Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rules 1, 2 and 63

I've been thinking about a couple of important ways to keep myself centered, proud, useful, loving and sane.  I think they're worth sharing.

1) Pay it forward.  When I was a graduate student at NYU and living at the St. Mary's Residence for Working Women (i.e., my worst nightmare, cheek-by-jowl with nuns), on a budget of $700 a month that had to cover everything except tuition, one of my professors from Cornell sent me $250.  It was a fortune and it saved my ass.  In coming to the end a difficult year, I've been able to help a few people out both financially and with my time/knowledge.  It hasn't been much.  I no more expect to be paid than I repaid my former teacher.  I understand now why he did it and I think such gifts carry not only a small morsel to distract the wolf from the door, but a karmic morsel as one.  That which is freely given and freely taken holds a glimmer of what we all want: freedom.

2) When a dog asks for a belly rub, make it twelve times as long as you think you have time for.  The one exception is first thing upon waking when peeing is urgent.

3) Never go to a friend's stoop sale when you have given said friend "clever" gifts in the past.

A brief post.  I began the fall quarter today by getting completely lost.  Bad address, bad Mapquest -- I don't know.  But in the heavy air between rains, I saw a part of Wall Street that made me feel I was back in Prague again.  It's easy to forget that the steel-and-glass cauldron of evil is also the oldest part of New York and, therefore, the tiniest.

And there is a new batch of roses in bloom.  They flourish in June and make another appearance in September.  In ways, I will always be a Montanan when it comes to seasons.

I promised Dr. It's-Never-a-Cigar I would try to take time to myself this quarter rather than getting worn out by academic details.  We decided that I would continue to pursue what I began in my week off: decluttering and editing a friend's novel.  I did not get rid of anything today or put anything away.  I came home to wait for the cable company to install a new cable box, a task which in itself is an accomplishment for one who was too deer-in-the-headlights to schedule the call last quarter.  I had to clutter up my apartment in order for him to do that voodoo that he do so well, moving junk off the TV hunk and pulling out the bags of clothes stored behind it.

Needless to say, Cable Man, despite calling at 4.30 to say he was on his way, did not show up.

So now I have three big bags of clothes mauling my room and have not yet made a new appointment.  I suppose I have to put them back but I'll still be overwhelmed with the plastic Brownie Scout and eyeglass sprays and whatnot.

So here's my question.  If I actually made more of a mess, did the half-bag of dog hair and grit that I swept up from behind the TV mountain count as decluttering???


Elisa said...

Honey, putting things in a pile counts as decluttering! :) You're doing fine. I can't believe the cable guy bailed on you. I'd be calling and voicing some snarkiness. GL with that. Rub Daisy once for me.

bestgrandkidsever said...

Absolutely! Loved this post!

Anonymous said...

You're back!
This post had me chuckling, thinking, and admiring your writing skills all at once. Thanks for the bit of refreshment you contributed to my day...

Vickie said...

I sit here, waiting for new beds to be delivered, as I read your post.

My big thing is the telephone. I have the window of time they expect to arrive. They warned me - we call to say we are on our way. Translation - if you do not answer, we assume you are not home and do not come. My husband has been told twice (already) do NOT touch the phone for any reason.

Decluttering is a never ending thing. I now live in what looks like a house (old house looked like a messy warehouse) and it takes constant effort to keep the papers and bags and piles at bay.

The clutter and the fat (for me) where same thing-ish. Creeps oh so easily.

I agree that acts of kindness help us as much as they help someone else. A kind tone, a smile, patience are all things that help me hugely. How I project myself has a great deal to do with my inner EVENness.

BUT (ME, and this might be part of the losing oneself in being a mom thing) one of my big issues was hiding behind the busy work of doing for others. And I also had a habit of sticking my nose where it didn't belong in the 'name' of helping. It was hiding.

Vickie said...

my matress delivery guys did show (this morning) but NO bed frames. then I was old continuous loop of hold at store for 45 minutes until the figured out no one was IN that department for the first two hours the store was open.

your post was very helpful as I had just read it as all this unfolded. And I didn't get mad. it wasn't the delivery guys fault. It wasn't the telephone operator's fault.

I was gracious. and it felt better to be gracious than it did to vent (on all the wrong people).

E. Jane said...

I'm commenting because I want to say that I just started reading your book "Angry Fat Girlz" today, and I am enjoying it very, very much. There's so much truth and relevance for those of us who struggle with weight--between those covers. I have had a hard time putting it down, but I have a class tonight, so no choice. More reading tomorrow. By the way, I am a big fan of "Passing For Thin." I love your writing style!

AnaVar said...

Interesting read, love the Angry Fat Girlz.

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