only five minutes

I was meditating when I felt wetness on my face.  I opened my eyes and looked out at a small lake covered in lily pads and various wildlife.  Ducks circled around one another, a Great blue heron might’ve been meditating too, and perhaps the strange disturbance in the water was the rumored baby alligator we’d heard about, or I needed to wear my glasses more often.

Oak trees with Spanish moss sent drops of rain that had just fallen down onto the lake, creating ripple after ripple.

I closed my eyes again and wanted the tears to keep falling, but they were stuck.  My heart felt open.  I could hear cars passing, cicada bugs humming; the softest breeze.  I felt pain, but I didn’t feel wetness anymore.

I didn’t think of what was making me sad (or making me feel); I tried to listen.

I opened my eyes again and found myself thinking, “Am I allowed to open my eyes?”

I closed them.  I heard the drips, the cars (they zipped past unseen, amplified by wet roads), the wind.  I felt wetness around my eyes again, my throat closing in.

I didn’t think of what was making me sad (or making me feel); I tried to listen.

My timer went off, indicating that it had been only five minutes.  I had successfully meditated after a week of being quick to anger, frustrated, and sad.

I knew it was a small effort, and that I would have to keep trying it.

 

 

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I’m not on meds.

And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with needing to be on them.  I’m just not, so I have to handle my life very carefully.

I have to exercise religiously, six days a week if I can help it.

For at least an hour a day.

When I miss two days or more, I start to snap.  I become excessively judgmental, mean-spirited, and volatile.  I don’t know where it comes from; I’m aware of it so it’s contained inside of me, but my thoughts grow dark, and my ability to refresh my perspective is jilted.  If it does come out, it’s often directed at the people who are around me the most, or love me the most.  Which frankly, really sucks for them.

Luckily, I take my version of meds pretty often.

Continue reading “I’m not on meds.”

scotch strength & a little sadness

Livia sat across from me, her nails perfectly manicured on aged fingers, gently folded in her lap.  Her pants are pressed; a perfect crease down the center.  Her shoes aren’t new, yet well-cared for.  Her white hair is short, and teased in gentle waves away from her face.

The only strange thing about her is despite being ninety-six, and not having any work done (“soap and water, my dear!”); her skin is milky and soft in appearance.  Her eyes are very blue, with the tiniest hint of mascara on frail lashes.  She smiles at me, and I instantly relax.  I speak clearly and with a bit more volume,

“And your husband?  Was he from Italy?”

“Oh yes,” she smiles down at the photo she is showing me of the Amalfi Coast.  I am lucky enough to tell her I’ve been there, and she says as much.

“He’s dead.” She says very matter-of-fact, without looking up.  Then she looks at me carefully, “And my favorite brother is dead.  Actually all of my brothers and sisters are dead, all eight of them.”

Continue reading “scotch strength & a little sadness”

Lyda & Lucy

I ran into our new office neighbors in the Ladies Room.  Well, one of them.  I suspected it was her because my boss kept describing them as “A blonde and a brunette.  Always in jeans.”  She was indeed wearing jeans, sloppily rinsing dishware, dark hair chaotic in a bun, and eyeliner thick under her eyes.

I didn’t say hello – it choked in my throat.  I was rinsing my own dishware; an old school glass coffee pot I’m obsessed with keeping from staining.  Another office neighbor I’m actually familiar with walked in; vibrant in a purple dress with smart looking heels.  I warmly greeted her; secretly dreading our habitual outfit compliments to one another.

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gratitude & resentment (the odd couple)

“How’s your job going?” She asked.

I’m always ready to respond with the latest complaints but, I had none.  I had been choosing to go to work with a different mindset: gratitude.  I adjusted my response,

“It’s good.  I’m choosing to be grateful.”

It’s not an exciting job; but it’s my choice to be here.  I’m also choosing to write every Friday afternoon.  I’m grateful I can add that bit of excitement if I want to.  There are hobbies I can develop because my job isn’t sexy.

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the mean, tall man in Suite 224

I didn’t realize he was mean at first.  We’d run into each other on the way to the restroom and exchange niceties.  If I would ask him how his day was going, he’d say:

“It’s going well enough. Yours?” and I would say something awful like “I can’t complain.”  I knew it would end there, I’d soon be surrounded by the safety of a bathroom stall.  I have enough social grace to greet a person, but enough social anxiety to not want it to go any further.

Once, tall man joined me for a walk around my building.  I couldn’t believe it, and I certainly didn’t invite it.   I never saw him out and about before.  But there he was, right beside me, his stride a lot longer.  I looked up at his long face and noticed a giant wart on his left cheek.  I started our conversation by saying something equally cringe-worthy to the hallway exchange.

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Fortune July

I decided to write something different today.  Knowing full well this account is connected to people I know, and being unafraid to put myself out there for fear of judgment. 

Here it is:

I went to a party on the Fourth of July.  I was twenty-nine, two months away from turning the big three-oh.  I remember anticipating this party and finding it annoyingly intimidating.  These were friends of ours who were all at similar stages in their lives. Successful entrepreneurs, people with enviable career achievements.  All in healthy marriages with beautiful babies.

Not enough fuck-ups for my liking.

Continue reading “Fortune July”