You pay now or you pay later


I had an interesting check-in with my shrink yesterday. And by "interesting," I mean the kind of session where I start out like a spinning top, end up somewhat numb, and spend a lot of time crying in the middle.

The good news is that in my shrink's own words, it's been years since she's seen me like this.

The other good news is that I have a lot more tools today to work on what's broken, as well as a much better understanding of how to use them, than I did a few years ago.

The final piece of news is not really news, nor is it really good or bad. Which is not to say it doesn't make me wince, it does, but that's judge-y stuff that doesn't serve.

So here it is, in all its banal and ugly glory: I take things for granted. Time (that I'll have all I want, or enough), resources (ditto), luck (oy!) and people (ouch). Oh, not strangers, or casual acquaintances: them, I'll work my ass off to pay off; can't owe anyone anything, can't insult anyone, can't have anyone thinking I'm anything less than awesome.

Yeah, it feels about as good to look that one in the face as you'd imagine.

If I'd been attentive, I could have seen this coming. If I'd put "check in with self" on my checklist and made it a priority, chances are I wouldn't be here now. As it is, when I didn't, and the Truth politely tapped on my shoulder, I waved it off with a promise that I'd deal with it later. I meant the later, just like all the people whom I learned it from did. (That's one of the good things about the good kind of therapy: done right, you learn where stuff comes from and you learn compassion, so that you can let go of some of the hurt that comes with the stuff.)

But it kept being "later," as I dealt with each new thing that fell in my lap. Must attend to the new things: they're NEW. They need tending to!

So here I am, less than a week out from a trip I've really been looking forward to, and I'm wiped out. The bank looks to be near empty, if not overdrawn. It's time to fill the account back up, which means a renegotiation of the resources I have in play right now.

One final story before I head into the weekend to rest up and replenish. So you don't worry. So I don't worry. (Worrying never helped anything, but that doesn't mean I don't indulge!)

I was driving this morning on a street I often take to and from my most-visited haunts. It's been under construction for some time, which is to say it's been a ripped up mile of rubble that sprays shit up onto my undercarriage, creates clouds of noxious dust, generates huge amounts of noise rolling over, and generally abrades my delicate fucking sensibilities.

Every morning and evening, as I've driven over this half-assed excuse for a boulevard, I've wondered why they had to rip it up now. Sure, it had potholes and who-knows-what-other kinds of structural issues; it was awful but tolerable, unlike this, which was going to go on for god-knows-how-long.

This morning, I was twenty feet onto the freshly paved road before I realized that it was, indeed, freshly paved. Not lined yet, that'll come later. But so smooth and perfect, it was like riding on a perfectly nubbled sheet of dark gray glass. They must have done it in the wee hours, when no one was looking. And all of a sudden, after weeks of mess, it was (mostly) done.

I thought of this post I wrote over a year ago, about how sometimes, to make things really better, you have to rip everything up for a while and have it look (and even work) like hell. Change is messy. Change is unpleasant. Change looks embarrassing in front of company. And then, when you're done with it, there's more of it, somewhere else. Always.

I'm officially under construction, as of now. Things may be a little messy. You may get re-routed. The road may be closed off and on.

Trust me: we're working on it. Night and day.

With lots of resting throughout...