A year ago, if I wrote every eleven days, I was sticking a gold star on my head and calling it a day. Under my new set of goals, which I have kept more than I have abandoned, writing every 11 days is grounds for a swift kick. Embarrassing. Yet, that’s where we are. Sadder still, this post is going to smell like the bottom of your shoe.
Not that you care, but here’s my problem. When I’m chewing on something big or heavy, whether positive or negative, that thing sits like a boulder between me and a well written paragraph. With the boulder(s) sitting there, I have two options: (1) Write my way over or around the boulder, which is how I process my life, or, (2) Hurdle it, pretend it isn’t there, and write something else. If the boulder is not something I’m ready to discuss or not something I’m even able to discuss, Option 1 is immediately eliminated. I’m finding out that I’m not very good at hurdling and writing about something else. I’ve been on the same paragraph of a story from 1985 for a week now. Clearly my hurdles need some work.
My oldest boy is always on my mind when May rolls around. I’ve been very open about our adoption story and I’ve probably said the same thing 10 different times, changing a few words here or there. This year he’s on my mind more than usual, because he turns 18 this month and has some big things on the horizon. I lay awake at night lately, re-raising my children and worrying that I haven’t done enough. Certainly I haven’t. Usually, as I re-raise them while they sleep, the end result is the same. I don’t think a mulligan would help this time. Even my fantasy self, who runs rampant at 3 a.m., doesn’t parent as well as I want her to.
Two nights ago, I fell asleep at 10:30 and was feeling pretty good about that. I had planned it so that I’d get 7.5 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, my eyes snapped open at 1:59 a.m. and I was immediately thrust into panic mode. It was as if I’d heard a prowler in the house. From that point on, I worried about things as big as saving my children’s souls and as small as having forgotten to thaw the roast for the next night’s dinner. I got up to thaw the roast. That was one thing off the list.
After hours of tossing and turning, I fell back into a tortured sleep and had a dream. It was a stupid, non-sensical dream. In it, I was on a retreat by myself at a rustic campground. There were sections of tents, along with screened in cabins. There was also a strangely exotic shopping district right in the middle of everything. It was like having a sub-section of New York City dropped down into the middle of Cambodia. Of course I went shopping. I didn’t buy anything. And somewhere along the way, within 20 minutes of being on site, I lost my cell phone.
The rest of the dream is me wandering from site to site searching for my cell phone. I’m sure there is a messed up psychological component to this. I don’t want to know what it means. I wandered into the first cabin, which had dirt floors and rickety bunks lining the screen walls.
“Hey, I’m looking for an iPhone 7 plus with a white case,” I said. Only one girl looked up from what she was doing and she tossed a phone off her bunk at me. It landed on the dirt floor at my feet.
“Fine,” she said spitefully. “Just take it.” I picked it up and inspected it. The screen was shattered. My screen wasn’t shattered. Wait a minute. I don’t have a white case on my phone. This isn’t my phone. Some other schmo shattered his screen and left it to die in this cabin. I walked past the shopping district to the next cabin. It looked just like the one I had already searched. When I walked into this one, I took one step and sunk down to my waist in thick mud.
“What the heck?!” I shouted angrily. “Who is causing this mud?” Because that’s a normal question to ask. I tried to crane my neck around as I struggled to pull out of the mud and saw a man in his 40s running around with a garden hose, dousing the dirt floors until they were quick sand. “Stop making mud! I just want to find my phone. It’s an iPhone 7 with a pink and black case on it from Five Below!”
No one even looked at me in Cabin #2, which seemed surprising, given the fact that I was now covered 100% in mud and making a lot of noise about an iPhone. And the mud.
In cabin #3, I pulled back the covers on a stranger’s bunk and there sat my phone. Phew, I thought. I picked it up and took it with me, feeling relieved that the ordeal was over. I started back toward my own cabin to change clothes when I decided to make a call. I pulled the phone out of my front pocket only to discover it was an iPhone 6 with a purple and black case. Oh, good grief. What in the world.
At this point, I began to say to myself within the dream, “Wake up, Missy. Your phone is charging next to you on your nightstand.” But I couldn’t seem to wake myself out of this muddy, phoneless nightmare.
Then my alarm went off.
Better posts coming soon. First I gotta step over a boulder.