I forgot rainbows exist

standard November 10, 2015 Leave a response

I turned the corner, driving that fine line between driving the speed limit and going fast enough to get to school in time to collect the kid getting out of her after-school activity. I snarled at the rain starting again, at my broken windshield wiper I didn’t even know was broken until this morning, at the blister forming in the rain boot that only gets worn once or twice a season.

And then I saw it. And I gasped.

A rainbow. A silly, stupid, glorious rainbow, stretching clear across the sky. A perfect shining rainbow.

And then I laughed.

Because for a minute I couldn’t fathom what I was seeing.

I’d forgotten about rainbows.

What can I say? It doesn’t rain very often in California.

So, I’d forgotten about rainbows.

Rainbows in all their magical, improbable selves. A thing that children color, because they’re so darn pretty and shiny and irresistible.

Rainbows, reminding us that there’s beauty and magic to be found in even the dreariest of days.

I seriously can’t believe I’d forgotten about rainbows.

Just how grown-up and jaded have I become?

What happened to the girl who always looked for the silver lining in every situation? Who always tried to tease the fun out of every moment?

2011 was a brutal year of unending big catastrophes that kept knocking me off my feet.

This year has been less obvious in its relentless sly attacks, and yet, apparently no less draining.

I keep trying to pull myself up from my bootstraps, keep trying to jolly myself out of the gray area I seem to wallow in most often these days, but it’s hard. There are constant reminders about my father. Constant little challenges to overcome. Constant reasons not to smile, but to, instead, force a grin on my face a bear another day.

It’s not how I want to be, not who I want to be.

I want to be the girl who looks for rainbows, not the one who forgets they even exist.

Rainbow

Life is fragile… and absurd

standard May 4, 2015 1 response

On Saturday morning I woke to the news that Sheryl Sandberg’s husband Dave Goldberg had passed away unexpectedly while on vacation. Now, to most of the world, this is a sad news tidbit people learned about over their morning coffee and forgot long before the day had grown warm, but to our corner of the country, where he was well known and loved, the news threw everyone for a loop.

Successful, healthy men aren’t supposed to die at 47.

To me, the news was particularly poignant, as is all news about dead parents these days. It doesn’t take much to bring tears to my eyes or make me relapse into my grief funk.

I rallied as best as I could. Took the little and a friend to a skate boarding lesson and rallied as best as I could.

And then, while meandering around downtown, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and discovered that she was battling bone cancer.

I felt panicky for the rest of the day. Short of breath. Shaky. Terrified. Life felt just too fragile to bear.

Most of the time, we live in happy denial of all the things that can tear our friends and family away from us. We don’t know about most of the illnesses that can claim or radically alter lives. We conveniently forget about how dangerous it is to even walk down the street or up the stairs.

And then, sometimes, you get hit in the face with one reminder or three. And BAM, the mere thought of how fragile life is, of how easy it is to lose someone, brings you to your knees and steals the breath from your lungs.

I’d love to say that this temporary epiphany made me more loving to my family, made me want to hug everyone close, but really, all it did was make me want to hide under the covers and lose myself in a book. Even when fictional characters die, they’re never really gone. Just flip a few pages back, and presto, they’re back.

I’m sure that in the not so distant future my denial will be securely back in place and I’ll be, once again, able to get on with my life without gasping for breath every time I glimpse what life would be like if it were missing more of my people.

In the meantime I feel about as fragile as life really is.

Life is Fragile

Sometimes you get exactly what you ask for… and then some

standard October 21, 2010 3 responses

This morning I ran around like I usually do, getting the girls fed, dressed, hair brushed, nebulized, and everything else that we have to do before leaving the house. The routine was no different than any other day except for the fact that we were also kissing M goodbye for a few days.

He’s in the middle of a trial and is opting to stay in the city for the week so he doesn’t have to deal with the heinous Bay Area traffic.

We kissed him goodbye and went back to the harried routine. I do this every day. I’m good at the morning routine – from the jumping out of bed to the waking up the kids all the way through to the buckling of everyone (and everything – dolls get buckled too) into the car. It’s harried, but it doesn’t throw me off my game.

