Showing up

The first week of my 47th year did not go well.  I spent way too much on an over-hyped hotel, that did not live up to expectations.  My birthday dinner was an incredibly over-priced hamburger in a dark bar.  I got bit by sand fleas, and we couldn’t wait to go home.

My nanny decided that she hates cats.  In fact, when she decided this she came to my work to have someone translate.  It was embarrassing.  She gave me an ultimatum, the kitten or her.  We’ve had 14 nannies so far.  She’s good, but replaceable.  The kitten is not mine to get rid of anyway.  She’s Raine’s.  I think the nanny was very surprised that we chose the kitten.  Life lesson #342 –Don’t make ultimatums unless you can live with either outcome.


I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t get another one, but I haven’t been without one yet, except for a brief time downtown and it was kind of by choice since I was moving, so I wasn’t surprised when a new one showed up the next day.  Apparently she has no problems with kittens.  (I actually had old nannies asking to come back, but needing a place to stay and we just don’t have room).

Our sink is broke.  The landlord will fix it.  I’m extremely low on cash because I’m still paying for my month without pay.  Just a lot of things going on, not counting all of the bad national news I keep reading.  It’s been weighing on me.  This whole week has just sucked.  I really wanted a do-over.

And then yesterday, We were supposed to go to out friend’s for dinner, as we’ve been doing once a week forever!  And we slept in, and just couldn’t get it together.  I thought we’d get something to eat on the way somewhere.  (For the record, eating out often costs the same or even less than cooking).  Then as we stepped out of our building it began to pour.

I had had it.  Just lost it.  We didn’t have umbrellas with us.  It was 3pm and we hadn’t eaten, and I had had it.  I wanted to go so bad because hanging out with our friends is always so up-lifting, but I was in such a foul mood by then.  We went back upstairs because we had to get out umbrellas  anyway, and I made macaroni and cheese.  Everyone was happy.  We got our umbrellas and we left (incredibly late).

I’m so glad we did.  Jodie had prepared a special birthday meal just for me.  All these wonderful things.  She made grilled chicken breast, these roasted, sliced, half potatoes that were so good!, broccoli, peas,  and bacon gravy.  I have never had bacon gravy.  It’s like sausage gravy, but with bacon.  Oh man!  I was so American.  All my food was touching and I poured that gravy over EVERYTHING!

Then, for dessert, she made, hands down, the best lemon cake I have ever had, ever!  It was so ironic, because I had told her that when I saw the hotel’s cake, I was hoping it was lemon, but it wasn’t.  She even made the glaze drizzled on the top, and it was almost more lemony than the cake!


I think that evening turned around the whole direction of the previous week. The next morning, the new nanny came to be interviewed.  Then the girls and I went out for the day, and all is right with the world again.

Please don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t the fabulous diner and awesome lemon cake that changed my mood.  It was making myself do something I knew was good for me.  It was having really good friends who just want to talk.  It was remembering that I am not alone.  (Because sometimes it’s really hard to not feel alone –I don’t mean lonely.  I’m never lonely).  But, I don’t think people were meant to do as much as I do on our own.  And sometimes it’s hard to feel adequate.  And sometimes it’s hard to stop treading water and feel safe enough to just float.

For several hours once a week, someone offers to take care of me and I just have to be there.  Sometimes, so many obstacles get in the way of my just showing up.  But I knew when I left their house that the clouds had parted and all of my energy had shifted.  And it makes sense that it would be today,  the 199th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s Birthday.


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