It happened last night when I was in the bathroom. I know, it's not that romantic a thought, but as I was regretting the Chipotle burrito with hot sauce followed by leftover Thai with hot sauce, I smiled and nearly laughed. I was overcome with happiness.
The change was gradual. Over the past months, though I hadn't thought about it until last night, I was making small changes. I quit watching real-life dead people shows and started watching The Office. We went on a very small vacation. I also started playing Super Mario 3 on Wii while listening to music. I rode my bike to rugby practice. I played rugby. I spent a day in the park with two friends drinking whiskey and coke. This morning I weeded my garden. The other day I edged it with a new weed-eater we bought. I've been playing my guitar and singing.
You see, these are things I would've done before, but there was something different about them; I felt lighter. No, that's too easy. It felt like everything I did was comforting and special. Like, every little household activity is a privilege, not an obligation. This morning as I played in the dirt and sang 90s dance music, I thought, "this is lovely."
Last week I worked at my friend's farm; it was beautiful.
Yesterday Cyrus ran through the yard while Mindy worked on her flower beds; it was beautiful.
Right now some ugly robins are playing in my sprinkler; it's beautiful.
You see, it's not like before. Before, those things would've happened and I would've thought:
Farming=something that people do
Yard work=something that people do
Birds bathing= something that birds do
And though I haven't really done the one true thing that Christina needs to do to be complete (a little taste of it right here, maybe), I've done most of them. So it's coming.
Mindy also seems happy. She likes her job and her boss. She's eating healthier. We both are.
But this summer I have time to myself. I've had just a week without
students and without toddler (he's at daycare) during the day. I don't have students this summer, but I'm still working. This is the first summer in 4 years that I haven't had to scamper and hurry to get a job to keep some small amount of money coming in. In the past that was archaeology, and then last summer, because of Cyrus, I worked at my friend's farm and watched him the rest of the days. It was hard work all around, and since the summer before Mindy and I sat mostly unemployed and with a new, very fragile baby, it seemed even worse.
But here I am. Watching birds bathe and plants grow. The house is clean.
Oh, I know, there are still horrible things out there; they are still happening to people I love. But I'm able to separate that from myself now. And maybe that seems indifferent and cold, but I've done my time in the Sadlands. Now it's time to saddle up and ride outta there. Until that shithole is covered in my dust.