Facetime. My video emoji ALWAYS LOOKS CUTE. So this could potentially change the whole sales call thing, assuming I can close deals in 30 seconds or under.
It’s probably going to take a little while for people to get used to the new cartoon me but I’m pretty sure I’m on to something.
I’m always super smug in the TSA security line and take delight in being THE most efficient person in line despite the fact that I need five bingies for my stuff.
At this point the man behind me thinks I’m done with bingies. Oh contraire Mr Take Up MY Bingie Space Guy.
Mr. Pushy actually had the nerve to whisper God’s Son’s name in vain while I OCD’d all my bingies so they were all in a straight line and flipped my briefcase a few times so the shoulder straps weren’t hanging out. He clearly did not know how much slower any OTHER person would have been with all this stuff. I forgive him though. People get weird in airports. It’s the fear and uncertainty.
This is why I always put on my biggest, most serene, ‘I’m more patient than all of you’ smile from the security line all the way through boarding, watching the pursed lip, scowly people flounder and sigh and judge the person in front of them for going too slow or having so much stuff or just being annoyingly in front of them. They know not what they do for they are anxious, weary, fearful fliers and don’t know how to be zen like me while traveling.
My biggest concern on my flight from Spokane to Salt Lake was deciding before the flight attendant reached me, if I wanted cookies or cheez-its. I didn’t have my glasses on and couldn’t see what kind of cookie they were serving. The cheez-it packages looked pretty small and I was worried it would be just a cheez-it tease and not any kind of happy cheez-it orgy. I mean the flight was a whole hour and thirty seven minutes.
It turned out they were whole grain cheez-its. Blasphemy. I chose poorly. Which made me kind of grumpy about the kid behind me kicking my seat. I’m normally more chill about that stuff, but I’m not gonna lie, I visualized a little airplane aisle smack down. And the guy next to me was a diet-coke slurper so that was a little grating to my ears. But I kept that shit to myself and just asked for a cookie from the super nice Delta Flight attendant, who had a sexy french accent. And he gave one to me without any kind of snarky judging.
In conclusion, not one single person KNEW I was having any kind of inner struggle with zen flying. I don’t know why other people can’t be more like me.
Namaste Bitches! Ha!
I’m feeling super whiny and stressed out because I have to fly to Vegas tomorrow for work. Don’t roll your eyes, it’s not going to be all that fun. The meeting is about how to maneuver through government flooring contracts. The thought kind of makes me want to stab my eyes out. Yes. I know flooring is my livelihood but why Vegas? And why three whole days? I mean isn’t that what the government does? Take something that should only need four hours to accomplish and stretch it out into three days and spend four times the amount of money than is even logical?
I’m starting to sound like my dad.
Anyhow. I’ve been short on time all day today trying to smash four days of my real work into one day PLUS figure out what I’m going to wear at my meetings in Vegas. That’s really what my stress is about. I find it’s so much easier to just DRIVE where I have to go because then I can take everything in my closet complete with hangers plus ALL my shoes and dump it into four suitcases. This would cost $300 to check on an airplane. Plus my car doesn’t judge me for packing four suitcases for three days of travel.
Flying on an airplane puts serious limitations on all the possible wardrobe scenarios that I like to have available to me in order to deal with my tumultuous inner climate, which I blame mostly on global warming:
Can you see why I would be stressed out?
BUT on the bright side, my purse is now nice and tidy for my flight: all flammable liquids, my mom’s urn and the samurai sword I keep for safety have all been taken out of my purse and stored safely at home where they won’t be questioned. Like I will be about my four suitcases.
