Thursday, March 17, 2011
I Feel A Whole Lot Better...
Dang, I love that song!
And better yet, I do feel a whole lot better since my last post. So much has my outlook improved that I've decided to write a top 10 list about it. So, without further ado, here is my list of things I've realized I like best about my new life:
1. Grocery shopping is a breeze. I've never minded household chores, and when my kids were younger, the grocery store offered a respite from Being Mommy. But now I feel even less encumbered: my kids are old enough (and I like them enough) that I don't need to escape from Being Mommy. Plus, the grocery cart no longer contains items like horseradish, pickles, and copious amounts of meat.
2. My cute little dollhouse is clean, all the time. I have a postcard that hangs in a clear, acrylic photo frame that I brought with me to my new house:
Its a dream that I seriously had about, oh...everyDAY in my old house. That old house (literally, an old house) was never clean, even when I spent all day cleaning to the point of making my hands raw from bleach and scouring pads. No longer a dream, friends.
3. Everything smells good. Is that funny? Like strange funny, not haha funny? Ever since Daughter #2 was born, my sense of smell can be likened to a super power. Did you have onions for lunch? Yesterday? I just knew it. Absent of men and pets and meat and dirt and cigarettes and alcohol (and, cigarettes mixed with alcohol- think of the ickiest dive bar ever. That is how my old house could smell sometimes.), houses are lovely things. I find that I don't need to burn fancy candles or buy Febreeze in institutional strength gallon-size jugs anymore.
4. Pets are a thing of the past. Growing up, my parents had children, not pets (although, we could have a lively discussion on whether or not the children were substitutes for pets? Another time, perhaps). We didn't have dogs or cats or fish or birds, save for the early years of less than five kids. My parents may have liked the chaos of a large family, but adding an animal to the mix was just taking things too far. I've never been fond of animals, either. I've never felt the need to nurture something that won't eventually grow up and move away. Plus, I don't enjoy cleaning up shit. (Side note: I've always been fascinated by the cats who use the toilet- and flush it!-rather than a litter box.)
5. I don't have to be cheap when it comes to coffee. I used to wander the grocery aisles, giving those small bags of Starbucks coffee a sideways glance as I reached for the monster bag of Eight O'Clock coffee I would take home. Who actually buys that? What kind of person spends so much on coffee beans? A rich person. Someone whose closest Starbucks is on the next corner, not 70 miles away, I'll bet. Yes, it was a bit of jealousy. But now that I'm only buying coffee for one, you bet your bippy I buy the good stuff, and its worth every penny. Plus, that little bag lasts me almost two weeks! And, there's the added bonus of never being faced with an empty pot when I finally get around to pouring my second cup; the pot is always just as full as when I poured the first cup.
6. "There is a place for everything, and everything should be in it's place." If I've heard this once during my lifetime, I've heard it a kajillion times. It was my mother's mantra on Saturday mornings as her small army of children would clean the house top to bottom before either receiving weekly allowances or being allowed to go anywhere or do anything. I, too, have adopted this mantra. The difference now is that I say it with an assured amount of smugness, because I know that no one has misplaced anything. Also along the mantra-from-my-mother lines, I no longer have to say "I guess if I want something done right, I have to do it myself." Oh, yes. That phrase came out of my mouth. Often. Now the only person I can rightfully say that to is myself.
7. I can smell good or bad. Like, my personal scent, not the aforementioned sense of smell. Sometimes, as my running friends will tell you, I have been known to run for 13 miles or more, drink beergaritas, and then head to the grocery store. Unshowered and still in my running clothes. Gross, I know; but taking a shower is something I'll do when I'm ready to relax, thankyouverymuch. And how can I relax when there's so much to do? I've been known to spritz on body spray before venturing out on errands, though, so I'm not a complete boor. My daily dressing routine involves actual perfume, though, and the scents I'm drawn to were not always appreciated in my former life. I have been hoarding a small, travel-size atomizer of one of my favorite scents- "Earth" by Gap - for years. I love it. It is no longer made, and the last time a 4 oz. bottle came up on eBay , it went for almost $300. In my former life, *someone* would complain about the scent, "It smells like soap." Um...and?! I certainly don't want to smell like baked goods or my grandmother. I no longer worry about pleasing someone else with my perfume choices. Or my hair, makeup, shoes, or clothing choices, for that matter. I look and smell pretty for me. And so my friends aren't embarrassed when we go out in public.
8. And speaking of exercise...I no longer endure eye-rolling and snarky comments muttered through disgusted sighs as I mention that I'm going for a run. Or going to work out. Or going for a bike ride. Or doing something, anything that could be considered exercise. I love that that is no longer a part of my life. I can't believe I allowed someone to make me feel guilty for indulging in activities that: one, keep me healthy; two, keep me trim; and three, keep me from going crazy.
9. I get the whole bed to myself. Let me explain: I enjoy cuddle time, sure, and I also like that sometimes cuddle time turns into *bow chicka wah wah*. But when it comes to sleeping, I would appreciate it if you could stay the fuck away from me. Its nothing personal. As with many things in our adult lives, we can trace origins back to our childhoods. This quirk is no exception. With nine children and two adults in one house, economy was key to sleeping quarters. And so, I shared a full-sized bed with a sibling until I entered high school. Then I got to switch to a solo twin, and it was totally rad. As I moved around for college and found a mate, sleeping together was just the thing to do. Every minute I spend with you is the best minute ever. *GAAAAGGGG*. In addition to recoiling from anything to do with my childhood, some of my OCD tendencies have to do with bedtime: the bedsheets must be crisp, clean, and the bed made with hospital corners. The bed must be made every day. If you are in the bed before me, DO NOT "warm up" my side of the bed, as I will then be forced to dream about ways to bring great bodily harm upon you. Do not try to cuddle with me, or spoon; I am trying to sleep. And lastly, every day that I wake up in my brand new queen-sized bed, I can't help thinking of a song by Phish that goes: "When you're here, I sleep lengthwise, and when you're gone I sleep diagonal in my bed."
10. I love embracing the realization that the only problems I need to worry about are my own. Other people's problems are NOT. MY. PROBLEMS. Through the magic of Facebook , I reconnected with a friend/boyfriend from high school a few years ago. We were both married and met for drinks when I was in his city for a work-related conference. We were talking about books that had changed our lives, and I suggested to him The Pecking Order by Dalton Conley , and he in turn recommended Codependent No More by Melody Beattie . Can you say eye opener? He was, at the time, going through a divorce, and shortly thereafter got a new girlfriend and stopped using Facebook. I haven't been able to meet up with him again to thank him. When we do meet up again, you can be sure that I will thank him, though, profusely.
Too often we let negativity and unfortunate circumstances bring us down, and its so unhealthy. I guess the reasoning behind this post is to remember to focus on the good. And smile, friends- the weekend is here! Make it a great one.