My Beautiful Messy Life: Miracles Happen Anytime Women Celebrate Life and Give Other Women Support.
I woke up late. The town has been wide awake for a few hours but I’m just getting started.
I get myself out of bed. I can feel every sore and stiff muscle, the nerve pain and the strange pins and needles. There was a time I could never have imagined all the places on the human body that can fall asleep! Is this really my vessel? I do some mindfulness and stretching in bed to alleviate some of the pain… otherwise I’m sort of screwed for the rest of the day. Sometimes this is enough to keep me off the meds … sometimes it isn’t.
I’m not big on the Almighty Pharma but some days I want to call up Mama Pfitzer and thank her profusely for giving birth to Mr. Advil. I can’t remember life before him. Ahhhh, my love, you’re like an addiction! I can’t seem to stay away for long, my sweet! Some days I feel like I’m asking myself if I can go just one more hour without calling on him. The power of two little green Liqui-gels gets me every time. The sudden release is followed by euphoric relief when it takes the edge off. I’m not sure if I’m more upset that I haven’t been able to quit or that it may stop working. There have been days I couldn’t exercise without the Advil – that’s BEFORE the workout. The doctors want me on potent stuff. This is the deal I made with myself – no prescription painkillers, no injections. I have a strong pain threshold but some days I literally can’t get any sleep or the pain is so immense that I’ve passed out from the pain, the latter of which isn’t the worst thing since I finally get sleep. Advil and I have a love-hate relationship and the fix keeps me going for now but the breakup will be ugly. I know it.
I go clean myself up … you know the drill. I can’t believe the imposter in the mirror. Who the heck is this?! Every time I wake up I’m dumbfounded by the fact that until I cross a mirror, I think I’m younger than I am. Every day, the same thought runs through my head. That’s me? Yes, darlin’, did you think you’d wake up to someone else? I know I’ve aged but, despite the pain, I don’t feel old.
Maybe uncertainty breeds excitement and excitement keeps you feeling young? Maybe I’m just full of crap. On a very good note, I’m sure of who I am at this very moment and this has been a wave I’m happy to continue to ride. It feels nice and, in truth, it has to be enough. Some people never know who they are at any moment so I’m blessed. Questions about the future can leave me unsettled sometimes but that’s a whole different thing. I’m much more relaxed. I rarely panic at all these days, which is a very strange place for me to be in. I was go, go, go all the time. Now I’m all ‘screw it’. It’s not that I’m avoiding life because I’m actually being very proactive and productive … but just in a whole new way. I’m finally okay with life being messy … even a bloody mess. Bring it on. If I could only figure out what I want to do and how to do it. I’m invested in projects I love but how do I put the pieces together? For now I’m going to hold on to the words of the great sage and philosopher, Baz Luhrmann: “Stretch. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.” I’m picturing Baz on the mountain right now. Baz, master of colourful romance in motion.
Yes, back to the routine. I’m flexible with what I drink throughout the day, but there is always water. Lots of water. The first hot drink to start off with in the morning is hot water with lemon or tea on a day that I predict will be peaceful. Other days it’s coffee – the nectar of jitters for some anticipated tug of war. Life gets really interesting when I’m wrong about my predictions. I’m sort of taking a lighthearted approach to the weather these days so that’s a good thing. I used to be a lot like that lousy weather guy: “Let’s take a look at the weather forecast for today. Nice looking morning. Twenty-two. South-westerly winds at about 3.2. We’re watching for potential rainfall that is only expected throughout the evening coming from the south of us along the eastern seaboard, but for today there are really no concerns. Pull out the sandals ladies, and put away the umbrella!” Well, why the heck am I pulled over on the highway in the afternoon during a torrential rainstorm? Only I had no one to blame but myself when I was hardcore about the ‘weather’. I should have known better than to obsessively try and guess how things would play out. Life doesn’t really work like that. This habit was due in part to my tactical brain. It’s in my nature and in business and politics it may work. It works with stuff that isn’t real life – that stuff is nothing more than a school chess match competition where some kids lose and some kids win but all of them are still in one piece. It’s that call you thought you’d never get while you’re occupied with that trivial chess match or the concerned look on your doctor’s face that matters. That stuff really matters.
Every morning I listen to one song that makes me feel pumped before I walk out the door … pumped as in ‘anything AC/DC’ or something more contemporary like Imagine Dragon’s On Top of the World. I can’t pretend to dislike Eminem’s Not Afraid because I actually play it often. My day cannot start with Sarah McLachlan or Adele. As amazingly talented as they are, there is no place in my life to feel sentimental first thing in the morning. That’s only for evenings.
Today I have to take care of important things, grownup things … stuff that bores me. These things will take me to Guelph and Hamilton.
Although I’m extremely fond of The Hammer, I hate driving in the downtown core. It’s strange, actually, because I’ve driven everywhere. I’ve driven through the steepest, narrowest dirt roads to reach villas. I’ve driven through several provinces and states, no problem. Toronto is a breeze for me. Montreal doesn’t bother me … unless I’m driving along ‘bar central’ between eleven p.m. into the very early morning. Watch out for the reckless youth, that in their drunken state, enjoy jumping in front of vehicles! The Hammer’s multi-lane one-ways can drive me to drink. I know it isn’t that bad but it’s annoying when you don’t know where you’re going. For some reason, I sort of feel like cities this close to home, where I’ve driven before, should be easy for me to maneuver. I am wrong! Lawyer, check, mechanic, check. I head out to Guelph.
I always enjoy the ride to Guelph. It’s a city that also holds a place in my heart for many reasons. I know the neighbourhoods, the roads, the best places to chill and the university. I attended my meeting and managed to stay awake. I like to stop by the cannon at the university to see how it’s decorated, but not this time. My sister lives in Guelph and I have just enough time to see her. She matters.
As I drive home I think about how the roads are particularly congested. I turn on the radio during rush hour. The voice on the radio tells me it’s Black Friday. Of course! Thank God I don’t have any urgent shopping. I was going to Nature’s Source to pick up the supplements my doctor told me to take but that will wait until tomorrow. The station I’m listening to is playing music that contains the word “black”. This is a much better way to spend Black Friday.
I have the dinner that I cooked for myself and it’s delicious … my version of a Milestones salad with a dressed up omelette. I finish reading The Light Between Oceans. I read and I read and I read some more. I read because I love it but also because it’s a form of studying the craft. I should enjoy every minute of reading because in January I’m back to taking courses regardless of the schedule I keep. Some of that reading will be dry. I start to work on one of two projects. I sit at the small wooden table my father made for me. It is up against the wall. It’s set up that way because of something an author once wrote. I’m writing and it could be incredibly lousy or it could be tomorrow’s masterpiece but I am writing. I write and write and write. It’s late but I make the time to respond to the Call Topic because we’re important and this is stuff that also matters. Miracles happen anytime women celebrate life and give other women support.
I look through my iTunes collection and I find what I’m looking for. Sorry Sarah, but it’ll be Lou keeping me company tonight. I find it easiest to write when the town is sleeping. I love the night, I’m undisturbed and I know my loved ones are tucked safe in bed. Sometimes I turn off my radio to listen to some white noise, but then I put Lou back on. Eventually it comes …here we go … Perfect Day starts playing.