On a good day, when I see a dust ball next to my couch I immediately vacuum it up. On a bad day, like today, I despair at the vast imperfections of the world. On days like today I notice the cat hair that has accumulated on the bottoms of the dining room chair legs and I can’t see much else.
My email inbox has 250 messages waiting. Even though at least half can just be deleted, they feel ominous and foreboding. I decide to ignore all of them.
There are weeds growing among the bricks on the patio. The dishes came out of the dish washer dirty again, and when I cleaned the metal plate at the bottom of the dishwasher it marked up the kitchen sink.
I keep thinking about that first sentence describing a good day. It’s hard to believe that for me a good day involves vacuuming. Why can’t I be a different sort of person? The sort that doesn’t worry about dust balls?
Meanwhile wars are being fought, people are burying their dead, and a high school friend just found out she has breast cancer.
The tension in my neck, however, is all about me. The obligations and stresses of my life. Like Kanye West, “I'm so gifted at findin' what I don't like the most.”
My week has been full of the everydayness of a middle-aged homeowner. We found out a sewage pipe has cracked. It is located more than 13 feet below our garage, which means the entire garage may have to come down. The flooding in our basement isn’t related to that pipe and will require a different five-digit fix.
I had a colonoscopy on Thursday (and prep on Wednesday). Instead of taking the time to really feel grateful that I’m good for a decade, I’m just overwhelmed by how crappy the anesthesia has made me feel.
I’m having vicious hot flashes. Night time is a cycle of being hot and sweaty, kicking off the covers and then waking up shivering. During the day my face and neck and arms will flush red unexpectedly, and I wonder if the guy at the nursery thinks I’m embarrassed about the grass he’s recommending for my yard.
My sense of humor has wandered off. I know that there are jokes to be made about the plumbing and the colonoscopy, but I just can’t find them.
I’m weighed down by the responsibility of my life and the limitations I bring to the table.
And, after having cancer and being involved in a community of people that has experienced so much loss this year and so much suffering, I feel it’s wrong and petty and ridiculous to be weighed down by plumbing and dirt and weeds.
I guess it’s the human condition and it requires going back to the beginning. Remembering to breathe. Remembering to be grateful. Celebrating what I have and what I can do. Being glad to see the sky and feel the breeze.
It’s possible that I’ll just crawl in bed early and call it a day.
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