I haven't been very funny lately. I know, I know. you come to this space to find the tongue-in-cheek witticisms to distract you from life, and I have been letting you down. in my defense, things aren't hilarious right now. And, since this space is all about me, it's well, all about me.
What changed, you ask? From the fight with the spider to zombie conversations...what made life So Serious? About a week ago, I realized: This is My Life. Just like that. I actually see it in caps. this is what I live. It is what it is, and it won't really get any better. I won't write the Great American Novel. I won't be rich, or glamorous. I won't rise to the top of the glass ceiling. I know, that doesn't seem that important, and I really don't want to conquer Corporate America. But I still want the option.
When you are young, the world is your oyster. Pearls are there for the taking. At twenty, you aren't a bestselling author..it's ok, there's time. In your forties, Time Is Running Out. You're old. You're washed up. You're irrelevant. Leave it to the youngsters, they have more energy, and why don't you just go and find yourself a nice rocking chair there by the fire? Yeah. NO.
I am usually a fairly positive person, though I bitch a lot. I can always find the "blessing" (how I hate that word..how pious it seems, but really, no better word can be found) in the mess. There is always a silver lining. For example: In 2006, we had a house fire. The structure was still standing, but we lost damn near everything.
We had to move out into a rental for six months, with little more than the clothes on our backs. We found ourselves wandering WalMart at midnight on a Sunday because it was the only store open, and we needed underwear, people! How do you put your life back together after that? We had to buy clothes, and pajamas, and toothbrushes and and and. I was in shock. It was awful. I would never wish the experience upon anyone. BUT. And here is where I am crazy: I was blessed. My faith increased, my family became closer, I learned gratitude. I started over. Now I try to keep only those things that as William Morris put it, "...you find to be useful or believe to be beautiful." And my house was completely redone, from top to bottom. For the first time, I had real bedroom furniture! And dishes that I didn't inherit from my mother! And a home that was completely my style, and brand new everything! And that was the silver lining. I didn't blog about it, the emotions were too raw. In fact, I didn't blog at all for almost two years. That experience helps to keep it all in perspective.
Cut to this last Sunday: I had one of the worst days that I can remember. Right now, JNerd is out of town, along with JBug. It's just me and the two youngers, fending for ourselves. Sunday afternoon, our cat started yowling and lying on the ground. He wouldn't walk, and something was wrong. So to the ER vet we went. Verdict: urinary blockage. LIFE-THREATENING emergency. Exactly the reason that vets exist. The vet needed to do some things that required sedating the cat, so I took the kids to Taco Bell for a quick bite. When I went to start the car, my battery was dead. I had to call AAA to come jump it, and hope that, since it was after hours and I couldn't call the vet, they would be understanding in case I was late. (thankfully, they were, and I wasn't). Because the battery was dead, I had to keep the car running while I picked up the cat. Environment be damned. I wasn't going to get stuck there...I had a sick cat to get the after-hours clinic for overnight treatment. And let me tell you, you haven't lived until you have pumped gas with the engine running for fear if you shut it off you will be stranded.
Finally got home after 9 p.m. and my kids were a wreck. Tucked them in. Made myself a drink and opened my laptop to find: nothing. The screen was black, but I could hear it was on. I tried a whole lot of tech support stuff ("Did you turn it off and one again??") but it was unresponsive.
So, a recap.. cat, battery, computer. It comes in threes right?
My point, people, and I DO have one... that day sucked. The next day sucked as I had to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to get the cat from the Night ER vet to my regular vet. Thankfully, I had my husband's car. Once I did that, I had to get my van to Costco so that they could explain to me why my battery had failed after less than two years. Turns out Costco doesn't install or remove batteries, but it doesn't matter because we don't have yours in stock right now anyway ma'am and there's an auto store down the street that can probably help you, have a nice day. Well. Fine.
I drove my van, which by some miracle started, to Pep Boys (who I cannot say enough nice things about, you guys!) Bought my battery. They took pity on the poor married lady who was abandoned by her husband for greener conventions, and took one look at the small ragamuffin in tow who was heat-bedraggled, and had me in and out of there in fifteen minutes! Fifteen minutes! New battery, yay! And, Costco gave me a full refund on my battery that failed.
When I finally got home, and was reflecting upon the events of the last coupIe of days, and it was all feeling a bit like being pecked to death by ducks. Then it hit me... (here is where I get all treacly) I really am blessed. Talk about First World Problems! We had enough money and resources to treat our sick cat. I have an auto club so that I don't get stranded when I have a problem. I have an extra car so that I could get my cat and not rely upon the kindness of my friends. I have enough money to get a new battery, and the resources to get it installed. I am rich compared to much of the world. That thought shut me up. I really have nothing to complain about. No one is dying. These are all transitional worries. I realize how obnoxious this sounds. Who really appreciated when Dad said, "Eat your peas, there are children starving in Africa?" And honestly, I got smacked when I once retorted, "Well, then, send the peas to THEM!" (made sense at the time) I am not telling you to eat your peas. I'm really not. I am telling myself. I am reminding myself that though I just turned forty_ahem ...life is not over. Life is still beautiful. My body may be changing, and my youth may be fading, but life is still good. Life is always good. Sometimes I just forget it for a bit.
As I write this, the cat is still at the vet, and will probably be ok. It will just be expensive. And I hate having to spend the money. But I love the fact that I have the resources to make the decisions that are required. I am not loaded monetarily by any means. It will be a stretch and we may eat cheese sandwiches for dinner for a bit. (more or less) but I am rich, in all the ways that count. And that revelation? Is priceless.