a life lived safely
By most people's standards, I don't think you'd call today a day of rest. There's nothing quite like realizing for the seven-millionth time that making dinner for fewer than eight people really isn't that big of a deal, but, really, it isn't. Dinner for five (like tonight) - a cakewalk. I could practically do it in my sleep at this point.
Stephen and Misty are here - for good. It's still a bit hard to believe, really. I walked through their house today with them. So much has changed since the last time I saw it. The last time I was inside, the walls were bare sheetrock, the floors still concrete. Good thing that the house was complete when we saw it today, because Stephen and Misty will take possession of it tomorrow.Busy weekend forthcoming. I'm not terribly keen on getting out on the road again so soon after arriving home, but on the road I shall be, on my way to Atlanta. I'm going to keep it short and sweet this time; considering that I just completed a road trip that was 11+ hours each way, a three-hour jaunt to Atlanta seems like an easily-accomplished afternoon task, like folding laundry.
I have tickets for Saturday night's Tragically Hip concert. At last, I shall see them perform in a venue suited to them. For the past two years, I've regretted not adding on one day to my 2000 D.C. vacation so that I could see them perform in Atlanta, at the Roxy.
I will have no such regrets this year.
Along those lines, I've noticed slow, gradual changes in myself over the course of this year. I'm less willing to wait, less willing to put things off until "later." If I learned anything from the overall CrapTastic Experience™ that was 2002, it's that just because you suppose there will be a "later" doesn't mean there will actually be one for you.
I started painting my fingernails a little over a month ago. I have thin, frail nails, and it takes a good deal of work to cajole them to any length past my fingertips. In the past, it hasn't been worth the effort. But, a month or so ago, I looked down at my nails and realized that many of them had grown out past my fingertips, and I wanted to enjoy it while it lasted.
So I went digging in the guest bathroom, and found my favorite shade of robin's-egg-blue nail polish. Painted my nails. Found it…helped, somehow.
I bought a few extra colors of nail polish in the next week, mostly shades of blues and purples that work with my pale skin, and started taking a few minutes every other day to redo the colors. Not because of any immediate, gut-wrenching need to have dainty blue fingertips, but because it felt stupid and pointless to say that I'd do such a thing "someday" when, in fact, the bottles of polish had been sitting on my countertop, unused, for several years.
I will not live my life in the shadow of regret of things undone. Better to regret things done, or done badly, than live an empty life while mourning its emptiness.
Misty said to me today, "But you're going to the concert alone?"
Sure - and I'll dance, and I'll sing along, in exactly the same way I would if I had a gaggle of friends beside me. But I will not miss the concert and bemoan my concert-less fate because no one else was free to go with me. (I'll just write about it and make you all envious afterwards.)
I told Will two days ago that I dreamed that Jeff and I packed up and drove cross-country, in a sort of recreation of a similar cross-country trip that my family took in 1986. Except, in my dream, we drove north, saw Dan and Stephanie, and then began a cross-country trip. Not of America, but of Canada.
I woke up the next morning with the wanderlust singing seductive road songs in my ears, until I sternly told myself that such a thing couldn't possibly happen. Then I asked myself, Why not? Why do I quietly take the little dreams and wishes that come to me and fold them quietly away for examination on a rainy Saturday that might not come? Why do I not at least consider them?
Since Dad died in March, I've had a standing invitation from Andy to come to D.C. for whatever length of time I needed. Not for a purpose, not for a reason. Just to drive, to let the thoughts clear away for a few days, to purposefully drive away from so many things that I haven't yet figured out how to leave behind. It took me seven months to take Andy up on his offer, and I almost didn't take him up on it even then.
I wish I'd done it earlier. Looking back, I should have done it earlier.
I'm not certain what I'm supposed to do with this realization. I realize I'm thinking about these sorts of things because my birthday is coming up the day after tomorrow, and perhaps these thoughts are a bit more normal and healthy than I'm giving myself credit for.
I'm not sure where theses realizations are going to end up taking me, except to a concert in Atlanta this weekend.
Guess I'll figure it out as I go along.
(An aside: a check of the archives indicates that yes, I go through this questioning phase every year. Like clockwork, I am.)