Bluebonnet Birthday

Wow. Smack dab in the middle of my forties. This morning I’m 45 and still alive! Twenty years ago, I was smack dab in the middle of years of suicide attempts and an inability to see myself ever finding the capacity to feel joy or carry on. Either I did, or time just wore me down. A little of both, I imagine. What would it be like to enjoy my twenties like I do my forties? More energy and effortless beauty, to be sure, but no more fun. I’m pretty good at that, no matter what age I reach.

45 is square, solid, standing on the horizon, looking behind and ahead, pretty darned satisfied. I loved 44. I don’t know why. I’ve joked that it’s because Obama was #44, but I loved it. I don’t know how. It was the hardest experience of my life. I’ve struggled giving myself permission to say that. I came up in an abusive home and entered my twenties in a tailspin of someone else’s choosing. I chose drugs and alcohol, and had the fight of my life in my thirties getting clean. How could those 3 weeks last September be the worst thing I’ve ever been through? I don’t know, but it was.

I also wonder how I can feel so fond of 44 when I’ve noticed a disturbing change in myself. For the first time in my life, I feel jaded. I don’t feel it in connection to what happened last fall, necessarily. I feel like that broke it loose and now it’s here to look at honestly. Texas, therefore, was exactly what I needed. I can’t process anything fully without my best friend.

Rebecca confirmed the shift and actually pinpointed the beginning of it to years ago in a shitty little temp job I felt superior to. I was only there for 4 and 1/2 months, but she was absolutely right! It was then that I stopped “choosing higher,” in actions and attitudes so small at first that I didn’t notice it happening. Here I am several years later just a little bit… uglier, I guess, than I’m familiar with.

In spite of my lifelong struggle with dark thoughts and despair, my nature is optimistic and buoyant. I didn’t consider that, like everyone, I have to do the work. My habit has been to keep close to home when I’m in a bad space. I don’t isolate. I let friends know that I’m not my best, but it’s usually not too alarming. I always come back to my playful self. That has remained true, but there was this piece that had changed.

I’m at a place now where “resting on your laurels,” as my mom would say, doesn’t cut it. When I catch myself looped in angry, unkind thoughts, I have to redirect. It’s not enough to wait for the real me to come back. I have to fight for her.

So I love 44. It was a year of learning. And I love my best friend. Going home to her family is a respite and my second greatest joy. (Cats are superior to all things.) Here are pics of me finally making it to Texas at the height of bluebonnet spring!

bluebonnets

We painted fake lilacs to look like bluebonnets and decorated hats.

rebecca and farrah

I found the most beautiful blue bonnet for Farrah’s first bluebonnet spring! LaFleurBonnets, Etsy

hannah and me

This is the 3 yr-old who named me Christie Redhair 20 years ago.

 

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Every Bloomin’ Thing

This winter wasn’t too bad for seasonal depression. We had, for Salt Lake, extraordinary air quality, with only 2 marked inversions that I can recall. We had lots of hazy days, of course, and a number of brief inversions, but the socked-in, stinking filth that mars our season and won’t let up was the mildest in my memory. That’s a big deal, because my friends scream at me annually, “You say that every year!” when I curse our politicians and swear this is the worst I’ve ever seen it.

Consequently, I didn’t feel too down – like gripping ’til release from cold pain – so I was a little surprised at the jump in my mood when the sun turned and brought us back into my favorite season. I guess that’s all it is. It’s just my favorite. I love Spring snow, I love Spring rain, I love Spring sun! Oh, the blue of the sky in angled light! I love how quickly green comes in. I swear there’s more on the branches when I get home than I admired in the morning over coffee. Most of all, I love the blooms.

I really think my birthday is the best one. Forsythia’s bold yellow has had my heart singing for weeks and by the end of April, most shrubs have had time to get fat and luscious, but the trees are still growing, promising, changing, blossoming. I love to bike on my day. That seems to be the week the blooms finally give way to tiny fruit, and it’s like rain! A purple, white shower of petals and perfume!

I don’t even mind my allergies, which are so bad I sometimes think I’m going to vomit. Does anyone else get that? Where you feel nauseous before you sneeze? And if you can’t get the sneeze, you’re sure it’s an errant flu?

Ahhhhh! Who cares? It’s Spring!

God loves April babies more, but May’s His favorite month. I say that to my dad every year, for his birthday. (Seriously, is there anything more beautiful than the second week of May?) Now, June’s a beauty! She’s like a 25 yr-old supermodel, mature but new yet and glowing. My best friend sneaks her birthday in there mid-month, right before the solstice, when it gets too hot, the leaves begin their fight for life in the desert, and the foothills turn brown. We’re smart like that.

Ruby’s Rainbow

Last month, I blogged about Ruby’s Rainbow, a non-profit that raises money to offer scholarships to students with Down Syndrome who want to go to college. They set a goal to raise $150,000 by Mar. 21, World Down Syndrome Day. In fact, they raised $210,000! I didn’t even recognize the significance of that number until they pointed out in a newsletter that the final result boasts a big fat 21! Made my day!

