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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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2:07 p.m. - 2013-02-03
Picking until it unravels

Lately all I want to do is sleep. Not in a 'can't be arsed to get out of bed' depressed way, thank goodness. But left to my own devices and freed from guilt I'd sleep 12-14 hours at a stretch. I think it's my bed, it's THE most comfortable bed in the world. Also both the night-sweats and the nightmares have gone away for the nonce so my sleep is good to me. It's lovely to sleep through and not wake up at 3:00am parched and gasping, the bedclothes a soggy mess beneath me or jolt awake biting back a howl of fear and loss. Perhaps I'm just making up for a sleep debt decades in the making.

Guilt gets me though. Guilt and embarrassment. Like my life isn't hedonistic enough, now I'm going to add sleeping like a housecat? Even a weirdo like me, a chick who never has gotten the hang of being a normal person isn't immune to the American impetus to be busy and productive every second of the damn day. Even running a checklist doesn't help. Telling myself that my family is well fed, has been engaged in stimulating conversation, their physical needs like vaccinations and dental visits are all up to speed, that the house is tidy and reasonably clean, bills are paid and our debt is miniscule, nobody lacks for anything and I am in no way neglecting the guys, the pets or the house waking up at the crack of noon makes me feel like shit. I race around scrubbing and organizing and marinating a gourmet feast in an orgy of atonement.

Guess I'm still on the learning curve of how not to be miserable.

Yet I was appalled at myself yesterday for something else. We went to Walmart. As a staunch unionist the Evil Superstore's vile hosing of their minimum wage employees kills me. As does their entrenched sexist promotion practices. And the Walton Corp's hideous environmental record and wanton destruction of small businesses and viable downtowns, the huge loss of American manufacturing jobs chucked over for the pennies on the hour wages and no EPA filthy toxicity of goods produced in China and sold here in the US for 'bargain' prices of which Walmart is the biggest sinner, going to Walmart gives me the willies. Yet once or twice a year I find myself there buying what I think of as 'Walmart-y' stuff. For instance yesterday's haul had everything from cut roses to dog food. Energy-saving curtains for my office. DVDs. Jeans for the kid. A whole bagful of wee Valentine boxes of chocolates for Mick to hand out to his women friends at work. Grape juice. Yogurt. All things I probably could have gotten elsewhere and if I was diligent could have found most of those things at small independent retailers and done my bit to support local businesses.

However it wasn't the hypocrisy of putting aside my values for convenient one-stop shopping that got me yesterday, it was the truly snobbish and uncharitable thoughts I had about my fellow patrons. Frankly? I was grossed out. Both by the unkempt, dentally challenged, smelly results of poor nutrition and even poorer education waddling around braying and snorting and fussing at each other AND my snotty reaction to them. Not that I was outwardly unkind to anyone, but my thoughts were far more disgusting than that 400lb boil-covered, greasy-haired scooter guy with the wavy stink lines rising off him. I had to admit to myself I am mean and I am a big honking snob.

I know, I know, there's nothing terrible about having standards. No crime in believing literacy, regular bathing, and NOT acting like a complete Jerry Springer-esque jackass in public is the least everyone should do. But as I found myself being revolted and wishing desperately for a bathtub full of Purell I was shocked by how my compassion was nowhere to be found.

It was really quite upsetting. And even now I don't honestly know if this is a public mea culpa for being a jerk or if I'm hoping to be validated in my snobbery by a few, "Jeeze, LA, cut yourself a break! I think the same stuff at Walmart!" comments. *snort*

So when I'm not trying to be a better person or beating myself up for not managing to be one life here at Casa Sage is good. I want to mark this especially because I know darn well that soon enough things will spin into one of those grubby nasty cycles where my small appliances commit suicide, my phone explodes, the bank account is mysteriously overdrawn, the kid decides to flunk a class just for the thrill of it, Mick gets into a wrangle at work and the chickenshit administration does nothing to support him, the dog will go lame and the furnace will conk out. When it gets deep like that it's difficult to remember the times when it's smooove. And right now things are very, very smooth. Everybody is healthy. We got our taxes done and the refunds from Fed and state are gratifyingly large. The cars run. The freezer's full. FIL's out of the hospital for a day or three. And I have the leisure time to worry about my character as opposed to worrying about a flooded cellar or having a meth lab next door.

I need to remember the truly bad times are OVER and that...


Overthinking and trying to be chill, ~LA

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