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I’ll Take Boring Over This Kind Of Exciting

Sometimes, I feel like my life is incredibly boring. I do basically the same old things, day after day, many of them mundane and tedious. Doing laundry. Making smoothies. Sweeping the floor. Staring at the dust on the bookcases and wondering why the maid never gets around to cleaning it off.

My excitement comes in the form of starting a new batch of seeds, or yelling at B to take off all his wet clothes after he’s jumped into the little pond while wearing them instead of changing into his swim clothes first.

Sometimes, the UPS delivery person even shows up at our door. Whoopee!

Unlike J, who could go on living out the same routine for the rest of his life, I’m the kind of person that likes to change things up once in a while. So every once in a while I’ll get itchy feet. Develop Greener Grass Syndrome.

I recently read a memoir that may just have cured me of that. For a few days, anyway. We’ll see.

The memoir is entitled Gringo: My Life On The Edge As A National Fugitive, told by the former fugitive, Dan Davis, to a writer named Peter Conti. In a summary that does not even begin to do the book justice, everything you’ve ever read about in thriller novels, or seen on T.V. or in movies, regarding drug cartels and guerilla violence in South America is true. The memoir also reveals other things that might make your stomach turn. In short, the storyteller, Dan led an exciting life for fifteen years.

Looking for thrills in all the wrong places

He never says as much, but Dan is one of those dudes who needs a constant adrenaline rush. He started racing horses as a teenager, then started businesses trafficking various kinds of drugs, mostly illegal. He himself wasn’t addicted; he wanted the money. And boy, did he make lots of it!

Along the way he spent two years in prison (right after the only child he ever had was born, who died from SIDS a few months later), went through a terrible divorce, got into running marijuana, got married again, then got accused for a crime he didn’t commit and had to flee or face thirty years in prison. Good-bye, Wife #2.

Again with the excuses!

Throughout the book you can feel his insistence that his life went haywire, thanks to the unfair U.S. “justice” system. I don’t want to judge him. And I certainly don’t believe in punishing people for crimes they didn’t commit. But like Jim Rohn once said, you are the average of the five people closest to you. Who you hang out with matters. Not to mention the choices you make.

The fact of the matter is, if Dan had found legitimate opportunities to make money when he was young, if he had stayed away from drug dealers and bosses, he would never have ended up where he is now. In prison.

Your choices always bring consequences, some of which you don’t experience for a long time. They may seem unfair, even cruel, but you usually have nothing to blame but your own choices.

On the other hand…

How the U.S. government ended up handling him when they finally found him again was uncalled for and morally wrong. And scary.

I’m not going to give details here, in case someone wants to read the memoir. But, yeah, it’s like my grandpa used to quip, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Shoot. I can only hope that that kind of crap is doled out only to people with a criminal record. Still, to completely destroy a man’s life because he ran away from being punished for a crime he didn’t commit? To take away everything? Especially after he’d led a clean life (legally, anyway, if not morally) in the interim?

Not okay. The government may have the power to do this, but it doesn’t have the right.

Sorry. I digress. But I needed to say it.

All that to say…

I’ll take boring, thank you very much

My marriage is stable. Our financial situation is good. We are all healthy. We have no enemies (that we know of).

We do not live in an area where businessmen are assassinated every day on the streets by the drug cartel. Or where wealthy people are often kidnapped solely to make their friends and family cough up ransoms.

And where rickety public buses make stops in the middle of nowhere for women passengers to give birth in the ditch. To twins.

We have no criminal record, and so don’t have to spend our lives looking over our shoulders.

We are, in essence, comfortable. And that gets boring sometimes. But, you know what? I think I’ll take boring over a life filled with uncertainty, stress, and always having to look over my shoulder.

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Humpty Dumpty Fell Off The…Bed

The other day, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Okay, so it was me. And nobody in their right mind would look at me and think, “Wow, she’s the spitting image of Humpty Dumpty!” (I am one of those women with a body which fat women like to call “skinny” in order to make themselves feel better.) But I fell nonetheless – not off of a wall, but off of our bed.

Now, picture this: two bright, college-educated people in their forties have a brand-new spankin’ house built, which they can furnish any way they like. When it comes to their bedroom, they’re going to think ahead thirty years and realize that they want a bed that will be easy to get in and out of well into their hundreds.

