Breath of Fresh Air – White

I whacked my Dammit Doll on the counter so hard yesterday that I thought for sure it’s red-yarn tufted head would burst into a stream of its cotton-ball filling. The Poodle sat still as a statue nearby. I could feel his steely gaze, as if in judgement, as I let the moment of frustration wash over me.

“What’s got your knickers in a knot,” he’d say if only he could.

In a blink my outburst was over though it was followed by quiet tears.

I’m just so over all this man-child-in-my-basement drama.  Yet another time I’ve failed miserably to reach inside my son’s head and heart and get both headed in a better, healthier direction.

I’m thinking of his words as he walked out the door.  “Well if you want me to leave you should give me money.”

Talk to the hand son: Not going to happen.

I fix myself a cup of coffee and sweeten the moment with a cookie to soothe the ache in my heart. As I take a sip I realize that all the recent drama has clouded my head and heart with negativity and blue moods.

I look at my new kitchen…yes, NEW kitchen…and my spirit instantly brightens.

So, it’s been in the works for exactly a month. Our lives were in understandable chaos with a gutted kitchen and extremely limited means to create reasonably healthy meals.  Not to mention the constant presence of workers and The Poodle barking (A LOT!).   The inconvenience (and ear-splitting noise) of it all felt like years but in reality, the month has flown and we finally have a fully functional kitchen once again. With the exception of a few odds and ends that need finishing, we are absolutely thrilled with our breath-of-fresh-air new look.

Gratitude seems like a word over-used lately–in particular, without honest conviction– but honestly (and I know, kind readers, you all know it too), it’s a word that should be relevant every hour of the day.   Thankfully, I’ve become immensely better at practicing heartfelt gratitude especially when I find myself starting to wallow into a negative spiral of emotions.  Often, it’s just a long, deep breath that I need to get myself back to center.

And yes…sometimes it takes a prop….like my Dammit Doll.  Judge not until you try it: It really is a terrific stress-buster.

Inexplicably, my mind is a whirlwind of thoughts.  As I sit in my kitchen that has been transformed from darkness to a breath of fresh air, I’m filled with hope and a deep appreciation for every thing. From things large and small, happy and sad, the good, bad and the ugly, I’m grateful for everything that has colored my life so far.  Yes, It seems like such a cliché… but I am better for it all.

….Yes, even for the father that beat me and the ex-husband that stifled growth and joy because of fear and insecurity.

Holy Cow: It’s amazing what a white kitchen will do for you!

Before

 

 

After: A breath of fresh air!

In this moment, feeling blissful…

Miss Cookie Does it Again….

Buddha: Smithsonian’s Freer/Sackler Buddha exhibit

I was setting out on an afternoon walk with The Poodle when the phone rang.  I look at the caller ID and see that it’s Miss Cookie.

I’d been thinking about her for a couple of days and poof….she calls.  It often happens that way.  How lovely is that, don’t you think!

“….Just calling to check up on you,” she says without preamble.

“I’m okay….well…mostly,” I said.

….as good as one can be with issues swirling around like a pile of dry autumn leaves on a windswept day.

“I know…I know.  I know why you’re worried,” I replied…..”I haven’t posted in my blog for a spell.”

I assured my friend of forty-some years that I’m still among the living…and yes….even though spring seems to be dragging her feet in our neck of the woods.  Her call and an afternoon sun struggling to peek through the gray lifts my spirits as my poodle love and I walked through the woods in our neighborhood, stopping more frequently than usual so that The Poodle could enjoy the potpourri of smells that jazz him so.

I am still on the phone with Miss Cookie a mile and a half later when I get back to the house.  Once inside, I continue walking, pacing the kitchen floor as we talk.  I used to log lots of steps in my sizeable middle-earth house when I was on the phone with a friend or family member.  I’d pace in large circles or figure eights through the family room, kitchen and formal living room.  I logged three miles once on the phone with my friend Miss Sue as we caught up with many moons worth of life’s issues.  Our current home is smaller so it is not quite as easy to get a good clip going.  In fact, if not careful, one could easily become dizzy!

Still, as I paced the floor I listened intently to my friend talk about her latest hobby; making pottery.  She had me in stitches at one point when she described her artistic attempts versus those of her potter-mates.

I tell her I’m quite in awe of her new hobby.

“I don’t seem to have an artistic bone in my body,” I said. “In fact, the only thing I’ve created were two kids…and well, one of them, has failed to launch,” I lamented.

“How IS that going?” she queried.

“He is still in the basement but we are giving him another deadline to move out.  I believe he thinks we are bluffing. I’m baffled beyond belief that my thirty-five year old son believes I should still take care of him.”

Miss Cookie continued lending her shoulder while I poured out a month’s worth of aggravation and lament over my son’s state of affairs as well as my sadness over my mother-in-law’s declining health. “We will be moving her to an assisted living facility in the next couple of weeks and, as often seems the case with life, it’s not without a bit of family drama to make things ever so swimmingly…um… fun.”

“You do have your plate full,” agreed Miss Cookie.  She wanted to know how she could help which made my heart melt with gratitude.

“Don’t worry,” I said.  “I’m getting through this chapter with plenty of good wine, long walks with The Poodle and meditation too.  And you just made me practically bust a gut over images of throwing clay!

Laughter is the best medicine!

Without a doubt, I have not evolved to a sublime state of enlightenment and daresay, that will not happen in this lifetime…nor the one after that!   There are still angst-filled days, sleepless nights, and too many moments of feeling like a failure, throwing up my hands in utter hopelessness or excessively letting expletives fly.  But seriously, I am making progress!  I am much better at letting things go. In fact, in a better-than-baby-steps manner. There simply is no other alternative to getting through this period with grace, not to mention, sanity intact.

We finished up our conversation and said our goodbyes promising to talk again in a week or so.  I exhaled a long a sigh of contentment. Though there are problems big and small in my little speck-of-sand world, I think of a quote by The Buddha (at least I think it is attributed to him): Nothing is permanent.  He also said: There is no path to happiness.  Happiness IS the path. 

And seemingly on cue, the universe responded!  The sound of my nephew knocking on the front door jarred me out of my thoughts.  He’s peering through my front door window, smiling from ear to ear as he sees me approach the door.

Pure happiness is the color of that moment!

Without a doubt, with Miss Cookie calls and a host of other blessings in my day, I can absolutely sail through stormy seas.

There is bliss in that.