I'm trying to keep busy to avoid thinking. There are so many things going on in my life right now that I just can't wrap my mind around. Nothing I can "talk" about yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to know I promise. I was filling out a questionnaire recently that asked me "What is a normal day like for you." I had to really think about that. I don't know what 'normal' looks like any more. Going to the gym is about the only 'normal' thing I've done in the last 3 months, and that certainly is out of the norm of who I USED to be. I'd never even stepped INTO a gym before Jan 17. Now, it would be really difficult for me to stop. I truly would like to be there every day. The only time I'm really happy and content is when I'm neck deep in water and trying to remember the next pose in the sequence I'm working on to achieve a total workout for myself.
Nobody else would look at me and say "wow, you're looking great" but I say it to myself. Of course I'm the only one seeing me naked. So far. Ba bum bum. I feel different. In almost every way. I haven't cried in almost a month. For the last eight years, I can't remember a week that went by that I didn't break down. I don't know if that means that I'm getting stronger, or that I've finally eliminated the stressors in my life...or maybe a combo. I know that I don't intend to ever take a step back. I allow myself to get mad at people I care about now. I never used to do that. I could always hear my dad's voice saying, "what if you never see them again" and I would suck it up and say "never mind" and let it slide. Now, if they die before we make up, I'm just going to have to hope that I've made it obvious to them that I love them deeply, and THAT is why their actions CAN make me so damned mad. And that I love them no matter what. Even if they did so something hurtful or stupid or mean or...the list is long I'm finding out. And, as it used to, decades ago, my anger flares up like a match and then it dies away as quickly as it flares. Unlike when I've held it in and it stayed smoldering until it came out my eyes as tears.
One "normal day" found me headed to Cullman to pick up four pigeons to keep them from being barbecued. Another "normal" one was spent in Atlanta with a new friend looking at his maps of Alabama in 1854 and realizing that politics was as screwy back then as now (long story, but the entire layout of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi are the result of a whole lot of back room dealings between governors, landowners and surveyors. Few in the best interest of either state.)
It seemed totally "normal" to go on a "breakfast date" with a sweet 75 year old man who had recently lost his wife and was lonely. Mutual friends asked if I would and I said yes. That wasn't even my first date either, and I'm slipping that in here so I can say later that "I told you" and then point to it. I know y'all never really read this stuff. If you did you'd reply here instead of "liking" it on Facebook. Harrumph.
A couple of "normal days" found me actually sitting here at the computer and working on my latest passion, a how- to for beginners wanting to try exercising in the pool. It's done such wonders for me, I think everyone should do it. If you live anywhere near me, just ask and I'll take you with me one day and put you through the motions. See if you don't fall in love too (You didn't ask, but I didn't, on either date, just so you know. I'm not sure I can. Time will tell I guess).
It has also become "normal" for me to laugh at myself. A lot. My mind is so filled and so rattled right now that I'm making really stupid mistakes. Nothing life-threatening yet, but I felt like an absolute fool yesterday being within a mile of a place I had been to a dozen times and couldn't get myself off the interstate at the right exit. I swear they moved those signs. I SWEAR. Three times I drove by the exit. Three. I was only twenty minutes late. *sigh*
Last week I got out of the shower without rinsing the shampoo out of my hair. Didn't realize it until I went to shake out my curls and....ewwww. I was already dressed. Had to undress and get back in the shower. Very little laughing at myself that time. I let myself be angry at me and call myself a dumbass. Which everyone who knows me realizes is my favorite term of endearment for those they love the most.
And yes, finally, for probably the first time in my life, I actually do love myself. Better still, I like me. I never have before. Mainly because I've never been this "me" before. I've seen glimpses of me over the years, and I liked her, but I never stayed for long. Someone or something would push me back into a mold...or try to...and since tears make a great lubricant, I acquiesced and there that glimpse of me would go.
There are still things I won't do. Not even this new "hippie chick" me. But, there aren't a lot. I think I've erased my fear gene. Once you've looked so many demons in the eye over a short period of time, there doesn't seem to be a lot left to fear. I'm not afraid of dying. I wish I didn't have to be there when it happens, but I'm not afraid of it. I'm not afraid of what comes after, admittedly a little cautious about the whole "during" thing, but after a year of cancer treatments, knee replacement gone awry and all of the emotional pain I've suffered in the last five years, even pain doesn't hold the threat over me that it used to. Been there done that. *shrug* I don't want to see people I love go away, but pretty much everyone I've ever loved has in some way or the other gone away at some point, for some reason, in some manner. And look at me. Still breathing. So, as much as I would hate it, if it happens, I know I will keep going. As long as I'm given breath. My therapist would be proud. I have her to thank for a lot of this new "normalcy." She pointed me in the right direction, but I had to find the way myself. And, judging by my drama yesterday on the interstate, I'm lucky that I made it. Last week during one of the worst thunder/lightning storms we've had in a long time, I was out on my balcony, naked, in the rain, being lit up by lightning flashes and feeling the boards under my feet trembling with the depth of the thunder rolls. If you try to have me committed I will swear it didn't really happen (but it did.) If I'd been struck by one of those bolts, I would have died totally and completely happy.
When I stood on that beach and screamed over the waves at the universe that it had not broken me, I don't know what touched my soul, but something did. And I am forever grateful. It released me from so much anger, hurt, feelings of betrayal, pain, and desolation. But, it does mean that I have a really hard time filling out questionnaires now. Even the ones with really simple questions like "Describe a normal day in your life."
I'm thinking about getting a name change. Abby Normal. That's Ms. Normal to some of you!
THAT'S MY STORY
I've never been normal. I've never tried to be. I can't imagine anything more boring.
I am an Amazon affiliate.
Clicking on this ad for my
first novel, Behind the Grey,
will take you to
where you can not only purchase a copy of the book,
but I will get a commission
of anything else
you purchase. Win win.