The radiator jingles like a tambourine this morning.
OK, folks, I bought a salad spinner so I can make salads at home and bring them to work instead of buying $8 salads every day from the tossed place. This in an effort to slim down my spending.
Also, luckily, I simply can't buy any more clothes because I don't have room for anything new in my drawers. The armoire I've dubbed my "casual closet" because it contains the jeans, capris, tee shirts and hoodies, and yoga pants.
My love of organizing energizes and calms me at once. Would love to be a professional organizer when I retire, just one of the things I'm passionate about.
I've settled on Old Pickup Blue to paint the living room, hopefully I can do this in February or March.
Just three full months until I know whether I'm staying here another three years or moving out. All roads lead to staying here and painting the living room.
A friend came over yesterday and I cooked us tilapia with lemon herb sauce. It was a good dinner. We explored the shops and I confess I bought a great pair of athletic pants to wear when I run errands or go to the gym. They were cropped and I wouldn't have to hem them, so I felt I'd better snap them up, plus they were attractive.
So after this, no more purchases, I aim to conserve cash like I'm sure everyone wants to do in this economy. I hear we may get another tax rebate and if so, I use it to travel in June or pay the literary attorney when I sign the book contract.
Really can't consider moving out of this apartment in July, even though I want to. Staying here would allow me to save up more money towards the down payment on a co-op in three years.
You take it as it comes and roll with the punches, lie low until the opportunity is right to make a change. I told my friend life could change on a dime though right now, as of January 12, 2009, I can't see anything different happening to enable me to move out of here.
"You have a beautiful apartment," she reminded me.
And so I paint the living room Old Pickup Blue to enjoy the space while I'm here.
What does it matter? It matters to me.
I've begun working on my second book. I would also like to write a third book.
Yet now I want to walk away from it all, from the advocacy, from the endless focus on SZ, I want to be recognized and given credit for my other talents, like decorating an apartment, like organizing, like doing board work, having a job. Because I want to talk about my passions, about real life, not about the hell, not about the pain.
At my New Year's Eve party, I lifted my champagne glass to toast K, telling her that her forties would be the best years of her life. The tide could turn at any moment for all of us. Wasn't there a book titled, "How Much Joy Can You Stand?" What would happen if we had ongoing, unadulterated joy?
It would make the hell that much more bearable.
This is my ultimate goal: to give you joy, as much happiness as I can infect others with, too much joy to counteract the sorrow. Because who am I kidding, I'm well-known in the mental health field and I'm not going to walk away, tempting as it is.
Do you see what I'm getting at? The idea that there's more to life than the diagnosis. It's true "the only way out is through" yet I'd rather talk about music and fashion and the things and people I love.
A woman told me I have a refreshing point of view. It is a world view filtered through the lens of my recovery because my ethic is also that between me and the SZ, I'm going to be the last one standing. So because I'm willing to cheerfully duke it out that's how I've come about this tendency to look on the bright side.
Would you like me to tell you exactly what happened on that night in 1987? You'll have to read my memoir, Left of the Dial, for details.
Yesterday my friend and I sat at the dining table, with the good dinnerware and the stemless wine glasses, and the intricate flatware, eating the tilapia and talking. And I told her, "How many people cross over and come back? Don't you feel grateful that you came back?" And she understood I couldn't minimize what we'd gone through, what any of us go through, what you went through or anyone struggled with.
Yet because I'm here, still standing, it is a victory to live just for today where I am, relatively free of the worry, an ordinary person going about her life.
You get only one life in which to please your soul, only this one, so make it a good one before the next life comes around and you're somebody else with other blues.
Katherine Hepburn is quoted, "You cannot change the music of your soul." My soul's music is a song of better days, always hopeful. Though right now things are in a holding pattern, I'm determined to maintain a positive spirit because keeping the faith lightens one's load and being pessimistic is a negative, burdensome energy.
You can choose to see the glass as half full even when you're not convinced it is, and that will determine how feel about your situation, and it will give you hope when there's no evidence that things will turn out for the best.
Do you see what I'm getting at? I don't doubt it's hard, each of us takes The Hardest Walk every day when she wakes up in the morning and goes outside to greet the new day. The Hardest Walk yields the greatest benefits. You place one foot in front of the other, you walk down the road in your blue shoes, and every day you get halfway there, and the getting there is the reward, because when the end of the road comes, that's the end. Am I saying that life is a road we walk that has no destination?
Yes, recovery is a process, not an endpoint, as it's often said, and recovery is the journey down life's road to self-acceptance and happiness and peace. You recover when you're true to yourself, that is, you discover yourself through recovery and you recover by discovering yourself.
I would rather read about the person, what she likes and dislikes, his goals and dreams, if red is her favorite color, if his violet eyes turn gray when he wears a certain color shirt, and so on. Now you get the picture.
For the record:
Green is my favorite color.
I drank three beers and danced on the kitchen table at my friend's house when I was in my twenties.
A third pile of books is stacking up on the floor in my living room in front of the bookcase. I love books, books, books.
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