Who doesn’t love sunny? Here in New England, we cherish it. We long for it. We pine for it. The window is small for sunny here. Most of the time we are battling. Battling the weather, battling the traffic, battling each other. I swear this place is taking years off of my life just by being so arduous a place to live. Then why am I here you ask? That is a good question. I guess it has to do with family ties that bind and all that and the pure fact that this is where la familia landed when they came over from Italy. If they had gone all the way to California, I would be there. (she says wistfully) But I’m not there I’m here and while I’m here I may as well make the most of it. I did leave. For a long time. But for whatever reason, we all come back to Massachusetts. It’s like there’s some strange pull. The ocean. The foliage. The Red Sox. I don’t know what it is but it pulled me back and here I am, typing and looking out my window, grateful for this sunny June day.
As I told a younger cousin recently, we are all on this earth driving our own bus. And if you don’t take the wheel, someone else will. It can be tough of course, but all of us have what it takes deep down inside. Some of us discover it earlier than others but it is there, always. I never used to be in such command. I was a shy kid and didn’t like speaking up. I did however have the luxury of watching my super fierce, badass Italian grandmother take charge on the daily. It didn’t help me at the time, in fact she scared the hell outta me, but eventually her energy seeped into my being and all of a sudden as a woman in my 30’s I was like “Wait a minute…” I still remember those early days of finding my power as a woman, it felt great then, it feels great now. I’ve been seeing a ton of excellent quotes lately. The one that comes to mind here is; “The only one who can stop you is you.” And I’ll just leave it at that.
Ah yes. This word commit. It feels so…heavy. So permanent. It’s not that I have trouble committing per se, it’s more like the who, what, when and where part of it that makes me hesitate. I mean, when inspiration hits me, count me IN. Not only will I commit, I will consistently show up as I wrote about a while back in “Life as a Steady Eddy”. I’ve been committing less lately, perhaps to temper that burn out that I feel. Now, romantically, that’s another story. One to be written on another day, with another word prompt that will have to drag it out of me.
I feel like there’s more of a lack of committing these days. To each other. To ourselves. To the greater good. I keep waiting for the tide to turn on that last one, especially as it relates to the toxic political environment here in the U.S. I am waiting for that one person, then two people, then ten to stand up and say “Enough! Let’s commit to stopping the vitriol, the negativity, the violence. Enough!” At this point, there seems like there is no way out. I am going to keep hoping though. That I can commit to.
Sometimes I get stuck in the loop. The stressed out treadmill. Self-doubt is a mofo, we all know that. I’ve been reading a lot of quotes lately about fulfilling your potential. I never really felt like I had that power until recently. When I lost my job, something clicked inside. Kind of like this “Now or Never” feeling and I have no time to be afraid, no time to hesitate, no time to doubt myself. The time is now to embark on the greatest slogan ever written; “Just Do It” Perhaps the most inspiring three words ever put together. Just Do It. Don’t think about it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t wonder about it. Just. Do It. And here I am. Five months later, making it happen. I do marvel at the turn of events and my current results. I also know that I had that power all along. The timing wasn’t right I guess. But is it ever? Don’t let the self-doubt loop you in. Just Do It.
My Mother always used to call me sugar blossom. I’m not even sure what a sugar blossom is. When I was growing up, we didn’t have Google to run to. Now my Mom is in the throes of Alzheimer’s, which quite frankly, I wouldn’t wish on my worst fucking enemy. It is difficult to watch, difficult to think about, just plain difficult. I usually don’t even bring it up, never mind write about it. But something about the word blossom inspired me to do so. My Mother is the kindest, gentlest person I have ever met. She never had an unkind word to say about anyone. In the midst of these brutal days where the societal knee jerk is ripping everyone to shreds, while judging them mercilessly, we could use more people like my Mom. Thankfully, the Alzheimer’s has not changed her personality. She is still that gentle soul. Laughing, hugging and kissing all of the aides at her nursing home. She dances to Sinatra and eats ice cream with delight. And some days when that window to the past fleetingly appears, she remembers me just a bit, the kindest, gentlest woman I’ve ever met.
