Instead

I was about to write a post but I realized I need to go fire the girl who cleans my house instead.

You would fire her too.  I asked her once why she wasn’t mopping my bathroom floors and her response was “they didn’t look dirty.”

Apparently, it doesn’t matter that I’m paying her to do it.

This last time she “cleaned”?  She neglected to dust, to even sweep the bathroom floors, to de-hair the furniture, to tell me she’d used the last of the cat pee pads for the litter system, and she failed to take the garbage out of two of the bedrooms.

Ugh.

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Common Sense and the Paper Cutter

I haven’t always been common sense smart.

I don’t remember how old I was at the time but I think it was somewhere around 6th grade that I overheard my mom make fun of me…. something along the lines of “such a smart kid but absolutely no common sense.”  I have no idea if those were the exact words, and I have no idea what I’d blundered moments before to make her say it.  All I know is I was reaching for something on the top shelf in my closet and the words made me freeze.

I don’t know if we are born with some of our hang ups or if we learn them throughout life but I’ve always had a fear of looking dumb.  I made a decision that day to be mindful of moments when common sense could come into play, moments when I could think about the situation and figure out what I should be doing.

Enter the paper cutter.

 

As a teacher I come into contact with one of these fairly often – in fact I came into contact with one today and was reminded of my first encounter with one…. in college.

I had this Botany professor who hated me, who loved to make fun of me in front of everyone (and not for anything to do with content) and we had pressed plants and were mounting them complete with labels on acid-free paper.  The labels all needed to be cut out and he generously offered to let us use the paper cutter in his office.

Honestly, I’d never seen one before although I decided it wasn’t hart to get the gist of what they do.  You lift up the blade thingy and line up your paper and bring the blade thingy down and it cuts the paper.  Right?  Simple… yes?

So I took a sheet of paper with a label on it and proceeded to gingerly stick it into the paper cutter and then cut around the edges…. and I was feeling pretty proud of myself, too… until I heard laughter.  I knew it was about me, I just couldn’t figure out what I’d done that was worth laughing over.  Under the guise of inspecting my label I paused and started to think…. what on Earth was I doing wrong?

I glanced around out of the corner of my eyes and nearly died of humiliation when I saw the girl next to me readying a STACK of paper with labels on it for cutting.

Oh.

I see.

You should cut more than one piece of paper at a time.

Yeahhhh, that should have been obvious, I guess.

At the time, I shrugged off the laughter, inspected my label as though I were trying to ensure I’d done something just the way I’d wanted and then put a stack of my labels into the cutter and butchered the hell out of them as I tried to just get the job done and get out of there.  I don’t remember how long I beat myself up over that one, but I assure you, I did.

And so today it struck me as a bit funny; the object which I once just didn’t quite understand has become a part of my weekly life.  And, while the memory isn’t one of my favorites, time has certainly taken the sting out of the remembered laughter.  Instead, all I’m left with is a vague feeling I’ve learned more common sense as I’ve aged and an annoyed eye roll at the professor who so loved to torment me for reasons unknown.

What once was

School is back in session and autumn, my favorite season is upon us.  Were someone to ask me what I love so much about this time of year I would, without hesitation, say something along the lines of….  It’s the trees as they turn color, the crisp coolness of the evenings combined with the warmth of the days, it is in the way the rain doesn’t evaporate off the roads right away but instead leaves a thick coat of water upon them making everything glimmer…. and there is this smell in the air.  It’s like a combination of ripe pumpkins and the smell of fallen leaves right before they begin to decay.

Maybe I jumped in a few too many leaf piles back in the day as a kid, I don’t know.

 

With the beginning of a new school year, I find myself looking back upon my life in terms of school.  Oh how I wish I were the person I am today when I was in college!  I think of all the missed opportunities, the boys I would have flirted with, the people I would have spoken up to, and the fun I would have had.  College was, by far, the best years of my life and it stuns me how different I was back then.  I have truly come so far in terms of confidence, compassion, and the ability to be happy.  I don’t think the girl I was then had any idea I could be who I am today… and that makes me very happy.

And then I look back even further, to high school, and… I’m not so happy.  I had all these dreams of what my life would be like.  I used to lie and tell people I didn’t really ever think about getting married – that isn’t true.  What’s true is I never thought about or planned my wedding day.  I always assumed I would be married.  I always assumed I would have a husband I loved and who would take care of me.  I assumed I would have children.  I assumed I would have this neat little house which was interesting to look at.  I assumed I would have this great career.

I think I did fine on the career.  Teaching is a true challenge and I genuinely love it.  Everything else?  How did I have no clue how complicated love could be?  For all the ins and outs of my life, I just assumed someone would fall madly in love with me and I would just naturally love them back and then we’d have a happily ever after.  Has anyone ever had anything that uncomplicated when it comes to love?  And my little house that is just neat to look at?  Replace that with a small cookie cutter house in a subdivision in a little nothing town which doesn’t even really have a community.  Oh, and throw in there that I can’t really afford it after the divorce.

For all of my accomplishments, I’ve had so many failures as well.  My only consolation is looking at the person I was in college and realizing how much I’ve grown, reminding myself there is not a true timeline for life’s accomplishments, and continuing forward.  The girl I was in high school had dreams which weren’t connected with her reality.  The girl in college ignored her future completely.  The girl I am today always works toward a goal and tries to keep her eyes wide open and a smile on her face.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be more than I can imagine today.  I guess one can only hope.

Repeat

I’m having a rough 24 hours.

It gets this way sometimes, usually around my period (not every month) and I feel so hopeless and sad.  And I guess it’s good to be sad every once in a while… but if you were to ask me what I’m sad about, I couldn’t really tell you much.

I just am.

For a while now, when I get down, I have this incredibly annoying habit of listening to a song on repeat…. for hours.

Today’s song?

And this song is killing me today.

Because I know that no one feels this way about me.

And I really, really want someone to be willing to do such a thing for me.

Well, other than Moe.