You’re Not Having a Good Day

That is what my husband said to me after I experienced my 3rd major calamity of the day. I agreed. While I was having a rough time my clumsy alter ego, Calamity Jill, was really living it up!

It all started this afternoon.

I drove across town, roughly 35 minutes, to meet with a new family I will be working with and unfortunately the appointment did not take place. I got stood up. No big deal, sometimes wires get crossed. I left a voicemail after waiting outside their home for a bit and once they get back to me I will reschedule. Since my schedule was suddenly open I decided to pay some family a visit who happened to live nearby.

When getting out of my car at my family’s home I turned funny and managed to spill my entire La Croix into my play therapy bag of toys and books. Good Grief!

I went inside with my play therapy bag and spent time catching up with family while I cleaned out and Lysol wiped the contents.

No big deal, these things happen (especially to me).

The real mess took place once I got home.

I let Lu out, brought her back in and started working on some documentation for work. About an hour later I was done and started picking up around the house. I went into the office briefly to grab a canvas and to put away some work documents and went on about my business for the next hour until my husband arrived home.

Upon his arrival he called out for the dog which struck me as weird because she ALWAYS meets him at the door. Maybe she is sleeping in the bedroom and didn’t hear him? We both started calling for her: nothing. My husband asked me if I accidentally left her outback. I panicked! Oh God I hope not! It had rained- hard- in the last hour since I saw Lu, there is no way I could have left her out in the rain.  I opened the backdoor, desperately trying to temper my rising anxiety and terror, and starting whistling and calling for her: nothing. In the background I heard  my husband still calling for her in the house. The terror was really starting to grow. Did she get outside? Is she running the street with no collar and no microchip? Is she dead in a gutter? Where is my baby?

Just as I was reaching the point of hysteria she came bounding around the corner and jumped up to kiss me hello. Oh dear God Lucy where were you???

My husband came around the corner and said I needed to get a take a look in the office. This is what I found:

office

I didn’t even see her follow me in when I had been in the office an hour earlier. Luckily some ripped up paper and a destroyed pine cone was of little significance compared to what she could have gotten into while accidentally locked in the office during a thunder storm for an hour. My poor baby. This is what anxiety looks like. I felt like the worst mother on earth. I can only imagine the panic and abandonment she was feeling. I got on her level and we cuddled for a few minutes. Then I declared the rest of the night The Night of Lucy! to make it up to her (or at least try).

The night of Lucy started with a nice big puppy dinner. Then she and I went for a walk at the park just the two of us where we chased frogs and played in mud puddles. When we got home I carried her into the bathroom and placed her in the tub to wash her muddy feet. After her foot bath she got a treat AND a new toy. My husband and I have a bag of toys that we bought on sale a while back and there are tucked away for Christmas. A screw up like today definitely warranted a early Christmas present.

Lu was thrilled. She and I played chase and fetch and then.. catastrophe. I was ramping up to throw her new toy down the hall for her to chase after and she got a bit to excited. This resulted in Lu jumping on my husband who was minding his own business eating shrimp ceviche on the couch. Lu’s foot landed right in his bowl of fish and vegetables dumping the whole thing into his lap before she ran off down the hall to get her toy.

My husband just sat there in his fish staring at me. He said nothing. He didn’t need to, his face said it all. I quickly saved him from the soggy fish blanket (that thankfully saved him from fish REALLY landing in his lap), got him a new throw, and cleaned up the rest of the mess. He just looked at me, laughed, and said You are not having a good day.

No kidding. I can’t get anything right today.

Suddenly Fuel lyrics flashed across my brain:

Spilled her coffee, broke a shoe lace. She smeared the lipstick on her face. Slammed the door and said I’m sorry I had a bad day again.

Some days that song is my anthem.

Later I sat in my husband’s lap, tears rolling down my cheeks; do you think she loves me even when I get it wrong?

Yes.

Do you love me even when I get it wrong?

Yes.

I am going to get it wrong. I am going to fail. I am still loveable.

