Christi Craig‘s post on Sunday Discoveries inspired my own post on things I found in my own house. Last week I had a yard sale, and in preparation for it I found some things. Lots of things, really. But I’ll mention three.
1.) The long lost bleach pen. I have a pair of stained white pants in my closet waiting for the day I find my bleach pen. There are just a few spots and don’t want to bleach to whole thing and ruin the colored part of the pants. Bad news is why bother having wearable white pants after Labor Day? I mean, wasn’t it Kathleen Turner who played the role of a woman so upset by another woman wearing white after Labor Day that she killed her? Best not to chance it. Worse is by the time Memorial Day rolls around, I will have lost the bleach pen again. Maybe then I’ll just suck it up and buy another one. Just like I do Scotch tape. I think I’m in possession of about 4000 rolls of tape due to my “sucking it up”.
2.) My Autumn garden flag. Unlike the bleach pen, this find is quite timely. I lost this flag when I moved to my house about eight years ago. I’ve been pouting about it since and not sucking it up and buying a new one and just doing without. Now I’m very happy.
3.) I found an old calendar. Sometimes I’ll buy a calendar of art or photographs that is too beautiful to throw out. Some I’ve cut my favorite months, framed and hung on the wall. The one I found is photographs of Provence, France. I had big plans for it—no wall space, but big plans, anyway—and shoved it away in a closet for the big plan day—otherwise known as the day of big plans, of which I have many.
Tree in lavender field. Provence, France. photo credit Brian Lawrence
Now if you’ve ever run across an old calendar it’s just as nostalgic as the scent of something from your past, a song from your childhood, or an old letter from your grandma. But this calendar isn’t that old. 2004. Seven years ago. Seven years ago didn’t seem like that long until I started flipping through the months.
February I had “off” written. Wow it seems so long ago that I used to work for a living. I feel like I’ve been writing my whole life. I almost forgot about that other life.
Flowerpot in window photo credit: Bruno Morandi
That same February I went to Hawaii. Ahh, pleasant memories. The following month we went to Disneyland and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, and by April, the memories of income and what I did to spend it came rushing back. The happiness I felt moments before turned to envy—of my own dang self—and I wanted my old financial security back. I wanted trips again, to Provence, in particularly.
Oh, but look, at the end of April was preschool open house. Preschool? Now my envy turned to tears as that little preschooler just started middle school.
I took another vacation in June, and in July, I celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary. Also in July I had laser eye surgery—the first of three. Ahh, the things money can buy—the gift of sight.
In August I had another vacation, this time to Oregon. (I got three weeks a year but accumulated some years.) August my little one went to kindergarten and my oldest to 8th grade.
The excitement continued, but when I finished poring over the entire year, I remembered something else about my past life. The year 2004 was two years before my back surgery. I’ll call that B.S. In B.S. I wasn’t a broken old lady. I didn’t have to make accommodations like I do now after surgery (A.S). I would not plan a trip to Disneyland now as I can’t stand for longer than a half hour. I can’t ride rides. A.S. I can’t do many, many things. And tragically, I can’t medicate due to reactions to almost every kind of medicine there is.
I flipped back through the months and lived those days over again and again, thinking how unpredictable life is, how I never in a million years could have predicted that I would take on a new persona, a new career path, a life of plotting and planning, not just on how to have the least pain-free day, but in my writing, which in 2004 was the furthest thing from my mind.
Naturally I would love to live with no pain or physical limitations, but I can’t complain too much. These days I’m doing something I feel I was born to do. Plus life is slower not working outside the home. The days go by faster but life is slower without competing in the “rat race” and worrying about my performance. I’m there for my kids. I can spot bleach my pants—or not—and I can enjoy the fruits of my labor, even if all I did that day was hang my Autumn flag.
Have you ever found something you thought you lost?
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