Tuesday, July 12, 2011
FROM WHERE I SIT
Not enough has been made about Rojo's summer "job," working in a preschool four blocks from our house. He rides his bike there, I just text the teacher, Sandy, and say, "He's on his way," and she texts me, "He's here." Then for four lovely hours each of us does what we do best: he works with kids three to five-years-old, and I do anything other than talk about the ice cream truck.
We have been dragging my friend Nancy along with us for frozen yogurt each day. Nancy is the one with the swing in her backyard, and the husband that brings me beer. I finally turned to Nancy one day and said, "People must think I exaggerate about how much he talks about the ice cream truck. Do I?" She, in her soft-spoken Nancy way just said, "Not so much." She is way too kind to say, "He never *&^%$#@ shuts up about it!"
So, for four hours each day, M-F, Rojo gets to spread his wings, be the one in charge, be the one that is kind, patient and thoughtful, be the one that is helpful, be THE guy. He is relishing it, and he's already telling me that that's what he wants to do for his job when he finishes high school in four (frighteningly short) years. Of course, I don't have to tell you, those wheels are already fully in motion.
Which brings me back to The List, as in, The List of What I Do Well. Everywhere I look my friends are doing all kinds of things I couldn't begin to do, and part of my most recent funk, was the inferiority complex I had going, because the things they do well, it just seems like I should be able to do well, too, but the fact of the matter is, I don't.
Had a little pow-wow with Mary recently, and she said, "I've asked you to do one extraordinary thing. That's all you need to do. You could do 100 ordinary things well (and you suck at all of them), but I'm not asking you to do any of them."
Terrry (Toeless) called the other day. Everyone needs at least one Terry in their life - the Truth Teller. One who can show you your dark side while you belly laugh the entire time. She dared to utter all the ugly things running through my mind about all kinds of things. One by one she gave voice to them and I could hear how utterly ridiculous they sounded, while also hearing the true wounds that created the less than optimal reactions in the first place. I gave her an inch and she took a mile, in the best way possible. I complained that Kathleen had rightfully been offered the job of her dreams, and Terry said wonderful things like, "How DARE she?" "You wouldn't have done that to her!" and my favorite, "Nobody would even hire you!" All things at some level I believed to be true, but once brought into the light, saw to be only tiny truths, with much larger (healthier) truths underneath them.
"Nobody's telling me to get a job. I don't even want a job, but I don't want to be unemployable!" I complained. "I cannot get settled with that. Why can't I just complete the processing of that, and move ON?" knowing instantly what the real answer to that is. I have a job. I have a 24/7 job, fifteen years in the exact same job, as a matter of fact, with no raise, very little change in responsibilities, no end in sight. No hope of retirement.
However, there are great benefits. I get to spend hours on my front porch each day rocking in a cute white double rocker, with the beverage of my choice. I sit there while people walk by all day, point, smile, and say things like, "What a great place to sit!" and even this, "You look like you're at such peace." Rojo rides his "ice cream truck" back and forth singing the same song over and over, but I'm getting him to go all the way around the block now, and yesterday, he made a several block loop giving me a full 5:05 period of peace (yes, my task includes timing him on the stopwatch feature of my phone). This is progress. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Rojo will not be independent tomorrow, but we are moving in the right direction.