Hi! It’s a bright beautiful Saturday late morning in Ellicott City, “Merlin,” and I’ve got a few things to do – would like to clean the whole house, but I don’t think that’s going to happen today. I will get the wash finished – but I also need to pay a bill or two and then I’m going to go to Kohls to see if they have any skirts on sale that I can afford, fit into AND look nice (and it’s Christmas shopping time – aaaarrrgghhhhh…)
Since last I posted, not much has happened. I got most of my to-do list done on Wednesday (it does work to put it out there, LOL!) Court wasn’t much to write about, although I do need to file exceptions on Monday or Tuesday. Thursday night was choir practice and we did get a LOT done in preparation for Advent and Christmas. The music will be lovely if only I can properly learn the O Magnum Mysterium tenor part, LOL! (And the bell part I can barely follow!!!) Actually it’s the bell choir business that scares the crap out of me. It’s not like you can practice outside of our weekly practice times. That’s the thing with bells – you have to listen and work with the other players. In most ways it’s wonderful – just the sort of thing I enjoy. But in other ways, I worry like hell that I’ll miss something and let the other players down. No pressure! In that way it becomes more like my job, albeit with less fearsome results!
Yesterday after court, I went home, got changed and took a walk around Centennial Lake. I couldn’t do it Wednesday or Thursday, but yesterday worked. I finally figured out why my left foot is hurting so much when I walk – I’ve got not one but two plantar warts on my pinky toe and walking in the sneakers causes me to squeeze the little buggers! Got to get them off. Yuck. Sorry, TMI I’m sure – but at least I now know it’s not laziness, just pain that keeps me away. Nevertheless, I did the walk. I confess I did take a small break on a couple of occasions – one to read the signs and inscriptions along the way (I didn’t realize that one part of the path is actually an arboretum!) and another to look out over the lake at the late fall colors – mostly rich browns dark greens and some deep reds set agains the deep color of the lake. I was moved to take a picture, although it’s not a really accurate representation of what I saw.
This picture makes it look like a big old mud puddle, LOL, but it was a lot more spectacular than what this appears like! I walked alone – Nancy is, as she put it, up to her eyeballs in alligators this being the Advent/Christmas season. Actually, walking alone has its up side. Although the conversation was a bit dull, LOL, it was a great opportunity to catch up on prayer, reflection and quiet – between huffing and puffing:)
One thing I’ve thought a lot about in the past few weeks is a remark another friend, Diane, made about me. She has on a number of occasions said that I’m very sensitive. Normally that kind of thing can come across as insulting, but Diane was not intending to insult me. She was concerned that something she said had offended me (it hadn’t). My mother in law used to say that about me many years ago. And others, less friendly have told me to “get over myself,” LOL! On the other hand, I’ve been told by some that I’m insensitive. I think they’re all right in their own way. I think the real issue is one of perception rather than sensitivity. When a situation, person, etc. is very important to me, I can be highly perceptive – in other words on “high alert” as to what’s going on around me. I think that comes from something that happened when I was a young child. At one point, after my mother died, and my father and stepmother had married, they decided (in their infinite lack of wisdom) to remove all pictures of their respective deceased spouses from the home. How they expected young vulnerable human beings to act as if their dead Mommy/Daddy had never existed is beyond me. Ah well, I’m sure my own kids could regale anyone who is interested with all of my past sins!
Anyway, I was determined never to forget her. So, I decided that I would remember everything I could. That was one reason. Another was that I grew up with a stepmother who decidedly had a problem with drink and with temper. I had to learn how to gauge her moods, so again, learned how to be on alert for the signs and symptoms. My sibs used to angrily tease me about how I was always out of the room when some you-know-what started to hit the fan. To this day I am always surprised that people can’t see a fight coming and I can perceive it brewing before it starts.