Right?

Well, whichever couple that is, it’s not us. While planning out our house’s interior, I say to J, “Hey! Our bedrooms are going to be super-small, so why not built a high-platform bed in our bedroom so we can store stuff underneath?”

To which he replies, “That makes sense.”

As a consequence, to get into our bed requires either a pole vault or a stepladder. I’ve had second thoughts about the bed ever since we moved into this house, but my third thoughts have always been, “Well, when we get old we can get the stuff out of our room and have a bed of normal height.”

What I didn’t realize was that one of the many afflictions of perimenopause includes clumsiness. Okay, so I’d read about it somewhere, but I thought it meant I shouldn’t try to balance trays of drinks on my head or try to simultaneously rub my belly and pat my head. I certainly didn’t think it would mean that one morning, after having gotten out of the bed for over seven hundred times with absolutely no incidence, that my foot would miss the stepstool.

Here’s how it plays out: I have just finished the main part of my daily core workout on the bed, and am stepping down to use one of the steps to do my morning calf stretch.

Uh, no, not that kind of calf. We’re vegans, remember? I’m talking about the part of my leg behind my shins.

The accident

I am sliding off the bed, thinking I’ve aimed my foot to land on the top step of the two-step stepstool, but I am wrong. Only my right big toe lands on the very edge of the top step. I lose my balance, and my left foot, instead of its usual graceful reach down onto the bottom step, mostly misses it. It’s already a twenty-six inch drop from the top of the mattress to the top step, making the extra nine inches down to the bottom step much more disconcerting than it might otherwise have been.

And when my left foot mostly misses that bottom step…BAM! A second later, I am on my backside after my left foot slams down on the tile floor. For the next two hours or so, I hurt from my neck to my toes. Literally.

“Blankety-blank-blank-BLANK!” I shout, bringing J immediately into the room. Because he is a mere seven feet away in the kitchen. And B grabs a piece of paper to write down the interesting new vocabulary words I have just taught him.

What do you think happens next? My husband sweeps me up into his arms and gently settles me on the bed and tells me to rest and not worry about a thing – he’ll do all my chores for me today, including the morning smoothie preparation? He brings me my mp3 player and tells me I’ll be getting breakfast in bed?

Let us dream together.

I think he was afraid to touch me. How would you feel if your independent and strong-willed spouse was sitting on the floor, spitting nails at God? (More on that in a moment.) So J just stands there, staring down at me helplessly – hoping, I’m sure, that I don’t find a way to blame him for my accident. Not that I would do such a thing. I am, after all, the Perfect Spouse who never attacks her husband in self-defense.

Do you hear my husband laughing in the background?

While alternately biting my tongue to keep my son from learning any more new words, and ranting about how much life sucks to J, I find myself feeling begrudgingly thankful to find that I have not re-broken my left arm. Three years ago, I had used my left arm to break a fall.

Instead, I broke my arm to the tune of a $25,000 surgery.

Being a masochist, this arm also decides to help out my left foot in trying to break my fall off the bed. But the impact this time is not nearly as fierce as it had been when I broke it, and in addition my right arm and butt both try to do their duty to save my head from bashing against the tile floor. Thus, even though the lovely knot of scar tissue from the surgery as well as the muscle on the underside of the arm are sore for a while, the arm is otherwise fine and dandy. And the muscle soreness disappears before lunch.

And it was all God’s fault!

Remember when I shared my revelation that from now on, nothing would really be my fault? I could have easily blamed hormones on this one, particularly because I was, indeed, P-M-S-ing. But when I’m hormonal, it’s never the hormones’ fault. It’s either my stupidity, my husband’s existence, or God.

Usually God. Because isn’t He in charge? Couldn’t He have done something to stop my from falling?

“God hates me,” I like to say at times like these. And so I do on this occasion.

“My hamstring is finally healed and my back was finally getting better,” I whine with tears threatening behind my eyelids. “I finally could dance again. But I guess I’m not allowed to be happy for more than two months at a time. God wants me to be in physical pain. I’m not allowed to be active, like I want to be.”

Yada-yada. And so it goes.

