Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hey Mamanista, This is Your Wakeup Call!

About a year ago, I went to a new hairstylist. I sat in her chair and told her what I wanted to change about my hair and asked for her opinion on the subject. We formulated a plan and she quickly got to work. She asked me to tell her about myself. I started in immediately talking at warp speed about my kids, my job, my commute, cooking, my husband, my house and my cat. She stopped combing out my hair and looked at me in the mirror. "And what do you like to do when you're not working or taking care of your family?" Silence. Why did she have to ask me such a hard question? My brain felt like it was stammering and fumbling for an answer. "I like to knit" was what I finally said, though I couldn't remember the last knitting project that I had actually finished.

This should have been a big moment. This should have tipped me off that something wasn't right. This should have been the moment in the story where, metaphorically speaking, the operator tells me that the calls I've been getting all night are coming from inside the house - or the moment where the guy who has been convinced that there's a serial killer at the party finally loosens up and admits he was wrong, right when the rest of the partygoers see the serial killer over his shoulder. It should have been like that. It bothered me a bit that I had such a hard time answering her question, but I quickly discarded the feeling.

I was cleaning out my bedroom closet one day. I stumbled on a small box labeled "master bedroom closet" from our last move many, many years ago. I laughed about how I always seem to have one box that never gets opened after each move. They just sit in a basement or a closet, and no one can ever remember what exactly is inside. I cut the tape on the box and opened it.
It was a time capsule. Two jewelry boxes containing my past. Abalone jewelry bought on vacation once, pins, silver barrettes with designs hammered on them, rings, and a cream-colored hair bow. Memories came flooding back. I once had a Chrisian Dior suit with a detachable collar that was the same exact color as this hair bow. I had matching shoes in the same color also. I used to wear white suits with pale camisols and all kinds of accessories. I used to go out for drinks with friends. I used to shop like it was an Olympic sport - and trust me when I tell you I would've medaled in it if it were. Matching handbags. Three-step skin care programs. Things I had long forgotten. When did I let it all go?

I carefully packed up the box, folded the top together and packed it back away in the far corner of the closet. Out of sight, out of mind.

Yesterday, I was driving home from the grocery store with my kids. I was reminding them that their bedroom floor needed to be picked up. My son started talking about how he wanted "a hundred million dollars" so he could get servants. He would get someone to clean up his bedroom floor. And while he was at it, he would get someone to do all the cleaning, cooking, laundry and dishes. My daughter looked at him and said, "Don't waste your money on that - Mom does all that." The child is subtle.

I've finally heard the wakeup call. I have to end this blog post now. I have a knitting class and a cooking class to sign up for. After that, I'm going to call about touring a new local gym. And then there's some earrings that I want to wear today, but I've got to get them down out of a box in the closet first.

"What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now." Author Unknown.

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