“Know whatever comes to you unexpected to be a gift from God, which will surely serve you if you use it to the fullest. It is only that which you strive for out of your own imagination, that gives you trouble.”
— The Journey by Brandon Bays
4:26 AM. Tired of tossing and turning, now on my left side, now on my right, now on my back, spreadeagled dead center across the bed, I give up and get up. I hit the buttons, fore and aft, to extend the slides pulled in last night when the winds were high. It’s dead quiet out now. Not even the rooster is awake.
Inverter on. First cup of coffee of the day. Vibrant red Keurig single cup coffee maker purchased for Mom after Dad died. She didn’t want it, she insisted, even though it was her color.
My favorite coffee — Great Value French Roast 100% Arabica Coffee in the purple box. I heard that the man who invented K-cups regretted adding to landfills. I vow — again — to order biodegradable K-cups from Amazon but Walmart’s convenience, low price, and dark roast are too tempting.
I apply Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in summer oak to a scrap of quarter-round and lay it on a piece of aluminum foil to dry. Remember I got vinyl plank flooring installed in Slab City? Well, Anthony, is helping me install trim around the edges. “You want to protect the wood,” he says, handing me a half-full can of stain, “In case you spill red wine on it.” I couldn’t picture myself drinking red wine anywhere near where the floor and the cabinet met but keep my mouth shut. I don’t make decisions based on fear, I tell myself.
I am so arrogant. I pride myself on not living in fear but live in fear everyday. I’ve been wanting to meet someone (For a change) and I do.
Anne calls me on my B.S. “You always talk about not living from fear and here you are doing it,” she chides as we talk men. We’re good mirrors. I call her on her B.S.; she calls me on mine.
I flash back to a conversation at Cathy’s house in Minneapolis several Christmases ago. Mom, Dad, and I in the kitchen, post-show wind-down. It was dark, late, and cold but warm and toasty in the kitchen. Mom in her pink flannel flower PJs. Jack and Diet Coke warmed from the inside out. (Do you sense a theme here?).
“You’re not humble,” Dad said to me. “Your sister,” he turned to Cathy, “she’s humble. You’re not. You never have been.”
It’s true. Even as a kid, I knew what I knew and I had confidence in what I knew. And I questioned, all the time. Especially people in positions of authority. Parents, priests, professors.
More than one person considers my never-ending questions “arguing.” I don’t. I consider them “discussions,” an information exchange, a two-way street. More than one person gets annoyed, really annoyed with me. But I can’t help it. Questioning is as natural as breathing to me. And in questioning others, I question myself. I am constantly challenging myself to re-think things, to have an eternally open mind, to never be satisfied with the status quo.
I don’t want to self-censor — I did that for too many years and am only recently finding my voice again — but I don’t want to piss people off either.
So what to do?
Make a second cup of coffee and wait for the sun to rise.