4 a.m. My Mac woke me up. Both monitor and hard drive power buttons were glowing and pulsing in the dark. I had fallen asleep on the “big chair” while trying to watch the news. The glowing gave the feeling that aliens had landed in the family room, the dog barked to go outside and now I can't go back to sleep.
I woke up yesterday at 8:30 a.m. and started cleaning the art studio (and basement). I finally finished up last night at 7 p.m. Exhausted but glad to have the top of my table cleaned off and the tile floor mopped and cleaned. (BTW, the best thing to use to clean really dirty vinyl tile floor is “cleaning bubbles”. Spray it on, wait a minute. Be very careful because it makes the floor very slippery, and mop.)
Now with all my treasures and trash safely organized and stored away guarantees that I will never see or find them again. Not sure I should have started the assemblage art craze. It plays too much with the “junk-collector” who lives inside of me and now I can't allow myself to go to the thrift store anymore. No More Space.
Sunday, while I was moving ladders and tidying up the woodpile, cleaning the backyard, weeding and looking like I usually do – a train wreck, I overheard my model-esque neighbor talking to her equally beautiful friend. They were talking about exercise classes they had been attending to get back into “bathing suit” bodies, getting facials and such. I wanted to be jealous. I wanted to yell out to them “why don’t you grab a mower and get to work”, I wanted to tell them they are thin enough and quick worrying their weight and talking about Pilates. But then, that is probably WHY they look so good. With sweat pouring off my brow and dirt underneath my fingers nails. I found myself wondering out loud, "what is wrong with me?" What happened to me as female? There was a time I thought about the way I looked in my bathing suit, I spent 8 hours a week jazzercise, ballet, weight-lifting.
I was doing a little self-meditation sans the mirror as I went back to my yard work. Since we learn our parents, I was wondering if I should blame my mom for being as I am. She was never one to take exercise classes or worry about her looks when I was young. She was worrying about working and putting food on the table, raising a child. My early childhood development was sorely lacking in feminine pursuits of perfect-ness.
Then I thought I could blame my house. How it is always needing something done, leaving little or no time for me to do much in my free time.
Many years ago, I ran into same neighbor. I was covered in house paint, head to fingernail (well, I bit my nails then so let’s just say fingertips). I had been painting some room (I am always painting something), installing and painting molding. She was telling me how busy her Saturday was because she had to get her hair done AND fit in a manicure. I wanted to laugh, or cry, at me, at her. The paradox of the situation. Returning to my painting, I remember thinking then “what is wrong with me?” I later told D how how alien I felt after talking to her. How I hated the way I was always comparing myself to her, her looks, her perfect-ness. He reminded me that I live to do my art in my free time. That getting covered in saw dust was my “thing”. That sewing and gardening were high my priority list and that I was comparing myself to someone who did none of those things, did not know how to start a mower and certainly wouldn't be caught dead with a paintbrush in her hand. And then it all made sense.
But sometimes, when I run into her and I have not changed clothes in two days, or brushed my hair and have paint under my fingernails, That little question pops up in my head. Why am I so different from most of the women I know?