It’s like the angels had something to do with it. You know how I love my number messages. 321 might replace my beloved 222.

Speaking of Trisomy 21 and my favorite human, I’ll be in Texas 2 weeks from today. Hooray, hooray!

Down Syndrome Awareness Day!

We found out last year on 3/21 that our little Farrah would have Down Syndrome. What a coincidence to learn a year later that 3/21 is Down Syndrome Awareness Day! People with DS have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, and this girl’s rockin’ it!
farrahLittle did we know that day one year ago that higher education could be in little Farrah’s future. (All we know a year later is that our future is blessed by her!) Ruby’s Rainbow is a non-profit that raises money to offer scholarships to students with Down Syndrome who wish to go to college. Please take the 3/21 Pledge to help Farrah and others like her get to campus one day: Rockin’ That Extra Chromosome!
321 pledgedinosaurs are scary
Other than that, I’m loving Spring and counting the days ’til I’m back in Texas – 4 weeks! – holding that baby and remembering sweet Chanel this time, too. 😉

(Texas has my heart, not just because my best friend is there with her parents, siblings, and children. I was born there, so Grandpa called me his “Yellow Rose of Texas.” ❤ )

grandpa and me

No one loved me more.

St. Patrick’s Day, Egyptian Style

swag

Got my green swag!

group photo

heading upstairs to dance at SpringFest

I spent the day eating real Greek food, watching the real dancers (We were, like, 2 dances after the 5-yr-olds) and hanging out with my friend, who vends at the festival.

I felt an obligation to get my Irish drink on, but I was so tired I took a nap and woke up at 9:00pm (!), not remotely interested in fighting for a seat on St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy 222!

There’s a National Margarita Day?!

margarita

2.22.18 @ Green Pig Pub in Downtown Salt Lake

Today was a convoluted mess. I’m glad there was a margarita at the end of it.

I’m in a bit of a Fibro flare, have been for several weeks. My pain level is not as high, even in this extended episode, as the every-day-run-of-the-mill that was the last 5-6 years of my life, so I’m pretty grateful. But it is wearing on me, and I’m utterly exhausted.

I got everything wrong today. Left my card in the wrong pants and had to drive 45 minutes back to town and 45 minutes back to my eye doctor to order my glasses, and then spent nearly 2 hours at the Apple store, on an empty stomach because I don’t eat breakfast and I spent an hour and a half of my life, at lunch, to drive in frustration rather than feed myself.

They couldn’t replace my battery, which holds no charge, because it had “expanded.”

“What does that mean?” I ask. I can’t conceive of why a battery might bloat.

“Lots of things can do it,” I learn. “Usually, it’s just part of the dying process. Different compounds break down and the carbon dioxide makes it swell.” The young man delivering this news proclaims it like nothing-out-of-the-ordinary.

“We’re talking about exploding gases,” I say. “Shrapnel. And it’s right next to my head!”

“Yeah.” He was unperturbed, but he replaced my entire iPhone for the cost of a battery. Friend, that was worth 2 hours!

I’m reading a book by Adyashanti, “Falling Into Grace,” another I nabbed from the book exchange I worked in several years ago. It’s a nice depiction of losing the self, and timely after yesterday’s dumbass move of the day.

I think my life is about having my ass handed to me. My ego trips me up. That’s universal, of course, but my ego really trips me up. Adyashanti does a good job of helping me understand what the hell is meant by relinquishing the sense of self. (Attempts usually leave me irritated by pretentious hippie-chatter, and no more enlightened.)

So I’m enjoying that, and most things on this annual act of marking time. It’s nice, because I’ve noticed that late February is often a bitchy time of year for me.

Oh. And my optometrist recommended bifocals. Ha!

Happy Blogiversary to me. Happy 222 to you you you!
6-year-anniversary-pic_orig

Dumbass Move of the Day

om’gerd.

My friend is in a show, so I went online today to purchase tickets. While there, I decided to find out who, exactly, was directing the show I auditioned for 3 and 1/2 weeks ago, to no reply. I’ve not been called back to as many auditions as I have, but never in my life have I just not heard. Community or professional, good or bad, you always hear back.

I was offended. Not only was I denied the basic courtesy of a response to the effort and time I gave, he said he’d let me know. “Callbacks are Friday,” he promised, “so you’ll hear by Thursday.” Nothing.

Dude, that’s your word. Don’t say it if you’re not gonna do it. So now I’m righteous, as well as ego-bruised. I was pissed.

I decided, after buying my tix, to get the guy’s name to file away in the Do Not Audition bin. That’s not a place I want to invest my time, dedication, and talent.

As I’m scrolling down for his name, something jumps out at me: My own! On a callback list posted just when he said it would be!

Oh. My. God.

I’m such an ass! And now I’ve no-showed for an audition. I’m the unprofessional!

I will say, it’s the first time I haven’t received the reply to my email or phone, and they didn’t tell me to check the website for the posting, but why the hell didn’t I think of it?!

Hahahahha!

Man, I’m old. Any 20something would have looked there as naturally as brushing her hair. Guuuurl, check yourself!