Life Inside My Head

The morning sun casts a golden glow across the landscape of my backyard. The sky prepares for the new day with a color that is reminiscent of sapphires. Soon dawn will give way to daylight causing the deep, rich blue to fade like a pair of jeans after years of wear. A new day has begun. A new day of a new week. What lies ahead? I know I must step out into the world to find out. No more staying home and pretending. Thus begins the internal dialogue.

Morning Rituals

I reach for my coffee cup. It is empty. Time for the next step in my morning ritual. First cup of coffee means writing my morning pages. The dumping ground for all the crap that circles around in my head. I need that place to rid myself of so many random and distracting thoughts. “What did I do before morning pages?” I mutter as I head back to the kitchen for my second dose of delicious, hot caffeine.

Morning ritual number two is coffee and 200 mg of Sertraline, which is the real secret to my sanity. My mind is an interesting place to live. And I live in my head. I live several lives in my head; not in the multiple personality kind of of way, but in a fantastical, what if kind of way. One day I dream of a quiet life in a small town and the next I am craving the excitement of big city living. The only life I no longer dream of is a rural farm life. I have come to grips with the reality that I was born in a city for a reason and until HGTV made so many different lifestyles look attractive, I never considered the rural life. It looks romantic and fun on television but the reality is that it is filled with the kinds of wildlife I really prefer not having as neighbors and the work is hard and dirty. I have the greatest admiration for those who are made of sturdier stock than myself and can live that life. I know my limitations.

While I don’t want to live a rural lifestyle, I need regular doses of nature to feel connected and whole. That is the reason I am headed to my personal getaway this week. I think I could live anywhere if I had ways to reconnect with non master planned nature. There are so many state parks in this country I would love to visit. I have a plan, but it must be strategized and implemented carefully so that I don’t send my husband into his corner to prepare for the boxing match of dreams.

Fear Of Decisiveness

I look around the suburban home I have lived in for 33 years, contemplating the last segment of life. I am a realist. I understand that I am living in the latter years of my life, and while I am not giving up to sit and rock – although I do love a good upholstered swivel rocking chair – I am likely making choices that will dictate where and how I live for the rest of my life. “We are only moving once” were the emphatic words of my husband when I discussed possibilities that would enable us to have the best of all worlds. Again I remind myself to “pick your battles” and retreat from this discussion.

I have no answers. I wish I had a crystal ball and knew definitively what we are supposed to do. So many people our age move closer to their kids and grandkids yet we are considering moving further away. In this modern age of connectivity we don’t have to fear loosing contact or being left out of each other’s lives by the distance between our homes. And yet…old fears of being alone crop up from my subconscious. These fears and doubts make me fearful and anxious. When I am fearful and anxious I attempt to fix all the ‘problems’ myself. It is as if when I put them in a box and tie a ribbon around them life will be perfect and all will work out just like in every fairy tale ever told. That, however, is not real life.

Tune To The Right Station

Real life is living each day being tuned in to God who doesn’t dictate a path but rather allows us to make choices and then learn from those choices. I am not a believer in cosmic fate; a predestined life that only has one outcome. That is terrifying. I know I would see something sparkling then wander off my path in search of the magic jewel and end up in whatever version of hell might really exist. It is much more comforting to know that God loves and guides. There are many paths that each life can travel, some better than others, but it isn’t an all or nothing game. Thank goodness.

So, when I get my brain into a tizzy over the future, I need to remember to step back and just live today. Go out into the world and make the best of today and let tomorrow take care of itself. And so, here I go.

Beetle Mania Part 2

Twenty five years later my second Beetle came into my life. It was a long dry spell.

The Vapor

For reasons I cannot remember, my husband had taken me to work and picked me up one day in 2002. I believe that we were down to one functioning vehicle at the time. On our usual route home we pass a VW dealership and I ALWAYS cast a longing look in its direction as I dreamed of owning another Beetle. This time it would be the New Beetle. On this day the car gods were with me, for as I turned my head to look, there sat the car of my dreams.

This was a limited edition, internet available only color. Vapor – a blue so ethereal that it sometimes looked white, sometimes gray and still others, blue. It was love at first site.

Knowing how hard it is to find this car, I convinced him to exit the freeway, turn around and go to the dealership. We did not leave that night until around 9:00 when I drove this car home.

Love And Loss

We leased the car for three years. At the end of the lease term I simply could not give it up, so we refinanced the balance and this baby was mine. Somewhere in the fourth year, I neglected a very important tune up and the result was nothing short of tragic. A belt broke, pistons jammed and the engine was destroyed. It would have cost us $3,000 to repair it and no manner of pleading got my husband to agree. I believe I would still own this car had we done this, but that is for another day. He still considers VWs “a piece of junk” because of this episode. I gave up trying to change his mind.

New Love

So, here we are fifteen years later. VWs are still “a piece of junk” in his opinion, and I am still in love with this iconic little car. I have been driving a 2004 Toyota Camry for more years than I care to count and a year ago the air conditioning went out on it. I was housebound before COVID-19 because who wants to drive a non air conditioned car in Houston Texas? Exactly!

Again I was faced with a husband who did not want to put money into a car. This time I agreed. We procrastinated. I knew what I wanted, but I also knew I didn’t want to have the “piece of junk” conversation again. I strategically wore him down. I was patient. I made do, running my errands in the early morning. I used his car when it was necessary. Then he got a new job and was going to have to travel. Bingo! My moment had arrived. I had laid the groundwork and now I could reap the harvest.

Having subscribed to every used car app available searching for a newer model Beetle, I waited. They became hard to find after Volkswagen stopped making them again. I knew that I would eventually find one, and I did. Thanks to my brother’s clever brain, my car has a name. I am now the proud driver of June Bug. She is a small brown Beetle that enables me to flit and fly all over town in cuteness and air conditioned comfort.

Perfection Shattered

It took less than a month for my illusion of vehicular bliss to crack. What began as just a small starburst in the corner, quickly spread. It seemed as though each time I glanced over at it, the line grew a bit longer. By the time I arrived home, it had spread to over half of the windshield. Thanks to Houston traffic I had a long time to ponder this new crack in my life.

Isn’t it always the way life works? We are just living our life and ping, here comes a bit of bad news, or even just a little something that throws us off our game. Our vision and line of sight is not quite the same. It becomes skewed by this change. Looking off in the distance is suddenly a little blurry. In the case of the windshield, I just had to move my focus just a bit. Move my eyes up or down to avoid the crack and I could see clearly again.

For many life right now is not merely a cracked windshield but life as it had been is shattered. Everything is jumbled confused and scary. There is no way to look through to a clear future. My heart breaks for each and every person for whom this is true. I have no platitudes, no pat answers that will make everything suddenly crystal clear. That is not how it works. But, if you can lean on God and concentrate on one tiny piece of glass in the shattered mess of life, that faith is all God needs to bring everything else back into focus. Like the mustard seed, all it takes is just one small thing to hold on to; just one piece at a time.

I’m getting a new windshield tomorrow. I pray that your tiny shard of glass becomes a shinning clear vision of what lies next for you.