“Lessons” like it or not so much

I heard a commentator on TV last week saying a coping skill now would be to think about what lessons you could take from this epidemic.

Lessons? Before she said that I wasn’t thinking in terms of lessons at all which actually is counter to my nature; I’m almost always trying to learn from my life. But at the moment I’m not really in the mood. Moreover, the lessons I hear other people talking about – slowing down, spending more time with loved ones, showing gratitude and so on – don’t apply to me. Those aren’t my (needed) lessons. Besides, I get a little irritated remembering how those were the supposed lessons people took away in the years following Sept 11, 2001. If they had taken hold then would people really need the same lessons again just under twenty years later?

I don’t need to slow down, I work hard on being grateful and not dissatisfied, and as someone who put love & relationships – family,  friends, partners – at the center of my life for MOST of my life, only to decide I’d done so to my detriment in certain respects, well again, this is not my lesson at this juncture.

Last night before I went to sleep and the thoughts ricocheted around my mind, my lesson, or a lesson, or my FIRST lesson – however it all comes out – came to me. For a little while now, at least through this past fall & winter if not further back, I’ve been working on staying in my own lane and minding my own business. Let me be clear. I am not a busybody or interferer or somebody that routinely inserts themselves into other people’s affairs. I pretty much stay to myself and go about my business. HOWEVER, my thoughts are another matter. My mind is not on board with staying in its own lane and tending its own business. My mind has PLENTY to say about other people. PLENTY.

Is there a lot to judge and take issue with now? Oh my yes, there IS. I don’t think I need to tell you. Online, on TV, in the news, and right outside the window (literally in my case). People are doing things wrong. All of them? No. No and no and no. No. But the ones who are? Well, my little mind has so much to say about it.

It might sound like I’m being hard on myself. Maybe. But I’m the woman for the job. I’m the only one who’s allowed to be. I’m the only one who’s earned the right. And the only one with any ability to redirect myself. Back to my lane, back to my business. In my mind.

Plant “children”

I don’t have children, I have plants. Seventeen house plants as of this writing. I didn’t know that; I went around and counted for the purpose of this post. A plant that does especially well with me in the conditions I can offer it is the Dracaena or “corn plant”. My Dracaena has appeared in the blog before, when it flowered.

In that previous post I wrote how I long ago bought a $4 Dracaena plant that’s been the source of several others. When the plant grows to the ceiling I have little choice but to lop off a section and root it in another pot. So um, now I have four of ’em!

The two tallest are direct “children” from the original plant (which is gone). This one below keeps hitting the ceiling. I have twice lopped off the top (which made me very nervous but it’s worked out). It’ll have to grow another 10-12″  before it reaches the ceiling again. And when I say grow I mean that after the top is cut off, the plant puts out a new shoot from the top. To be kindly, I re-potted it in a bigger pot about two years ago after which a bunch of its lower leaves died.😐 Some gratitude!

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This other tall one has yet to reach the ceiling. I will be reluctant to ever give it a bigger pot considering how the other one reacted. It’s doing great.

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This one, the first cutting I took from the tallest plant, is, I suppose, a “grandchild” of the original plant. It’s on top of the freezer. ( I never include the freezer in photos I put up cuz it isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing, but it’s fabulous to have; I understand freezers are selling out these days.)

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Here’s the most recent cutting, the baby. I found the black Ikea stool tossed out not long ago and was glad to have it for a plant stand – I’m not sure if that’s what it’s sold as or to sit on.

IMG_20200407_130914I love these plants and want to keep them but I’m not sure where everybody is going to fit eventually! Especially as they all get big. This place is going to look like a Dracaena store.

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Short Thought #250 (parallels)

After the horrific plane attacks on Sep 11, 2001, Americans were frightened. The lesson of the time was to cherish the people you loved and to be with them as much as you could because you never knew when you might lose them. Home, where so many opted to be, was safe and comforting.  But then the economy tanked and the people were blamed. Americans were told they needed to get out of their houses and go back to the emptied malls and restaurants. It was their patriotic duty to shop and consume.

How very, very strange it is, almost twenty years later, for a world pandemic to bring on almost reverse conditions.

Things are fine here. You can see for yourselves. I’m having tea with a few friends and things are just fine.

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Short Thought #249 (babies)

When I was younger and expressed ambivalence (at best) about ever having children, the common response – an opinion usually touted in the media too – was something like “Just you wait, every woman wants children. The clock will start ticking and one day you’ll wake up and BAM! That’s all you’ll think about, all you’ll want. A baby. Babies. You’ll see.”

That day never came. I never felt that urge. And I never felt I was missing anything for not having it. I did have nurturing and caretaking instincts, but it’s occurred to me that they’ve been directed at beings that mostly take care of themselves: other adults, suburban wildlife, and plants inside and out.

 

What sex (might) look like

I’ve been wanting to bring this up for awhile. I just – last month – watched the fifth and final season of The Affair. A couple years ago I found Season One on the library shelf. I hadn’t heard anything about the show but it looked interesting, and, because I like to experience things “fresh” when possible and without outside input, I have still never read or listened to any opinions or details. It is – not spoiler alert – about an affair. The twist is it tells the story from both sides, alternating perspectives, first with the two characters having the affair, and then, as the show progresses, from other characters’ views, namely those being cheated on.

I’d give the collective five seasons a solid B rating. The acting is terrific and the characters and relationships compelling, but the show adds dramatic, over-the-top plot twists that feel unnecessary and test credulity for me. I’m not sure I felt satisfied for the cumulative time I’d put in upon the series end. To put it this way, I’d grade season one A and season five C. The absence of actor Joshua Jackson, with his effortless charm and presence, from the final season was a big, fat disappointment. As season five progressed with no segment “narrated” from his character’s point of view, I began to get the sinking feeling he wasn’t going to turn up at all. He didn’t.😐

Throughout life my ideas about what sex looks like come from personal experience, TV/film, and books to a lesser degree. I’ve never watched actual people having sex and never felt any particular compulsion to do so. And, I’ve never accidentally walked in on a roommate with their boyfriend or stumbled over a couple getting it on in the woods or anything like that so far as I remember.  Let’s leave porn out of this equation. I’ve seen porn, although not a lot, and if I’m considering what I believe sex between real human beings is, that’s not it. (Feel free to disagree but give me good reasons!)  

The way sex is shown throughout The Affair – between various characters not just the two in the affair – is, for its realism, some of the best I’ve seen on film and close to what I think sex looks like between real people. By realism I don’t mean graphic. The types of sex though – and I don’t mean positions or literal sex acts – ring true. The participants’ emotional lives and motivations fuel the nature of the sex scenes (which are pretty frequent) and that’s what I found so interesting and relatable. I almost had that in-the-room feeling so far as emotional voyeurism. Yes, I thought, that’s very close to what I think sex is like, in all its variety and nuance.