This morning I was off my game.

I just felt frazzled, off, and overwhelmed. And as I drove the girls to school and daycare I just kept thinking that I needed five minutes of peace and quiet so I could find my calm center again.

With the girls safely dropped off I realized I had a spare hour before I needed to be at Starbucks (to be introduced to the new in house Starbucks Digital Network – totally cool by the way.), so I decided to stop by Office Depot for a moment.

Fine. It might not be the most normal thing, but all that organization at Office Depot makes me feel all zen and calm. It’s just so neat and orderly. The polar opposite of my life and home.

I pulled up, grabbed my phone and my wallet, and for some inexplicable reason, chucked my keys into my purse… which I then left in the car. You know. The car that I locked as I was stepping out of it.

Today Office Depot did not work its zen magic on me. Instead I walked around trying to find my insurance roadside assistance number. Once I had them on the line I had to convince them that I actually had an account with them. Then I had to wait for the repair truck to come jimmy my door open.

I didn’t get the five minutes of peace and quiet I was craving. I got 45 minutes of peace and quiet… sitting on the curb next to my car. Oddly enough I didn’t find my center of calm until hours later when I made the conscious decision to put the morning behind me and give the afternoon a chance.

And no, it wasn’t during a 5 minute lull in the day. It was while I was at work, surrounded by the usual hubbub that surrounds me the moment I walk in.

Friday Flashback – What’s so great about the Fall?

standard October 31, 2009 3 responses
Friday Flashback is all about bringing to light some of my favorite posts from my archives to breathe new life into them. I’m reposting this because last night we had to add a blanket to our bed; a sure sign that Fall has arrived! This was originally published in September 08.

What’s so great about the Fall?

As I tossed and turned last night in bed trying to get warm I grumbled about the start of Fall. Then this morning I read this at The Inspired Room, and well, I got inspired. Odd how that works. So instead of ranting, I’m going to go all Pollyanna on you and give you 20 things I treasure about Fall.

1) It’s cool enough to cuddle at night. Which is great because I seem to be popular these days. M, C, and Little L keep fighting for who gets to sleep in my arms.
2) Pretty leaves changing colors. In CA we don’t get a lot of this, but every so often we turn a corner and spot a gorgeous tree aflame with colors and it leaves us breathless.
3) I can drink a late night cup of tea without needing to take a cool shower after. ‘Nuf said.
4) Flannel jammies. I know it’s not sexy, but they’re oh so cozy and I’ve missed them.
5) Orange and Black. I love watching Halloween decorations pop up right and left.
6) School supplies. I know, it’s odd, but nothing soothes my frazzled brain like row after row of neatly organized school supplies. If that makes me a dork, so be it.
7) Slow cooker meals. Something about Fall makes me long for slow cooked stews and other yumminess.
8) Pie. Warm. With heavy cream ladled on top.
9) Art and wine festivals. Sure it’s always the same stuff, but I still love going.
10) The beach in the cold. I love taking a walk on the sand when it’s cold and the wind is blowing.
11) Fluffy slipper socks. Especially when you slip them on before getting on the couch.
12) Huddling under a blanket with a loved one to read books or watch a movie. Goodnight Moon is oh, so much better under a fleece blanket.
13) Soup! Butternut squash. Carrot ginger. Cream of mushroom. Yum.
14) Putting the kids to bed when it’s already dark. What? That totally counts.
15) Car seat warmers. Toasty tushies.
16) Apples! Apple pie, apple crumble, apple sauce, apple chicken, apples and honey, apples, apples, apples!
17) The smell of chimney fires.
18) Sweaters. Wool or cotton? Thick or thin? Doesn’t matter as long as they are cozy.
19) Scarves. Stylish or functional. Love ’em all.
And last, but not least
20) The feel of cold little noses when you get hugs and kisses from little ones coming in from the cold.

Happy Halloween everyone, and happy Fall!