It’s been an absolutely exhausting week. Dealing with idiots usually is a tiresome and frustrating ordeal and lately I’ve had something tossed at me almost daily. Denials from insurance companies, forms to complete wanting to know if it was ‘medically necessary’ for my son to have been transported by ambulance instead of by car when he stopped breathing last year, drama from the ex, financial woes, and a few lies just to keep things interesting. I’m getting to the point that if I had a day free from stress, just twenty-four hours, I’m not sure I would know how to act. I don’t want to be that person that is constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, always skeptical and guarded. What a terrible way to go through life. I feel a little foolish wasting my tears on all of this but I think sometimes a person gets to such a point of frustration that crying is the only option left, whether you are a man or a woman – it’s a type of release. And so the dam broke – this wasn’t crying though, this was weeping and there is a difference. Weeping involves the entire body and for me it is the result of holding it together and pretending everything is all right for so long that you just can’t anymore. And usually something quite small breaks me. My body took over and I had no control, I just gave in to it.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~Bruce Lee
I read once that crying helps a woman just like swearing helps a man. Well damn’t, I’ve done a hell of a lot of both so I should be in great shape about now!
I didn’t arrive at the age I’m at without learning what to do to feel better when all seems hopeless. For me, it’s an old movie (I’m talking black and white old), a hot drink, a fire and someone to cuddle with. However, there are rules that go along with this temporary, yet highly comforting, respite of mine:
Rule #1: I can’t think about anything that is causing me grief;
Rule#2: The phone must go unanswered;
Rule #3: I have to be able to devote a minimum of 3 hours to my ‘getaway’;
Rule #4: There is a dress code – the most comfortable pair of pajamas for all involved.
So last night I made a bed on the floor in front of the TV with almost every blanket and quilt my mom had made us. I put my little guy in his pajamas and we snuggled down for the evening. Movie of choice, “Gone With The Wind”. It was in color, but it’s one of our favorites and since I make the rules, I also get to break them. I love watching my son watch movies. He always smiles during the scene where Scarlet dances with Rhett at the ball in Atlanta. And I have to admit, I love her for bucking the system and dancing with another man while she was supposedly ‘grieving’ over her dead husband. That woman wanted (and needed) to dance and nothing was going to stop her, especially what others might say or think about her for doing so. I’m drawn to movies that take place in another era, especially ones that have a character like Scarlet O’Hara in them. Some might say she portrayed a villain of sorts, mean and greedy. But there was so much more to her than that. Simply put, she didn’t conform to the rules of society and I adore her for that. I love being whisked away to a completely different time and place and then seeing which character I can relate to. I need that when things get to be overwhelming in my time and place. And I just love Mammy and how she handles Scarlet… I think we all need a Mammy.
Of course, nothing in my era changed after the movie was over. Well, one thing changed, my back was killing me. How was it that we could lay on the floor for hours when we were kids and get right back up in mere seconds. I sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies when I was getting up – everything was snapping and popping. It was worth it though. I received some of the sweetest smiles from my little guy while we watched Scarlet manipulate her way in and out of situations. Joey is so in tune with my emotions, I think he knew that his mama had the weight of the world on her shoulders. When he intertwined his little fingers with mine, there were tears again, but these were the happy kind.
I’m very big on visualization – it helps me cope. For the past year, things have been rough, and at times, almost unbearable. I’ve visualized myself walking through some horrible catastrophic storm – of course, I’m wearing my signature stilettos and my hair look fabulous. The storm may subside occasionally, but only to pick up again, often accompanied by gale force winds and golf ball size hail. But all storms at some point must end and one day, mine will be over. I picture myself looking back and wondering how in the hell I made it through. And knowing me, there will probably be a small part of me that doesn’t believe the storm really is over. But you can bet your sweet ass that when I do walk out of this storm, I’ll be a different woman, I already am. And maybe that’s what life’s storms are all about. They make us stronger, wiser, they often present new opportunities to us. Think about it, the brightest bolt of lightening is evoked from the darkest and ominous of storms.
I’m still going through my storm but in the words of one of my favorite characters, the lovely, high spirited and vivacious Scarlet O’Hara, “…I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” And to my haters, and don’t for one second think I don’t know who each of you are and what you think about me, I have just this to say, “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn“.