Today was one of those days in which I’ll one day look back on and say, “You rocked! You totally handled things like a bad a**!” The thing is, I’ve always been able to get things done, when it’s time to get things done, but maybe the road there was easier. The route was paved and smooth with only soft pebbles and lush green grass to lie on. And sometimes the route is bumpy and sandstormy, with boulders and creatures. Either way – I still get to where I’m going to get. I just might have to work a lot more on the darkest path. Today I had the kids home (all week, in fact) and had a photoshoot. Luckily it was a vacant house (rare) so they could come along with me.
We got home, both of them bickering and whining, and we made lunch. Then I had a phone meeting – in which I was interrupted seven times and not only by kids. TWO people came to my door. TWO! I live in the woods! Then, we had the kids’ annual well physical at the doctor and that comes with its own emotional and financial and external stress. Then we came home to have a quick snack or dinner, and had a quick turnaround before a Grateful Dead movie at the movie theater. Des was my hero tonight, especially when he danced in the aisle like a Deadhead.
By the way, YOU will be my hero if you guess in the comments an actor people said Des looked like today. People guessed on Facebook and I think it took minutes for someone to nail it.
I used to get things done in a smoother fashion, but sometimes that’s just the way. Youth and vitality. Fewer responsibilities. No landmines that I’d yet stepped on. So of course it was easier to drive to NYC and back, and date men, and work, and maintain only minor anxiety, and only at minor times – which was hardly ever. And I did cool things then, and I can do cool things now, so it’s important to notice that on my list of 10 times in which I was my own hero (see below), some of them took place when I was a kid, some when I was a young(er) adult, and some are recent.
Did You Ever Know That You’re My Hero?
1 – This is a classic repeat. I was proud of it, and then recently embarrassed about it (because I was literally looking at the building during our CA trip last month) but now I’m proud of it again. So I worked for a lifecoach training institute in Marin (the story writes itself) and the employees were nuts. It was a hostile work environment, and after I got yelled out for taking a call from my own mom, I quit my job on my lunch break, and left a banana in the desk. I packed up my things discreetly, walked out into the blazing sunshine, and never went back there again.
2 – Once I was babysitting three kids and about four or five of their neighbors too. The baby was in his baby swing, and a full-grown BEAR walked right into the backyard. Didn’t even say hi! Luckily I was clear-headed and had the oldest kid gather all the littler ones and hustle them straight into the house while I calmly (with heart pounding, anyway) got the baby out of the swing and booked right inside. I certainly felt like a hero that day. I was only 17 then.
3 – Speaking of bears, we got my dream Samoyed when I was nine. Once during one of our many pool parties, I heard a high-pitched screaming that we all wrote off as our annoying neighbors, but it irked me. I climbed the rock hill down to the bottom of the fence and found my dog’s neck caught in a fence. The high-pitched noise was her screaming for her life. I ran to get my mom who gently eased her out before she broke her neck. Another time she was tied around a tree in the woods (not sure how she managed that) and it was pretty late at night.
4 – Speaking of which again, now we only have rescue pets. Last week was my birthday and we were catsitting for my friend’s kitten, and something online at our local shelter caught my eye. Yes, it was a cat. An unexpected birthday present I got myself. The shelter named her Aphrodite but we’re not in love with it and are thinking maybe Luna. She’s older than she looks, and has already given birth and lost a baby. She’s had a really hard start to life and spent many months in a cage getting medicine and shots. When the shelter found out we were taking her home, I think everyone there who has ever known her jumped for joy. She is special and unique.
5 – Way back when, my parents didn’t have a lot of money. My mom LOVES It’s a Wonderful Life. I believe the story is that it was on TV and my father taped it on VHS to give to my mom. I’m not sure if he ever gave it to her or if she found it hidden and waiting for her, after he had died. I never watched the movie myself and I’m not sure my mom could watch it either, for years. In high school, we decided to be brave and watch it together but we couldn’t find it. Anywhere.
After awhile my mom gave up but you could tell she was really down, thinking it lost forever. So I vowed to find it, whatever it took. I eventually did and held it behind my back, hiding a smile as I walked into her art closet. We watched it together and the combination of the movie itself, the story about my father, and thinking the tape lost made me sit on the couch and sob by myself.
6 – When Athena was a puppy, she got loose out in the rain. We live a long run from the busy street, but somehow she made it there – with us chasing her wildly in pursuit. She ran right into Route 66 and I was NOT having that. I ran out there like a beast, picked that giant puppy up, and held her over my shoulder. I walked all the way up the driveway like that with Scarlet running after me saying, “Mama, you’re a HERO. You’re a real HERO!” Maybe. Maybe I’m a beast.
7 – Des had to go to the NICU 48 hours after birth – in a blaring ambulance and all. It was TERRIBLE. He wound up being ok but for that week or so, I was his total warrior and advocate in the hospital. I was a machine – running on fumes. I’d look into his eyes and he’d look back into mine and I was radiating that love into him. Bonded for life, although it started before then.
8 – My ex and I used to love to go to NYC and one day we visited a sock store in St. Mark’s Place and the guy was a TOTAL tool to us! Just all around miserable – huffing and puffing and getting passive aggressive about a pair of socks my ex dropped. It got ugly. Finally I said loudly, “We should go..” And the guy said, “Good!” And then I said, “..because this guy SUCKS AT LIFE!” I swear I got applause from other customers in the store. Ex-customers. Yes, I was amazing.
9 – Scarlet really wanted Puppy Surprise, just like we had as kids. It was her first week of kindergarten, so I took Des for a drive to a toy store that might have it. I wanted to buy it early to surprise her for Christmas. We found it! On my way back home, I got a call from the school that my little girl had a fever – only a week into her first year of school ever!! My baby! I forgot about Puppy Surprise and raced to the school to find her waiting outside and looking really sad with her teacher. She got into the car and noticed Puppy Surprise and was SO HAPPY!
10 – Of course there was that time I chased a KKK member.. or did I? I’m linking that story here because it’s long. It’s a good story of knowing what we both should and shouldn’t do.
*We have past and present stories, but what about the future? I’d like to believe, and I DO believe, that my next big heroic move is out there and it’s looming. And I hope against hope that it’s going to make a large impact. My dreams are big. Always have been. Stay tuned.
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for another great prompt. This week’s topic is “I feel most like a hero when..” And there’s time to write yours. Link up your post HERE.