Down for the Count Up, 4

FOURS, OCTOBER 5, 2010

Who decided to measure significance in fours?

Scholarly times, significant times, self discovery and soul expansion; whether we realized it or not.

First year scared, uncertain, going through the motions and just trying to keep up. We don’t think about seniors because it’s unimaginable that we will ever be them.

Second year more comfortable, finding routines to follow, not so much worried about being lost, we know our place, for now. 

Third year holding our own, established, feet planted firmly in ownership of our roles, noticing a new class of freshmen.

Fourth year – accomplishment, realized a pinnacle, and confidently measured our success and scholarship.
Some of us went on to college and some of us decided not to take another quarter ride.

Widowhood is a lot like that.

First year scared, uncertain, go through the motions and just try and keep up. We don’t think about happy because it’s unimaginable that we will ever be that again.

Second year not so uncomfortable, not so much worried about being trampled by anniversary dates, holidays and every days since we’ve already been through a round of those. 

Third year it seems we’re holding our own, sort of established, feet planted firmly because we’re tired of change, noticing more freshman faces and wondering if they’ll survive.

Fourth year – taking careful measure of each minor success in our educational journey, we don’t really need to decide to go on pursue a higher education. It just comes with this particular type of scholarship; not exactly a free ride – this one comes with a moral obligation to guide, if we can. Some of us will decide we’ve learned enough. Some of us will seize the opportunity to further our education.

So here I am, four years later having completed a reluctantly personal four year scholarship to widowhood. Not a freshman, or a sophomore, not even a junior anymore: I’m a senior.

I’m sure I haven’t learned all the “alone” there is to know in the universe, but I’ve established a pretty firm, well-rounded foundation. I’m sure additional unanticipated lessons will come my way. Circumstances seem to dictate further education is in store. Never content standing still, I guess I’m headed into the college years now.

Maybe, after another 4, I might qualify for some sort of teaching certificate. Although after another 4, I will no longer be a “young” widow, so I’m not sure how much help I’ll be to the younger accidental scholars. On the other hand, I anticipate, not with happiness, that there will be more peer aged victims of the inevitable.

I keep coming back to the conclusion that timing is everything. So how we count it is important.

Whether it’s a four-year program, a five or eight year program or an accelerated path, time doesn’t change the way you hurt, it merely adjusts your tolerance for the pain and moves it towards a strange and previously unimaginable acceptance.

an unnecessary option

compulsively feeding the

short-term parking meter interrupting life

instead of pulling away

living, long-term, no charge

ghosted self, self-affectioned

in this moment

offering an ending thought,

lightning illumination on

an unnecessary option

treading

one foot only

one foot in front of the other

of going nowhere.

comfort chosen sluggish soles,

shuffled rough roads wearing

that path, owning only

serenely scored expensive ruts

worn deep enough for imagination

to safely ignore the danger in

rim-limited views

just a bit longer, til

paid in full with absolutely no allowance

for aiming for horizons

this sort of thing comes faster

short and short of faith.

Quote for the Week:

Phantom Hair

Honesty is such a simple word.
It’s mostly what I need from me.

Sharing with much sarcasm and self-love.


I did it.

In a rather radical move (for me), I maskedly braved Meijer Sunday morning.

It was time. More than a year later, I made the purposeful trek to the walk-in hair joint that, thanks to COVID, isn’t really a walk in joint anymore.

I called first to see how that works. It’s register online and wait in your car for the 5 minute warning.

When I signed up, the wait was a reasonable 30 minutes. 3 miles and 8 minutes later, I clicked the “I’m here'” icon to see that the new estimate was 70 minutes.

So, I unparked, drove around the corner to Kohls to pick up the labor-of-love order I placed Saturday night at 2 am. I had a fantastic savings layering perfectly planned. So, I was disappointed when only 3  out of 5 items that were indicated as available at my store for pick-up found their way into my trunk.

Lessoned learned. Read the whole email not just the “Your order is ready,” subject. Because then, you can call the store and ask if there is mini chopper avail in any other color since the color you chose was now sold out. There was, but there was no saving my obliterated savings.

Layering FYI was: Spent $84, saved $79, expected $20 Kohl’s cash and a $5 reward which I would combine with my $5 anniversary voucher to purchase a $30 insert for my Instant Pot. I sadly paid $64, with no perks.

I considered the go-inside, return, grab appliance and re-buy contortions the desk clerk offered, but in the end, just headed back to the market lot to watch the hairy-ing countdown meter do its thing.

Which, brings me back to the honesty part. I’m honestly just tired if it. I’m tired of pretending, so I freed myself in a way that will likely garner criticism and concern.

