He laid out my clothes for me, put a breakfast bar in the car, and made my bed. Yesterday, I’d decided that I was feeling pretty good; so, I did a little light jogging. My brain swelled and I couldn’t move my neck by the end of the day. I’m grateful. Not for the searing pain, but that it reminds me that I have raised a compassionate child who didn’t think twice about helping his mother. I’m also grateful that I didn’t cry when I realized he’s laying out my clothes, instead of being an itty bitty baby who needs me to lay out his. Although, maybe I should; he still wears his shirts backwards far too often.
That We Don’t Live in Virginia This Summer
Reading (and hearing) about the Zika virus, and its predicted stateside this summer arrival makes me profoundly grateful to live in drought-land California. Everyone says they are mosquito magnets. I’m beyond magnetized mosquito food; mosquitoes sit in their swampy nests and discuss attack plans with a photo of me, and a laser pointer. I’m fairly certain that if we were still in Virginia, I’d not only contract Zika, it would rapidly kill me in some sort of iron long situation. Thus, I’m grateful for California’s low mosquito population and that it’s comfortable to wear long sleeves in the summer.
I got a UTI this week. Gross. It happens though. I don’t do anything “sick,” half-ass though. You get a cold: I get pneumonia. You stub your toe: I break a leg. So, when I get something like a UTI, I don’t just get a UTI, I get one that doesn’t respond to the first round of antibiotics because it’s my bladder and kidney. So, I’m grateful for a second, stronger round of antibiotics. It’s like Chiari; I don’t just get blinding migraines; I get an incurable skull condition that requires brain surgery. But no, not just one brain surgery! Two. I don’t fuck around when it comes to being sick. Ever.
I hate that most people in my life think that, because I’m an English teacher/major, I’m automatically a grammar snob, constantly correcting their grammar in my head. This is generally untrue. However, I’m grateful that I’m not a moron, and that I do have control of the English language. The more that social media takes over the world, and we are inundated with comment sections, and I can see how poorly educated the masses are, I’m grateful that I do, indeed, know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” and that I can use them correctly, 100% of the time. I’m also profoundly grateful that I will never, under any circumstances, use phrases like, “the feels,” even when I see a baby snuggling a puppy. Nor, will I refer to my husband as “bae,” even if he brings me a gold chain and a Beyoncé tickets.
Paint and Stained Carpet
I try to paint at least once a week. I’m still terrible at it. I used to avoid it, because as much as I love to do it, I’m never fully satisfied with my paintings. Then, it occurred to me to take the Bob Ross approach: there’s only happy little accidents. If I love to do it, just learn from the “failures.” I even love the paint stain on the couch, and the one Collin left on the rug, when he painted with me a few weeks ago. He had come home crying about an art lesson at school, and how he would never be able to paint well; now, the painting he did with me is hanging in our living room because he’s so proud of it. I was never allowed to paint as a kid, never allowed markers, play-doh, or anything like that. I’m sure that the pristine avocado green carpet that mom fought so hard to protect is enjoying its time in the landfill; but, I’m fucking grateful for my stained couch and carpet.
And…one Thing I’m NOT Grateful For: Tuesdays in Base Housing
Tuesday is lawn maintenance day here. Our lawns are maintained by contractors; which sounds great: we don’t have to mow our own lawns. But, it’s the worst. They are contracted to be here between 8 and 5, every Tuesday. So, they mow from 8 and 5, every Tuesday, regardless of whether they are done or not. That means my lawn (and everyone else’s) gets mowed, at least three times. Actually, they use the weed-whacker to mow the entire lawn, which takes about forty minutes. Then, they use the riding mower, and mow it three to five times (another twenty). Then, they blow the debris around (not away, just around) with the blower, for about thirty minutes. This doesn’t happen all at once; they spread it out throughout the day. And, they do it for every house in the neighborhood; so, you can hear the same process next-door, across the street, over yonder, everywhere. And, because we are in drought conditions, our watering is restricted, so our lawn is really fucking short anyway, and doesn’t need mowing weekly, in the first place. Government waste, they name is lawn mowing, in this neighborhood. Tuesdays are the worst day to do anything: concentrate, read, sleep, make a phone call. They are great for plotting the murder of maintenance workers though. Obviously, I'm joking!