January 2, 2021 – Honesty is the ‘best’ policy.

Today blew (and not like the wind). I honestly didn’t think anything could top yesterday, but no! I was mistaken. Waking up with dread and knots in my stomach is not a good way to start the day, but that’s how it’s been for at least the last week to week-and-a-half. And what have I said about that and what it means? It’s a signal, something I should be paying attention to. But what the heck does it even mean? Ordinarily, it’s my sign to ‘cut and run’. But cut and run from what? I can’t leave my job, I don’t have one. My relationship with my husband? Why would I do that? He’s a good guy and he’s all I’ve really got left (other than the dog). Life? I’ll be honest with you, I went over to the dark side today. Deep and dark. The abyss nearly swallowed me whole but I tried to breathe through the pain until it passed.

There’s no doubt about it, I’ve been more ‘fragile’ in the last couple of weeks. I’m growing weary of feeling this way. The problem is, when I’m down, it’s hard to see a ‘way out’. Why did the ‘Great Creator’ make me this way? Was it really necessary? Can’t I just be ‘normal’? I want to know who signed me up for ‘a lifetime of depression and/or mental illness’! Is there a complaint department? I’d like to file a grievance! I’ve experienced my fair share of emotional pain in this lifetime, I need break! And it takes so little to send me into the throes of depression. Most people have to experience a major loss to get there, but for me? I simply have to wake up. I open my eyes and my brain says (sarcastically), “Oh, goody. Another f-ing day.” But why was today so much worse than yesterday? Today, my husband asked me for my opinion. Now, I must warn you, I am not a good liar. So if you want me to lie, don’t ask my opinion. Just don’t ask.

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth. Honesty is the best policy, right? Well, not always. Honesty can hurt sometimes. I think that’s why so many people would rather just lie because there’s less likelihood that feelings will be hurt. But in this case, I spoke my mind. No, I wasn’t cruel or insensitive, but I did give him my opinion. What did he want my opinion about? He wanted to know what I thought of the tilework in the bathroom. Before I say anything more, let me share some words of advice. If you have an already fragile relationship with your spouse or partner, do not do any major remodeling to your home. It will finish it off. There is something about remodeling that brings out the worst in people. I am sure some of it has to do with the money, and the time, and the expectations of both parties. And if it’s a DIY project, which ours tend to be, the odds of the relationship surviving are even worse.

Why would that matter? Because if something gets screwed up, guess who you get to point the finger at? Now you understand! And today, after my husband started applying tile in the bathroom, he called me in and asked me what I thought. Right away, I didn’t like what I saw but I didn’t want to upset him so I held my tongue. I thought to myself, maybe I can live with it. I’m not doing the work so I shouldn’t complain. So I left and ran a bunch of errands. A couple of hours later, I returned. And after putting the groceries away, I took another look at his handiwork. I knew it was going to drive me crazy and I knew if I didn’t say something right then and there (before the adhesive dried) that I would regret it. But still, I hesitated. And then, while we were each standing in the kitchen, after he’d cleaned off all of the tools and wiped everything down, he asked me. “What do you think?” he said. “What do I think?” I said. I had a feeling I was playing with fire but I went ahead and told him what I thought.

“Mmmmmmm,” I hesitated. “The gap between the tile and the edge of the wall keeps getting wider.” Big mistake! “You don’t like it?!” he asked. “Why didn’t you say something sooner?” It was obvious he was hurt, and ANGRY. “Fine, I’ll just rip it all down!” And he did. He pulled off all of the pieces that he’d already affixed to the wall, put them into a bucket, wiped the wall down and then proceeded to clean the adhesive off each tile. You know those knots in my stomach? Well, they grew into the size of fists. Why did I say anything? I should have kept my mouth shut. But he asked for my opinion, what was I supposed to do? I had just made lunch for each of us right before this ‘exchange’ took place and I was hungry, so I sat down and numbly ate it. As soon as I finished, I went straight to our bedroom and closed the door behind me. I then took a soak in the ‘tub of sorrow’. I think that’s what I’m going to call the tub from now on. It seems like the only time I take baths is when I’m sad or in pain or both.

After I couldn’t bear to spend another minute in the ‘tub of sorrow’, I got dressed, dried my hair and went straight to bed. Bed should be a place of comfort and renewal. But ‘bed’ is often for me a place to get tangled up in ‘the darkness’. You thought I was going to say ‘the sheets’ didn’t you? No, not this time. This time, I laid there and I wept. And my mind started travelling to some pretty dangerous places. I don’t know how many hours I laid there, but I started thinking about a ‘way out’, a ‘way out’ of the pain. And I thought about the guy that just jumped off a bridge in our town a few days ago (and didn’t survive). And I thought about a lot of other things that are equally as dark (but I won’t go into details). I can tell you that when I’m in ‘that space’, you really don’t want to ask me what I’m thinking because you probably don’t want to know.

After a couple of hours, my husband did come and check on me and tried to get me to get out of bed, but I resisted and he finally gave up. I continued to lay there and languish for at least another hour before I decided to go downstairs and see if ‘talking things through’ might help. Again, I won’t go into details, but it was obvious he was upset. Fortunately, after a lot of back and forth, we were able to agree that I’m always right and after that, everything was great. No! That’s not what happened! But we were able to ‘make peace’ after each of us had a chance to speak our minds and we’re better now. Are things perfect? No. Life isn’t perfect (by a long shot). He is concerned that I’m going to continue to ‘spiral’ unless I find something to do with my time. We’ve lived together long enough that he knows I’ve got to have a reason to get up in the morning. I can only go so long without working and then I start to fall apart.

The trouble is, jobs are few and far between right now. “Work online!” my husband eagerly suggested. “Just shoot me now,” I replied. “You could be a medical transcriptionist or proofread for people. You love to proofread!” he then said. “Just go ahead and put the bullet in the chamber and shoot me,” was my response. Hey, all of that is well and good but I need people. I need to see faces and hear laughter. I need interaction. I need real honest-to-goodness hugs, damnit! This little rectangular box that I look at day after day just isn’t cutting it. It’s a soul killer not a soul filler. How do the young people subsist off of so much screen time? What does it have to offer? If it does have something to offer, I have yet to find it. It just feels empty to me. I need real human beings, not this ‘virtual’ stuff. What am I to do? How do I achieve that in a pandemic? I asked about volunteering at an assisted living center several months ago but I was told only staff are allowed on the premises.

I wonder if I called them back and told them it was a ‘matter of life or death’? I wonder if they’d make an exception? Seriously, it’s starting to feel that way. The short days, no job, not seeing my friends, it’s all starting to add up (and not for the better). Something has to change soon because my tank is on ‘E’ and from what I can tell, I just passed the last rest stop and there isn’t another one for at least 50 miles. Maybe I need to pose the question to the Universe. “Hey Universe, I could use some help! I am lacking in the ‘purpose’ department and if you cannot come up with something, I might do something drastic. I’m not asking for much, just something to make me feel useful and needed. Is there any old lady out there that could use some companionship that doesn’t need help with bathing or using the bathroom? I draw the line at washing people or wiping their butts.”

“Oh! And one more thing! I’m also willing to hang out with an old guy, too. Just not a pervy one, please. I’m really tired of getting hit on by pervy old guys.” If I hear back from the Universe, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, maybe I’ll try reaching out to that assisted living center again. I guess it can’t hurt. Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. I love to write and I try to infuse humor into everything I do, especially when I write. And I hope I was able to make you smile, especially if you had a really crappy day. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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