While writing this post and sitting in my shame and embarrassment even while trying to minimize these feelings by finding the humor in the situation (a favorite defense mechanism of mine), I thought of Virginia Woolf. More specifically I thought of what Virginia Woolf said about women who tell the truth:

A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life.

I am a clumsy, forgetful, sometimes all together absent minded woman. I am woman who gets it wrong and sometimes hurts the ones she loves most in the world. I fail and I get it wrong and experience excruciating shame as a result from time to time. AND I stand in these truths and love myself, even when I feel so incredibly unlovable. This is my power. This is my strength. Love. My ability to stand in my truth and love myself there.

 

Trash Boob and Swamp Ass

The title of this post makes it sound like it is going to be about some weird erotic super duo. Well it is not I am sorry to say (those super heroes would be strange to say the least) and while I will be talking about tits and ass, it is not in those ways.

So while all that spiritual soul searching stuff was going on in the background this week, I showed up in my humaness and had some weird moments.

Examples of weird human moments this week:

I shut my right boob in a trash can. Yeah, that happened. How you ask?

Well technically it was not a trash can, it was a large recycling bin with a lid, the one outside that we put at the curb once a week. I was taking some recycles out at dusk and it was a beautiful sunset which led to my total distraction while unloading the recycles from the reusable bag I transported them in. I dropped the bag in the bin as well and in order to retrieve it I had to almost completely crawl inside the thing because I am not very big and this bin IS. When I was crawling back out I bumped the lid that had been standing open and it closed on my right boob. It totally left a mark too which I noticed when changing for bed later.

I battled swamp ass all week. Swamp ass is when it is so hot/humid that your ass literally starts to sweat. Yeah, gross I know. I do in home therapy which means I am in and out of my car all day, which means I am in and out of 90+ degree weather all day. That will get you right there. Other contributing factors include having black leather interior in a car with no sunshade and most of my clients do not have working A/C in the home. My entire body feels like a swamp by the time I get home most days. Swamp ass bothers me the most though so I have started wearing dresses and it seems to help.

To top off all this gross weirdness, today when I arrived at my last client’s home I got out of the car and heard a loud hissing. Upon further investigation I discovered a substantial piece of metal protruding from the rear right tire. I was well on my way to a flat. THANKFULLY my husband has run-flat tires on the car so I knew I would not be stranded. I called my husband after my session when I was driving home to make him aware and he confirmed it upon inspection once I arrived home.

So that was my week. Trash tits, swamp ass, and a flat tire. To top all of this mayhem off we are dog sitting a chocolate lab with separation anxiety this weekend. So far that has translated to a lot of howling and whining and an over crowded bed between me, my husband, our boxer, and now the lab. At 1:30am I threw in the towel and headed for the quiet solitude of the guestroom by way of the office to grab a lap top to write with.

It wasn’t a bad week, it was exhausting though, and kinda weird at times. I am definitely worn out AND I am super excited to have a little space to myself right now. Thank goodness for spare rooms to hide out in when escaping an unwanted dog party.

 

Kamikaze Cockroach

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I was doing some laundry today, I went into the bedroom to get the next load and noticed Lu standing over something right outside the door way. I set down the load of clothes and walked over to see a cockroach on his back doing the cockroach shuffle.

Feeling bad for the little dude I immediately went into the kitchen and grabbed a cup to scoop him into. I got back to the door way, scooped the frantic bug, and headed for the backyard. I go him outside to release in him the back yard and just as I tipped the cup that mother fucker jumped out and bum  rushed my ass!

I jumped back and slammed the sliding glass door closed as this kamikaze cockroach charged me. I am all about saving insects, catch and release, AND that cockroach was two seconds from meeting its maker. Ungrateful turd.

Weird

My work schedule is such that right now I am getting lots of time for self-care and exploration, which is nice, AND at times I can feel myself get lost inside myself. Sometimes I introvert a little too hard. I can crawl inside my head, my art, my books, my writing, and disappear for a while. Tomorrow is my Monday in terms of the start of my work week and I feel the need to resurface after multiple days of deep processing.

