As I lay so ever delicately in bed, coughing up a lung, I am using my imagination to figure out the places I want to go check out in 2017. I present to you, with little ado, my “2017 Travel Bucket List.”
Greetings from the little house on Lavender Lane. It’s a dreary, rainy morning over here and I’ll be honest, I’m giddy.
Giddy because it’s not hot.
Giddy because my AC isn’t running.
Giddy because I’ve come to see another day.
Lately, my own mortality has smacked me in my ass and most recently on my face. I’m getting older, no doubt. I’m not as young as I once was. Things are not as firm as they once were. My skin has subtly changed. My eyes have REALLY changed. My hands… oh, my hands.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis earlier this year and there are good days, and then there are days that I just want to curl up in bed and cry. Oh wait, I kinda did that the other day.
I’ve learned as I grow older that I’m not smarter than a doctor, and if they are prescribing an RX, there is a cause, and I need to take the damn medicine. I daresay I’ll never become an Opioid addict- I hate taking meds. I’ve learned, the hard way, this week, that when I don’t take ALL of the meds, less than stellar things happen.
I’ve learned that my whore-moans (spelling intended) are a powerful force. They keep the wheels of life flowing (ish), but man, when out of whack, things get touch and go. Combine that with an RA flare? Forgive the profanity, but F*&K ME, some days suck.
Luckily for me, I have a kind patient friend/Doctor who asked me if I had taken my meds. Ya, no. It had been days. Days people. What kind of asshole thinks that they can do that? Me. I’m the asshole.
The point to this story? I’m not as young as I once was. I need to be more cognizant of taking care of myself. I need to take control of what I can. I need to appreciate each and every day that I’m given and do something with it. I mean, some days, I might accidentally binge watch West Wing from the bed, but still, you get the point.
Each day we are given is important. I’m getting to the age that my parent’s friends are starting to pass away. My oldest, best friend on this planet lost her dad this winter and it still shakes me thinking that it could happen to any of us. In my head, we are still idiot teenagers, and in reality, we are almost middle aged.
Side note, what the F$*K is middle aged? I mean, I fully plan on kicking the bucket at 70, so does that mean, I’ve passed middle age? Oh, it’s too much to think about with only one unit of caffeine in me.
Caution: don’t google Middle Age. It will depress you. Apparently, most of the geniuses on the web, have decided that middle aged women = Disneyesque grannies.
Back to the point of this post. Time moves on whether or not we are ready for it. Tomorrow, I go get my progressive lens glasses. Yep, bifocals. Sigh. Nothing I can do about it.
Earlier this summer, I had my face shot up with some magical helper that eases up my resting bitch face.
Every day, I try to eat more fruits and veg, and less meat.
I mean, I guess the best we can do to battle time, is to march (dance) along with the changes, right?
First and foremost, forgive me for any typos, errors, or formatting issues. I’m typing using a keyboard on my iPad, and as light as it is to carry, it doesn’t quite hold the functionality of a full keyboard.
Secondly, this post lacks any/all images, as I can’t be bothered to upload them here.
Finally, this is probably going to be the most honest thing I’ve ever written. If you are easily offended and/or don’t know me at all, take this very moment and hit the back arrow, leave and don’t come back.
Here we go.
I’ve been on vacation for what feels like forever. Only 5 days, but it’s been useful. I woke up this morning, thinking that my face looked effed up and in reality it’s just because the coal black suitcases under my eyes have eased up.
You know that book that everyone wanks over, “eat/pray/love”? The past five days have been more of “drink/think/give less fu*ks.”
If you know me personally, you know that since the beginning of ’15, my stupid fu$*ing ears decided to give up the ghost and I was grounded. No air travel. Nada, nothing. Went from a gypsy to a home-bound bitch is less than 2 weeks. My last flight was February 26, 2015. I didn’t fly again until 30 days ago. LONGEST period of time ever. Sure, I road tripped, but it’s not the same as just waking up one morning and say “I’m going to SLC now” or “i really want a roll of pizza bread, and fly my ass to DTW.”
Instead, I was stuck driving my mom mobile all over the Midwest trying to see people that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.
