Saturday, July 29, 2017

Go take a hike.

The weather broke in the last few days and now, this spectacular morning, the air is crisp and cool and it makes me wish we were camping.  Jimi said last night we can take the girls this morning to the park - but not just any park!  The park with the hiking trails!  It has a great little playground for the girls, and a short half-mile loop trail just past that.  The trail is easy and I think the kids will dig it, especially with promises of more playground playtime at the end.  I could sure use a good hike in my life.  I'm thinking of taking Finn and leaving Jimi at the playground with the girls so I can get an extra hike in - a half mile sure goes quickly.

Cora was up at 4 this morning, but Jimi got her back to sleep.  And then Geneva was up at 6.  It's Saturday, people!  She was so happy and giggly, though.  It's hard to be grumpy when you have a giggly four year old tickling you.  I let her have fruit flavored marshmallows after her Cheerios, so I'm probably the best mom ever...if you asked her right this minute.  Actually, she may not talk to you if you asked her right this minute; Netflix has Secret Life of Pets now, we discovered this morning.  Guess what they're doing right now?  Those girls I said weren't allowed to watch TV this weekend because we need a reset, a break from screen time?  Go ahead.  Guess what they're doing.

I'm drinking delicious coffee.  I really enjoy coffee at the kitchen table, with a laptop open to a blank screen and an open window of time to fill it with words that aren't important to anyone but me.  But that makes them important, right?  Even if they're only important to me, I still count, and things that mean something only to me still mean something.

I said 37 was going to be the year I stopped caring so much about what others think of me.  I said I was going to speak my mind, stand up for myself, say the words that are hard to say.  I said I wasn't going to be so afraid.  I'm doing a shitty job.  Part of this funk I'm in, it's fear.  I'm scared of things happening in the world around me and I retreat into myself and into my home, clinging to the things that are safe and familiar and mostly unchanging.  I need to be more brave.  Stacy and I had a good talk last night about the importance of saying hard things, speaking out when things bother you, saying "this is not okay" to someone who isn't treating you well.  I'm really good at giving her advice on how to do more of that; I'm really terrible of putting that advice to work in my own life.  Not that I have a bunch of people around me treating me poorly; the opposite, in fact.  But things that bother me, I sweep under the rug or work to ignore in the moment because I don't want to cause a stink, I don't want to be "that" girl.  Like when a co-worker says, "Yeah, I really jewed him down on the price..."  I want to punch the guy in the face.  Not literally.  I want to say, "That's a racist comment and I think you should reconsider using it in polite company."  Well, no.  What I actually want to say is, "Have you been living under a fucking rock? Do you hate Jewish people? I know that was a popular phrase a few decades back, but times have changed and it's not cool to be racist anymore.  Don't say that shit around me."  Either may make him stop using the phrase in my presence; neither will endear him to me, and may even cause conflict.  That's my hang-up.  I care way too much about what other people think about me, and I will avoid conflict at every possible turn unless there is just no other option.  Why do I do that?  Why do I allow someone else's opinions so much importance that I tamp down my own so as not to contradict theirs?  Especially in situations like this, where one of us is obviously right and the other is so obviously wrong?

I already have a bit of a reputation at work, I think, for being the liberal hippy.  The women's rights advocate who bristles at being called "hon" or "babe" by men just a bit younger than my father whom I've never met face to face but have been tasked with providing them excellent customer service, so I laugh and say you're welcome and roll my eyes and pretend it's no big deal even though it really does fucking dig at me because he would never in a million years say that to a man in this position and I know he doesn't mean anything by it but still, why is it okay?  Why is it 2017 and I have men who are strangers calling me honey on the phone when I'm simply trying to sell them steel?  Why do I have to laugh at their not-so-veiled flirtations and innuendos?  I'm not a prude; but if I object, if I don't brush it aside without blinking, I'm the problem.

Ugh.  I didn't intend to go down that rabbit hole this morning.  It's a deep hole and I don't want to be there today - I want to be outside, in the woods, hiking with my family!  And what else?  We are out of just about everything except condiments and dried beans and rice, so I probably should get to a grocery at some point this weekend.  And, surprisingly, our laundry situation is out of control; I think I have 6 baskets of clean clothes that need to be folded, and at least 3 loads of laundry to wash and dry behind that.  It never stops, maybe because I never get caught up.

Jimi did get our kitchen sink handled, though.  It's been clogging for the last week, and by Wednesday night, there was no amount of sulfuric acid that was going to unclog it.  We had a load of "clean" dishes in the dishwasher, with a pool of murky yellowish/brown water in the bottom of the machine.  The sink was full.  (We create a lot of dirty dishes.)  Jimi got an appointment for a plumber to come out, and at 9 a.m. Friday, I got a text:

My stomach dropped.  I told my coworkers I'd be back, and went outside to call him.  He sounded sick when he answered.  "So, uh, we're fucked, huh?" I said.  "Ha!  No, it's fixed.  The plumber told me to say that."  Nice, huh?  $99, problem solved.  Big sigh of relief.  And now those dishes that were in the dishwasher are actually clean and put away.  I'd like to tell you the sink is empty, but I try not to lie.  


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