I’m Procrastinating Today…

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I really need to clean out my refrigerator, but I just don’t feel like it. Yesterday evening, I went to pull out a plastic tub of lettuces to make Sassy a salad for her supper (she was over for supper because her car broke down on her way to work, she had to have it towed and I had to go pick her up and lend her my car, but that’s a whole ‘NOTHER story…), and there was gross, bloody meat juice all over the lid of the lettuce tub.

The meat juice was there because I am not a very careful person and I put the container of meat from the freezer into the fridge to thaw, but didn’t put it INSIDE anything, (like a dish or a tray) to keep the juices contained as it thawed, because when it’s frozen, you don’t ever think it’s going to leak or drip. At least I don’t. That’s part of how I roll…this lack of care and failure to think ahead or consider the consequences. It drives DsquareD up the wall!! Every night when he comes home from work, he enters the kitchen and closes drawers and cupboard doors which I’ve left open. He follows me from room to room, turning off lights I’ve left on. We’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now and his constant harping on me about these things has failed to make a dent. Sometimes I feel bad about it, but then I think “well, he loved me enough to marry me, so he must have been prepared to overlook it”…

I also trip over things, fall down a lot, occasionally scrape the side of the garage backing in or out…in fact, just two days ago, it was icy out in the morning and when DsquareD left for work, he told me I might be better off staying home instead of going to the gym to work out. I told him I’d be very careful, and that when I got up to the first roundabout, if it seemed dangerous, I’d only go to the grocery store and skip the gym. The roads were fine (although I almost fell in the slippery parking lot at the gym and had to grab the side view mirror to keep from going down) and I worked out and then got my groceries, but after unloading the groceries, while trying to maneuver the car in reverse into our EXTREMELY narrow garage, I skidded on the ice and my rear corner hit the side of the garage. Oops! I decided to forestall an after-work berating and texted DsquareD and told him what I’d done, so that he would have all day to cool off. It must have worked out pretty well because he simply laughed when he came in the door and affectionately called out “How’s my Crash Test Dummy”? I mean, all things considered, it could have been a lot worse, right?

Oh, one more thing I do that absolutely drives him crazy is that for some reason, when we’re having a meal and I use the salad dressing or the ketchup, I don’t tighten the lid down all the way after I use it. I think deep down in my subconscious, it’s because I think I may be going to use it again before the end of the meal and will just need to loosen it again and am saving myself the trouble…but you can imagine how that could cause problems when another person is sharing the meal and the condiments with you…Unfortunately, my girls seem to have inherited that particular little bad habit.

So back to my procrastinating. I’ve checked my emails 27 times, read a little, baked some really nasty gluten-free scones that were so bad I had to throw them out, took a nap, THOUGHT about practicing my violin (I’m procrastinating with THAT also), tried to find some items in my closet to take to the resale shop, THOUGHT about doing laundry, but then remembered that I did it all yesterday and the day before…I’ve gotten as far as opening the refrigerator several times and looking around but then closed it again and walked away…

I’ve considered putting off the refrigerator cleaning till the weekend, but we are closing on our new little house on Friday morning and I know that once we have the keys in our possession we are going to want to spend every spare minute over there…I have successfully procrastinated the day away and now I’m down to an hour before I have to leave to go pick DsquareD up at work and drive him to his Chiropractor appointment, and I will need part of that hour to do my hair and put on some “real” outside clothes (as opposed to pajama pants and a ratty shirt), so that kind of rules out any major cleaning projects….besides it’s supposed to get much warmer TOMORROW and since I like to put the drawers and racks outside to dry after I’ve washed them out good…maybe I’ll just wait till then…

My (less than) Illustrious Musical (non) Career

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When I was in the second grade back at Sugnet Elementary School in Midland, Michigan, a wonderful thing happened to me! I had the Seashore Music Test administered to me by Miss Berry, the cateye-glasses-wearing lady who was our school music teacher. Do any of you remember the Seashore Music Test…?

http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1736.htm

As I recall, a machine played a series of musical tones, and you had to repeat them back, humming or singing. Well, according to what Miss Berry told my parents, I was a musical genius! I had such an ear as she had never before witnessed, blah, blah,  blah, and on-and-on. So I DID spend a great deal of my formative years pursuing music lessons on various types of instruments (piano lessons, voice lessons, violin lessons), played in the school orchestra and sang in the school choir and enjoyed a moderate degree of success in music contests over the years at the local, regional (and in ONE case, even at the national) level.

