Fifty

Today’s the 50th day in a row that I’ve blogged. Not that a lot of those posts actually said anything important. But it seems significant to form a thought and write it down. Real action. Sort of. Whether those thoughts develop into something more substantial is a different story, but looking back at the past 50 days, all those posts had potential to become more. It’s encouraging to see the potential in things.

I can’t decide whether the past 50 days passed slowly or quickly.

The next 50 days are summer days.

Should be interesting enough.

Ten minutes left in the day. Cutting it close.

Here’s another clarinet video. Still in the mood for cheesy love songs. I’m a real sucker for those.

A Park Today

A family of old trees stand together. Their trunks shoot straight up before branches spread out the sky. I love their shade. Their calm presence. Their steadiness.

These trees help obscure an old house adjacent to the park. The house looks scary. Signs along the fence read, “No trespassing.” The trees in that yard are also old. The other foliage is overgrown. Branches gnarl and twist and canopy what might be a lawn.

Large arches signal entryways (NO TRESPASSING), but simple chainlink lines the perimeter. Between long, stamped-down stretches of rusty webbing, it stands somewhat upright.

The family of old trees serve as sentinels. They warn against going past them. They are a much more effective fence than the janky wire barrier. I do not go beyond them.

The straightness of the trees gives me strength. Bestows courage. Grants power.

The will to stay away from that creepy, old house.

Power Outage

The power went out in my neighborhood today. It might have lasted two hours. We spent the time reading and playing outside.

We also went out for tacos.

I mean, it was 75 degrees and breezy. I’ve experienced worse conditions during a blackout.

The NYC blackout of 2003, for example.

But even then, that seemed like a huge party.

That was a weird blog post from so long ago.

Oh! My blog had a birthday this week! 18 years old! My blog can vote and will likely attend a two-year school before transferring to a university.

Congratulations, blog. I wish you the greatest success.

A Successful Day

Today our family went to the dentist. And it was probably the best Z has ever done in her few years’ experience of biannual unpleasant visits to someone who went to school for years to learn how to probe teeth. We were proud of her. But: she has a cavity, and she has another appointment to have it filled. We don’t know how she will handle this. All her other teeth look great, though.

Oh! I also made the bed this morning! And passing by the bedroom a few times today, I looked in and saw a made bed and felt a little less stressed out. It’s also very nice slipping into a bed without having to tug at sheets to make sure my whole body is covered.

Back in December my cabin fever compelled me to cut off all my hair. It’s been slowly growing back, and now it is in the middle of an awkward mullet-like phase. I have two cowlicks at the base of my skull, which keeps the hair from lying flat against my neck. It just sort of half-fluffs out. So I’m sort of in the middle of willing my hair to grow faster so that the mullet-thing will calm down. I’ve pinned and clipped my hair down at the neck. It’s long enough to tie back into a ponytail, if the pony was tiny. Another month, and maybe it won’t be as bad.

Vain, perhaps. But I never said I wasn’t.

girls’ night

right now my husband and my brother are attending the first playoff game (in a best-of-seven series) between the utah jazz and la clippers. this is the next round of the championship tournament. i’m watching the game on tv, and it’s not looking that great at halftime.

i’m rooting for the jazz, by the way.

while z was taking a bath today i decided to make my bed. i read a blog article a long time ago referring to oprah’s advice to make your bed every day. something about discipline and starting your day right. something like that. my mom is a professional at making beds: super tight corners and everything. i used to make my bed every morning. i used to be good at it. now: not so much. if i’m lucky, i’ll get around to making the bed once a week.

i don’t hate making the bed. in fact completing this chore feels pretty good. it makes the room feel calmer. i feel more motivated to do other housework.

so yeah, while z was in the bathtub i’d begun straightening the sheets and blankets. i aligned the pillows then checked in on z’s bath. then afterward i set out some clothes for her when she finished her bath. then i came downstairs to get a few minutes of work done in the office.

then i checked on z, and we decided to drain the tub. she got dressed, and i brushed her hair, then we decided she could watch (rewatch) a bug’s life while i wrapped up my work for that day.

maybe an hour later i walked back upstairs and opened my bedroom door to a semi-made bed. i’d forgotten that i started making it a few hours earlier. already well into the afternoon, i decided to leave it. no guilt: i’ll make it another time. and when i do, it’ll feel awesome.

but now i’ll wait for halftime to end, watch a couple minutes of the second half of the clippers-jazz game, then check on our child. she’s the best child, and i’d rather snuggle with her than stress out about basketball. that the jazz are trailing right now means that the guys who drove all the way up the arena may not be having the best time. but i still hope they’re having at least a little fun. (as of this very sentence, the jazz have closed in five points on a 10-point clippers lead. hope the momentum keeps up.)

speaking of fun, we’re going to the dentist tomorrow morning.