I’m so different than I was ten years ago. I am reminded of this daily when I look at the top shelf in my office where the shadow box sits that Grant made me for Christmas ten years ago. It contains pictures of me finishing my first marathon complete with my hard earned and nearly died trying to acquire necklace medal. Honestly it was all I could do not to put that thing around my neck and saunter around every day ALL day for people to see. I’m not a jewelry person but THAT bling? It has stories to tell! Like when I thought my friend Bill was a medic on a bicycle at the top of the hill nearing mile 13. There he was practically shimmering like an angel and I thought “Thank GOD because things are not going how I planned.” It turned out he was Bill instead, which was even better, offering flat Coca-Cola and inspiration. “Meet you at the next mile marker and you can have another drink of this.” My friend, without a doubt is responsible for helping me cross the finish line, one mile at a time with sugar nectar and pep talks for incentive, so that I could experience Grant and our cheering kids waving and clapping at the end like I was some kind of princess warrior. My eyes still water over that feeling.
I think it would be funny for Grant to make me another shadow box at the end of this year to show how hard I have worked to reshape my marathon mentality and physicality. There would for sure be a picture of me first thing in the morning showing off my Fitbitch that says I already burned 636 calories and I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN OUT OF BED YET! I mean, how great is THAT? I’m awesome without even trying!
I’m currently not running due to a very long battle with bad ankles. Right now I have frozen peas strapped to both sides of my ‘good’ ankle that I sprained when I fell down the bleachers when I was trying to take a picture of my son David at the end of his last home JV Football game. It was below 30 degrees that night and I forgot I had a blanket wrapped around me. I went down with a very large and painful crash. I’m pretty sure Grant was trying to pretend like he didn’t know me because he just kept walking. Two lovely older-than-me people tried to help me up but I was literally frozen solid and would have taken them down with me. “No. I’m good. I’m pretty sure I sprained my ankle but my husband will eventually notice I have fallen and literally can not get up, and come back for me. He promised until death parts us.”
Some days it’s easier said than done to not comparison shame myself to the me of ten years ago. Sometimes I dream about it, the running. Long distance running is a powerful thing and the experiences of my marathons have taught me so much about myself and continue to give me insights and new perspectives in my daily life. The other day I had an ‘aha’ moment that I will share before I get to the point of this post, which I’m pretty sure is not about marathons.
I was reading this beautiful novel that was just…mmmm…so yummy….see? I was deeply absorbed in the words and the story and the magic it takes to write a novel when I felt my left brain say to my right brain something really nasty “You will never write a novel. Blogs are easier. Short. Simple. Not a lot of effort. You’re just not smart enough or disciplined enough to write a whole book, especially a novel. You should give up on that idea.”
WTF left brain? First of all, you are an overly analytical naysayer. Second, I can remember when blog posts were super hard to write. Mainly because it was YESTERDAY that I was struggling to get one finished before the WSU Cougar Football game started. But here’s the thing: I can also remember how hard it was the first time I ran three miles without stopping: huge accomplishment! A marathon is simply a series of short runs, that when gradually and methodically put together, becomes a marathon. Perhaps novels are of similar nature. So fuck you left brain.
Which brings me to the point of this post, though without much logic (because I just pissed off the non-dominant side of my brain): my seven daily sanes.
At the beginning of the year I made a pact with myself to try and adhere to seven simple daily actions to at least keep me PAR with my current state of being a content and mostly at peace, inappropriately tight size fourteen, moderately energetic, non-running, successful business owner, hippy chick goddess. I call them ‘My Seven Daily Sanes’.
Now I’m not gonna lie, this list has been much harder to check off each day than last year’s list:
I have been doing number one of the seven pretty regularly for over 14 years. Julia Cameron taught me in “The Artist’s Way” how important it is to check in with myself with morning pages (or what I sometimes refer to as morning vomit). Three pages of handwritten words unedited (especially by the asshole left brain) and unfiltered. I notice, on the rare days I skip this ritual, that I feel like I do when have two different colored socks on or a black bra with white panties: off kilter. The first two pages are almost always whining yucky stuff, but usually by page three I have some kind of weird little break through, like “maybe I should stop eating cookies at midnight” or “you really need to quit this job and form your own business and here is the first step toward that”.
