Tag Archives: connected

Connected

I’m reestablishing my life. Internet, TV, phone-all connected. My cats (especially Max) were initially alarmed at the TV-“who’s that? Where are they? What the hell is going on in the strange flat box thing?” After an hour or so of slinking and staring they settled down in my chair with me and napped. They accept what is, these two. And my Max seems to think if Mama’s OK with it, he should be too. So they wriggled in on either side of my legs in the easy chair and slept while I watched a movie and caught up on the news. Of course, once they settled down I couldn’t move, but that’s OK.

I am doing research for a couple of writing projects so I’m glad to have access to the world again. And I’m back to 60+ hour work weeks so my writing projects are going slowly. My thinking is to work as much I can until the really bad winter weather. I think last year was an anomaly, ice and snow are on the way again. If I can work a LOT and put a little money away, I can work on art and writing on the days I can’t get out to work. I’m also trying to make myself get up and write for a specific time every day. My weekly job at the nursing home puts me getting home after 11, and I read for a while before I can get to sleep. It’s tempting to sleep late, but I absolutely despise waking up with only an hour or two before work. I’m too tired to do much when I get home. I can read any time, but writing when I’m really tired hasn’t been working. I’ll try it again, but mainly I want to lose myself in an alternate reality after I’ve spent 8 hours at the nursing home. My feet have healed up and boy am I testing them! So far, the adjustment back to working in a nursing home has been painful. I said I’d never go back, but I’m trying to stay close to home and there isn’t a hospital in Mars Hill. I am wary of private duty, because you never know when it will end. Still, if I could find something close to home I would leave the nursing home. I haven’t done much that is more depressing and sad than working in a nursing home. It reaffirms my decision to NEVER do this. I won’t be dependent, I won’t live the last years of my life being wheeled around because I can’t walk, fed because I can’t hold a fork, diapered because I can’t get myself to the bathroom. It’s not life and I won’t live it.

Being injured also emphasized that my decision is right for me. I knew I would get better, I knew what the injury was and how to treat it. But getting there, from injured to healthy, was painfully slow and I was afraid every day I’d done something permanent. I could not live with that powerless feeling as a way of life. I won’t. I don’t want to be at the nursing home, and if I find something else I’ll leave, but in the meantime I’m using it to shine the light of gratitude on my life. I’m healthy, I’m sane, I’m independent, I’m as free as I can be as a human being.

Advertisements

Countdown

It’s February 15. Mid February. I’m counting in weeks now, instead of months. I have my tax refund, but other things have made serious dents in the money I’ve worked so hard to save for this trip. I don‘t  care. I’ll make every effort to have enough to be comfortable on this trip but if there isn’t much money, I’ll make do with what I have. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been doing that for…how long now?

In the past few months, I’ve been living in other people’s homes. I try-very hard-to be a good guest and pay my way with housework, errands, cooking, anything to make up for paying with  actual cash. I’ve been more successful at some times than others. I don’t have nearly the amount I thought I would have by now but then, none of us can predict the future. I also would never have predicted some of the situations living in someone else’s home have created.

In fact, I feel terrible even hinting that there has been anything but graciousness toward me. To that end, I won’t post specific incidents, but I will say that I’m never going to do anything like this again. It feels like something else I failed at.  I have spent a great deal of my life feeling like a failure. Failing at marriage, love in general, my graphic design career. Owning a home, keeping a job, I’ve failed at pretty much everything we do as adults to build our lives. Don’t go leaping for the keyboard to tell me I shouldn’t feel that way. Should or shouldn’t has nothing to do with it. Feelings are feelings. We can’t control them. We CAN control what we do. So, every day I just keep getting up and doing my best. Every night, I hope it’s enough. When it isn’t I keep going anyway. I cry, I cuss, I blame the universe, I feel sorry for myself that all my work doesn’t matter…and then I get on with it.

This trip has actually given me hope, a goal, and a chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do, something that can help me define myself in terms other than what I didn’t do.

My art, my writing-my creative life-has helped me see that the other failures aren’t any more important than I let them be. Of course, failing to keep a job can certainly affect where you live, what you drive, etc., but I’ve also learned to just accept being poor and never having anything extra. I don’t want a big house, an expensive car, new shoes every week. I want to be able to keep a little money aside, I want to buy art supplies when I need them, and I want to be able to keep my car running. I have no desire to ever own property. I want enough to spend my days writing, making art, without worrying about rent.

So that’s my long term goal, I guess. A small, simple life that no one can interfere with, or judge.  The past few years have disconnected me to the point I find myself staring at people, wondering why they do it. Old, poor, miserable, panicked. Why? Why do I do it, is the logical sequence and too many days I have no answer. I ache for this time on the trail when I can stop and stare at the sky, listen to birds, drink from a Spring, feel the muscles in my body strain, hear my own breath, open myself to cold and heat and rain and hunger. Feel alive and connected, something I haven’t felt in a long, long time.