More on My Mental Health

Last night a friend texted me. She’s the kind of friend who composes lengthy missives describing what’s going on in her life. We don’t text every day, but when we have time. Or when we remember. Sometimes a week or two pass before one of us responds to the other’s most recent texts. Which is fine, because when we do text, we are thorough. She’s a much better writer than I, but I often reciprocate in length and efforts at thoughtfulness when I reply to her.

When I received a series of long texts from this friend last night, she asked how my June was doing, and that it took a long time before a certain difficult month for her became significantly less difficult.

That’s when it hit me.

My erratic sleep. My lack of motivation. My blanking out a lot of the time. My distraction.

I replied that she just might have gotten to the bottom of my depressive behavior.

My subconscious self still seems to be grieving.

Coming off that very first day of June–our wedding anniversary but also that extremely mournful day in 2019–a lot goes on this month that trigger layers of different feelings.

That’s the main cause, and that’s what makes the most sense. I generally love summer. The heat. The sunshine. All the quality time with loved ones. But June this year feels off. I don’t know if I’ve processed things enough, or if I have guilt from not moving on or moving on too quickly. Or that I have grief appropriation: she wasn’t my mom, but my feelings somehow can’t compare to Carla’s actual relatives.

And I know I shouldn’t be comparing feelings. And I have feelings about that.

Anyway, I guess sadness waxes and wanes, and this month in particular is waxy. And has a high pollen content.

I’m so exhausted.

Quick Sunday Thoughts

I let another day get away from me, and there’s so much on my mind.

We did return to church in-person today, and it was really interesting. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces after not seeing them for a really long time. We think Z loved seeing all her church friends. I know they loved seeing her.

Reilly and I got to know our new Sunday School class. They seem like a great bunch of youth.

What I really wanted to ponder through writing was my thoughts on being a little bit depressed. It seems possible, and I’ve been mulling over … symptoms(?) I’ve been experiencing lately.

I gotta get on top of my writing. Which is one thing: I’ve been going through the motions with daily journaling and not feeling motivated to think or express more deeply. Gotta get to the bottom of that.

More later.

Two Cool, Regular Things

  1. Earlier this week I put our Pride flag up after seeing a neighbor had theirs up. This morning the neighbor across the street from us put up their Pride flag. This is really nice because we live in a conservative county, and I appreciate people in our community having common opinions and principles as us. Happy Pride, everyone!
  2. We are starting a Summer Outdoor Movie Series. Reilly came up with a list of solid B or better movies (OR possible guilty pleasures) that all happen to come from the same eight-year period from the early 1980s to 1990. This is a nice chance to chat with friends and not have to think too hard during a movie.

Showtime starts at 9pm. We had a microburst earlier this afternoon. Let’s hope the rain plans around us.

Damn, This Album: Outside Child, by Allison Russell

A lot of critical acclaim erupted for this album, which does one of two things for me: makes me wait until the hype dies down, or makes me super excited and listen to it immediately.

I ended up waiting a couple of weeks and listened to it yesterday, back to back. I wanted to listen to it sooner, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time to give it my full attention. And since it’s so fresh on my mind, I didn’t do what I usually like to do when actively listening to an album, which is take notes and jot thoughts that cross my mind as I experience the music.

I will do this, I promise. But for now I’ll post the album here for you listen for yourselves. It seriously blew my mind. I hope you appreciate it as much, or more.

Cemetery Time

We visited Nana again last night, June 1 being the second anniversary of her passing. In addition to the many bouquets of flowers left at her gravesite, we launched some balloons in her honor.

It’s a lovely idea, really: the releasing, the floating. The beauty of the symbolism.

And the evening was perfect: the coolness, the breeze, the perfect sky.

Reilly’s sister picked up the balloons. She chose colors that match Carla’s favorite rose from the front flowerbed. Reilly’s dad; his sister, her son; his two brothers, his sister-in-law; a close family friend; me, Z, and he. Each of us held two balloons.

Z counted us down, and then we let our balloons go. They drifted away together. Upward, joining the heavens, becoming sky.