But as I found out when I left my relatively small home town and went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to pursue music at a higher level, I was really just a big fish in a small pond. I found that I wasn’t all that much more talented than many of the other students enrolled in U of M’s music program. The other thing I lacked, which turned out to probably be more important than talent, was drive. I lacked the drive to really make music as a career happen. This has turned out to be a, ahem, “driving” force in MANY areas of my life. I lack the drive to really go places, make a name for myself, be what others might consider to be a success.

At THIS point, looking back over the first and second halves of my life, I have discovered that I am OK with this. I now realize that the fact that I am not famous or well known for some great talent or other does not make me any less fulfilled, any less important of a person to those to whom I WANT to be important, those that I love and care about. And, if nothing else, music lessons and all the musical activities I engaged in, instilled in me a great and abiding love of music and involvement in music.

So now that I am in the third half of my life, and am recreating myself, so to speak…I find that great love of music bubbling to the surface and I finally have the time to indulge it again, like I could when I was young and single, and didn’t have bills to pay and kids to raise. After 30 years of not touching the violin, I picked it back up again a few years ago. I was surprised at how quickly it came back to me. I have played around with it at home, and finally, having missed playing in an orchestra, began to investigate local opportunities to do so.

I am proud to report that last night, despite my nervousness, I auditioned for a local, all-volunteer orchestra which puts on a few concerts a year, and was accepted into the 2nd violin section. At the rehearsal which followed my audition, I could barely keep up with the other players, but I couldn’t stop smiling!

A couple of weeks ago, I also passed a singing audition for a local community chorale which I sang in years ago when my girls were very little.

I still don’t have a job, and I don’t know if I will find one, but we have a new house to remodel/redecorate, I am filling my free time with activities I enjoy, and am returning to one of my first loves! Maybe this half of my life will turn out to the be best one of all!

 

I’m NOT invisible…I’m just over 50!

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I’m trying to remember when I first became invisible…it didn’t happen all of a sudden, it came on kind of gradually. It was somewhere around the time I turned 50, or possibly even slightly before that. I simply began to notice that no one looked at me anymore. You know how it is when you’re in a group of people, say, at the farmer’s market…and you notice particular people, usually YOUNG, attractive, YOUNG people…well, no one looks at me. They don’t notice me when I’m walking down the street, they don’t notice me when I’m perusing the aisles at the grocery store, frequently salespeople don’t even look at me when I’m right in front of them at the counter, checking out.

And I know it’s not just me, it’s an age thing. It’s kind of weird, this feeling that you’re invisible. That you don’t matter anymore, that you’ve outlived your usefulness to mankind in general…There are times when it’s okay, because you have this feeling of being able to get away with just about anything, of flying under the radar. But more often than not, it bothers me. I want to be noticed, I want to count for something. I want to feel like I have some value. I find myself being overly friendly and courteous to strangers, as if I have to prove I’m worthy of notice.

Maybe I’m just being vain, but it’s not as if I’m used to being looked at a lot…even in my 20’s I was never drop-dead gorgeous. But there is a definite difference in noticeability. I find myself trying to pinpoint exact things that could cause this phenomenon…I have hardly any wrinkles (NOW I’m being vain), so I know my skin looks younger than my age, at least on my face…although I AM getting age spots on my arms, and my hair is obviously not this color naturally, but these seem like subtle things to me. Is it the fact that I refuse to wear some of the fashions that younger people wear? That I refuse to blow dry my hair straight and then straighten it even further with a flatiron? That I’ve put on weight?

