There’s a meme depicting a vintage woman with her head in her hands and the caption reads something like, “being a woman is like having a browser with 3,000 tabs open all.the.time.”
This is so, so true. At any one time, I can be thinking about a new recipe I want to try, whether or not I have time to go to the market, that spot under the door where an ambitious wind is literally sucking the heat out of the house, a subsequent trip to the hardware store for draft edging (maybe on the way to the market?) why I haven’t called my brother(s) lately, which kind of seeds I should start for the spring, if it’s worth pursuing a skin regimen that would include coconut oil, debating whether tomorrow is the time to begin afresh with a stretching routine and some actual meditation and then throw The General off completely by asking him randomly if he also thinks (as I do) that Coco Chanel’s famous boyfriend Boy Capel as seen here, looks exactly like Harry Connick Jr. right in the middle of a post-breakfast discussion about the British Raj in subcontinent India …
I think it can be quite alarming for him.
This is not about my lack of interest in the Raj by the way, but instead, the fact that there is so much going on in my head that I am desperate to share with him, want to accomplish or need to pursue and what often happens instead is, just the bare bones essentials of every day living.
Which is depressing, to say the least. I once overheard someone explain it this way: “Now I’m past 50, I’m a goldfish more than anything. I think of something I need to do and before I know it, I’m at the other side of the bowl pursing my lips, wondering what it was.”
This is a horrifying summary statement and I must and will rail against it.
The other thing I have observed is that the “fun bits” of my mental flotsam and jetsam are often tamped down since they are easily eclipsed by a really special pork tenderloin dinner or the need to tackle that sticky bit of floor under the oven. This is entirely my fault and yet I repeat almost daily. I know that self-help books would intone dark warnings about “feeding the soul” but this too is daunting when your entire palette of longings has been based around someone else’s for 3 decades, in a long marriage which no longer exists. It’s actually hard work for me to excavate what I myself personally find exciting and worthwhile now. I also struggle to comprehend that no permission will be required now.
But just lately I have been trying to really track the things that elicit a particular sparkle for me and take notice. This is a challenge in February, but earlier today as I sipped coffee watching the birds at the feeder, I noticed that the female cardinal had a single red stripe, like the plume in a 1930’s hat, just in the center of her crest and her beak was shining with the very same colour, as though she had freshly applied a matte lipstick. I was delighted.
Coco would approve.