tuesday topics: three. ways to deny yourself

May 16, 2017

so this isn't about denying yourself things, like cutting back on coca-cola intake (i was doing really good with that one... was down to one a day... and now i'm back to three. GAH) or not buying all the books every time you walk into a bookstore (not that i could) or not seeing the very first showing of a long-anticipated film but waiting until the thing was on netflix. this is about getting out of our own way so we can go after the things we want, about thinking of ourselves less so that we can be more.

one. the past is a predator. this is the worst one for me. it's the avalanche that crushes me just when i've found the perfect view, the quicksand i trip into when i think i've found solid ground. i spent a saturday cheering on those incredible people who chose to participate in the woodlands' ironman competition. i was enjoying myself. and then some guy i knew from high school, one who'd humiliated me on a school bus during my junior year about a particularly tragic event that had occurred that previous summer, approached me to say hello, to visit. he'd been happy to see me. i was not happy to see him. i lost all of the exuberance i'd felt. i looked, felt and behaved like a bitch because he'd been horribly unkind to me thirty fucking years ago. i could've, should've shoved those memories aside -- forgiving, not forgetting -- taken the high road and been gracious. i'm not the better person in that scenario. and worse, when he asked me if i'd remembered him, i had to insist that yes, i knew who he was, he was that boy who'd humiliated me on a school bus. and of course, he looked taken aback and said that he didn't remember. of course he didn't. why should he? it's juvenile antics from THIRTY YEARS AGO. he's lived a lifetime since. i should be doing that, too.

and i am not that girl anymore. not really. not until the past rears it hideous head.

the memories that will come to mind from that day... that one will rise quicker to the surface than any other. by allowing the past to thrive in my present, i'm perpetuating the past into my future, so i can never be free of it. unless i make a conscious effort to cut the ties it strives to tangle around today.

two. do the things you detest. because guess what? someone else detests doing them, too! like moving from a townhouse to a second-floor apartment less than half-a-mile away. a friend's doing that, and she'll be doing much of the work herself. sure, she's hired some guys to move the furniture, the things she can't carry. but the rest... she'd rented a u-haul van and spent yesterday lugging things to and fro. i didn't want to help. i've moved more times in my life than i could possibly count, so i'm well aware of how much it sucks ass. i had absolutely no interest in helping her, but i did. the two of us accomplished in an hour what would've taken her more like three to do by herself. it was one hour of my time. i'm sorer today because of it, which i don't mind because my muscles are telling me i did good.

three. be present. i spent yesterday evening watching a friend's son play a (blatantly, ridiculously rigged) game of baseball; the winner of this game would determine who competed in the championships. his team was up nine to two in the fourth inning, and then all of the sudden the umpires began making all kinds of crazy calls. like the one where my friend's son was squatting on home plate with the ball in his glove as the runner crossed, the ump called the runner safe, and the son twisted, turned a baffled glare to the umpire, held up the glove with the ball smack in the center of it as if to say what the hell? and still the ump said safe. and that was the first i'd noticed of what was a slew of shitty calls. why was that the first one? because my friend and i'd been bitching to each other about the drama, much of it familial, we'd encountered since i'd last seen her. we should've been paying attention to the boy's performance (because he'd been pitching well... the kid's a natural for the game... pun intended). anyway... we tuned in now and again. and then all the sudden it was nine to eight, in what should've been the last inning. somehow we'd missed six runs by the opposing team. not that they could bat worth a damn. they were horrible at that. they got on base because the umps were declaring strikes to be balls instead (we caught a couple of those calls), and because they were stealing bases.

so it's nine to eight, and my friend's son strikes someone out at first, which would've ended the game, should've ended the game. but the field umpire, who'd originally declared the game over, changed his mind (after all the kids had left the field) and so there was some intense debate between the coaches and... it was UGLY yall. so that call got reversed, a run counted so the game was tied up. the rival team was at bat again and got two more runs. and then the son's team was at bat. the son stole home (YAY). two more batters got on base. a third whacked the ball to second, and all three of those boys crossed home plate. thirteen to eleven. game over. that one play was a beautiful thing to see. imagine how many others like that i could've witnessed if i'd been WATCHING THE GAME instead of running my mouth.

1 comment :

  1. I love this post. So much. I remember all of those memories, too--the ones I should tuck back into the far corners of my mind and put the damn lid on, set it and forget it, and yet... I can't. Some memories--especially the painful ones like the school bus memory you mentioned, well, they just stick with us.

    UGH, and ain't that the sh*t that this guy doesn't even KNOW what you're talking about?! GAH!!!

    You have a beautiful way of writing and weaving your words together, my dear <3

    and you are a wonderful friend for helping your friend to move. MOVING SUCKS BALLS, but having someone there to help makes it a much more pleasant experience.