Realization #1 of the vacation: I’m always hauling my ass to see people. With the exception of a few, visitors, I’m the one always schelpping to the destination, not the other way around. I realized as I was planning this adventure, that the majority of my time off for the past decade has been to go to “see people”, not actually just vacate life for a while. See, I’m guessing that there is a force field in Michigan that prohibits people from coming to see family in Texas. Or maybe just me, but whatever. I’m tired of taking my vacation time to go make the rounds when others can’t be damned to come visit me. Yep, I said it. If you want to see me, pick up the phone and make a plan. I’m so tired of being the one making all of the plans. Sub note: I’m retiring from being Cruise director for a while.
Realization #2- I’m lonely. I know, that’s odd to read given the fact that I do genuinely have a tremendous group of friends at home. But they are friends, not partners. Not emotional and/or physical . Amazing group of people that I have in my life yes, but none that can climb into bed with me at the end of the day. Yes, that is important to me. I miss having that. I miss having the plus one for things. Being on this trip was incredible – so many awe inspiring meals, beautiful wine, great music, but i would look over and there would be no one next to me to share it with. Ok, that’s kinda bullshit, I have an app called Marco Polo, and I’ve been making mini video texts to some girlfriends to show them/talk to them. Thank God for that, because it got pretty lonely at points of this trip. BUT, I didn’t have someone next to me to have a bottle rather than a glass. Someone to sit and do major people watching and commentary.
I’ve managed to find myself in a series of less than filling interactions with the opposite sex. Some more odd than others. Some more consuming that others. Some more hurtful than I choose to acknowledge (especially of late), and some that actually just make me really sad. Sure, some interactions have been “f*ck ya, that was fun while it lasted,” but more recently, it’s been a lot of “what the f*ck was that?”
I believe in a lot of things, but I think that there are various people to fill certain aspects of your needs. You can have the emotional connection with someone. You can have a physical connection with someone. Occasionally in life, you find, for a while, that person you can have both with at the same time. Count yourself lucky if you have such thing right now. Both components take a lot of work, but, if you like staring at that person in the morning, then do the f*cking work, why don’t you? Don’t end up like me, typing in a hotel room in Napa Valley wondering when my next someone is going to show up.
What I have realized over the past five days that often times, as a single person, we try, in our heads, to make a person in category A, fit the role of Category B, or vice versa. Sometimes you can have mind blowing sex with someone that is just absolutely not right or available for anything beyond some intense cardio, and sometimes you have someone that is amazing on the emotional side, but um, lack the other stuff.
It’s ok to want someone that fills both categories. In fact, this weekend, I’ve come to the belief that if you don’t have some level of both, then GET THE F*CK OUT. Don’t sit around waiting for a miracle to happen. Either it works, or it doesn’t, but rarely is it going to resurrect itself into something miraculous just because you want it to. It’s ok to want more. It’s ok to tell your partner what you want/need. It’s ok to be single and say “for the love, I want a relationship on my own terms, not just to satisfy the caring yentas around me to shut up.” What I want might not look like what you have and/or think I should have, and that’s ok. I’m the one that has to wake up and live my life, not you. I need to give less shits about what other people think. I think a lot of us need to give a lot less shits about what other people think. I also think a lot of people just need to shut up and listen more, but that’s for another day.
Realization #3- I’m bored out of my skull. I need to learn something new, find a new project, get involved in something that makes me engaged, willing to learn, pushes my boundaries. I have NO idea what this means, but I am going to be working on it. Seriously, I feel like my brain is slowly becoming mush. Maybe I need to go back to school? Maybe I need to read more and play Candy Crush less? I don’t know, but for the love, I need a new something. My life is pretty selfish – me, work, dogs, rinse and repeat. Sure, I could fill the hours with stuff, but I’ve been doing that for years and I’m still bored. I want to find something to do that makes me crave to do more of it. To be excited to do it again.
It is easy to fall into a cycle of passive living.
I’ve been doing it for years, and it has to stop. I can’t afford to take trips like this all the time (if i ever want to retire), but I need to get excited about something and but soon.
