I just received a notification on my phone that tomorrow is book club. The pleasant, game-show like sound indicated that in 24 hours I will be meeting with my wonderful friends to ostensibly talk about the book we read. (Like that will happen!) The weird thing is our book clubs are held on Thursdays - for no other reason than that's when the first one was held - and there is no way tomorrow can be Thursday.
I can honestly say that I lost a day this week. Though I have a slight buzz on from what I consider some delicious $6.99 rose picked up this morning from Trader Joe's, it's not like a day went missing due to some Days of Wine and Roses stupor. Instead, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday all joined hands in some peaceful ring-around-the-rosy.
So, since I have to make up for the lost time -- combined with the aforementioned slight buzz -- I am just going to list some random thoughts that I've been having:
1. I love my dogs Puppy and Daisy. Like truly and deeply. Poor Hershey (may he rest in peace in a blue velvet box in a cabinet in our house where I keep the dog treats) got shortchanged on the depth of my love. The reason? He was alive when my kids were little, so my human babies got the majority of my maternal love. But Daisy and Puppy? They came into my life during a time when one kid flew the coop and the other is perched off the nest. They're my fur babies*.
2. I really, really like this new pope. I wish he would hug me.
3. Anything that should be spelled with a "c" but is intentionally spelled with a "k" is skary, not in boo skary but in racial-purity skary.
4. *The term "fur babies" is just creepy. Sorry. I really love my dogs -- see point 1 - but that shit should be banned.
5. It fascinates me that people actually read this blog. It's not because I don't have faith in my writing. I do. (Maybe the key to good self esteem is having a really effed-up childhood?) It's more that I still haven't wrapped my head around the idea of a fax machine, let alone the internet. (Thank you, Al Gore! Now that's some good self esteem - claiming you invented the internet!)
6. One of the sexiest kisses occurs in the movie The Illusionist between Edward Norton and Jessica Biel. That was no hot flash I was having watching that scene last night! Anyway, watch the movie, but much more importantly read the shorty story it's based on, because it's everything a short story should be: Steven Millhauser's "Eisenheim the Illusionist."
7. Six is my unlucky number, so I am only coming up with a seventh thing on my list for that reason. Let's see... hmm? Sometimes life gives you wine that's out of stock (Cote de Provence) so you have to buy what the guy at TJ's says is their second most popular rose (La Ferme Julien), which begs the question is Cote de Provence the Wally Pipp to La Ferme Julien's Lou Gehrig?
And speaking of famous Yankees - I am dedicating this blog post to the great Yankee Yogi Berra who taught us, among many other things, that even if you lost a day here and there, it's okay because "it ain't over, till it's over." Goodnight. xo
Today I had one of those moments where I realized I am going to die.
I'm not sick, that I'm aware. There was no pain or sad thoughts. Nothing really preceded the realization. I was just cleaning out my linen closet and the feeling washed over me that one day I will no longer exist.
There's no denying it depressed me for a few moments. (It also made me realize, as I was folding pillowcases and labeling the shelves, that if nothing else my husband and kids will have an easy time making their beds.)
It did make me wonder though, do sons mourn their mothers in the same way that my female friends and I seemed to do? In 50 years from now when I die (as if my horrible genetics would ever allow me to live that long) will my sons look for signs that my soul is around them? Will they see a hummingbird and think "there goes my mom" as I did after my mom died? Probably not, and that's okay.
What I do hope is that when they look at a painting that moves them or the lush, coral sun setting they will think "mom would have liked that." When they laugh out loud or cry until their bodies shake, I hope they know I would have done the same, unabashedly. When they finish a book, I hope they tell their kids "you have to read this" always wanting to share the joy, like I did.
So I am going to die. And that's okay. Because in realizing that I'm going to die, it has made me -- like a violin whose strings are tightened -- feel more acutely the vibrations of this life that I have. My friends and family and even kind strangers have become more precious to me, their smiles and words gifts. I am grateful to Nature, who seems to be offering herself to me, from the dragonfly who does laps over our pool every day to the crazy squirrel who taunts my dogs as if jealous for my affection. (In his defense, I used to feed him peanuts pretty religiously until the two of them showed up.)
In realizing I'm going to die (and that sadly one day my husband and children and their children will some day die) I also understand that I have no control, which has freed me. To always work on being in control, in your own life and those you love, is exhausting. I know this better than anybody, because my out-of-control childhood set the stage of more than four decades of me trying. It is as if I have held my breath for 48 years, and now I can finally release it.
I am going to die and when that happens, I have asked my family to rent a boat with a band and open bar. After shots of tequila and dancing the YMCA and whatever other revelry they choose, I want them to toss my body whole into my beloved Atlantic Ocean. As I head to my next life, the fishes and dolphins swimming beside me, I'm sure I will hear my family and friends raising their glasses in a toast: "There goes a woman who knew how to organize a linen closet! L'chaim!"
I think menopause gets a bad rap. Sure, I sweat profusely every time I drink my morning coffee or or glass of wine or really at any moment, but especially when I'm excitable. Just the other day I looked like I got caught in a rain shower after leaving Home Depot, but I think the fact that I was covered in perspiration is what got the "customer service" chick to notice me in the first place. That and the pacing and cursing under my breath.
And does a thick, black ingrown hair make an appearance in the same spot on my chin every week like clockwork? I suppose, but it feels sooo good when I tweeze it. It's like opening a bottle of champagne but even better because I don't have to worry about the cork poking my eye out, a la the BB gun in "A Christmas Story."
Yes, there is the brain fog. For example, I have no idea why I titled this post what I did. I don't hate kale. I'm more indifferent. My real issue with kale is the publicity it gets in comparison to other more worthy vegetables, such as broccoli. Kale is like the Katy Perry of the vegetable world, which I suppose would make Taylor Swift broccoli though she also gets publicity. I'm sure there's a better analogy but I'll leave that to someone who doesn't have brain fog to come up with.
My neck is saggy, but that's probably not a product of menopause as much as it is plain old gravity (which would also explain the breasts). I could just wear scarves - on the neck, not the breasts - but when I have in the past my husband calls me Maude, as in Bea Arthur's Maude. Though there are worse insults, because that Golden Girls is a funny show. One night, I'm not joking, I watched five episodes in a row. What's more strange than me watching five shows is that some network actually aired five episodes in a row.
The most obvious benefit of menopause is that you don't have to worry about birth control - the sweating, black hair on the chin, and saggy neck and breasts all have that covered just fine! Which leaves me more time to eat broccoli. Which I love.
I'm just trying to figure it out, like everyone else.