I used to drive my husband crazy when we were first married, because I could see the storm almost before it was gathering – and annoy him all the more for it, of course. On the other hand my kids are certain I am the worst mother in the world because I don’t know half of what is going on in their lives. I even had to ask JoAnna where she’s attending college. And I suppose that’s because I know my kids are basically OK most of the time. I’m no longer on the red alert I was on when they were younger. And maybe that’s NOT good.
Anyway, I don’t think it’s that I’m any more or less sensitive than anyone else. I can tell when there’s a change in someone’s attitude/demeanor, etc. What I cannot do obviously is to read minds. I don’t necessarily know why this is happening. Without talking and dealing with whatever the problem is, I’m left to guess and I really hate guessing. And game playing. I detest game playing. Oh, and I really hate cutting someone off or the silent treatment. That’s a form of cruelty I just cannot abide – or have time for!
My time walking alone at the lake helped me to realize that it wasn’t a matter of having something wrong with me. In fact, I think that it’s something very right. Yes, I feel. As the man said in the Shakespeare play, “If you cut me, do I not bleed?” Perhaps I am getting more in touch with what those feelings are. Who knows? What I do know is that I am perceptive. Not a mind reader. Not a drama queen. Just perceptive.
Why go on about such things? Over the years people who have had a vested interest in having me think this have told me that I’m crazy. That I don’t see what I see, don’t hear what I hear, don’t feel what I feel. My former stepmother, for example. When I talked about some of the things she had done to my younger brothers – usually when she was under the influence of alcohol – she told me I was crazy, I was making it up. When my husband would spend time flirting with co-workers at his hotel’s bar way back in the olden days (around 30 BC), he would tell me I was crazy. But I knew better. Don’t get me wrong. If I’m mistaken about something, simply letting me know that I’m mistaken usually does the trick. I then set about to – as the GPS system says – recalculate. But for the most part I’m not mistaken and it helps to know that. In fact, it’s prevented some serious pain in the past. Now, that and 50 cents won’t even get me a ride in the subway any more. But it does help to know that my perceptions are for the most part, correct. I am NOT crazy. I am actually saner than I ever thought I was.
Case in point: I have what I think is a very good friend. She is in fact, one of the best friends I have ever had. She is interesting and very talented in her field. She has done a wonderful job raising a child who has been through a lot. She’s not an attorney, but is interested in what I do. She’s intelligent and catches on very quickly when I explain what is happening in my career. In fact, I often tease her that she could do better than I do, LOL. We share stories, about family, friends, our lives, our relationship with God, our husbands. She has been there for me and I hope I have been for her. After one conversation, we both share some pretty personal stuff. Then a wall goes up. An oh-so-subtle wall, some of which can be explained away by the demands of her job and mine, the change in season, the things that take our attention – the demands of family, the need to invest in our other friendships and associations. But not all of it. And this makes me so sad. Not because I feel I have a right to demand anything from anyone. But because I really think that it could be dealt with in a conversation. A conversation that is unlikely to happen for a number of reasons I can’t say here. So because I cannot read minds, I am again left to guess.
And I hate guessing!
The only thing really for me to do in this situation is to wait until whatever she needs to process is processed and then whatever. One thing I do know as a lawyer – I NEVER give away anyone’s secrets, LOL:) I usually try to forget them as soon as I hear them!
Times like this make me grateful for my family. John (even though he did flirt with his co-workers, even the women – just kidding Gavver!) can talk with me about nearly anything. That’s one of the things that has kept us together over the years. It’s going to be a fun Christmas this year – with Madison and Ruby old enough to really enjoy it! I hope I can take both of them to the children’s service this year – it will be fun for them to see the children singing!
Well, this was going to be a quick update and it’s turned into a veritable Epistle! I better get moving. Nancy and Rennie have very kindly offered to give me a lift to the Bach b-minor Mass this evening. Diane is singing with the Concert Artists of Baltimore. Ed Polochick’s interpretations and his depth of knowledge of music from the Baroque period are more than worth the price of admission. So I’d better get moving!
On the knitting front, still plugging away at the sage faux cable thingie for John! I may bring my knitting along tonight!