I’m weary. Not just the usual 50-something woman coping with work, home, kids, chores, menopause and lack of sleep kind of weary. But like nearly everyone else, I’m weary of not seeing family and friends in person. Weary of not hugging. Weary of worrying about illness and death. Weary of anger, injustice, politics, racism and most of all, weary of hate. I want to feel positive. I want to feel hopeful about turning the corner with the economy, of less joblessness for so many, of better heath. I want to sustain my hopeful feelings every time I see a peaceful protest, hear a motivational speech, and start to believe that maybe good change is finally happening. But then I see or hear something ugly, scary or evil again and the weariness seeps into my bones.
At this very moment, I’m weary of not writing and posting. Weary of being afraid I’ll say the wrong thing without meaning to. The only social posts I’ve made in weeks are photos of flowers from my gardens, scenic nature shots taken during hikes, or goofy photos of my dog. But even with those, I worry that at some point someone is going to say “How dare you. How dare you post about being able to go for walks, to plant flowers, to feel at peace, when others are afraid to leave their homes or are fighting for their lives on a ventilator in a hospital?” It seems that anything uttered or shared at this point will inflame someone.
Just this morning I was scrolling through my twitter feed, and saw that some angry or spiteful person tweeted about how much they hate the @Thoughts of Dog account. For those not familiar, that account is simply a sweet, funny, positive (and I think fairly brilliant) account literally sharing the potential thoughts of a dog. That’s all. And yet this person, rather than just simply stop following the account if they disliked it, had to post using the word hate. If they were trying to be funny, they failed. If they are bored, they need a new hobby. If they were trying to get people riled up – well, really, isn’t everyone already riled up and on edge enough? And.. I felt weary. And frustrated. And sad. Again.
But, it also reminded me that it is impossible to make everyone happy all the time. We are all unique individuals with our own thoughts and beliefs, and we all have (or should have) the right of free speech. I would personally like to abolish any free speech that is hateful or hurtful, but I guess if we did that, most of our political leaders would be rendered mute.
I also considered this morning – yes, during a nature walk – that even in times of crisis and tremendous challenge, the mundane parts of life don’t go away. I’ve been struck by that thought in the past during the grief process after the death of a loved one, or a natural disaster, or during any major life event personally or worldly – we all have to keep going with our day to day “stuff.” Bills still need to be paid, at least to the best of our abilities. We still need to buy and make food and eat. We need to get up and shower and get dressed every day. We have to change diapers or worry about our teenager’s safety, or feed and walk the dog. Whatever it is, the mundane in life doesn’t stop just because we are in some form of crisis.
Truly, the point of my blog is the celebration of the mundane, and how we keep plugging along maintaining our worlds no matter what else is going on. So it is with that thought in mind, that I’ve decided to come back and put my fingers back on my keyboard after over a month since my last post. If I offend anyone by focusing on something other than the crises surrounding us, my apologies. Feel free to click that unfollow button. For the rest of you, thanks for staying.
Today I will share one short story on one of our favorite topics, the difference between men and women. A couple of weeks ago, my husband decided to bravely take a short weekend trip. Mask, sanitizer, and disposable gloves in hand, he drove to visit two of his brothers and one best friend. He made no stops on the way, he stayed at one house, he practiced social distancing (after all, he’s a guy, this whole no-hugging and snuggling thing tends to be easier for them), and he promised me to visit no one else (even though I know he really wanted to). After telling him to be careful for the 34th time, I headed out to walk the dog while he finished getting ready to head out. Hours later, I happened to go upstairs to our bedroom, and there was his weekend bag. I thought perhaps it was an empty one that he decided to not use, but nope. It was full of his change of clothes, toiletries, etc. Upon his arrival at his destination, he popped me a quick text to check in. I responded with “did you get my text about your bag?” His response “My bag? Why? Oh crap. I forgot it, didn’t I.”
The fact that he’d been at his destination for a while and still had not noticed he left his belongings at home was pretty amusing. A woman would have realized it within an hour after departure, and would have turned around to get it.
Later that night, when I talked with him, I suggested he mask up and go visit whatever store he could find that was open, like a Walmart, and pick up at least a change of underwear and a couple Tshirts to get him through the weekend, plus a toothbrush, etc. He begrudgingly said he might go in the morning.
Ok, ladies, let’s think about this. Let’s say you arrived at your destination to discover you’d left everything at home. (yeah, ha ha ha, pretty funny, would never happen). What would you do? Possibly before even greeting those you went to visit, wouldn’t you go on a shopping expedition? I mean, besides clothing, we need our hair care products, our skin care products, our make up, our dental care items, and for goodness sakes, new clean underwear! Our weekend without luggage would instantly become more expensive. I believe that even one of my BFF’s who has been known to spend a week in Europe with only a backpack would feel the need to stop and purchase necessities.
But not my husband. And probably not most guys. One of his brothers gave him a spare Tshirt. His friend’s wife gave him an extra toothbrush and toothpaste and shampoo and soap. And that’s really all he needed. I suppose guys can survive comfortably by turning underwear and socks inside out, although my hope is he borrowed his friend’s laundry facilities. I was afraid to ask.
Upon his return he said “See? Without you home when I left to make sure I had everything, I forgot my bag. I’m bummed too, I had brand new underwear packed that I was looking forward to wearing.”
While they can seemingly get by with less, no matter what age guys are, they need us. They need us to find things for them (“honey, have you seen my keys?”). They need us to help them pack. They apparently need us to remind them to take their belongings with them. They need us to buy them new underwear. If we aren’t there to do all those things? Well, apparently they just go without.
At least we can say we feel needed. Besides, men can be a good source of humor when we need it most.
Embrace the mundane, ladies. It may ease our weariness.