And as you can see, lightning does not strike me. Thank God, He knows the heart, and isn’t shocked off the throne when one of His children need to vent.

Anyhow. Yeah. This is all God’s fault. Because He hates me.

As I check my body for injuries, I am sure I have given myself whiplash. Think that my upper left arm is going to hurt for the next couple of days. Am positive that I’d pulled my left thigh muscle (not the hamstring; the one in the front), have undone all the healing in my lower back that I’d achieved, and have badly strained my big left toe as well as fractured my big right toe.

Exercise is worth it!

Some – or all – of those may have come true if not for the core workout, back stretches, and other exercises I’d been doing for the past several weeks. As it happens, none of them do. Well, except I do discover two days later that I pulled a muscle in my lower back, but it’s nothing debilitating.

Other than that, the worst outcome of the fall is straining the muscle on my right big toe because of how it landed on the top step of the stepstool. And that takes only three days to get back to normal.

However, all the other muscles just feel sore for a couple of days as if I’ve used them intensely and unexpectedly.

You know, like what happens when you are in a fender-bender. Or when, I don’t know, you fall off of a high platform bed.

And however much I am irritated by the condition of my toe, I am beyond relieved – and utterly grateful – that indeed, my lower back has not been re-injured. At least, not nearly to the extent I initially feared. If nothing else, this little incident showed me that the time I take every day to do my back exercises is totally worth it.

It also reminded us all that when I am having a day so bad that I am convinced God is out to get me, we can predict with nearly 100% accuracy a specific event that will occur the next day.

I am going to start my period.

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Brown Rice Turned White

This is why preparedness experts tell you not to count on brown rice for long-term storage (I’ve had this rice for over a year):

View from top of plastic container in which the brown rice had been living. It’s an old Amazing Grass container, so it should have been airtight…

 

What it looked like inside when I dug down an inch or so.

Oops.

 

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My Next Big Goal

I’m going to be the next Erma Bombeck.

Huh? What do you mean, “Who’s Erma Bombeck?” Five days of detention to you for making me feel old! Erma Bombeck is one of the greatest female…oh, wait. Hold on.

Erma Bombeck died more than twenty years ago, at the age of sixty-nine.

Oh. I guess I am getting old.

A-hem, Erma Bombeck was one of the greatest female humor writers, popular through the 1960’s and ‘90s with both her newspaper column and her books. She may have possibly been the greatest female humor writer to date.

Until me.

Understand that I say that with the greatest of humility. And three weeks after having declared to my husband that I am going to launch a singing career via YouTube.

About which I have already changed my mind.

Wishy-washy much?

But, here’s the thing. I need to do something.

Besides blending up smoothies and picking worms off broccoli leaves, I mean.

And while I’m good at singing, even decent at coming up with song lyrics, I’m not that great at coming up with melodies. And to add instruments, I would have to use software like Band-In-A-Box, which would ultimately give me a headache because it requires a lot of looking at the computer screen.

I actually purchased the MegaPak of that software, which I am now planning to return as soon as it arrives. Maybe. I think.

Leastwise, I ain’t plannin’ to be the next Carrie Underwood no more. (Read in a Southern accent.)

On the other hand, writing requires little more from me than butt-in-chair time and a few interesting ideas. It comes easily to me, and either sending off an article to a magazine or self-publishing a book on Kindle does not take very much away from my “eye energy.”

It also does not require hours of practice, agonizing over whether I’m putting the right emotion in the right places and whether it will sound original enough. Not to mention whether anyone will even like my songs.

Not that everyone has always liked my books. Some people just have no taste.

Regardless, writing comes much more easily to me than creating songs. At least, non-fiction and short stories.

Don’t make me rehash my trials and tribulations with writing novels!

So, why humor? And who am I to even think that I could compete with the likes of the Great Erma Bombeck?

First answer: Because I’m tired of telling people how to live their lives. And I’m tired of being serious. I’ve been so serious that heart attacks see me coming and run away.

And at forty-seven years old, I’ve had a lot of experiences that I can now look back on and laugh.

You know, like that one time I thought I would become a pop singer in middle age.

Second answer: I’m not going to compete with Erma Bombeck. How can I compete with somebody who’s dead?

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