One way I thought would be fun to do this is to write a surface level post to start my grounding process.

My inspiration comes after a conversation I had with someone recently about our weird. Our weird being the stuff that makes us different, our unexpected parts that people wouldn’t know just by looking at us, it is what it says it is: weird.

5 Weird Things I Like

Black olives. When I was a kid and my extended family would get together for birthdays and holidays, black olives were one of the snacks put out by my grandma. She would literally just open a can and dump them on a plate for us. My cousin’s and I would go into the kitchen and put one black olives on each finger and then run around the house with black olive fingers. I love black olives.

Lots of pillows. I sleep with 6 pillows compared to my husband’s 3. 4 under my head and then one on each side of my body for me to throw a leg over when I sleep on my side. It’s kind of a Princess and the Pea situation but instead of lots of mattresses for me it is lots of pillows.

The smell of new pool floats. That rubber/plastic smell that you breathe in as you are trying to blow up your inner tube for the pool, I love that smell.

My lower back always hurts during my cycle so I lay on my stomach on the floor and have my husband step on my back. The pressure it puts on my back and my uterus feels SO good. I have him do this multiple times a day as needed.

Lunch for breakfast. My entire life I have not been a breakfast person. I wake up angry, not hungry. And even if I did wake up hungry it would not be for stereotypical breakfast food, it would be for vegetables or soup. I skip traditional breakfast and opt for an early lunch instead.

5 Weird Habits

I talk to nature. Animals, plants, trees, water, dirt, rocks, all of that. Animals and trees especially.

I struggle with eye contact. Some people do and I am one of them. Even with people I know really well I am able to hold it for short bursts but it’s hard to keep it for too long. I have a hard time thinking straight and getting my words out because I get so disarmed by this feeling that the other person in able to look inside of me. It just feels really really really intimate.

I carry a small heart shaped bell in my pocket everywhere I go. I picked it up at a shop near the beach on my way home from the first Soul Camp I ever attended. That was a weekend filled with heavy emotional healing work and this bell made me feel light and joyful which was needed. I’ve been carrying it ever since as a way to keep light and joy with me out in the world.

I carry ear plugs in my wallet. I have sensitive ears and I never know when I might need them unexpectedly.

I get weirdly particular about certain things. I think everyone does. For example, certain cups in my cupboard are for certain teas and certain cups/mugs are only for coffee. My dark blue tea cup is for bed time tea and relaxation teas, my golden yellow tea cup is for spicy teas, and my “You’re the Best” mug is only for coffee – never tea.

5 General Weird Things About Me

I have a really hard time with the word portrait. I drive my husband nuts because whenever I try to say this word I end up saying it over and over like 7 times trying to get it right. No matter what I do it says wrong coming out of my mouth. I say pOtrAIt, then I say pORtrait, then I say pORtrAIt, PO-trait, PO-trait, POOR-trait. Then I give up and say picture instead.

I have a hammer toe on each foot. They are not cute AND I love them. They are a gift from my father, along with the dry lizardy skin on my arms. I got all my dad’s best traits.

Funny dances. Funny dances are a very big part of my life. Funny dances come up in my relationship with my husband, my niece and nephew, and my spunky dog (she and I have dance parties when my husband is at work all the time!). Funny dances make everything better. Hubs is having a bad day? Bust out a funny dance and everyone is happy.

I can pick my nose with my tongue. To be clear,  I don’t, it is just a weird fact about me. I have a long tongue.

I have a stationary collection AND I am anti-birthday cards. I love cards and stationary for the purpose of letter writing but I do not give birthday cards UNLESS I have a special sentiment I want to share with the birthday person. Birthday cards for the sake of a card I do not do though. Call me a frugal ass but I think it is a frivolous obligatory waste of money.

 

 

 

So Sure So Wrong

Have you ever been sure of something? You were absolutely positive about something, your mind was made up, this is the way it is. Have you ever been wrong? I have. A LOT.