To quote the Post Malone feeling, in Feeling Whitney, “I’m done.” PM, btw, so rocked the Grammys. I’ll admit I sort of expected The Weeknd to pop-up cameo, but maybe the whole druid-choir thing is an across the board vibe these days. Anyway, props to Post. ❤ him.

I’m tired of pretending, hair. The stylist and I had a conversation. Grief, 100# added, 118# lost, nutrition issues, gut issues, plus gallbladder, hernia, and ‘thing’ removal surgeries. That last one was already 3 years ago, on the left side of my head. It’s become obvious. It’s never growing back.

The hesitation was a little amusing. “Are you sure?” She asked 3 times. Clippers set on 3. Scissor cut, slightly an1/8 of an inch longer on top, maybe.

It’s not a fashion statement, nor a look-at-me statement. Not political, and not really open for discussion. It’s just what I did so I could stop worrying about the wind lifting my comb-over into an oddly bad, bald-resulting mohawk. It’s just what I did to make myself feel better.

When done, my shearer announced surprise at how much more my new wgaf style seemed to match my personality. It only suits me because I am more comfortable. I’m no longer worrying about the doo-wop flipped out-curls at my neck. I don’t look younger without the straggly mullet part in back. I just look more at ease, because I am.

The question, “You’re an artist, aren’t you?” almost moved into an automatic snort and shrug of denial,. There hasn’t been much artistic in me for a while. But, empowered by ease, I decided to own it. It’s always been what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’m grown up enough, so I said, “Yes, I am.”

Another one of those odd, maybe I should pay attention to this, universal alignments struck late last week. I lost my nose stud. Not a tragedy. I seriously, haven’t lost one in years, though. Last time was MRI related about 4 years ago. Forgot to take it out at home, so when I got to the hospital I stuck it in my wallet. Never to be seen again. Luckily, I had about 5 spares.

That was the scan that resulted in the surgery 3 years ago, because I put it off for a year/as long as possible. There’s something super creepy about having your ear unattached and the flesh on the side of your head pulled away from your skull. I needed some time to get used to that idea.

Last week, the 4 spares, became 3 spares. Happened again this week. 3 spares are now down to 2. I considered it might a sign that I maybe I should be outgrowing it.

Nah, I’ve decided it was more of a reminder to be a little louder about who I am.

Who I am is not comfortable with a shortage of spares. I’ve placed an order for a couple more.

No savings layering to be had, but the investment in myself seems worth it to me.

Quote for the Week:

PS. I have phantom hair. You can see it in person. I can see it in the mirror. Yet, every camera emphatically denies that there’s anything there. If you really want to not see it, DM me. LOL.

Moving On. The Challenge.

On October 13, 2020, I told you this: Last week, someone I don’t know said something that changed everything.

There’s been a change in the playlist.

The internet loves challenges like I love music. It thrives on them. It discovers dozens each day. But, only a few are worth it.

Mmmm. Like this one. #blueoctober #movingon #challenge .

I prefer not to start in the middle, but in this case, urgence of participation (gasp) makes sense.

I’ve had the wrong song in my #1 will-do spot for decades. Not my fault.

The right song hadn’t been written, yet. Now, it has.

Moved out of the first slot: I’m Moving On.

I believe in this song. For many years, it’s been an anthem excuse of self-promising, a someday in-waiting. Not an action wanting.

A melancholy sing along, every time, where I want the words to be real. A prelude to the reach, wanting lets me waltz. Feelings play along with well-curated reels in my mind. I can picture it, but I can’t do exactly that.

Now seen for what I really want it to be: the after, the explainer. Not every line is perfect. Some are so false that I’ll address them, later.

Moving into First Place: Moving On, though, is a rearranger – an artfully arranged mind-matter mover with an oddly perfect, happy melody.

Brought to me by Tuesday Night Recovery. Live weekly sessions hosted by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, featuring steps and music and supports.

Yes, plural. Discussions, viewer comments, one-day-at-a-time preaching. I have no idea how I got God-smacked into this mecca of inclusive anonymous help, where my anti-social not-group-joining self can join-in and be communed, but unobserved.

If it hadn’t been explained, I never would have though it to be what it is. To the writer, it’s not a love gone-wrong song. It’s a get-out-of -my-life I am never going back to (insert vice here.) It’s a sterner, angrier, get off of my life, pulling away from the surround, bursting my own bubble song.

Reminded me so much of this. Re-capping, quickly; a grief therapy session, where someone else said something that clicked.

Discussing my already 8-year-old grief. “Sometimes, I can’t keep it in.” I admitted. “It. Just. Wants Out.”

“Well, what do you want?” was the question, asked.

