I turn forty one this month. I’m excited to turn forty one. Every year I grow older, and calmer, and more comfortable with the version of myself that is neither calm nor comfortable, is a win. Also, as I age, my husband ages. I’ve always had a thing for distinguished older men. Don’t tell him he’s nearing this category, but whew. Hotness.
I am sitting here in the sun, drinking coffee. The rest of my family is outside, planting seeds in the garden. Kale, basil, potatoes. I can hear them, and I can see them through the window. Hold on, the dog is whining, let me allow him to join them. He doesn’t have opposable thumbs, and can’t get the doorknob.
Where was I?
Sometimes, I see my daughter working earnestly on something, and I am struck by the entirety of her, and I look at her, hard. She catches me, and looks, up, and sees me seeing her, and I reach out with my dry and usually cracked hands, and I rub her cheek with the back of my fingers, and she smiles, and I smile, and neither of us stops doing what we were doing in the first place.
Every once in a while, like today, I stumble into a piece of dialogue online, about how any one person has an issue about any other person, and my heart aches, but the older I get, the more I see that it’s just normal, and I can just stop and say, “It doesn’t have to be that way,” and move on with my day.
It helps me pause and ponder, “who or what do I have an issue around?”
Those who would put their need to be right above another’s need to be safe.
Those who push me off the road in traffic, as I attempt to just hold the space I’m in.
Those who feel their right to the American Dream takes preference over anyone else’s.
Those who can’t shut up for even a brief moment, and stop regurgitating rhetoric, of all flavors.
I used to feel tired. Sometimes I still do. It used to feel tired all the time. All the time I was tired, and I was choking on it, and that started when I was about the size of my daughter, whose cheek I just reached for. I’ve been tired for a long time. Now, I’m tired only sometimes. The rest of the time, I ride a vibe of quiet, placid contemplation, or gregariousness. One feeds me, the other wears me out, and it’s not always down the same lines.
Most of the time, I’m listening, and watching, and looking for words that sound different. The words that indicate someone is thinking. I don’t care if their thinking aligns with mine, but boy it would be nice, because in my thinking there is room for us all, and we should do more yoga together. But–if someone is thinking, and trying, and reaching, I’m grateful. Opening doors is braver than closing doors. I look for open doors.
And can we talk about labels? I am called, “Liberal.” I usually don’t correct it, because it’s not my issue, the labels placed on me. Those are the issues of the label makers. I am not Liberal. I am just me. If it makes you feel better to call me a Liberal, that’s ok. Really, I’m just a sometimes mean girl, who decided to be nicer, more often, very long ago.
If I see you, not being nice, you won’t think I’m very nice, because I am not really very nice when it comes right upon the crux of it. But if I see you trying, you will think I am nice, because trying counts. Most of the time. False altruism, exclusion, and dismissiveness don’t count.
Today, I’m teaching yoga at the park. Under the trees, I am happiest. With children, I am most comfortable. Sometimes that’s all I know with certainty.