Moon Cheese That Tastes Like Crow And Why I'm Not To Blame

 Original artwork by Estora Adams 

Original artwork by Estora Adams 

I'm currently sitting at a Starbucks listening to "I Like Big Butts, and I Cannot Lie" and splurging on Moon Cheese and a venti skinny breve mocha for supper (yes, I'm that person in line at Starbucks). I decided to get out of the house and be productive, and this is the only place open late enough for me to get anything accomplished. It's already been a hard day of adulting. I'm hoping this little venture goes more smoothly. You see, it has been one of those days when I've in some way screwed up everything I've done. Okay, maybe not everything, but the things that mattered.

I didn't even wake up until 1:40. That's P.M. for those of you who were wondering. I suppose that should have been my first clue that the cosmos was trying to spare me the frustration. My first ventures went well enough. I got a package and some letters off in the mail with only a little pain, and I came home with food for "lunch" to boot. (My kitchen is currently under the foot of clutter left behind by seven out of eight days of work.) Maybe I should blame it on the grub because things went downhill from there. 

Laundry to the laundromat. Forgot one of the big towels I had intended to wash, and we have only four of those, so back to get it. Oops, not enough quarters. Grab some of those, too. Back to the laundromat. Good thing it's only 100 yards away. Insert towel, insert quarters, and back to the camper to be productive for the thirty minute wash time. Clutter starts disappearing with the time, and before I know it, it's time to swap everything over to the dryers. Only the towels aren't done. They've not even started because I failed to push the quarter slider in to initiate the run. And at the bottom of the light clothes I find my car key. Shit. 

After confirming that the key no longer works, I go back to my three dimensional, real life game of Tetris. I'm pretty good at it, but I tend to get tunnel vision. Empty one drawer. Fill same drawer with different things. Move dog food bin 2.34 feet across walkway to different section of floor. Remove the water filter from the space between the bed and the wall and prep it to set up, slide the art supply caddy into said space. Cue the TV almost getting pulled off the wall but not before the hunny tries to warn me, and I more-or-less ignore him in my zeal to organize. That goat roping prompts one reaction then another, and the next thing I know Charlie is looking around the camper wondering why the hell it's so quiet because the hunny and I have both sulled up like possums.

As a matter of fact, he curled all the way up and went to sleep, and I finished the laundry and left for Starbucks. How stupid is that?

I know his frustration wasn't directed at me. Well, mostly it wasn't directed at me. Mostly it was a product of a horrible week followed by one disappointment after another topped with a cherry of stupidity. And my reaction wasn't a product of anything he did but of a series of screw-ups on my part that could have been prevented if I had just slowed down and paid attention to what was going on--something he frequently has to remind me to do. 

And now here we are, apart on a Friday night, wasting precious time. We should be snuggled up with Charlie watching a movie or exchanging thoughts about some topic just covered in the news or eating a good dinner. My moon cheese tastes a bit too much like crow.

Life is too short for this, but I can't fix it right now. What I can do, though, is learn from it. I really do need to slow down and pay attention. Eventually I'll actually learn this lesson and move on to the next one. In the mean time, I'll work hard at owning only my half of the reactions. Those are all I can control. For most of my adult life I carried the guilt of other people's reactions on my own shoulders. If only I had done this or hadn't done that, something different would have resulted. Time wouldn't have been wasted. This person would be happier. That thing wouldn't have happened. Surely I had the power to change the course of events. Now I see how ridiculous that sounds. Something as simple as a book helped me more or less get past that way of thinking. 

If you haven't read Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements, please consider doing so. As corny as this sounds, it literally changed my life by shedding light on some ways of thinking that were causing me a great deal of pain. Agreement number two is "Don't take anything personally." I'll let you read what the author has to say to elucidate that point, but it's clear enough as it is. To think that I have the power to ruin a day or to make it is egotism at its best. I only have power over my own response to events--my own thoughts, my own actions. Everyone else's responses belong to them and them alone. 

There was a time when right now, in the aftermath of this afternoon, I would be wallowing in guilt. The entirety of the lost evening would lie on my shoulders, a heavy weight pulling at me and leading to a never-ending barrage of self-blame from that voice in my head. Tonight, I realize that it is what it is. The blame is not mine, nor is it my hunny's. There is no blame. There is only a lesson to be learned and time not to be lost in the future. 

*****

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        Unless otherwise noted, all material--written, photographic, and artistic--is the original work of Estora Adams. All rights reserved.