My birthday is later this week and I’m having fun imaging that I am still just half-way through my life, that I have a whole other 49 years of mature adulthood in which I do not have to waste time waiting to grow boobs, get a driver’s license, or learn to drink without getting a hangover, but am a ready-to-go human being and can do mostly whatever the hell I want. Not included on my mental vision board is the assumption that the years 50-100 may include at least one life-threatening illness, correctable by surgery, during which my heart may be stopped — which happened to my mother-in-law on the day before Christmas, ho ho ho. Though surviving a one-stop heart or cancer-related dip in the post-menopausal years has happened to so many people I know that I’ve almost come to expect it as a rite of passage. Program your iPod, pack your bag, and don’t forget to ask for a vitamin C drip.
Of course, anything can happen, and it frequently does. Like on the day after Christmas, when I was driving home from work on the 101 and all of a sudden it’s BANG! SMASH! and I am spinning sideways toward the guard rail. My only question, as I was trundling toward the shoulder of the road, was what to do with my steering wheel, since unexpected forces were clearly in charge of my car now. So I just let go and watched the wheel spin around, and then I got the mildest whiplash ever when my car hit the rail. I’m not sure when my glasses flew off, but I couldn’t find them for the life of me, even with a borrowed highway patrol officer’s flashlight. I stopped looking under the passenger side front seat when he said, You know, those airbags sometimes go off by themselves after an accident. So, with nothing to do but wait for a tow truck, I squinted at my phone and mashed apps until I found one that would take a photo:
It doesn’t look too bad there, but the car was undriveable and had to be towed. The most fun thing about all of this is the fact that five cars were involved and it wasn’t immediately clear who was at fault. I finally got the accident report this morning (12 days later), and called the responsible party’s insurance company so we can get this resolved, but I have a sad suspicion that the cost of repairing my car will amount to more than the car is worth, and they’ll declare it totaled.
On the upside, I’ve been borrowing a friend’s Volkswagen with heated front seats and I can yell, “Toast your buns!” at Jackson as we drive to school in the morning.
And thus ends three weeks of winter vacation, Jesus Christ. I love my man, I love my child, I love my dog, but three weeks of togetherness meant I didn’t get a thing done, writing- or drawing-wise, and you know what? That’s okay. We baked cookies, we drank wine, we played Gin Rummy, we lost entire days to Netflix.
- Draw every day, intuitively and without agenda
- Write every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes, to keep the neural helipad open and clear for the Muse to touch down
- Yoga every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes, or you will become dry and crisp and withered as the husk of Indian corn nailed to your mother’s front door, which nobody ever rescued until Spring because we all went into the house through the garage
- Never, ever beat myself up if 1, 2, or 3 doesn’t happen every day