Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quiet but busy

It's one of those days at the end of summer where autumn hasn't arrived and yet you can feel the wave of it's hand through the day. The air temperature is warm but the wind feels like it's just come in from across a deep lake. The garden, grass, trees are all still green but there's the smell of dry grass underneath it. I could go either way - sit in the shade/sit in the sun, wear pants/wear shorts, drink iced tea/drink hot tea - and either would be equally comfortable in this weather. I'm enjoying this bridge between seasons, appreciating all that much more the pleasures of summer and yet already looking forward to the abundance of sensory pleasures of the coming fall.

I'm sorry for having been absent from the blogging community, letting days drift by without posting, without warning that I'd be quiet. In fact, i didn't know myself that I'd be so wordless. In large part it was due to a family crisis. We got one of those phone calls. The kind that come in the wee hours and the voice on the other end isn't someone that generally gives you a call even at a reasonable time of day. The kind that make your heart pound so hard it hurts. It was my stepdad calling to tell me that my mom was in the hospital and that they thought it was a stroke.

Fortunately by mid-weekend it was determined not to be a stroke but instead something called Transient Global Amnesia. My stepdad, being understandably frazzled, originally told me that they thought my mom had Global Positioning Syndrome. I told my mom that was handy because now I could call her whenever I needed directions anywhere. HA! It's one of those odd things that no one mentions until it happens to someone they know and then a quarter of the people you tell say something like "Oh, yeah, my uncle had an episode of that."

The great news is the story ends "and they all lived happily, if a bit emotional and physically wiped out from the whole thing, ever after". Fortunately it's got a very low, 2%, recurrence rate. Along with feeling a bit shaky from all the "what if" thinking I love to indulge in, I am also feeling extremely grateful now that it's all done. First and foremost of course because my mom is well and the odds are she will stay well. (that is, if she takes care of her diet and lifestyle - I know you read this Mom - I'm taking to YOU!)

But I'm also grateful for the wake up call. Not a wake-up call in the sense of tweaking my relationship with my mom. I think as mother/daughter pairs go, we're pretty tight. But in looking at my relationship with my own health and my own relationship with time. It's what a friend of mine likes to call being hit on the head with a big ol' "clue x four".

You know how I've been wanting/working on decluttering and reorganizing my life, tired of feeling as if I'm always behind, more involved in where I've been then where I'm going. This frightening weekend reinforced my efforts in a way that ordinary fears and frustrations could not have done nearly so well. It was a huge reminder that time is relative and our time here on this earth comes with no guarantees. It makes me that much more determined to spend my own time wisely, to structure my life so I concentrate mainly on what I am in the present and who I want to be in the future rather then where I was in the past. I don't want to look back ten years from now, or even a year from now, and think of how much I could have accomplished if I wasn't so busy always "catching up."

On a practical level, I've been busy, sometimes whacking away with a sledgehammer, sometimes chipping more cautiously with an artist's chisel, at the parts of my world that aren't part of what I invision in my life. It's still both frightening and exhilarating, but I'm thrilled to say that it's more often the latter then the former. I find it interesting that in other people's lives around me - in my day-to-day acquaintances, my greater circle of friends, other people's blogs - I'm noticing a lot of people in this same process of redefining themselves not by what they have in their lives, but by what they are do not or choose not to have. I guess that to be deliberately at work lightening ones load, by default that means you've already started to figure out what does define oneself.

It's been a tough weekend to make progress because not only was I distracted and worried about my mom, we also had unexpected company. And by unexpected I mean unexpected by me. My husband knew one of his best and oldest friends was coming for a visit. He just forgot to mention it. Until about an hour and a half before his friend arrived. ARGHHH! It turned out to be a rather pleasant visit all in all, but still took another chunk out of our time. Last but not least, I had to help my husband take off on his grand adventure to go to Burning Man with his brother. This is a story that deserves it's own coverage, so all I'll say right now is that it was a lot of work in which we both discovered that I'm the person who usually does all the organizing for travel.

I did manage to get rid of several more large stacks of both magazines and books, and I've cleaned out another cupboard and shelf that had been basically filled with junk and unusable for years. I didn't put anything new back in the cupboard or shelf - I'm enjoying the somewhat secret thrill of simply walking by it throughout the day knowing that no one but me knows that they are empty.

I've started to put my favorite and/or fragile collections into the new glass cabinet. I hope when everything gets a place on one of the shelves that things won't be stuffed in there so that there's plenty of room for adding holiday decorations throughout the year. I'm particularly excited at the idea of having this space to display my Halloween village this year, something that after too much breakage by maurading felines, I gave up setting up several years ago. I still owe you all a photo, but I'm waiting until I've finished filling the cabinet and rehung the paintings on the wall.

Lastly, as far as reasons I haven't been posting is concerned, I've been too restless to spend much time on the computer. This is a good thing. At least for me. I've spent more time working and less time visiting with or entertaining my blog buddies. But I know how frustrating it is to come for a visit and find nothing offered here but "leftovers." Sorry 'bout that. Please bear with me. Here. Have some grapes for your troubles. They're all ripening and I don't have time to do anything with them except share them. And have some of these neat gardening magazines too. Can I fill a bag for you to take with you when you go? And, hey, do you need a maroon lampshade? How about some foam parrots with real feathers? This one needs his tail feathers reglued, but the others are all in good shape. How about some books on space flight? Or here's one on Star Trek trivia? Okay, maybe not.

I've got a few other comments to make on completely different topics, but I'll go ahead and post this now and get back to them, hopefully later today. Then I can pretend that the different posts count for filling in some of those empty blogging days. Don't you like how I can control the laws of logic? I'm cool like that.


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