Can’t seem to get going on the writing today so I’m just going to start typing away in an attempt to inspire…something. I wonder what it was like in the days when life was so much “slower” that you actually had time to do things like polish your silver. I often let my mind wander, with a certain sort of longing, to what it must have been like, say, in my Grandmother’s time. Slow. Sane. The rhythm of life allowing one the space and time to connect with family, nature, life itself. Being in each other’s company WAS the entertainment back then. Connecting with the human spirit, humanity was an every day occurrence. I can’t help but think that the further removed we get from each other, the worse off our society is. It becomes easier to be uncaring, unforgiving and unmoved when as a whole we are not used to knowing each other. Everyone becomes an “other” when you can’t take your face out of your phone long enough to look into someone’s eyes and see them. As life gets faster, the divide gets wider and only time will tell how far and how wide it will go. In the meantime, each day brings the opportunity to build a bridge with a fellow human and harken back to the days of old.
Is it imaginary though? All of these things that I think. That I think I think. I spend a lot of time in my head. Ruminating. Imagining. Conjuring. Analyzing. My brain is always going. Always. Lately, even when I am sleeping. I’ve been having the most bizarre dreams. Like the kind when you go “Huh?” upon waking up. I guess if I had to pick, I would prefer a racing mind. I am hoping it helps me out in the long run. I strive to be one of those 80 year olds who is razor sharp and kicking ass at life, still. I’ve been wondering a lot lately about what it will be like when I get old. Me being me of course, I intend to have everything planned out. There is no denial of reality in this girl. If it’s going to happen, I am going to be ready. If I need a cane, I’ll use it. If I need to stop driving, I’ll do it, with Plan B long ago figured out. Why fight it? Acquiesce and perhaps things will go a whole lot smoother. I guess I’ll find out. Anyway, that’s what’s rolling through the brain today. Not imaginary at all.
Detonate is a pretty sensitive word these days. I associate it with being on the edge. Like, shit’s about to blow. I also think about how sad and scary the world has become. When I was in my early 20’s I backpacked through Europe, as all 20 somethings should do. But when I fast forward 15 years, is my nephew going to be able to do that without constantly being on alert? Being young and brave, I’m sure he will go no problem. It will just be Aunty and his Mommy left home to worry. Carrying back over to happy thoughts, my trip through Europe was spectacular. I remember feeling so at home there. Like, it was where I belonged, over on the Continent and certainly not in America when even then the shallow capitalism really got to me. While I was in Italy, I went to my Papa’s village and saw the house that he was born in. As I stood there in wonder, I thought, Wow my entire being, my life experience is based on the fact that one day my Papa walked out of this house, got on a boat and came to America. What if he hadn’t? What if he stayed? Everything, everything would be different and I wouldn’t be here standing on this doorway. My soul would have flown in a different direction to live a different life. But he did and I am. Sitting in America 111 years later, living an American life, saving up money to send the kid to Europe.
It’s like these Daily Prompt people follow me around to see what’s happening in my life then assign a most apropos word for the prompt. I was literally just sitting here thinking about what I do to survive. When I get overwhelmed I get all caught up in well, catching up. I don’t like things hanging over my head and the only thing that seems to assuage the fear is to just get shit done. It instantly makes me feel better, to be back in control. I think that’s what it all comes down to for me. Control. Having control. Being in control. Although I’m not controlling. I really don’t care what you’re doing (I mean that in the nicest way possible.) I’m just concerned with what I’m doing. And as I was sitting here, convincing myself not to worry, that once I get rolling things will get done, things will happen, I will re-gain control and all will be right with the world again, this word pops up as something to write about. And alas, this is how I survive. Just put my head down and get to work. It’s how I’ve always been and I’m assuming how I’ll always be. So why do I worry? I’m not really sure, although I worry less and less these days. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s the uncertainty in the world. Maybe I shouldn’t speculate and just go with it. Maybe I should stop typing and get on with it. I have a ton of stuff to accomplish today after all!
What a farce, the whole thing is. I was driving on the highway last night, riding up to see some friends from high school and I thought to myself, “How real is any of this?” I have had several conversations about death recently. Not dire, not depressing, just intellectual. Sharing experiences, feelings, and thoughts on the whole thing. And as I was driving up 95, the sun was shining, the music was blaring and I couldn’t help but wonder how real it all really is? As we don’t know what comes next, how do we know what’s going on now? I’ve adopted a new rule for myself to lower my stress levels. The rule is simply do not stress. I can’t control any of this. I can’t control the weather, I can’t control the uncertainty and I can’t control the chaos. So instead, I’m just focusing on what I can control, myself. My own happiness lies within me, like it lies within all of us. Why waste time doing anything else? Especially when it’s all a farce.