Grats is a newer thing that has helped center my thoughts on positive things in my life (especially after the nasty brain vomit). Every day: ten things I am grateful for. Then I write thank you ten times at the bottom of this list. I think these journals will be a good thing for my kids to read when I’m dead. Unlike the morning pages which really need to be burned. My grats contain things like: “I’m thankful I didn’t kill Grant yesterday because today he is so much nicer.”
Everything feels better when I practice yoga: my brain, my bones, my skin, my muscles, my joints, my soul. That’s all that needs to be said about that, except that it is my running from ten years ago: life saving.
I have written a few posts about meditation as holistic medication. Some days I have time for a nice long guided mediation. Most days I just try and remind myself to breath in and out: 4 counts in, 6 counts out. Repeat until calm again. As a catholic, I have found the rosary to be a good form of prayerful medication. Keeps a person off the ledge.
OH VEGGIES. I know I need to eat more of you gross fuckers. It’s a quest I’m still working on. When I feel shitty I consult the last few weeks’ checklist and say to myself: “dummy, cheez-its are not veggies. This is why you feel bad.”
Water is often on my daily grats list but it’s usually in the form of being grateful I can wash my hair or take a hot bath/shower whenever I feel like it, something so many people don’t get to do. Those very people would willingly hydrate every day if they could. So this needs to be something I never take for granted. I have rarely known real thirst. But when I don’t drink water my face looks like a dried up old hag. So.
I added walking to the list because my Fitbitch is a total nag. She says I need to move more. Plus I have this new puppy Bella who needs to move or she gets grumpy. Right now I’m a gimp but the walking thing is wonderful. She and I have these amazing conversations about the best places to poop when you are a dog (she prefers the middle of the street with cars coming for a nice adrenaline rush), the scary house that she refuses to walk past (we now go around), and how some day soon she and I will maybe do some running but for now we will just piece the short walks gradually into longer ones.
This post is not for bug-a-phobes. (If you are one stop reading right now and go do some yoga to get the word ‘bug’ out of your brain. I’m super sorry for upsetting you.) The real word for extreme and irrational fear of bugs is entomophobia. I actually didn’t know this until today when I looked it up on Wikipedia.
Entomophobia is the broad term for insect phobia, lumping all the bugs into one big, bad, scary category. But there are some specific types of bug-a-phobes that I now know about that have brought up some childhood memories.
Apiphobia is the fear of bees. Some of you may know that I am NOT afraid of bees from my post a year or so ago called “I’m Pretty Sure I Saved the World Today” which was about rescuing a bee from my swimming pool. But I can remember like it was yesterday, the first time I was stung by one. I wasn’t older than five, playing with my little sister in grandma’s backyard in Yakima Washington. My mom, aunt and grandma were all in the backyard with us, cooling off in the hundred degree Yakima weather by splashing in a little wading pool. Holly and I were wearing just our little girl underpants, giggling and dipping in and out of the cool water then running around on the clover filled grass. I can remember how cute my sister was, still a toddler with brown curly hair and coffee bean skin (to my plain straight blonde hair and pale freckle skin). She thought then that I was the funniest person on the planet. The memory of making her belly laugh still makes me smile. Sisters. But then it happened: this painful jolt of what felt like a zap of electricity on my foot. I screamed and then cried in pain and my mom, aunt and grandma all came running to me, crooning softly and examining my foot. I had stepped on a fat bumblebee and I was completely stunned and shocked. Why would the bee DO that to me? I wanted to talk this through. I had QUESTIONS. My aunt, who would have been about fifteen then, more a big sister than an aunt to me, examined my foot more closely and said in a somber voice: “Oh…the stinger is still in your foot. This means the bee will die if you didn’t already kill it from stepping on it.” That made me feel even worse, to have KILLED a pretty bumblebee, even if it HAD hurt me. I felt TERRIBLE. The poor girl was defending herself and it was then that I became aware of my potential impact on nature, a giantess killer at five years old who never went barefoot in the grass again.