Firmly answered, “I want it gone.” “So,” he astutely concluded. “You and your grief want the same thing.”

I have to move on. I’m not saying goodbye to you or our memories or our friendships or him.

I’m saying goodbye to my crippling 15-year-old cloak in full-on ‘What Not to Wear Style’. It’s coming with a cost though.

An emotionally expensive fear, which I have avoided (or so I thought) until now. Because moving on is terrifying and de-cloaking is soul exposing.

I’ve taken advantage of grief to be comfortable, to exist in solitary. Guaranteeing no furtherly inflicted love or loss.

I have no faith that things will be different in six months.

I have faith that I will be. Different. In six months, when my grief turns 15.

This Week’s

Exploration Links:

Blue October: two videos, because something worth doing is worth doing, again and again. One of them will speak to you. I’m sure.

Moving On Live Tuesday Night Recovery Version

Moving On Fan Participation Video Version

And then there’s this one… Fear

Kelly Clarkson  I’m Moving On  False: “They’ll never allow me to change.” You’ve all always wanted me to change.

sneak up, with love…

Blu’s not feeling great.

While I was struggling to figure tonight out, he plopped in front of my keyboard. Knowing this, I let it go for a bit.

Watching his quietness turn into sleepy eyes broke my heart a bit. He’s always tired. Yeah, I know he’s 9, but 9 isn’t old enough to be old.

About two weeks now, he’s been over-grooming, sporadic about eating, still showing me he’s peeved about Nala. I keep thinking about that part, hoping and worrying about it, too. Was it really the right thing to do? Disrupt HBlu’s one-cat, one-human breed-preference world? Force Nala-Lilly to adapt to my vision of a new indoor world where I knew she’d be safe?

Anyway, Harley Blu has an appointment on Thursday afternoon. You see, when I scratch his lower back (ok, the top of his butt) something goes wrong. He presents like he expects it to be an enjoyable languid stretch, but it’s not. I doubt whatever is happening is not enjoyable to him.

A backward stroke behaves as if I am tugging an invisible string, invoking a jerky head movement. If I stop the stroking, he stops the bobbing. If I keep going, he’ll start with licking and then attempt to bite his own chest. I’m not too concerned he’ll do any self- damage with one canine and 5 tiny teeth, total. It’s still disturbing, though, and obviously quite not right.

I’ve also noticed his tongue slides out to the right when he eats or grooms or occasionally licks Nala after a not-so-playful tackling bite.

She still wants to be his friend and imitates him lovingly. I’m thankful for this because she’s never even attempted to jump a counter or my breakfront. HBlu doesn’t jump.

Amusingly, when he was a one-year old kitten I arrived home to an interesting scene. I didn’t really forget it, but a FB reminder popped up this past and startled the shit out of me.

Trust me, it’s worth the swear. You see, just the Friday the 13th night before, (night at 5:30 sucks, btw.) I heard a small ‘eek’ and a thud and nothing else. I peered through the pass-through and couldn’t see anything amiss. Still the silence was concerning, so I rounded the wall and blinked.

I knew they were sparring, likely not lovingly on HBlu’s part judging by the missing meow voice Nala-Mia was throwing. The octave she lost this summer is more like a breathy “keh-keh,” now.

The over-turned real-retro orange arm-chair reminded me of that time I came home from work and found the exact same scene. Only that was when Miss Fred was Blu’s companion. She didn’t want much to do with him, but he still wanted to be her friend.

Trust me, I’ve reminded Sir Harley of that and admonished him he’s being crotchety like Freddie. I do understand there’s no talking reason to a cat, but I try anyway.

My theory about that day had been the Blu was behaving badly, trying to make the jump from the chair back to the counter. He’s had a few a-little-too-short experiences, which I strongly suspect is why he doesn’t leap much. He’ll do the desk top, if I’m already sitting there. Hasn’t curled up on the dry sink for a while now, though.

Anyway, my 11-14-2012 theory might have been knocked out of the water by the knocked over 11-13-2020 scenario.

Maybe they were playing, too. Blu might have been playing. Miss Fred the Misread likely was not.  

I jumped up for a glass of water just now and found another semi-eerie situation. When Freddie’s health was failing, Harley would wait until she fell asleep and then crawl close to snooze near her.

Tonight, Blu was sleeping and Nala was nearby. I don’t like the comparison.

.

The song that lullabye-d Blu tonight: Hallelujah covered by Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, of which I could unfortunately not locate a viable share for you.

However, Enjoy this Week’s New Songs for Soul Survivors: (aka playlisting, treadmill time.)

Nik Kershaw Roundabouts and Swings released 10/16/2020

Dylan Fraser The Storm released 10/23/2020

Quote for the Week:

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