Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Everything I Never Thought I'd Be

That walk I took yesterday? It was, in some ways, a perfect example of how things have changed in my life, and how you should never say "I'll never be like that." I wish someone had warned me about saying stuff like that when I was young and stupid, though I guess by definition my inflated ego and deflated brain would have made it impossible to understand what that someone meant.

So, yesterday, there I was, trying to get in a walk on a busy Saturday. A long walk, one that would take at least an hour, hour-and-a-half. But when you're a busy, busy, busy lady, you can't just go for a walk. So I strapped on my iPod mini, loaded up with audiobooks (it's been a while since I've been able to plow through books like I like to, so I've decided to bite the bullet and have a few of them read to me), put my headphones on, and walked to the drugstore to pick up a prescription refill, laughing out loud at David Sedaris as I went. I then stopped at the grocery store on the way back to get a few last-minute dinner ingredients, dropped off a book at the library, and took some money out of the bank before hitting the hill back up to our house. In other words, I was a multitasking monster. And what was I thinking about (aside from how I'd like someone to walk with)? I was thinking that I wished I had a microcassette recorder with me, because I had a couple of ideas for a project I'm working on, and mentally kicked myself for not bringing my cell phone, so I could make a couple of necessary phone calls. Because, you know, actually being mindful of what I was actually doing was actually anathema to me.

Had I seen myself walking past 10, 15 years ago, I'd have rolled my eyes at me, and muttered to myself, "Why bother taking a walk on a beautiful day if you can't even pay attention to what you're doing?" And to some degree, I still agree with that. But if I were to wait until a moment when I could just fully and completely give myself over to a walk, I'd get to take one about once a month, once every other month. This way, especially with a destination in mind and a chore (or six) I can accomplish, I can do it a couple of times a week. Worth it, I think.

I remember once, as an arrogant ass of a teenager, I walked into a room where my mother and her friend were clipping coupon, and made a comment that went something like this: "If I ever wind up spending my weekends like you two, just shoot me." (I know. Don't you just want to shoot me for even saying it in the first place?)

If life were fair, I'd be riddled with bullet holes right now, considering that one of my relaxations these days is to sit down with the Sunday paper and clip out the coupons. There have been times when it wasn't just a helpful thing, but an absolutely necessary thing, and during those times, I've thought often about that comment, and about the ways in which karma bites you in the butt.

What else was I "never" going to do or let happen to me? Oh, yeah. I was never going to drive a minivan. Never going to be a soccer mom. Never going to work in PR. Never going to let my kids watch a lot of television. Never going to feed them sugary cereals. Never going to let my frustrations get the better of me. Never going to yell or lose control.

And how'd I do with those? Minivan: got it. Soccer mom: c'est moi. PR: my job. Kids: living in front of TV surrounded by bowls of Cocoa Puffs. Frustrations: definitely get the better of me. Yelling, losing control: on a fairly frequent basis, though less than before.

Never say never. Never say never. Never say never.

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