Are you still eating leftovers? Turkey soup, maybe? Turkey sandwiches? I didn’t really have any turkey on Thanksgiving since I was too full by the time there was room on my plate. I’m calling this post a “hash” because it’s got a little bit of everything in it. Yes, I’m telling you right up front that there is no real objective or direction for this post. It’s going to be another rambler. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.
Inspiration on I-85
I didn’t listen to music most of the drive to and from Virginia last week. I had decided that this was a great opportunity to listen to some podcasts and an audible book or two. I started the drive to Newport News on Friday with Brené Brown’s podcast episode featuring Dolly Parton. I’ve never been what you might call a big fan of Dolly Parton or even country music, but I’ve heard so much about her recently that I was curious. I already knew about Dollywood and her foundation that provides books to children all over the world, and of course her music. Then I heard about how she helped fund a vaccine for COVID-19, and then the more I heard the more I wanted to know. She has a new book out, a coffee table book called Songteller, about her songs and how each one came to be and I decided to put this book on my wish list just in case either of my kids asks what I want for Christmas.
Once that podcast was over, the rest of the trip to Virginia I listened to Matthew McConoughey read his new book Greenlights. Once again, I enjoy his movies but I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily a huge fan of his. But he has inspired me to dig out my journals. My life has been nothing like his and it’s not like I’m going to become a best-selling author or actor, but just like he discovered with his old journals, I’ve got stories to tell. I wish I had written more consistently throughout my life so far. I don’t have anything older than my first year of college and wish I did. I wish I remembered more specific moments and events growing up in Panamá.
On the trip home I listened to Barrack Obama read his memoir, A Promised Land. I’m barely half-way through and when I reached Greenville he hadn’t been elected president yet, but I am really enjoying it. I’ve learned a lot about the man. Kinda feel like I need to take another road trip so I can keep listening. Either that or start crocheting again so I can listen to it while I work on a project.
These three people have inspired me to keep writing, keep working, keep moving forward; do something with all the thoughts and feelings that have brought me to this point. I’m going to go through my journals not just for stories to tell but to see what I can learn about myself. I’m sure I’m going to find many occasions when I was trying to tell myself something but I wasn’t listening. I know I don’t have to go back very far to find examples of that (there’s probably plenty of that right here on this blog).
Have you ever wondered whether you’re having a one-sided conversation? I’m sure there are plenty of people who have felt that way when trying to converse with me. I’m typically not the one to initiate a conversation, whether it’s with a stranger or someone I know very well. That doesn’t mean I’ve never started a discussion, but if you know me you know what I’m talking about. And when I am part of a conversation, specially if there are more than three people participating, I’m going to be mostly listening.
For the last few months I’ve felt like I ‘m in the middle of a one-sided conversation. I’ve been talking and talking and it doesn’t seem like there’s anyone listening. I’m not just talking (writing, really) too much, I’m also wondering too much. I’m curious as to what he’s doing, how he’s doing, and where he’s doing whatever he’s doing. Am I turning into a stalker? Have I already? I don’t want to be one of those ex-wives who can’t let go.
We’ve just passed the six-month mark. Time to file. Wow. Time flies. I can’t say that I’m still in a state of disbelief, because by now I’ve gotten used to the idea. I’ve even gone out on a date. But it still feels strange to refer to him as “my ex.” These six months have been incredibly hard. Losing my dad on top of everything else felt like the final blow that would bring me to my knees for good. But I got up. Again.
I started decorating for Christmas this week and the first step was deciding about a Christmas tree. We haven’t put up a tree in a few years, using smaller trees and other decorations to set the mood. I didn’t bring any of those with me though, and after going through what I did bring, I decided I wanted a tree this year. I found one that I think will suit the space without spending a fortune and ordered it from Amazon last week. As I was sitting at my desk working last Wednesday I received a notification that the post office had attempted delivery but didn’t have a “secure location” to leave my package. This was news to me since plenty of packages have been delivered to the building by both the post office and UPS since I’ve been here. So I arranged for a re-delivery on Friday. No package Friday, or Saturday, or today when I did see the mail truck making deliveries to my building. Sigh. I wanted one of the “happy moments” referred to in this week’s bloom to be decorating the Christmas tree. Guess that happy moment will have to wait a little bit longer. In the meantime I have had good thoughts and happy moments with kind people. (I did say earlier I went on a date, remember? 🙂 )