So… the drink/think/give less f*cks trip? Succeed in doing all of the intended things. Rolled my eyes at myself many times. Only cursed at two idiots on the road. Side note- i love driving in California. It just makes sense to me. Not all plans worked out, but that’s ok. Probably more than ok. One more day… whatever shall I do today?
along comes a song by Aretha that I have zero memory of. As in, I seriously don’t ever remember hearing this song. The timing of hearing this song is practically perfect, as often times, music by Miss Franklin is.
Soul Serenade? Have you ever heard it? Originally recorded by King Curtis and the Kingpins. Stopped me in my tracks this morning as I was doing my normal Sunday morning pick up the house schtick.* Of course, being me, I went down a long and windy rabbit hole at 715 this morning, listening to the Allman Brothers version as well as a clearer version of Miss Franklins. Damn, this is a good song. You can listen to it here or here (Miss Franklin’s version), or well hell, what I think is the original…
“I want to be free to fly away and sing to the world
About my soul serenade, my soul serenade
When you’re not around there’s a lonely sound
In my soul serenade, in my soul serenade”
Why I’m writing about this:
I want to be free. Free from living in the past constantly carrying around this “shoulda/woulda/coulda” mentality that is frankly causing me to be a pathetic asshole.** Ya, I said it.
This week has been, well, interesting. I’m learning about the joys (ahem) of RA***, or rather how it can kick me in the boobs completely. This is the first morning, in literally a week, that I’ve been able to get out of bed, before 7:30 and function. My hands are at 75%, and the rest of me feels like I’m catching up quickly. As it often happens, when one is knocked on your ass, you have time to think. For me, thinking is no good, very bad. I start playing “but what if?” with myself and let me tell YOU, that is no fucking Bueno.
What if I had done x, y, or z? What if I had been more supportive? Been able to ignore more? What if I would have been more of what was wanted or needed? Holy Christ on a Cracker. Yes, I did. I’ve spent the better part of my non-working hours, trying to reimagine my life had I made myself more acceptable to someone who just wasn’t worth it. It’s been 5 years since the last good weekend. It’s mindblowing to me, that it’s been 5 years, but it has. Literally 5 years ago today, I left knowing that it was never going to be what I needed it to be. It took another 6 months to finally be done, and then another 3 months to get angry, and then a year after that, I finally was able to hang up. But what I’m saying to you is bullshit****. Total and utter bullshit. I have a love/hate relationship with that relationship. I hate the way it ended, but I love holding onto it. Holding on to it allows me to be able to NOT engage in something real. Something that could actually become more than a list of memories, adventures and really bad moments.
Holding onto it allows me to live my life in some fucked up limbo, because, in a way, I kept thinking that maybe my Fairy Godmother was going to wave a magic wand and make all of the bad stuff go away and help me figure out how to have the happily ever after.
“How did we get here?” Was a question posed to me in a text message, earlier in the week one night, while laying in bed, trying to make my arms hurt less. I immediately had a flippant answer, but the more I thought about it, I realized the answer wasn’t that easy. It would be easy to blame it on a behavior, an action, or a thing, but in reality, there were two people that gave a lot of shits a long time ago, that just ran out of shits to give. I could church it up and try to psychoanalyze the real cause, but in reality, people grow up, grow away and if there isn’t a good foundation, that shit is never, ever, ever going to work. You could be me, and try to figure out who broke it, but really, it was broken before it ever started. If I were to be 100% honest.
There is a lot of my life that I keep to myself. Shocking, I know. But, really, there is a lot that I just keep to myself because it’s my shit. It’s my story. Laying around, all week, five years later, I have come to some hefty size realizations about my own life that are pretty embarrassing. I’ve created this life, this story. It’s up to me to get where I want to be. I can NOT entertain this ongoing narrative in my head any longer. At some point, I began to normalize and excuse an unacceptable story.
Again, what the hell?
I’m not very good at getting rid of things. Problems, people, shoes. I like to give all of the things a chance to redeem itself. Maybe those shoes will suddenly get more comfortable. Maybe that dress will finally not make me look like a whore with my boobs hanging out. Maybe she will be proud of what I am doing? Maybe he will wake up and say “damn, I fucked up?”*****
Nah, it doesn’t happen that way.
