Every once in a while, we are fortunate enough to see growth and change so profound, it can bring tears of joy to our eyes. Sometimes it is change within us, and sometimes not. I have always loved my brother and my sister both. My sister has lived her life embracing growth and change. My brother, not so much, and me, I’m sorta in the middle. I love to talk about how I wanna grow and change, but I don’t always walk the walk. But this particular story isn’t really about me. My brother has always been the funniest guy I know. Cuttingly funny. But for many years, not easy to get close to. I wanted his approval so much, just because it felt so hard to get. I always knew if push came to shove, he had my back, my sister’s back, even if he didn’t seem to like us much. Then something strange started to happen. It started with someone else’s dream, a theater company in our synagogue, and while I know for certain this little dream has enhanced many lives, for me the blessing is immeasurable. Putting aside the obvious, getting to do what I love, what I had hoped would be my career many years ago, I got to do what I love with my brother. And suddenly we were talking, and he was learning a little from me and the scales tipped a bit. I wasn’t seeking approval; I was doing something I love with someone I’d always loved, but didn’t really know. And as we sang and danced and made lifelong friends, we became friends. And throughout these years, I have watched him smile more, show his heart more, forgive more. My brother always had a rough relationship with my father even after he died, and when conversation about what people should or shouldn’t wear on the beach inevitably turned to speedos, of course we talked about my dad. My brother didn’t roll his eyes, or mutter under his breath. He spoke about my dad with respect, with forgiveness. He was able to see that for all his faults and quirks, my dad was a good man. For my brother, it had finally occurred to him that holding onto decades of anger and resentment was hurting him. My dad is gone. There is no one to sling the arrows at anymore. And the quiver is f#%^*ing heavy. He told my sister-in-law the other day that he was just going to be happy. And the lightness in his step, the smile that is quicker and less fleeting, the brother that has become one of my best friends, that makes me happy.
HEARTS pin. #HEARTSPortWashington
Yes, my loyal readers, it’s almost that time. True, it’s a month away. And I might decide closer to the day that most of what I’ve written is crap and start all over. But what the Hell. Imma start with basics. I’m in Starbucks and they’re playing the Hamilton soundtrack. Sorry, digressing. Went back to WW. (Can’t call it a weight watcher’s meeting anymore. It’s a WW workshop. WW. Wellness Wins. Reboots goin’ on all over the place.). Lost 6 pounds. Bought a stationary bike. Actually used it once or twice. Meditating every night. Although I’m having a smidge of trouble finding a guided meditation that doesn’t make me want to reach into my phone and snatch the instructor bald. The course I’m doing now is geared towards quieting the mind, breaking the cycle of monkey chatter and anxiety. Right up my crooked little alley. And I’ve committed to my therapy. So, good stuff, no? I’m working hard to become the wiser, happier, stronger person that so many my age claim they are. Are they all telling the truth? I’m sure some are and I’m as sure some aren’t. But truthfully, that’s really the issue right there. My real goal while becoming stronger, wiser, and happier is to not give a S$&^*% what anyone else’s life looks life and be happy with mine. That’s it. All of it. That’s all I want. Oh, and to be able to sit on the floor and get up again. Being the impatient little critter I am, I want this all yesterday. And I refuse to call them New Year’s Resolutions because, well that’s just BS. It’s unfortunate that a little health issue has finally kicked me in the head enough to make some really necessary changes. That I couldn’t seem to care enough about myself until now, but whatever gets us where we need to be, right? Now, all of this is great. I’m proud of myself for committing to take care of myself and certainly all of these changes make me feel…hmmm. I wish I could say, I feel great, better every day! But the reality is, it didn’t take 5 minutes to get here and it’s gonna take a little time to get there. And I don’t feel great. Yet. But I’m working on it. And that feels just a little bit great.
Copper and Beads. The Mother of Invention series.
There are many things that signify the onset of the aging process, most of which at one point or another in this blog I have bemoaned ad nauseam. Creaky joints, flappy bits, spare tires, hot flashes, gas, sleeplessness. But today I bought a magnifying glass. Dear G-d, a magnifying glass!! I bought it under the pretense of my husband using it to find the one penny that will make us rich, but truthfully, I spend way to much time squinting and squirming so I can see the color of the lip gloss I’ve been wearing since Frankenstein was in diapers. My arms are not long enough to see the instructions on pill bottles and the fine print on anything? Nope. Can’t do it. I have endured some right of passage that involves eyeglasses on a chain around my neck, spare medications in my purse and Kleenex stuffed up my sleeve. As I navigate this part of life, I ask only this. If I ever turn up the heat, pinch your cheek, or hold a tissue up to your face and say “blow”, you have my permission to kill me.
I’m always fascinated by the way my husband’s mind works. If there is something to worry about, a loved one’s health, for instance, he will quietly worry. But the constant, everyday crazies that I get, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get anxious, or claustrophobic, or worried that the plane we’re on is going down. he doesn’t fret, or stew, or brood over what might have been, or what horror might be lurking around the next corner. The fact that he’s only 13 years younger than my mom? Hilarious! I envy that. The smile he almost always wears, the way he can miss something he had with a minimum of regret, and move on. I’ve been working with a therapist online, (Online! It’s either brilliant or ridiculous!), and I’m starting to see that all the fear and doubt and shame and regrets are like storm clouds in my head, always blocking out the sun. I can’t change the past. I can’t go back to my twenties when I was always dieting and say, “You are not FAT! Ya wanna see fat? Look ahead 30 years!” Or “Listen to your father! Put $5 in the bank every week! ” We all make choices, we settle, we win, we lose, we live, we learn. And we can’t predict the future. All we can do is laugh and love and dance and work hard and change what we can and live with what we can’t, smiling, with our face to the sun.
Here Comes the Sun