When I was 6 or 7 I was absolutely certain that I had the ins and outs of human digestion figured out. I remember standing in the dining room telling my brother while he ate his lunch, See this is how it works; you eat your food and then it travels through your body down to your knee where there is a trampoline, the food bounces off of the trampoline into your tummy and that’s the end. Then my Mom walked in the room and complimented me on my vivid imagination as she explained how tummies actually work. I was quite disappointed to learn there was no food trampoline in my knee, my body seemed so much more exciting with a secret knee trampoline.

I just asked my husband, who is laying in bed next to me doing his math art on his laptop, if he had a funny anecdote about getting it wrong he would like to share. He reminded me of a situation that took place not too long ago.

A few months ago my husband had a so sure so wrong moment regarding the blankets in our home. My husband is from Illinois where they have real winters. When he and I moved into together I realized this man comes with a lot of blankets. They are all from back home where in the winter they are needed, here in Florida where it can get in the 90’s on Christmas, not so much.

So a few months ago, on a particularly cold day, my husband and I were making our blanket burrows on the couches and getting ready to watch one of the Harry Potter movies together. My husband comes strolling out of the bedroom with my quilt at which point I immediately objected; Hey man, lay off my quilt, I was going to use that for my nest. My husband proceeds to tell me that it is not my quilt, it is his quilt, as he begins making his burrow with it.

At first I thought he was just being an ass and telling me to deal with it that he was going to use my quilt. My inner 5 year old started having a tantrum, she did not want to share her quilt, and my inner feminist was ramping up to verbally kick his ass; no man is going to take my shit and get away with it! When I opened my mouth again in protest I realized he wasn’t being an ass, he was being serious, he honestly thought it was his quilt.

In his defense this mistake could be easily made for someone who is not being super observant. My husband has a quilt that was made for him by his aunt which has brown, green, and tan box pattern on it. I have a quilt made for me by Target which also has a brown and tan on it. Mine however has turquoise as the third color and is a paisley design rather than the boxes and rectangles of my husband’s quilt.

So now I am explaining to my husband, No honey look at the pattern, this is my quilt yours looks like X,Y, and Z. He was not budging. He was absolutely adamant, so much so in fact that he did not even believe me that I had a quilt. He thought the two quilts were one in the same and that there was only one brown quilt and it belonged to him.

At this point I bet him a dollar that I was right. My husband knows what this means, most people who know me know what this means. I only bet a dollar when I am 100% certain of something and I almost never lose a dollar bet. For me the dollar bet is the equivalent of swearing on the bible. He knew I meant business. Usually when I pull out the big guns on a debate and bet a dollar he immediately folds because he knows he has lost, she knows the truth and I am only guessing, time to surrender. Not this time. The man was sticking to his guns.

I was done talking, time for action. We halted all prep for cozy movie day and I made him come with me as we searched the house for his quilt. While we searched I told him the story of how I bought that quilt online in my early twenties with two shams and a sheet set, he still was not convinced. Low and behold we found his quilt tucked away in the armoire in the guest room. Needless to say my husband was eating humble pie the rest of the day.

Sometimes we get it wrong and it is not cute or funny. Sometimes it is humiliating, sometimes it can be a very real problem.

Like being certain that it is clear and safe to change lanes when driving to then discover a car in the blind spot that we nearly collide with, terrifying.

Or any scenario where we are so sure and then so wrong in front of people we would never want to be that exposed in front of; like at work or with our in-laws.

There is certainly a shadow present with certitude and that is when our assurance of something crosses into arrogance. I was thinking about this when it comes to truth speaking. My truth is a mixture of belief and opinion, it is what I personally have decided is true for me in my life. When I speak my truth I feel liberated and bold, I am a lioness standing my ground. And this is all well and good AND it is always important for me to remember that my truth belongs to me. No one is required to agree or validate me in my truth just like it is not okay for me to assert my truth onto others with the expectation of this.

While in a group recently I noticed there was a lot of truth speaking going on which is beautiful AND it occurred to me that those standing in their truth may have actually believed that their truth, that belongs solely to them, was objective fact. I saw this as a sign for me to step back and acknowledge where in my life am I guilty of doing the same. I see my shadow of arrogance, I know where my work is with this shadow.