Myrmecophobia is the fear of ants. Ant’s have actually always fascinated me though I don’t much like them in my house, because where there is one, there are generally hundreds of others not far behind the daring explorer. My husband was an exterminator for a few years, so ants are pretty much afraid of our house. But I have another unintentional death memory, this time involving ants. When I was six years old I wanted to understand them better. I built an ant farm in a clear container filled with dirt and about twenty carefully captured black ants so I could watch my little friends dig tunnels in their perfect new home where they would be happy and safe forever. Unfortunately, I had not yet learned about the need for air holes and a bit of moisture for all living creatures and woke the next day all excited to see what was going on with my new buddies only to find them all dead in the sweltering sun, where I had left them, not allowed to bring them inside to sleep with me. Ugh. More crying.
The most INTERESTING thing I discovered in my bug research on Wikipedia was that Lepidopterophobia (the fear of moths) is a REAL THING. This makes me feel a little bit less of a freak when I literally shudder over the very idea of a moth in my room. Another kid memory: ten years old, completely and deathly afraid of moths. My dad had to come to my room so many times to “take care of the moth” that he finally told me he would pay me twenty five cents for every moth that I killed all on my own. What he doesn’t know to this day is that I promised my sister half the profits if SHE would kill them for me. I still felt bad about killing the bee and the ants so despite my hatred of moths, I wasn’t going to kill them. I had enough blood on my hands. Plus I didn’t want to touch those filthy things. But my sister was a fearless killer at the young age of seven: she once ATE an ant without even a drop of remorse or shudder of disgust, so she willingly helped me create the pile of gross, dusty, moth corpses: our bounty in a glass jar. My mom, not realizing there were dead moths in the jar, which we innocently kept on the ledge above the sink with a few other empty jars, grabbed it, with the other jars and packed in them macaroni salad for our trip to the lake. My dad was of course served the helping that contained the moths. I’m pretty sure he thought my mom had done it on purpose, some kind of ‘back at you’ thing for whatever my mom thought he had done to her. The look on my gagging dad’s face was just…well a reminder that macaroni salad is GROSS and so are moths. But I still won’t kill them and I have learned to overcome my disgust enough to capture them in my hands when they dare to come into my house (if no one else is there to help me) and set them free outside.
Which brings me to the main reason for starting this post about bugs: the fly that was in my room the other night. There is only one thing more annoying than a fly buzzing around like a bitch when you are trying to sleep and that’s a humming mosquito that you just KNOW is going to suck all your blood out and give you malaria the moment you fall asleep. It was my intention to kill the fly, so I could go to sleep. I made all kinds of attempts while my husband just laughed at my game of tag with the fly and rolled his eyes. I was reminded of the scene from Breaking Bad where Walter White goes ape shit over a single fly in his sterile meth lab. He was super tired too. Finally, all sweaty and humiliated from chasing the fly around I sat down on the bed and said “Fuck it. Flies only live twenty-four hours. Who am I to get in the way of this fly’s last little joy ride before he dies on his own?” The next morning I woke up and sure enough there was the fly, clinging to the curtain next to my side of the bed, clearly dead. He had died in the night, next to me and I’m so very weirdly comforted by the idea that he possibly knew someone was on his side during his last moments.
Now, some of you might think from all of this talk about remorse over killing bugs that I am perhaps a vegetarian or a Buddhist. But I’m pretty sure Buddhists don’t say fuck all the time like I do and vegetarians don’t eat meat, which I also do, though I almost always say a mental thank you before I partake in the yummy goodness of a steak. Plus the other morning when I was sitting in the bathroom all defenseless and you know, eh’hem, pooping, a spider came out of nowhere right toward me at full speed, clearly intending to kill me and I splatted that bitch DEAD without one drop of remorse. Arachnophobia is not a disease, it’s a truth. Those fuckers deserve to die. Thank goodness I had my slippers on.
When muse fades
behind thick, dark clouds
I am silenced with uncertainty
chasing melted memories
of being lost and found
by exquisite glances
that poured between us
a vivid unspoken dialogue,
now just ghost words
in restless dreams
uncaptured by pen on paper
without wayfinding moonlight