Thursday, May 2, 2013

Everyday Housewife

Much of my adult life has been spent in search of an in maintaing a semblence of normality.  When I was younger, life life was chaotic. Chaotic childhood, chaotic adolescence and the shifting sands of moving and settling in and moving again.  Somehow I managed to maintain a few friendships and I decided in 6th grade that I didn't really need to make anymore new friends since the new town we'd moved to was probably a stopping place anyway.  Except that I spent the next 8 years there. Shoulda made more friends.

My daily routine when I was 22 and living in Port Angeles, Washington revolved around work and my social life. I'd get up around 9, go jogging probably twice a week, get a shower and go to coffee.  I had learned to make friends again by then. My little group hung out at Pete's Pancake House (it's now a glassblowing shop) and we'd chain smoke, sip coffee, order breakfast or french fries and talk forever.  Nobody had cell phones. It was 1994. I'd go to work at 3 and get off at 11 at the local Red Lion Hotel. There were days for laundry, days for driving my 77 Thunderbird across the state to see my mom and grandparents, occasional days for dates and lots of comforting friendships.  There was a lot of rain. I also lived by The General Store in PA, and often went to the little coffee stand out front for a 4-shot latte. Those were good times and lean times, sometimes filled with sun but often fraught with worry and care.

When I was 32, I lived in Norman, Oklahoma.  My life was consumed with school and work. I'd get up at 8 and be to work at OU by 9, edit, read drafts and give fellow graduate students advice on their papers, take some healthy piece of food with me and a protein bar.  I rode my bicycle everywhere and lived in a small 4-plex just three blocks north of campus.  I ran 5 miles several times a week and had a jogging buddy.  On Sundays, I would go jogging, drive the 127 miles to Tulsa and work out at my dojo, then teach a yoga class there, then drive home.  I would often be up until 3 a.m.  There was a small group of animals that regularly visited my house at night- six cats, an opossum and a small skunk.  I fed them.  My life was exhausting, and I struggled to find meaning and my place in the world.  My ex-husband drove by my house every day for years-hence the jogging buddy and the dojo. I felt haunted.

Now I'm looking at 40 next month. I walk to work every day that I possibly can.  I don't drive much anymore and our family only has one car. We don't need two. I'm married- still newly so- and we live in Washington. Life is simple. I teach and do research. It's cold in the winters and so far, it feels like it will warm up for spring and summer. Grey keeps us healthy and does a lot of the cooking. After work, I walk home and we go work out at "The Gym" down the street. They're nice people. On weekends, we go to Seattle, we stay home, we visit small towns nearby.  It's a good life. It's not where I thought I'd end up when I graduated from high school over 20 years ago.  I'm not sure that we've actually "ended up" yet. I just can't predict how life will go.

I used to think this would be me: Married to Glen Campbell. 

Just kidding. I thought I'd make a good housewife, that I'd settle, that I would somehow be noble.
Turns out I'm not that.
I was, for a time, this.

Now, I'm this.

Have a good weekend.  The farmer's market starts back up on Saturday, so you know where to find me.

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