Each year that passes, I like to think that I’ve grown at least an opening moment or two. I ask myself if I’ve expanded or constricted. Have I stepped out into the world or stayed, cocooned, in my cozy atmosphere of safety. If I could I would stay in the same place, content. But I know that the thing that will turn the trick has to do with me getting out into the messy, wild environment far beyond my comfort zone, far beyond my familiar. I’ve always struggled with stretching myself. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with what I dream myself to be and who I really am. All I know is that, when I push myself—out into the world—although it may feel fucked up for many moments, in the end I see myself as larger and more open. I reflect on a version of me that is who I think I really am. Beyond the fear and the anxiety and the trepidation, if I remember that the way to get there is to go through, I’m good. And each year that I grow twelve months older I can look back and say I did the best I can and that, more than anything else, is enough.
Here’s To Another Glorious Year,
The Birthday Girl
Not that I’d ever share this with anyone but I get a sort of vervey thrill from The Aftermath. It’s like I am Chuck Yeager and it is the sound barrier and I am going to break that mother fucker, with ease.
I go about things in a diabolically organized and mindful way. Overseeing the damage with a calm heart and then deciding where I need to start chipping away, because that is where all the rest of it will follow—digging each dessert plate our from under giant platters.
The layers of dishes and napkins and water pitchers and silverware and plates are simply remnants and reminders that my guests had fun. So, as I dive in with my serious cleaning face on, I dismember each and every pile that has been created, remembering that NO MATTER HOW MUCH LAST MINUTE MARTHA STEWART STEPHEN HAWKING PLANNING YOU DO everything goes to hell in a hand basket in the last four minutes before the feast is served. There is no way around this.
And so, as I gird my loins for the battle that I am about to fight, I like to whisper in my ear that it’s all done for a good cause and as the warm water flows over my shriveled up hands I say a little prayer that the mountain of The Aftermath just represents the amount of fun all the players had.
Keep On Scrubbin’
Deidre the Dishwasher
Dear Mister Big Man,
I know you are especially busy this time of year, what with all the wayward humans giving thanks and hoping for moist turkey, but if you could fit me into your schedy I’d be oh so thankful. If you could pinch my cheek ever so lightly and remind me of my vibrancy—JUST BECAUSE I AM ME—that’d be lovely. And if you could pick me up, gently, from the tops of my ears and whisper into my brain that YES everything is good enough that would be sublime. But mostly, and not lastly, could you beckon my heart to open and expand in a way that keeps me moving forward and letting each and every one/thing in? I know it’s a tall order but I think it’s what I want Amen and A-Ha you may be seated.
Yours In Semi-Impossible Striving,
Very often, it’s the sky that reminds me that my worries and troubles are nothing to be concerned about. Looking up—at the colors and hues and expanse, I recoil in the face of my tiny anxieties. If I could wrangle that grandeur, that magnificent gloriousness, I’d most definitely forget all my little foibles and idiosyncrasies and I’d burst forward like a sunset that leaves everyone breathless and I’d leave all the lonely grievances behind and I’d float away on a magenta cloud, weightless and determined.
Try Not To Sweat The Grey Stuff,
Mister Master Rainbow Society
I careen around corners with reckless abandon and boundless hope. Hurtling headlong into something gorgeous or something horrifying, I keep my foot on the petal, anxious to see what’s around the bend. How is it that I haven’t flown off a cliff up until this point? How is it that I’ve kept my bearings long enough to arrive, semi-unsettled, at the point where I had envisioned myself being? I’ll never know the formula that keeps me forging forward. I just know that I catapult, sweetly, toward what I imagine will help me be more me, regardless of my endless and furious doubt that accompanies me along my lively journey.
Keep Your Eyes On the Road,
Serena of the Steely Fingered Steering Wheel Graspers