Goddess of my Galaxy
I thought about my own card and letter, which I do every year. It was really important for me not to complain about what a shit year this was, even though I thought my mother might die at one point. I also chose the photos for my Christmas card, like the one where we are dressed up for an online party, because I guess my overarching theme, soon to be a book, is make LEMONADE No one wants to read the Christmas letter or the book where people fail and give up. The fun is in the struggle, and through a healthy dose of denial, things work out in the end and all you had to do was live through it. Everyone fails.
I took surfing lessons and maybe stood up for three seconds that if you took a photo at that moment, it might look like I was surfing. That happened once in an hour. I kept paddling out, waiting for a wave, trying to push up on the board and get my feet under me (I am not petite nor am a light), I would semi-stand or even fall right off before I got up. I would grab the board and go out again. After doing this a dozen times, I realized that my arms were now too tired to even get me to standing on the board, and then my hour was up. Kevin was amazed, not because I stood up once, but that after repeatedly failing, I just kept trying until my middle-aged body said uncle. I know this is a motivational meme in paragraph form, but the whole point was not to surf but to keep at it and not be discouraged by failure because I learned a little bit each time and got a little closer until fatigue set in. It didn't hurt that my "competition" was a 17-year-old boy, and the surfing instructor was older than me. I'm extremely competitive in these situations. I would be a failure to middle-aged women everywhere if I said, "No, thanks", and hid under the umbrella.
Spring is coming and I cleaned up my house because the first new people in about a year came over. Our neighbors come over regularly and sit on the patio. About Thanksgiving, there are two older women we know, both of whom live alone and don't do out, that we thought it was safe to have over for dinner. That's been our social life for the last year with no travel or visitors.
I'm in purge mode, and some of that comes through the need to restore order and sanity to my life and feel like I have control where I don't. I'm making my particular brand of OCD work for me. Some of it is habit: "It sure feels like spring so let me go through my cabinets and find shit to give away so I can feel like I've accomplished something." Some of it is the shrinking of my world to even less than my four walls because the guest room is being used as storage.
The wins are smaller because my universe is smaller - a 5000 sq. ft. plot in Indian River County, Florida. My Planet is a 1000 sq. ft house, with an orbit of a patio and now a shed in the backyard. Focusing on the plot has led to the need to maximize every bit of it. Creating a satellite in an 8 x 12 shed was like a mission to Mars. A new place to explore and hang that feels like another world, with a reclaimed ipe wood deck and barn door that swings open to reveal a flat-screen TV. It's certainly a world apart from the eyesore of the house and trashy neighbors we see from our front patio who do nothing but smoke and eat delivery food.
In an effort to become Goddess of this Galaxy, I go outside when I’m bored and pull weeds in an effort to exert control over chaos and lawlessness. I also get the steps in with my FatBit so it doesn't think I died. There have been those days. I think on my worst sick in bed body aches chemo Netflu bingewatch days my worst was 1200 steps, so when I'm at 1200 and it's 5pm, I had better get out there and pick up pinecones to pull weeds or re-arrange the driveway rocks which are shells and coral I have used to mark the driveway on either side of the curvet lest I wind up in the ditch (ask me how I know).
Since all we have is this plot, I become hyperfocused on the grounds. After having only the front patio, the lunar wasteland that is the the backyard starts to get some attention. After we moved all our crap from Connecticut this summer, I want a storage shed. ALL the storage sheds at the local home improvement stores and on the manufacturer's website. The pandemic has stopped trade with China and supply chains. This needs to happen.
New Year's Day we go and buy the supplies for the foundation, and get pavers for the footing. The footing s are placed, then the frame for the foundation and floor. The walls get framed and we discuss where the door will go. Then there's another door, and I fear my dream of getting all the stuff out of the house and into the new 8 x 12 house is shrinking as doors mean no shelves. We need to maximize our space. Even though it's become smaller in a way, the focus has made it larger - a big deal. The shed is done, and I'm still not sure it has the storage space we need, but it may serve another purpose. The external building gave us an escape, another place to go. So if we can't hang out inside it, we could hang outside of it. Our universe is expanding or at least we have two spaces of four walls.
And as soon as we expanded our little universe, blew the bubble bigger and created an oasis out back with vegetables, flowers, a coconut palm and a hang space, the world got larger around us started to expand. I went or a doctor for the first time in over a year. She gave me the prescription for the COVID-19 vaccine. And wrote me a scrip for a mammogram, and referred me to my new oncologist. What was supposed to be screenings every three months turned into 14 months, where my world contracted to a kitchen table then a plastic Charlie's Angels dolls' van, and then expanded to 5000 sq ft., and then I traveled 5 miles to see a doctor. I researched locations to get my COVID-19 vaccine and found only four in the State that would take me - two the in the Florida Panhandle and two in southern Florida.