Friday, February 28, 2014

Tired-ish, maybe? A little?

As a kid, there were things that my parents (like all parents) instilled in me without ever saying them out loud, things me and my sibs soaked in just from seeing the way they were in their lives. One of them is that my parents never, and I mean never, talked about being tired. I do not know if this is a cultural thing, or if it is an immigrant thing, or if it is a generational thing, or if it is just a them thing, but the words "I'm tired" never passed their lips. I remember when I was little my dad was working three jobs and I would see him at night when he got home from one and got ready to go to another and my mom had been with the four rugrats all the live long day. You know they were wrung OUT. But they never said it. They didn't even act it. At least not that I ever saw. Now, as a grown ass woman myself, I realize that I have inherited this No T-Word Policy. I do not like to talk about how tired I am, and if I do mention it, I always feel a little icky about it. My siblings are the exact same way. Which feels odd sometimes because I don't know if you have noticed but people really like to talk a lot about how tired they are. Tired, exhausted, in need of recharging- these are big topics of conversation. And the more people talk about how tired they are, the more I want to distance myself from saying that I am tired too. Intellectually, I don't think either way is good or bad. You could argue that I am a bottled up tired bomb and I need to express myself before I mess myself. Probably true. I just always have this feeling though, like, even at my most tired, I am really, in the grand scheme of things, actually not that tired. I am not in a brand new country trying to support a family. I have a cushy couch to sit on. I have a house with extra rooms in it so no one has to be crammed together. Nordic Boy is no help on this score because he grew up poor (he used to sleep on a stair landing- no bed at all- as a child like Harry Frigging Potter) and has no "I'm tired" statements to make either. I remember when my dad died, my saying the words "I'm so tired" to Delium felt like the biggest cathartic statement in the world to me. That's because I am very comfortable with "I'm sad." I'm also good with "this sucks." But "I'm tired"? WHOA WHOA WHOA PEOPLE. So I don't know. Having perspective and an awareness of your privilege is good. But expressing yourself is good too. I guess the answer lies, as it so often does, somewhere in the middle. So maybe I should try to let this go a little bit.

Let's practice.

I had a horrible trip this month, which has capped off a horrible year before that. I'm tired.

(Erg, no I'm not).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Two week blergness

Is this thing still on?

I have been away from the bloggie because I have been away from home for the last couple of weeks doing something super not fun. I don't want to get into the details of not funness but suffice it to say that it involved travel, and a sick loved one, and hospitals, and the whole thing from beginning to end was awful. Sorry to be mysterious, but talking about it will just give me the voms at this point.

Instead, I shall talk around it by giving you some various thoughts I had over the past two weeks, without context. Wheee!

1. I have somehow avoided travel to cold climates in winter for many years now, and had forgotten what zero degrees feels like. MOTHERCRACKER zero degrees is not even RIGHT. It burns your lungs, and makes it feel like you have icicles in your nostrils, and it shrinks up your ballsack even if you do not have a ballsack. I remember that when I first moved to Seattle, I told people it was because I couldn't stand one more winter, and I had forgotten that I was actually telling the truth. Cold. YEE-ICK.

2. I was standing in the ICU while some serious shit was going down and I noticed that the ICU muzak was playing "My Heart Will Go On." Am I wrong or should that song not be played in the ICU, ever? Like, ever, ever? Majorly inappropes, dudes.

3. I didn't have time to read, look at tv, listen to music ("My Heart Will Go On" notwithstanding), or get any news for 10 days. I now feel like I am coming out of a bubble. Olympics what now?

4. Hospitals are food deserts, at least this one was. That cafeteria had all kinds of soda and candy but fruit? Not so much. One day there they actually stocked some yogurt cups and I almost cried.

I have been thinking about help. What do you do when someone you know needs help? Like, not just easy help. The kind of help that is inconvenient, where you may actually have to make some effort, go out of your way, make a sacrifice? Do you hesitate? Do you say "I wish I could do more, but..." I was talking to someone yesterday about how I was surprised at how few of the people around this current situation had made a big effort, and the person said back to me "well, I can understand people not feeling comfortable with that." Not feeling comfortable helping? Not feeling comfortable getting involved? Are we really that way? Afraid to get involved, even with the people we love? This makes me profoundly sad.

Today my loved one was in a compromising situation, and I am already back in Seattle and not there to help. I reached out to my pal Alli, who is a well-known helper in my life, to see if she had any ideas on what to do. She told her mother-in-law about it, and her mother-in-law is now on her way to my loved ones house to help. This woman doesn't even really know me, and has never met my loved one in her life. But she is showing up, inconveniencing herself, getting involved. Don't you just love that woman? Don't you just want to BE that woman? Next time you think you can help someone, think of Alli's mom-in-law and please just do it, even if it's messy, inconvenient, or intimidating. Isn't that the world we want to live in?

Thursday, February 06, 2014

We're Going

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up, grabbed my phone, and looked at my blog reader. One of the things settled in there, like a glowing taunt on the screen, was a little article about the fact that Baryshnikov was going to be doing a run of a recent show that he produced and starred in in California. I had read reviews of this show, and was fascinated with it in a way that I can only describe as an ache. Chekhov short story? Yes, please. Dance? Come on, who you talking to. Innovative staging? Yeah, buddy. Elements of film, music, and visual art, all woven together? Gimme. Themes of love and loneliness? YOU SPEAKETH MY LANGUAGE. Add freaking Baryshnikov to the whole thing? It is really too much. Too much!

I handed the phone to Nordic Boy and made some sort of whiney remark, and then we got out of bed, got ready for work, and went. It was a cold (ok, I know, east coast and midwest, I KNOW it's not that cold), soggy, sloggy week. I just felt drenched and clammy, physically and otherwise.

A few hours after I saw that article, Nordic Boy rang me up while I sat desoggifying in my office. "That show? In California? We're GOING," he said. Plane tickets, show tickets, done.Whu-hutt!! 

That very weekend, we jumped on that plane, we busted out into some glorious, delicious California sunshine (no coats!), we wandered around Berkeley, had a lovely dinner, and then went to the show. Front row, even!

I have had the privilege of seeing Baryshnikov perform in person many times in my life, as a child, as a teen, as an adult. I've even had the (absolutely nutso) privilege of having him see me dance one time during a rehearsal of a show he was affiliated with, once upon a time in a life that doesn't seem like mine. So aside from the brilliance of the show (and it truly honestly for realsies was brilliant), I have a lot of personal nostalgic stuff all deep in my guts for that guy. Add onto that that my dad loved Chekhov stories. Add onto that that my sweet fella looked at me so tender as the lights went down at the start of the show. There were several moments that made me cry, a lot, during that show, because my feels were so feelsy. Too much.

After the show, we strolled the streets and then had drinks at the hotel bar and talked and talked about what we'd just seen. If there is something that's better than seeing good art and then gabbing about it with Nordic Boy, I don't know what it is.

The entire trip just makes me think about the things we talk ourselves out of doing. Granted, not everyone can afford to do shit like that, and we can't afford to do it much either, but this time, instead of saying no, Nordic Boy helped me to say yes. And it was a weekend that I'll remember forever. Art and love, my two favorite things. Perfection.