Sitting here, sipping my coffee with my dollar store cheater glasses on, I’m reflecting on my 6 reasons to smile this past month. It’s been an extremely stressful month, truthfully, mainly because of the health and safety of two of my girls. Let me explain and just jump in with some of the reasons I smiled in September.
1.) My oldest daughter goes on a cruise with her best friend from college every year. They’re both on a budget so they schedule their annual cruise during hurricane season. I’ve warned Devon about this but she just shrugs like every other 20-something-year-old has done before her. Jen and Devon have been lucky until this year, and even this year was lucky.
Carnival Cruise did not cancel the girls’ cruise which left on a Sunday in early September; however, they canceled every cruise after theirs. The cruise left from Puerto Rico (is there a knot in your stomach yet?) and went to various islands and the captain managed to avoid Irma. The problem is that the captain left the girls back in Puerto Rico the following Sunday. The next problem was that American Airlines was not flying anywhere that day, and they especially were not flying into Miami where the girls were to make their connection to Phoenix. Devon and Jen had to stay at an Airbnb for a week before they finally got a capable and caring American Airlines agent on the phone (prior to this woman, they couldn’t get off the island). Well, needless to say, I am indebted to that woman because the girls got out before they closed down the airport again, awaiting Maria. And if you’ve been watching TV or following social media, you know what happened. I am smiling hugely because my daughter is back in San Diego and safe. That was too close of a call. As a bonus smile, the girls agreed not to take a cruise during hurricane season. Whew. I don’t think I slept during that two week time period.
2. My middle daughter fainted in school. The teacher called me and informed me that Madison was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. Did I mention she’s 3,000 miles away at school? I spoke with her after she came to so I knew she was coherent but then after they took her to the hospital, I did not have any more access to her. Cell phones didn’t work at the hospital so I didn’t know her status for over 6 hours. Lots of hand wringing and wondering and worrying. I was just looking at flights to the east coast when I got news that she was ok; they were running tests on her which is why her ER trip was taking so long. So what about that makes me smile? There’s two things. One is that I have insurance so all the costs associated with an ambulance ride, a trip to the ER, a specialist visit, and then more tests she has to have next week, are covered. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes this possible. I didn’t want to make this a political post, and I’m not going to–I’m simply stating a fact. We have insurance because of former President Obama. The second reason is that two girls from Madison’s class spent the entire day with her in the emergency room rather than staying in their classroom. What their selfless act means is that they have a lot of catchup work to complete but I am so grateful there are good people who will look after someone they’ve only known a month.
3. My friend Laura’s house sold. It closed on the 26th. Laura has had a very rough life ever since I’ve met her. The story is far too long to tell and too sad. Some day I might write a made-for-TV show about men who emotionally and financially abuse their wives, and the aftermath of that abuse, but for now all I’ll say is that Laura’s house sold and she can get that responsibility off her back. And more importantly, her teenaged daughter can move forward with her life. P.S. Devon got the house fixed up, listed it, negotiated with another agent, and sold the house in record time. It was less than 2 months from the start of a major remodel to checks in hand. So proud!
4. My husband went out of town to spend time alone in Bend, OR. I had nearly a whole week of bliss. I haven’t been that relaxed in a long time. Actually, this reason to smile is a three parter now that I’m thinking about it. The first part is Nick leaving (huge smile–I even took him to the airport to make sure he couldn’t change his mind mid-freeway). The second part is that Sam and and I decided that we would go directly from her pick-up at school to dinner. Yep, we joined the blue hairs at 3:30 p.m. and ate dinner every day at 3:30. This made perfect sense to us. At 3:30, we’re both starving–her because she hasn’t eaten since 11 a.m. and me because I probably haven’t eaten at all. We ate only at healthy places and we ate what we wanted. It was a major win. When I lived at my grandma’s house, we always ate at 4 so I have fond memories of eating dinner early. The third part is that I finally got my wish to sing while I clean. I clean with my music on and earbuds in my ears. I’ve often wanted to belt something out while I’m vacuuming or dusting but feel like I can’t because my husband is always at home. ALWAYS. When I realized I could sing while cleaning, I smiled bigly. The funny thing is, though, that I started to sing and discovered that it wasn’t all that fun but I wouldn’t have known that had my husband never left town.
5. I smiled big when I learned that Devon was going to Tijuana to help build a house for a family of four who’ve never had a house before. She and 30 of her co-workers spent a Saturday to build an entire house in one day. She called me the day before they went, too, because the participants were asked to buy some small housewarming gift for the family. The question becomes, what do you buy for someone who has nothing? We settled on picture frames where the family can put their new, happy memories in their new home.
6. How could I almost forget the baby shower I attended on the 23rd? What a sweet event for a sweet couple. Nick and I were the only neighbors that were invited. What an honor. They introduced us as “they’re the neighbors,” and then the person would exclaim, “Oh, these are the neighbors?!” Apparently we’ve had some good stuff said about us. I sat next to this beautiful young woman who had just turned 28 in June. I noticed she had a bit of sadness about her and I asked her many questions until I got to the source of her pain. She told me she was getting divorced. Goes to show you that you can be young, beautiful, smart, sweet, kind, and think you have the best relationship but you can still end up divorced. I know she’ll find someone new and better when she’s ready.
The best part about the shower is I sat at a table with other women my age so we all got to share our gory birth stories. We laughed so hard! I felt like I left that party with so many new friends.
As a bonus to the smiles, I wanted to share with you something Tim Ferriss wrote in his recent 5-Bullet Friday newsletter. In his newsletter, he summarizes what he’s thinking about, what he’s reading/contemplating/watching, etc. He put a quote in this past Friday’s newsletter that stopped me in my tracks.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ― Jalaluddin Rumi
Can I get a whoa? Whoa.
That’s it for now. Thank you for plowing through this very lengthy post. Trust me when I say that I could have made it even longer but opted to keep some of the explanations shorter than I normally would have.
Here’s to looking forward to the many times I smile in October. What made you smile in September?