|this whole cloud looked like a gigantic fluffy dolphin. see the smile?|
My computer keeps telling me my mouse and keyboard batteries are low. Hopefully we have more in that drawer in the kitchen, or this note is going to be rather short.
We’ve been back from Mexico for almost a month. How can that be? Am I one of those people (are there those kind of people?) who can’t move on from their vacation? Maybe. I just posted another photo from it on Facebook. It’s taken me a minute to get back in my routine, which is really rather unpredictable and un-routine like to begin with, but I’m getting there. I paid the bills and the kitchen is clean. Looking out at the garden, I’m a little discouraged though. One large branch of arugula sticks up about two feet taller than everything else, but from the looks of it, I doubt it would taste any good. Work will need to be done there soon. Drought tolerant plants will need to be planted and it would be good if we actually ate some of the food we’re growing.
My birthday is tomorrow. You probably know I don’t love change or aging. This sentiment is expressed in three quarters of the posts on here, I’m almost positive. I’d consider moving to Neverland so long as my family could come and there was surf, so birthdays typically bring mixed feelings for me. But you know what? The alternative is much more unthinkable right now, so getting older it is.
Last year on my birthday, I felt a little like I hadn’t really become more of the person I wanted to be from one year to the next. Specifically being friendlier and more generous with my time. We did a beach cleanup that day last year, but it sort of felt like too little, too late.
I’m always paying attention to people. Noticing each one around me and analyzing them in my own systematic way. I want to get better at being one and I want to be better at knowing some. I’m naturally shy by nature. A label I fought all childhood, so talking to people I don’t know is kind of scary to me, but I know it’s important and it’s getting a little easier. People are interesting. That, I’ve always known. So instead of talking to them about things that don’t evoke any true responses like:
“How are you?”
“How’s the weather been back east?”
or not talking to them at all, I have been trying to ask things that the person will hopefully elaborate on and enjoy talking about.
“Are you afraid of earthquakes?”
“What’s your favorite movie?”
“What made you take home that dog, specifically?”
“How did you guys meet?”
“Do you think the crow population is increasing?”
Maybe my label of shy might be traded for the label weird, but I don’t care. I’m probably both anyways.
It’s always been easier for me to love and help little kids and animals. None of them have ever hurt or judged me, but I don’t think life’s supposed to be about doing what’s easy.
There’s this guy who surfs out at my home spot almost every afternoon. He was out yesterday when these pictures were taken. He always paddles around me and takes the waves I’ve been waiting for, even if he just had one. I have to remind myself not to clench my teeth when he’s around, because it’s bad for you and I already do it at night. One time, when I surfed past him, I purposefully sprayed him in the face with a turn. I felt good about it, but then I felt bad, even though I never said sorry. In fact, I’ve never even talked to the guy.
This is what I was saying about me needing to be friendlier and more selfless. So he takes more than his fair share of waves? It’s not like I don’t get enough. Maybe if I talked to him things would be different. I would know him instead of using my mind to make him into this person he probably isn’t. I don’t know what to say to him now though, it’s been at least a year of us ignoring each other. But I think I will say something. I know it’s what I need to do.
The truth is, something curious happens when you transform from a child into an adult. Something kind of wonderful. You understand that it’s not always about you getting to go skateboarding in the morning before it’s brain-boiling hot and more about saying yes to someone who needs you to watch their child a little earlier that day so they can do what they need to do. It’s about listening to someone old tell you sad things you can’t understand while they feed their dog scrambled eggs from their own fork and then giving them a kiss, wiping their face and petting the dog. It’s about taking care of your house and the earth, because someday it will be someone else’s and you want it to be nice for them. It’s about saying sorry, even if you think the other person should.
I’m not perfect at all of this yet, but I’m working on it. And that is one of my favorite things about life. How it transforms you all the time and gives you opportunities to be better.
Cheers to another year!