Ahhh, April

In a few days (and, truly, I don't know exactly which day--kick that Freudian football around a bit, why don't you) it will be the anniversary of our move east...at least, mine and the kids, because the H, as friends and loyal readers may remember, stayed behind in L.A. a bit longer to finish recovering from back surgery. Meanwhile,the kidlets and I decamped, along with our former nanny and her son, both of whom saved my a** for ten days while we got moved in, kind of unpacked, and a tiny bit settled. I could write reams about the glorious Ruth, my dear friend, the best person I know, the woman who taught me how to be patient and light with children (not that I always succeed, but boy oh boy, did she show me how. ) But I'll save that for another time. Tonight, stuck at home thanks to sick (again!!) girl and under-deadline H, when I should be here, with my dear friend, I am thinking about some other things.

Lately, I've been thinking, a lot, about the way I live my life. Not, like, where I buy my groceries, which jeans I am comfortable wearing, what magazines I buy subscriptions to versus those I only buy on the newsstand, why I love lipstick and white cotton shirts or why I feel ok about letting my daughter paint her finger and toe nails, but the way I move through my life and specifically about the way I relate to time, and to the people I consider my loved ones and friends.

A few weeks ago, the lovely Rebecca and I arranged a massage date at our local yoga retreat/spa/new age academy--a place where, as my mother in law said when I took her there last month during her visit (and I might be getting this wrong, because I think what she said was more incisive) you could immerse yourself in the "muck of metaphysics", and where, she observed, it became clear that all the people into the same stuff look kind of the same all over (she is way into that stuff, so she wasn't being snarky or judgmental, just observant.) Our kids were off school, so we had a sort of complicated transaction arranged whereby her kids and their sitter would come to my house, hang out with my kids and Vous, R and I would dash back to Lenox for our massages, and so on. She was a little late getting here and when she arrived, I was immersed in something (I don't remember what) in my office, didn't have on my shoes or sweater or coat (for you Angelenos, you need outerwear to go out here--really!) and I felt a big need to drag her up to the third floor to show her the new chairs in my office. All of this took time. She was kindly stressed, wanting to leave but trying not to make a big deal of it, and I was blase--"We can get there in 25 minutes, no problem."

When we finally left, I noticed that I was driving a lot faster than she was (we went separately, for reasons that aren't worth mentioning, but it was important at the time) and I also noticed that no matter what, we were, in fact, going to be ten minutes late. Parking at Kripalu is a nightmare, and you have to sign in, get upstairs to the massage area, and so on. My phone rang as I was nearing the parking lot. It was Rebecca: "Of course you can get there in 25 minutes! You drive like a bat out of hell! [she probably said something more original that that, because she's an original thinker, a think-on-your-toes, always-find-the-right-comment kind of girl.] Do you always make yourself late to massages, so you can be as stressed as possible when you go in?" She was laughing as she said it, and seemed less angry than bemusedly annoyed, but that last part stopped my brain dead in its willful little tracks, and started a chain reaction that is still unfolding.

Stay tuned for Part 2, "You go about in pity for yourself..."


goodfellow said...

sounds familiar; I do the same. when I examine why I do it, it is a lack of commitment on my part -- I am not into it wholeheartedly, or it is something I want, but don't believe is really going to happen, don't believe I really deserve...does that make any sense? Plus, I went to a high school with no classes -- I learned how long I could leave things, learned that I function better under pressure. It is a bit of machismo too.

Have to say, that I am dying of jealousy that you get to have massages and toes done. I am embarrassed to admit the last time I had my hair done was in...JULY. I can't seem to organize child care here (a sitter is now $20/hr -- maybe those are prices in large metropolises, but back home, it was $5 to $7/hr ). Or maybe I balk at doing these things for myself because I don't feel I deserve them -- I don't bat an eye at buying snazzy Italian shoes for the kids, but for me... well, let's just say, I don't have any (and I loved the Spanish ones you posted).

I am very curious about where your self-examination leads you --

Eagerly awaiting your post (and back to folding laundry it is for me!) -

rebecca said...

WAIT A MINUTE. *I* thought that whole scene was about *my* neurotic need to be on time, my inability to let go be in the moment and enjoy what's in front of me, and apparent need to make people crazy over MAKING IT ON TIME TO THE MASSAGE APPOINTMENT, BECAUSE I NEED TO RELAX, DAMMIT, AND I WANT MY FULL FIFTY MINUTES WHAT'S COMING TO ME!!!!

But it was really about you? Phew. I don't self-examine more than I have to! (once a month, in the shower, just after my period...)