March Marathon of Giving

Day 2: Visiting the Neighbors

Unexpected reports to write and other work tasks take over from what was supposed to be a free day. My morning walk goes out the window- yoga practice consists of holding gritted teeth pose while breathing deep as more and more stuff to do piles up. Several times I wonder at the wisdom of committing publicly to a giving marathon. I question whether this is too personal a journey to write about publicly. I question my ability to follow through with the commitment I have made. I question why I’m so grumpy after such a cool day yesterday.

And then I realize I’m grumpy because things are spiraling out of control. And I have to acknowledge that in the business I am in, I’m already giving to others all the time. And I’m a mother. And dog owner.  It may have been smarter for me to launch a taking marathon.

If I am going to do this, I’ve got to balance things. And that means cutting myself a break. I decide I’ll visit my neighbors tomorrow. But just when I’m all set to vegetate for 30 minutes, my son comes home and asks if I can cut his hair. He’s 20. I haven’t cut his hair since he was six. I’ll give him this, but really it’s for me. I’ll create any positive bonding time I can with him as we’ve been at loggerheads lately. He’s a man-child transitioning and we’ve had a tough time with values clashing. He’s thankful for me cutting his hair but then bitches when I ask him for a 5 minute ride. I practice gritted teeth pose and breathe.

I go out for a bit and catch up with a friend I haven’t seen for months. I get to thank personally a few of the people who donated to CNOY18. That feels good. I come home early and crash because I’m exhausted. I wake up at 2:30 am, stay awake until 5 am and have nightmares from 5 am until 7:30 am. Life review nightmares, with control themes and me yelling , “Love is what matters!” I wake up wondering what the restaurant put in their pesto sauce.

Day 3: Finally Making it to The Neighbors

I meet a girlfriend in the morning for a walk. We go to a place I’ve never been before, it’s a gorgeous morning and I find a very cool new place to paddle. I’m grateful. I love new places to paddle 🙂

I’m supposed to go on a date in the evening. I text to ask when and where we’re meeting and the guy texts back a rather ungentlemanly reply as a ‘joke’. When I text back that his joke is insulting rather than funny, he proceeds to mansplain that I should know texting ‘is NOT communication’ (as he proceeds to use it to communicate how wrong I am for not laughing at his insulting joke), demeans me, is unapologetic, condescends and informs me he knows better about what women are okay with than I do.  He manages to deliver a well placed verbal punch to my gut. I knew it could potentially be coming so it wasn’t a huge surprise.  But it was a another disappointment. Another time when as  female, I voice my opinion and am then pummeled  for doing so.  I didn’t respond. I may or may not. I don’t know this guy. It might be smarter and safer for me to just duck out. What I do know is that I have an opportunity here to be a voice for other women and maybe prevent him from doing this to another. If I word my response right. So  I left it to  ponder and toddled off to the neighbors because they were much more deserving of my time than this guy.

I arrived. As always they were happy to see me and welcoming. Nothing was said about how long it had been since they last saw me.

And. She has been diagnosed with cancer. They thought it would be hilarious to kid with me, so before they told me the real news, they screwed with me and told me they were divorcing. They watched my face turn white and me say WTF?? and then they told me the real news. There is a good chance she will be okay. Because of the type of cancer it is. But his heart is breaking and he is worried sick about her and she is worried sick about him being worried about her. And they are worried about me being single, and that they haven’t made pies for the whole neighborhood because everyone was shoveling everyone else’s sidewalks when it snowed. They’ve always fed everyone in the neighborhood. They are kinder than kind.  And all I could do was wonder why I hadn’t made it by sooner and more often. That time thing. I’m sooo glad that I gave my time to them today. I’m glad I committed to this experiment. If I hadn’t, I may have let things go for another few weeks, or a month. They deserve better than that.

I’d better call my parents.

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