Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Doesn't Everybody Pick Their noses in the Car?

A while back I was driving back to the farm after a day in Pittsburgh. It was just around sunset and I had an hour and fortyfive minute drive ahead of me.  When I left Pitt it was hot and muggy. The kind of day where you crank up the AC and some cheesy summer music. 

About an hour into the ride I felt uncomfortable and tried to make myself forget about it by singing even more off key to All Eighties Rock All Night Long. Yes I'm that girl in the car who picks her nose and sings loudly and arm dances in awkward ways. My hope is that I'll only drive by you once. That spares me the embarrassment of seeing you twice and you recognizing me as the girl who picks her nose, sings loudly and arm dances.

It took at least another 15 or 20 minutes before I realized that the reason I was uncomfortable was because it was night time, the air had cooled, and with the AC blasting, I was freezing.

At first when I realized this I called myself an idiot. Unfortunately that was my go to for so long that it has become my automatic response.  But when I let that go, I was able to really take something away from the whole, pretty inconsequential, ordeal.

Get ready for some pretty awesome metaphorical life lessons!

While I am not in control of the weather outside, I do control my AC. But if I don't stop to notice the changing weather, I don't adjust the temperature. And I get cold. 

Are you with me?

Sometimes life is a certain way, and we adjust ourselves accordingly. But do we always take note of how life has changed?  When I was a teenager I wanted to be beautiful, sexy, desirable.  For one, society told me that that's what I needed. But beyond that was a deep, primitive need to find a mate. It starts with our first periods. That biological drive.

I'm happy to say I have found one.  A mate. Let's just call him my husband. It's sounds much more romantic.  So now that I have a husband who is deeply committed to me, and we have born three insanely awesome and annoying and sweet and crazy, little offspring, the need to be sexy, beautiful, desirable, is no longer the priority. 

Now I'm not saying that from here on out I plan on letting myself go, wear sweats all day and never shower (tempting as that sounds). I hope to stay adequately fit, and shower at least once a week. And I only wear sweats in the winter, when no one is really sexy, because there's nothing sexy about being really freakin cold.  But what I am saying is that my husband has told me he finds me most attractive as I am... Unshaven, unplucked, make-up free and dressed like a farm chick.  So why do I still feel the need to 'look good' when I go out? And by look good I mean: look more like what I see on a magazine, less like what I see in the mirror. I do not need anyone else to find me desirable. I am desired. The weather has changed and it's time to adjust my inner temp.

Did you see what I did there? Did you get the metaphor? This is why I'm a writer!

So many other outside temps have changed. I no longer need to be cool. I no longer need to be validated by an alpha male. (Not that I don't love you, Dad!) I can handle so much more than I ever could before. I don't need to be anxious any time any responsibility falls on me. I have three kids. Responsibility is my middle name!  Or maybe more like an initial added to the end of my name. Or like a nickname used ironically by loved ones. Whatever, that's not the point. The point is that I don't need to be anxious. 

I know there are so many ways that I am still adjusting myself to circumstances that no longer exist. But I think that if I pay a little more attention when I find I am trying to distract myself, I will notice that I can turn down that AC, roll down the window, and arm dance like a master!

1. Watching the joy on my son's face when he plays soccer
2. That my other son pooped in his potty this morning before I even got out of bed
3. Talking to my Yopa on the phone
4. Going to milk a goat in the morning. Yay!