It's weird being such an emotional person.
It's weird being me, I guess I should say.
I just dropped two precious friends at the airport, then drove home in the rain. I stopped to get cat food, then came home and wanted nothing more than to crawl in bed with fresh, dry clothes, covered in blankets, with a Max snuggled in tight and warm, and to watch Netflix.
I've got the Max, the blankies, the Netflix.
But I paused the cheesy Christmas movie.
I thought about stitching.
I got on Facebook, very briefly.
I read an email about politics and got nervous.
I saw a post about the womens' marches and had many mixed emotions (which I'm not discussing here or now).
A friend asked me recently if I was OK. She said she'd seen three or four social media posts recently that made her think maybe I wasn't OK.
I like it when my friends are concerned about me, but I don't like it when they worry.
I don't know.
To be honest, I think I might be drugged out. I'm not thrilled with the amount of psychotropic drugs I'm on at the moment, and for the first time ever, I feel weird about it. I feel like it's maybe too much. I never used to feel that my pills erased Bailey, but I kind of feel a rubber pink nub nudging against my edges, threatening to take away my spunk.
I just feel bored, or tired, or unenthused, most of the time anymore.
Sometimes when I feel off, I want to run down the path that makes everything blown up in my mind. Everything is permanent, not fluid. If I feel bummed now, I will feel bummed forever. That's not truth, but it's hard for me to think, "Just give it an hour. See how you feel then."
Right now, for instance, I'm asking: "What is wrong with me?" It's great and important to ask about my medication. I plan to talk to a psychiatrist (maybe a different one than I'm currently seeing) and speak candidly about the recent blase. But even in planning good steps to take, I shouldn't be ignoring what's happening right now that could be making me feel temporarily off.
It's not natural for me to think in a way that pinpoints the moment itself, but maybe the question for this moment in front of me should be: "What's up with my current surroundings and situation?"
One of my best friends just came to visit me, and now he's gone. Though it's maybe not on the surface that I miss him already, I of course would love for him to still be here. I'm grateful I got time with him at all, but I could always use more time.
Max is right by my feet, and he's keeping them exceptionally warm. I'm very pleased about this.
It's been raining a lot lately. I love rain, especially in LA because it's so rare, but as I was driving in it today and it just. wouldn't. stop., I realized it's actually nearing the point of being maddening. Each time on the highway, when I went underneath an overpass, I flooded with (very transient) relief as the sound of drops against my windshield stopped for half a second. I just wanted a break from the noise.
I'm extroverted, extremely so. I've been with people all weekend long. When that happens, I usually go into a weird social hangover once I'm suddenly separated from my companions. At the end of time with people, I run like a young maiden into her lover's arms, and that lover is called my bedroom. My lover fluffs the pillows on my bed and my servants bring me books to read. The butler refills my wine.
(This analogy is going down a weird path. I just want to assure y'all that I'm not hallucinating actual people in my bedroom.)
Anyway, when I finally get time to myself, I rush to solitude, ready to reflect on the weekend's memories, ready to read myself until I am drunk with words, ready to just be Bailey, with Bailey and Bailey (and Max) alone.
But give me, oh, 15 minutes, and then I get lonely.
I have issues, Guys. I never said I didn't.
Just now, this evening, I saw on Facebook that a very casual acquaintance of mine is getting drinks at a bar a mile from my place. I thought, "Should I go there?" Then I thought, "Meh. I don't think I'm really feeling that chatty."
Fast forward five minutes, and I'm depressingly staring at the pattern on my sheets, still wondering if I should go. I don't need to be chatty, I just need to get my extrovert on.
Then I remember I cancelled on someone to go to another social event this evening, because of the anticipated social hangover (and I can't drive one more mile in this rain, to be honest), and I feel guilty for even considering to go out.
Wow, this post is going nowhere.
OK, let's recap.
Max is by my feet. Feet are warm and the cat's presence is comforting to me.
I don't think I want to go to the bar. I think I'd feel bad about spending money, and...yeah, I just don't want to go.
