It’s Monday and my favorite laundry spot is quiet. There are two other women here, chatting about their frustrations with finding full time work. They are friendly and we sit together while our clothes roll around in the giant washers. They are women I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend time with a few weeks ago. I did my laundry at home, at my convenience and I didn’t give it much thought. Now I feel lucky to have met these ladies and that for a few the few minutes they allowed me into their lives.
As our clothes spin I realize that the flood and this silly laundromat have given me the gift of perspective. They have made me realize how ridiculously privileged I have lived for a very long time and didn’t appreciate it. I am trying hard to be more grateful.
We are back in our house again and it feels good. Cooking has been my therapy. Ok, it is a total compulsion for me right now. I want to bake or make every recipe I have ever talked my self out of, and I want to feed everyone around me. Bread, cookies, pies, all of it. I don’t care about calories or any of the stupid restrictions I used to think about, I don’t really give a flying fuck what anyone thinks. I want to make all of it. Gluten, sugar, fat, butter, all of it. Bring it on!
I want to taste and savor. I want to nourish and be nourished. I want and be satisfied. I’m sure this is my way back to a sense of normalcy and my brains way of self soothing. So, I am honoring these desires and cooking, and eating, and enjoying. I watched and episode of Pioneer Woman last week and for about 5 minutes I actually pondered being a food blogger and then fortunately I snapped back into reality and decided that was a ton of work that I am not ready for and completely unwilling to do. And honestly no one wants to read “Flood Food” or “Recipes From That Time I Completely Lost My Damn Mind.”
I’m sure there are a hundred diagnosis and mental categories that my coping mechanisms fall into at the moment and the stages of grieving can be factored in there too. Yes, I am grieving and healing and walking through it.
My husband and I have coped with the trauma of the flood as polar opposites. He is doing, fixing, trying with everything in his power to bring everything back to the way it was. He has been since day one. He can’t sit still, and when he is sitting down I can physically feel his mind trying to sort it all out. He loves order. He thrives on organization and tidiness. He loves living at the lake. He is a fixer and he hates chaos. I don’t love any of those things at the moment and I find myself resisting and being defiant. I’m not there yet and I don’t know if, or when I will be. I don’t trust the lake, or the river, or the sky or the wind, or tornadoes, or fire, or any of those things that I have absolutely no control over. I don’t trust any of it. I don’t trust.
This morning he called and asked me to get rebar and and a bucket. My first response was to tell him he was being insane, but I took a breath, rolled my eyes and held back my snarky reply. He wants to put our basketball hoop back up (the dumpster guy knocked ours down when he was maneuvering a huge construction size dumpster into our driveway). There are a bunch of steps to putting the basketball hoop back up and it involves cement, and rebar and blah, blah, blah.
As he is telling me about the reason for the rebar and his plans, inside my head I am thinking WHY? Why are you doing this? I think its silly. I think it is a complete waste of time. It doesn’t seem like a huge priority to me, but it is to him. I’m sure he thinks giant sheet pans of drying granola on the countertop are silly too. He doesn’t eat much granola, he is more of a chocolate cake kind of guy. So I tell him I will get his rebar and a bucket because he is my husband and I love him and I know it will help him to feel better. I want him to feel better, because he deserves to feel better. He is grieving, and walking through it too.
We are both figuring out how to do this without driving each other crazy. We are both coping in our own unique ways. A friend asked me yesterday if dealing with all of this had brought us closer or driven us apart. I think we are closer. We know things that only we can understand, that makes us uniquely connected. We have waded through mud and shit and water together. We have sat and cried together in our truck after everyone else had gone. We have held each other up at the end of our driveway while our friends filled a dumpster with our belongings. Only we know how that felt. Only we have those memories. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone else.
We have been sad as hell together, but we are better now.
We are trying to be ok.
We will be ok.
I fold our fresh, clean clothes and I am grateful that we have clothes. I pile them neatly into a basket and gather all my things, and I tell my laundry friends goodbye and good luck. I hope they are able to find full-time work, I wish I could make that happen for them. On this sunny Monday afternoon I get to go to Home Depot and by rebar and a bucket because my husband needs it. I get to drive my car to do all these things, because I have a car.
I am fortunate.
I am privelaged.
I am trying to be more grateful.
If you can, try to be more grateful too.