Sunday, August 09, 2020

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 9

Today's happiness -- I finally did it.  I've been meaning to clean my bathroom from top to bottom. To wash the floors and scrub the tub and sink and soap-and-water the walls and even the radiator and Windex the mirror and shelves.* I imagine myself doing it so many times that I sometimes I truly kid myself into thinking it's done.

Well, today, it's done!

It feels good, but I do wonder why I'm not bald. Judging by the hair in my bathroom, I shed like a St. Bernard.

*I didn't mention Comet-ing the bowl because I always do that. As for the rest of it, I can be quite a slob.

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.

Sunday Stealing


1. What are your plans for August? To develop a plan. There are two big projects I really should attend to, sooner rather than later. A) I need a new TV (mine is 20 years old) that will accommodate today’s technology. My friends at Xfinity warn that they won’t be able to support that old-school cable box forever. B) A new frame for the living room windows, and that requires getting bids and hiring a contractor. Both projects seem like a hassle so I keep procrastinating.

2. Review the first half of 2020. Well, January/February and early March seemed devoted to worries about my friend Henry’s condition and my own work situation. Blissfully, both of those situations seem to have resolved themselves.

Next up: the corona virus. Of course! It’s been a scary time and I’ve felt it in every aspect of my life, from my inability to get my mammogram as quickly as I (desperately) wanted because of a breast lump, to watching two friends unable to mourn/bury loved ones as they would have wished.

But I’m trying to look at 2020 as a learning experience. We’re living through historic times. Personally, I’ve learned that I worry about too many things I can’t control. And I find I’m both heartened by and disillusioned with my fellow Americans … Some everyday heroism is so beautiful and unselfish, it makes me well up a bit with emotion at the very thought. But there's also a most unattractive whiny streak. Our neighbors are dealing with job loss, homelessness, inequality in the healthcare/justice systems and some of luckiest among us are obsessed with their own “oppression” because they have to wear masks or postpone their hair appointments. You can’t smoke in public places, you have to wear a seatbelt in your car, now put on the damn mask. Get over yourself and try opening your heart to the pain around you for just one moment.

3. A place you’d go if money were no object.
Nowhere right now. But when the corona virus is a memory (and I truly believe that if we behave like adults, it will go the way of polio and TB), I’d like to revisit either New York or Las Vegas and do all the things I haven’t done on previous trips because, well, money is an object. I’d stay in the best hotels, dine at the best restaurants, get the best seats for the shows, visit all the museums and exhibits (yes, even in Vegas), enjoy the spas. Since money is no object, I can stay as long as it takes to take it all in. Oh, I’ve enjoyed this fantasy!

4. Who was your childhood best friend.
I’ve known my oldest friend since Kindergarten. We grew up across the alley from one another. It occurred to me the other day that she’s known me longer and better than just about anyone else left on earth, except my Cousin Rose. I’m lucky to have her (and Rose, too; I owe her a letter).

5. The city or town you love most. My kind of town, Chicago is. Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town. Sinatra only sang one song about New York, you know, because Francis understood we deserve the extra attention. Home of the Chicago Cubs and the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. The Art Institute and The Museum of Science and Industry. Beautiful Lake Michigan and Lollapalooza. And me.

Isn't this a pretty sight?

6. How do you spend hot days? Avoiding the heat! Hot weather makes me grumpy.

7. Are you a skilled cook or baker?

8. One thing you wish you could currently do. Organize my personal life as deftly as I have my professional one. (See Question #1.)

9. A time when you learned your lesson.
Oh, good goobies! Even at this late stage in my life, I’m forever learning my lesson! And that is to “let go and let God.” I waste my worry and dread over things I cannot possibly control.

10, What consistently makes you laugh. So many things. I’m lucky that way.

11. Routines that bring you calm and peace.
In the morning and evening, when I feed the cats. I find it heartening that they know they can trust me for the kibble and fresh water (and the meds they don’t suspect they’re getting).

12. Who annoys you the most? WWG1WGA. I mean, really! These conspiracy theorists are just so fucking self-obsessed! Instead of merely proclaiming your faith, live it: help an animal or a child in need (after all, they aren’t yet godless socialist liberals). Do something constructive and quit spinning/spreading paranoid yarns.

13. Describe some of your favorite household items.
My George Foreman grill and my Kohl’s microwave. What terrific little workhorses they are!

14. What have you gotten better at?
Working from home. I struggled at first, but it's become comfortable. Of course, Monday we start talking about a BIG project that may present wfh challenges. (Here I am with the worrying again.)

15. Share a random memory.
When my cat, Reynaldo, was still a kitten and a resident of the animal shelter, he was known as Houdini because he could open his own cage and escape. Sixteen years later, he’s still like that. It’s not that he’s smarter, per se, than other cats. He just has a longer attention span and can be quite dedicated to getting what he wants.

16. How many pairs of shoes do you have? Too many. If I were more organized, I’d dispose of many of them that don’t fit or are too banged up.

17. Who do you go to for encouragement? My faith and my friends. I’m very lucky that way, too.

18. References you make that others don’t get. My friend Tony and I were laughing about this very thing! Discussing people who refuse to wear masks, I said Barney Fife would lock ‘em up, and he said, “Yeah, in the cell next to Otis.” His 20-something son looked at us as if we were speaking in tongues.

19. What are 10 things you consider essential for you? In no particular order: cable, cats, books, the internet, the phone, air conditioning, refrigerator, microwave, running water, my blow dryer. (A good hair day can really improve my mood.)

20. Is there any accent you wish you had?
Lady Mary’s.

I admit it isn't only her accent I envy.