I want an obituarylike this one when I die. (It’s short. Go read it. I’ll wait …. but not forever. While you’re reading I’m going to write an aside to my children.)
Drake and Elvira, I want you to use the writing skills I taught you and send me off into the afterlife (or not, because tunnels with white lights shining at the end notwithstanding, nobody really fucking knows for sure, but I digress ….) in style. Please save the “bag of frozen peas” and “glitter crayon on the toilet” stories for the eulogy. Bad-mommy stories don’t belong in an obituary. Also, please allow me to take the question “does the carpet match the drapes?” to my grave. Or urn. I don’t care what you do with my body, just leave the question alone. Also, use a photo that has good boobs in it. Drake, Elvira will know what this means. I know you’ll both want to put in something about how I love(d) the other one more, but suck it up, buttercups, because I love you both the same. Although that could change if somebody takes me on a cruise. Finally, don’t forget to proofread. In fact, you can put that on my gravestone. Or urn. “She always proofread.” It has a ring. Some people will try to persuade you to put something about vaginas on my gravestone. Don’t do it. Future generations won’t understand.
Drake. Elvira. Be like Terry Ward’s kids. Don’t write an obituary for your mother that puts people to sleep.
The beginning of a new year is always a good time for introspection. It’s tempting to just say “Fuck you, 2017. You gave me nothing,” but that’s neither true nor does it kick a new year off with much hope. So here’s the short list of lessons I either learned in 2017 or was left to ponder for 2018. Next I can make some of those pesky, but well intended, resolutions that I’ll be breaking in the new year.
1. Women can make change happen, but it will be harder, take longer, and be more brutal than we can ever imagine. We are still stronger together though, and we don’t dare stop or those damn Republicans will be up in our vaginas before we can knit a pussy hat.
(Photo credit: Time)
2. Sometimes a 6-year-old is wiser and more compassionate than I am, and that’s OK. Sometimes that same 6-year-old needs to do a thing simply because I said so, and that’s that.
3. Even the so-called best medical care can suck big green donkey balls, especially if the patient is a woman over 50 of any age. On the other hand, the so-called best medical care can make cancer go away and leave only a faint scar. Better to have it than not. Also, show any weird spots to your doctor.
4. I can memorize more than I thought I could, and I can even perform with more confidence than I thought I could. Performing two monologues for All the Sex Monologues was a revelation. Apparently I’m the only one holding me back. 2018 should be the year I write my one-woman show.
5. I envy people with money. And by that I mean I envy people who don’t have to worry about money. Who can pay other people to do mundane jobs for them and who can shop at the best grocery store deli and who don’t, like I do, have a panic attack when their refrigerators need repaired, because to replace my built-in Sub-Zero would cost around $10,000, which is a little too close to what my van cost. And who buy expensive new cars instead of used, as-much-as-I-can-afford mom vans. (I love my new old van, and I’m grateful for it. Don’t get me wrong. This is about envy, not need.) I probably wouldn’t be feeling this way if I hadn’t started working for someone who never has to worry about money. It’s hard not to compare. More thoughts on that in another post.
6. I’m lonely. I wasn’t lonely until someone asked me how I could not be lonely. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So maybe I am lonely. I probably just need a best friend. I am not always a great friend though, due to both circumstances and self-absorption. The lesson here is that I don’t need to dwell on any of this, but I do need to stop trying to fill that hole with sugar and wine.
7. Shit can fall to pieces while you’re watching it happen on your screen of choice, both on large and small levels. When lies, obfuscation and shaming become the norm, how can you stay in a place that’s become so toxic you hate to watch the news or open your email? I’m still learning when to walk away and when to try to help fix the problem. Sometimes I just have to give up and let go no matter how painful, because nothing stays the same, even what was once a perfect fit. I can leave a place that’s not working for me. With a country, it’s not so easy to leave though, so I go back to #1. When it comes to a planet …. I hope we’re haven’t worn out our welcome.
8. I need to take better care of my body. It’s the only home that’s all mine, and I’ve been treating it like a house in an episode of Hoarders.
9. Old wounds can heal, but it takes a little courage and even more humility.
10. People will come and go from my life, sometimes more than twice. When the going happens it can hurt like a shard of glass stuck in my throat. Other times, it’s just a fucking relief to build a wall against the drama. It’s a cliché, but I’ll say it anyway: Cherish the people you love while you’ve got them. If 2017 taught me anything, it’s that we don’t always get to say goodbye.
Bonus 11. Write shit down! I thought of one more thing for this list last night, and now I can’t remember it. It was a good one too. I’m sure of it.
What lessons did 2017 teach you? Comments are open and the drinks are free.