I had food not that long ago, so I'm OK in that department, but maybe in a bit I should make a smoothie or heat up some veggies. My body will probably appreciate the nutrients. When I'm done typing this, I should probably refill my water glass.
I should probably shove my face in Max's belly. I think we both like it.
I should either read the delicious book I'm reading, or do a bit of yoga. Maybe just some stretching.
I don't feel like doing either, but I have a feeling that with reading especially, once I get going I'll fall right into it. (This book is fantastic).
And I should know that in an hour, I'll probably feel totally different. It will be closer to bedtime, so there will be less pressure to fill the hours with activity. Tomorrow I'll go to work, and the structure will revive me a bit. After work, I'll be at Alex's birthday festivities, and I love celebrating the life of the one I love.
I'll try to remember how WONDERFUL it is that California is getting some moisture, and some to spare. I'll be grateful that until 8 a.m. I have no obligations; I could have a screaming toddler in my midst, but instead I have a snuggly tiger cat who's like, "Agenda? Snuggle."
I'll remember our theme from worship this morning -- the gift in life that is laughter. I'll be grateful that I get to help with prayers, that I have too many people in my midst on Sunday mornings in order to hug them all.
And maybe -- what a concept -- I'll pray. Just for a couple minutes. Just shut my eyes, and think about my blessings. Stop the worrying, the madness in my brain, and just get quiet.
I'll try and remember that, as we prayed at Bethel today, God is always on call, always here.
Be blessed, Friends. Talk to your doctors, talk to your friends. Snuggle your pets. Be honest with yourself. Try not to worry about your WHOLE LIFE when instead you could just focus on the moment in front of you. I'll try and work on it if you do. Deal? Deal.
(Bethel prayers below).
For rains that continue to visit us, dropping onto the parched ground, buttons of wet melting into the rough, caked soil. For glasses from the kitchen tap, guzzled down to baste our insides, offering our anxious minds some fresh peace. And for the hydration of our hearts. With the gift of quiet mornings, friends who nod in understanding as we blabber on with our musings, and for a table each Sunday where all are invited. A table where we kneel for a moment, and a nugget of sweet honey bread and a splash of wine remind us that we are loved, and we are OK, in the arms of our savior.
For friends. Friends who show up without us asking, because they can sense over the phone line that we need a person near. Friends who are a little bit weird, who keep us on our toes and make us ask questions, helping us grow in the least painful way. For friends who can read our tears, who see hurt and know whether to take us bowling, to make more coffee, or to just sit until the rush of grief passes. For friends who hold our hands and then make us laugh, who turn our stack of crumpled feelings into effervescent renewal.
That we would find the light in every day. Whether we’re between jobs, knee deep in diapers, or just wandering aimlessly, wondering what to do with the next five minutes, let alone five years of our lives, may we always have joy in our paths. A random click on a Netflix movie that leaves us ruminating, lost in pleasant analysis of art. A jovial barista, who lingers over the foam on our latte, filling the air with silly chatter. Or words on a page, in a novel that sucks us in or a Psalm that makes us weep, in the best way. You are always dusting the earth with Happy; may we never miss it.
We thank you for the curious gift of laughter, this strange sound that emits from our mouths and shakes our torsos. This phenomenon that makes other people around us laugh with us. This happenstance that makes us forget all things uncomfortable in this life. Wherever we are, may we always have someone who helps us forget ourselves. And may we never go too long without a good, hearty chuckle. A slow build from within, that awakes us to newness. A giggle that jiggles our spleen, then sends itself in waves to our outer shell, until we erupt, gushing levity back into the world, so we can all carry on.
As we go out from these walls, take us safely home. May we be comforted by the nourishment we are given. Whether we are waiting for payday and eating a forgotten can of Campbell’s, or drowning ourselves in greasy fries at a pub, with football as the background soundtrack, let us give thanks for the calories. Let us find gratitude in our activities – laundry, the treadmill, or napping, listening to the rain tap our windows. Give us strength, a good attitude for the work week, and contentment in knowing a God who loves us. May we feel our God, always on call, always there.