So, today, 5 years later to the last good day, I want to set my soul free. Or something like that. Clearly, I am not a poet or a songwriter. I can’t quite nail the necessary rhythm of thought, but I think you get the point.
I need to be done and over with that chapter. I need to settle into the reality of what it is, versus what I was hoping it could be. I need to just be OK to say #byefelicia once and for all, and mean it.
Life is entirely too short to settle for less than what truly fills you, makes you happy, gives you satisfaction. At some point in every persons life, I have to believe we have those oh shitmoments, when you realize that you are not just bullshitting everyone else, but you are bullshitting yourself. At some point, and sometimes it takes a while, you just have to realize, it’s not going to change, it’s not going to get better. It becomes a when versus an if.****** Once you realize it’s a when, you just have to determine when you are ready for your real life to begin, as opposed to playing in a role in the one you are living at the moment.
So, I’m going to go take a long hot glorious bath and try to get these joints working a little better than they are right now. Then, I’m going to get out of the house and live a little today. I should probably clean my hovel of a house, but for right now, I’m going to focus on the day.
*holy shit, my house is disgusting. two people came over yesterday, and I’m mortified. I should be cleaning instead of writing.
** seriously, i’ve been a bit of a pathetic, simpering asshole. I’d slap me around if I could.
*** rheumatoid arthritis. curse of the mother. total bullshit.
**** i need a new word besides bullshit.
***** i need to work on cleaning up my pirate hooker vocabulary
At the tone, the time will be some minutes past the 7 O’clock morning hour. I’m rocking a Mrs. Roper and I’m trying to collect myself for the day.
I’m having a craptastical RA week. My hands ache. My shoulder aches. My ankles are swollen. I’m chewing all of the meds and nothing seems to touch it. I just feel like someone beat the crap out of me with a baseball bat (beat on the brat, beat on the brat). I know this will pass, but holy shit, I was unprepared for what I’m guessing is my second recognizable flare. The first one was right after my birthday, and I could barely use my arms to hook my bra. BTW- wearing a bra is not an option. It’s a life requirement. This one started on Sunday. I woke up feeling off, and when I got home from a delicious overnight trip with some girlfriends, I felt as if I was getting sick in a way. I powered through, hung out with another friend, but knew something was off.
Monday, I was exhausted and noticed a decrease in flexibility in all my joints. The million dollar ankle felt off. My wrists felt weary. I worked a fair amount of hours on Monday, and just pushed through, taking the allocated meds, and hoped for the best.
Yesterday, was not the best. At all. We are just going to leave it at that. It was a long day that ended up with me crying in my car at 11 pm when it was almost impossible for me to be able to do a very basic function.
Today feels less shitty. It’s early yet. I was able to hoist the girls into a boobie basket and hook it (thank you baby Cheesus.) It doesn’t feel great to type, but again, that’s a job requirement. Can’t really navigate around it. My job is a typing job. Siri isn’t quite ready for me. I’ll make this work. I always do.
This isn’t an attention grab, I promise, but more of an explanation as to why I sound so fucking tired when we (the collective) talk on the phone, or daresay, borderline bitchy. I’m trying. I really am. Just give me a day or so. I think it will pass. Screw that, I know it will pass. It has to, right?
In other news, it’s almost the Patriotic holidays. Canada Day and then 4th of July. I shall have country appropriate soundtracks – Canada (BNL/Alanis/Rush?) and ‘Merica (Boston, Kansas, Neil Diamond perhaps?). I shall make appropriate treats to celebrate- Nanaimo bars and Apple Pie. On Saturday, I shall don my tackiest Roots clothing and on Tuesday, I will wear the red rocket pants and possibly something with sequins. Because, you know, ‘Merica. I shall drink both the Tim Hortons AND I don’t know, something American. Like, um, kool-aid? Hell if I know.
Ok… so because this post is literally all over the place (due to stopping three times to make the evil pup STOP what he is doing), I have a question to ask.
Do you love or hate Bruce Springsteens music. I feel like this is a very black and white question. It’s either yes or no. I have my answer, but I’d love for you to let me know how you feel.
To be clear, I’m writing this right now to try to get a song out of my head. Yes, the walking human iPod from hell has struck again. For the past two hours, while I read a great book, I’ve been humming