The girls are gone. Every week I tell myself that this one will be different. In the past I would envision how things could be, I made the effort to clean things up for them, to buy, or make special foods, things they liked, healthy nutritious meals that were fun, flavorful, and invited convivial conversations around the dining room table that I just knew would change everything. Last night my oldest told me about a trip to a college she had forgotten about. It was a short sentence with a lot of emotion in it. I tried to ask more questions, but she kept shutting me down so eventually, I gave up and left. Yesterday my boss and I were talking about parenting at work and I felt my mood sinking. Work is going well otherwise for the most part. There are things I need to do to improve, but that will always be the case, and I'm proud of how far I have come in such a relatively short time.
When I measure progress, I tend to view it in terms of how I am feeling. This morning I woke up and realized that I had gotten paid. It was a thrilling moment even after I subtracted the amount that was previously committed to other bills. One of the trends that seems to be under more scrutiny than it has been in the past is mindfulness. I tend to live inside of my head, never fully present in whatever moment I am physically experiencing. Yesterday a couple that was in their eighties came in with a flip phone that had gone through the wash. Initially I told them they could go to a big box store like a Wal-mart, or a drug store like Walgreens, but I also offered them our prepaid service, and a base model Samsung smart phone because it was what we had, and you never know who might say yes to what.
Near the end of the conversation the man turned to me and thanked me for everything I had done. While I had put considerable effort into helping his wife understand how to get into the phone to send and receive calls, it wasn't purely from altruistic motives. If that phone ends up coming back, then I lose that sale. I don't sell things just to sell them, I need money, but I really try to think through things like that, because if a sale doesn't stick, then I'm no better off than I was before, and will have wasted a lot of time and energy in addition to being out the money. When I looked at the man I could see that his eyes were full of tears. That got to me so I started blinking away tears of my own. He was much older than my own father had been when he died. This man has memory issues, he knows it, and he said he knew it was coming, he just didn't think it was going to go as fast as it was.
I gave the man a hug and got a genuine one in return. I no longer have grandparents, but my grandmother on my dad's side laid on the floor for most of a day after she fell and couldn't get to her phone to call my aunt. I don't know if my dad ever had a cell phone or not. I don't think that he did, but I could be mistaken. My dad was frugal in his own way, the same way that my mom is, ways that are hard for me to understand and accept. I have no idea what prompted this, probably a Twitter exchange, but last night I ended up reading about the best Korean dishes and determining which ones I could attempt on my own. Several I was familiar with, pumpkin soup sounds more glamourous in another language, even if we garnish it with other things on this side of the International Date Line.
January has gone quickly so far, then it will be February, soon it will be May, and my oldest will turn 18. I don't know what will happen on that day, but I can see a future where the girls and I part ways. Perhaps they will stop be periodically, but perhaps they will move on with their cooler and more interesting lives. I am prepared for them to gradually cut contact if they don't do it right away. The relationships are not great, perhaps they are not terrible, but there is very little communication, and they put almost no effort into anything here at home. While I realize I did some of this to my own parents, that doesn't stop the hurt. I do not want to be alone, more alone than I am right now, but I don't know what can be done about this, and it's making me really sad to think about. I woke up after uneasy dreams, started crying almost immediately, told myself I was tired, and went back to bed.
The reality is that even if neither of my children ever talk to me again, an unlikely, but entirely possible event, I will still love them, and they will probably still love me in whatever capacity they are willing and able. I will be okay, better than that even if the last words I hear from either of them are spoken in 2019. This is a mood, a fear, a possibility, but not necessarily a probability, and rather than sit and continue to let this mentality erode my contentment, I chose to write about it, to release the negativity, and to enjoy whatever today, tomorrow, and the day after that brings. Yesterday was kind of interesting at work, I'm always scared that people are going to come back from a vacation or time off and be in a wildly unpredictable bad mood, but it wasn't like that at all. The job I have makes no sense to me, but here I am, and there are far more positives and bright spots than unpleasant incidences.
Not long ago I had a dream about my old job, those are never good, someday that will blur, I lose more memories about that place and the people there. It's softening, in my mind I picture some sort of vaporization process where a trained professional goes in to break up whatever neuronal connections are inside of my head and associated with that place. I had no idea how depressed I was there, there is no comparison to where I am at now, and I am not as grateful for that as I should be. This may seem like a very small thing, but yesterday my boss said he buy me things to eat in lieu of lunch since he knows I can't eat out, and I was very touched by that. He doesn't owe me anything like that, and I don't really care if he does it for others and not for me because he knows them better, they work more hours than I do, and it doesn't feel personal to me. It feels like he wants to do it for them, and it makes me really happy when people give, and receive freely.
I dislike imposing things on others even though I realize that we all do it, and it is a necessary interaction. People need each other, sometimes I think this idea of the individual has gone too far, and we are damaging the fabric of society when we are selfish and isolated. I don't enjoy large groups of people, in the past my parents tried to make me feel as if I had a larger duty to the collective, but they did this without recognizing that I needed things apart from the group. I want this idealistic world where the collective is used to nurture the individual so the individual can be a better, stronger, healthier member of the group. I tried doing the online dating thing again, one guy was interesting to talk to initially, but what was fun during a single interchange became much less so when this affectation and persona remained. It doesn't feel authentic, it feels cultivated, and that feels as if someone is hiding something from me. Who you are is okay even if I don't like it.
Anyways, praying you are all well, may go back to bed because I am that tired...
P.S. It was wonderful being able to sleep in and lay around this morning. I haven't done a thing around this place, and that's nice too...