A thousand words

Some days, when you don't have a picture, you need a thousand words.  I don't know if I can think of a thousand words to say, but here goes.  I have a lot on my mind right now.

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future...  (sorry if I just gave you an earworm)  I sit down and about five minutes later, I check the clock and an hour has passed.  It's happening when I sit and hand quilt in the mornings.  And, it would be okay, except that I'm not accomplishing enough hand quilting for it to look like an hour's work.  Or, maybe my expectations are too high.  Everything feels this way right now.  Suddenly, it's dark, then it's bedtime, then the alarm goes off and I get us ready to go and then I sit at my desk and suddenly, the day is over and it's time to go home and cook again.  Another day done.

I am drained.  Tired.  Exhausted. POOPED!  Work is long and hard.  I barely have time to take a break.  I feel like I barely have time for Rob and Syd anymore.  I come home, I cook, I clean, I sit in front of TV with my phone, trying to answer email and read blogs from the day.  And, then I collapse in bed. 

If I had a nickel for everybody that told me that story, I could retire.  I just never thought I'd be one of them. 

The good news is that it won't last for me like it does for so many people.  I have better work/life balance than this most of the time. 

But, it's frustrating.  And, trying to cram a week's worth of life into a two day weekend is the craps.  I don't know how people do it for the long term, years at a time.  But, they do.  And, I can do it for a few weeks and then the new year will settle into my normal routine.

In my spare thinking time, like at 1a.m. when I wake up, my thoughts are filled with the past.  Passed friends, fun times, summers in the sun and all that other stuff that looks so good in retrospect but I didn't spend enough time enjoying when it was happening.  One friend in particular has been on my mind lately.  An old beau that passed away 15 years ago.  I know it's not polite to talk about old beaus.  You're supposed to forget them when you find the love of your life.  But, really, did you forget all your old beaus?  I didn't think so.

I saw a guy the other day that was so much like this dead friend that I almost reached out and touched him to say hello before I remembered that it couldn't be.  That was a shock.  Remembering he was gone after so long was like hearing it for the first time.  Such a shame.  Such a short life.  But, such a full life, too.  This was the man that made it possible for me to meet and fall in love with Rob.  The one that showed me how to see my worthiness. 

He wasn't anything special to look at, but his self confidence and natural joviality made him the light around which a whole lot of moths fluttered. I'd seen him a hundred times. He'd never seen me. I was working under the assumption that if i pretended to feel confident, I'd eventually become self confident. And that night it must have worked. When he walked up to me, i was pretending my butt off and my knees were shaking. I was a really good dancer and so was he. That gave us something in common.

It didn't last long...maybe four months, from Thanksgiving until just after my birthday in...what must it have been?  1998?  When I turned 35.  Seems so young.  But my self confidence changed from pretense to blossom under his encouragement.  And, as is so common in the gay community, a few years later, he fell in love with my best friend.  (we joked that a man that good needed to be kept in the family).  They stayed together until the one died, and the other...well, we drifted apart.  I blamed him for the death.  And, he took to drugs to avoid the pain.  Ended up in jail, then moved to California.  We reconnected a couple years ago, but it's not the same.  You can't go back to the way things were and we just don't have anything in common anymore.  But, we were bestest-bestest inseparable friends at one time. 

Things change to make space for better things.

Thirty-five was the turning point for me.  That is the year when I stopped just floating around, waiting for the wind that was a man to blow me where I needed to go.  And, the year that I found out who I was and what I had to offer.  I had some things to work out after that.  Some life I'd missed out on that I needed to catch up.  Some relationships to end and some to change.  Some people didn't last after I stopped letting them use me.  It was a fun and fast whirlwind of a time.  And, I grew out of it.  Just like I should have.  Caught my life up to where it should have been and then, I was ready to settle down and find the guy that would last for the rest of my life.  (although I'm sure there are times when Rob wishes he could get away.)

Be well.  Remember the good old days.  Good friends.  Good times.  And, move forward. 



Kate said...

oh, dear, all too often I feel much the same about just feeling cconstantly overwhelmed... but like all posters, I will beg your indulgence and backseat drive... find three things you can simplify, even if temporarily.... for example, declare Tuesday night sandwich night. Paper plates, cold cuts, serve yourself. Give yourself a 'hermit day' - no expectations, just sleep late, lolly around. You get the idea... you are in charge, sweetie - so make yourself some space... your family will be fine with it... they want a happy, healthy you! Good luck.

Andra Gayle said...

That sounds so much like my days. I am trying to focus on Selfish Quilting this year in what little time I do manage to get to my sewing room. It is so hard to decide whether to spend that time quilting or running to make me healthier. Running is losing out and my waistline keeps increasing. Let me know when you find a cure to time drifting away.

Sharlene said...

Glad that you see an end to your exhausting work cycle. Thank you for sharing such a personal glimpse into your past and how it has brought you through to your 'today'. Happy for you.

Lakegaldonna said...

Wow, thanks for sharing with us. Wow.

Aren't you glad you are still alive? YES!
I hate to almost quote a song, but all this changes your life so much that you change, and now in your wisdom of years you can see it and also share it with your loved ones and us also. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger....blah blah blah. Still I have found it to be true. I'm 59 and still glad to be on the air side of the dirt.

Once again, WOW and thank you.

Anonymous said...

A very beautiful time in your life. Happy you made it thru & found Rob.

lw said...

I often wonder whether we'd work so many hours if given a choice, they don't in Europe. I'm so impressed that you just keep going and are so productive with your time.

Seeing someone who looks just like someone you lost is such a mixed blessing. My dad passed in 2008, I could swear I saw him driving past me a few weeks ago. Gosh, I miss him.

Your post confirms something I read a long time ago (I think it was Madeline L'Engle) about love never being wasted or lost.

And I'll bet you're still a good dancer.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, I follow your blog via Tim Latimer's and just enjoy your stories and quilts:-) Our neighbors, two great guys, are about to be wed on Valentine's Day and I am going to make them a little wall hanging from Japanese vintage kimonos.....wish me luck with it?

Elizabeth said...

Hi, I follow your blog via Tim Latimer's and just enjoy your stories and quilts:-) Our neighbors, two great guys, are about to be wed on Valentine's Day and I am going to make them a little wall hanging from Japanese vintage kimonos.....wish me luck with it?

Kath said...

I feel a bit like that Lane. My husband has been working on a huge bid for his company, in France. He arrives home on Friday night, when I am asleep. Saturday is spent doing his washing and ironing ready for the coming week and Sunday morning packing his bag. Come 3pm, he is gone again. it's no way to live is it?
Lucky I have my dog and my quilting to keep me sane.
I think you do a marvellous job juggling it all, being so productive, especially with a teenager to raise. I admire you.

Carla said...

Glad you moved on and found yourself. And once you did along came Rob and Syd. Breathe
Don't we all sometimes wish we could get away from each other at times to regroup. I know my husband loves when I go on quilt retreat.Gives himself time to do what he wants when he wants. He only has to worry about the pooch.