Always thankful for messages and mirrors that hold me accountable for my work. Tonight I welcome this shadow home, I am sure I will have much to learn while building my relationship with this part of myself.

Broken Cookies and Dog Water

cookie

I have had a few calamity Jill moments over the last few days. It started when I was baking 2 extra batches of lemon rosemary shortbread cookies to share at Red Tent. I pulled one batch from the oven and began transferring the cookies to the rack for cooling when it happened, I dropped nearly the entire batch of hot cookies. I looked down at my feet, covered in crumbled cookie remains and sighed. This is so my life.

I picked up the mess and cleaned cookie crap from my toes and then I prayed to the cookie Gods that the remaining batch turned out well because everything was riding on the second batch.

They were a little wompy looking truth be told, but they tasted good and that is what counts. One of my cookies was a bit bigger than the rest and needed another minute so I shimmied the other cookies off the tray and stuck the last one back in for another minute.

The cookies were a hit at Red Tent, I got rid of most of them.

Today Lu and I were over at the pond by our house. I brought us a whole cute set up. We had a towel to sit on, I brought a mason jar of iced lemon ginger tea I had just finished brewing, I brought my book and journal, and some water for Lu. I was sitting there reading my book when I felt a drop of water; I thought it had started raining, there were clouds overhead, so I looked up and found Lu drinking my tea right out of my mason jar! Thankfully I had already gulped most of it down so she did not get much. I tossed the rest mournfully and poured her some water which she lapped up gratefully.

This evening I was putting away clean dishes and noticed that my cookie tray was missing. I could not for the life of me figure out what I had done with it, then I remembered. Shit! I opened the oven and there it was, with a single black cookie sitting upon it. I totally forget about the loner that I left in. I turned the oven off last night after a while but never did retrieve the last cookie. Oh well. Sometimes all I can do is laugh.

cookie1

Bowl Full of Cherries

cherries

When I was 9(ish) I was sitting on the loveseat after school eating cherries. My brother was sitting on the floor of the family room playing Nintendo. I was watching, bored. I wanted him to play with me and I knew he wouldn’t so I devised a plan for a game of cat and mouse.

I leapt off the couch, dove in front of him and turned off his Nintendo. Holy hell was he pissed! He yelled at me, leaned forward onto his knees, turned it back on and continued playing.

A few minutes later I once again set my cherry bowl aside, jumped from the couch to the TV and switched off the Nintendo in the middle of his game. He was furious as he once again leaned forward onto his knees and reached to turn it back on. This time while he was leaning forward on his knees I took one of the cherries from my bowl and placed it where he had been sitting on the floor. A moment later, squish! My brother’s very favorite bright yellow denim shorts (it was the early 90’s) were covered in cherry juice the color of blood. My brother’s very favorite shorts now had a bloody butt.

With that the room exploded!

First with my gut twisting roarous laughter followed immediately by a mad scramble as I catapulted myself off the couch and down the hall to hide in safety behind my locked bedroom door; visions of my brother’s hot breath on my neck as I sprinted away.

I do not have a proper ending for the story because I do not actually remember the ending. What I can tell you is the fact that I do not remember means it more than likely ended badly for me as I have always been quite skilled at blocking the unpleasant stuff out.

I got my game of cat and mouse though, even if it was maybe more than I had bargained for.

I have never lived this story down in my family. And while yes, now it is told as a funny anecdote from time to time, I still have shameful feelings about it. My brother was just trying to relax after what was more than likely a difficult day at school- he had a lot of those. Then here comes little sister starved for connection and willing to take extreme measures to be seen. I feel bad for the times I made things harder, I wish I hadn’t. I never wanted to be just another bully in his life, quite the opposite actually.

Sometimes I wonder if I forced him into the role he played in my life when we were growing up. If I had been less of a pest, less needy, less like myself, would he have laid off? Or was I always meant to be his punching bag?