Oh well…I guess I should just stop worrying about it and try to adjust, maybe even learn to enjoy this new anonymity. It’s just that it can be a lonely feeling. Since I’m not working, I’m home alone much of the time. Sometimes I get to feeling so stir crazy that I just have to go out and window shop, or sit in a coffee shop, so that I’m out where people are, only even in the midst of people I still feel alone sometimes.

On a related note, when did all these preschoolers start getting married and popping out babies? It seems just yesterday that I was the young Mom pushing my girls in a stroller, and BOOM!  All I see nowadays are mere infants who are parents themselves. I recently joined a Bible study that is made up mostly of stay-at-home wives and Moms (which I guess is what I am at the moment), and at the first meeting, I turned to the girl next to me, introduced myself and asked, “are you a student?” Turned out she was married and had a child or two.

I’ve been trying to find a job, so I study the job postings a lot, and some of them have titles or list skills I’ve never even heard of. I briefly considered returning to school to learn a new, more relevant job skill, but college has changed so drastically…The TV is full of ads for virtual schools, online schools, you name it…listing certifications and degrees in things that sound made up. And then I have to consider if it’s worth taking the time out of the work force and spending the money to learn a new career that I might only be in for another 10-15 years…I’ve become obsolete! That’s what it is!

If I were a graduate student, I would write my thesis on this whole subject, this becoming obsolete, invisible, irrelevant…at age 50! I’m hoping I’m only halfway through my life (or thereabouts), and I’m going to have to come up with some kind of a plan for the remaining years that I have ahead of me. I’ll get started on that as soon as I’ve had my nap!

New Beginnings

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Guess what Dsquared and I did this week? We bought a house! The best part of the purchase is that we are paying cash for it!!! Yes, you heard me…CASH!!! That means NO mortgage…no rent…what an awesome feeling!

What’s that you ask? What kind of a house can two poor people who have lived in a van down by the river (ok, it was an apartment) buy? People who lived in a truck, for crying out loud…

The answer is…a teeny house! It’s barely 700 square feet! And there’s no garage. But it’s got a good-sized, fenced-in back yard, and it’s back in our old neighborhood. The neighborhood where Dsquared and I were both living when we met, and courted, fell in love, and married. And where we continued to live with Sissy, and Sassy, and Big JD (and Dusty,my step-dog, before she went to the big Dog Park in the sky). In fact, we lived there right up until “The Big Downsize and Aborted Move to Michigan of ’08”.

We’re excited about putting down some roots again and about the potential of the house. It needs a little work, but it’s been fun planning what we’ll do with it. For instance, if you can believe it, there are three bedrooms, which we may convert to only two. Interesting fact: The couple who lived there for 50 or 60 some years until it went on the market, raised eight children there, in a 696 square foot house with three teeny bedrooms and only one bathroom! Eight children! It’s hard for us to fathom these days, the days of privilege and entitlement, but that’s how they did things back in the day! And I’ll bet those kids are well-adjusted and know how to share!

Last night we had one of our Barnes & Noble date nights. You know what I’m talking about. You go to B&N, split a frightfully expensive Starbucks frou frou drink, sit in the comfy chairs (we had to stalk the previous sitters till they left), and read all the magazines, make lists of all the books you’re going to check out at the library, and then leave. To be fair, I usually buy at least one or two magazines or a book every time we go there. And last night was no exception. My reading matter last night consisted of magazines about “Small space decorating”, “Small houses”, “Small rooms”, and “Storage for small spaces”.  I bought two of the magazines and can’t wait to get started!

I’ll keep you posted about this as things progress. We hope to close within the next two weeks, but will probably continue living in the apartment till the lease is up at the end of May. That will give us time to do whatever work needs to be done to the house and leisurely move our things over…or get rid of them, since I doubt that we can fit all our furniture into the house. Dsquared is drooling over garage plans, I suspect that when he is finished, the garage will be much nicer than the house!