I stood in the locker room of my gym this morning, wrapped in a towel, when I realized that I had forgotten to pack my dopp kit. That meant no deodorant, no brush, no sweet smelling lotion, no moisturizer, no makeup, nothing. I had two options: put my dirty running clothes back on and head home to clean up or proceed to the shower and make a store run on my way to work. I opted to do the latter so that I could make my 9:00 a.m. conference call from my office rather than my car. Less than thirty minutes later, I stood in a Target.
The CVS Pharmacy I tried first wasn’t yet open when I pulled up. As I considered my other options, I remembered that someone had given me a gift card to Target for Christmas. Perfect. I could use that to buy my necessities: deodorant, a foundation that I hoped would come close to matching my skin tone, eye liner, and mascara. I also picked up a few non-necessities: a card, a pad of unlined white paper, and a box of 24 colored pencils. I don’t remember the last time I bought colored pencils.
I then drove to my office, attempted to pretty myself in the bathroom, and then hopped on my call. A few minutes later, I ordered Sunday home delivery of the New York Times because I want to read the travel and book sections. And I want to be someone who spends leisurely Sundays at home reading the Times, The New Yorker and whatever else her heart desires.
My day has not gone as originally programmed, but it’s been nice. It was nice to realize that my morning routine doesn’t have to be complicated, that I can unexpectedly treat myself to a little creativity, and that I can follow my heart to a place of stillness and calm, two things that were lacking in me much of last year.
I’m going with the flow of things rather than getting worked up about my mistakes. I’m making way for parts of myself that were either buried or never even existed. I’m slowing down now that my year of making sure turning forty didn’t suck is over.
Another change this new year has brought is that I now have a roommate. A dear friend has returned to Austin and will be staying with me for some months. Ten years ago, I lived in a house twice the size of the one I’m in now, and I couldn’t find it in me to open my doors to a girlfriend in a similar situation. My life and my heart were too rigid, too closed. Now? I welcome the presence of a trusted other. I know it won’t always be easy, but I am willing to make that change. I want my home to be shared.
I’m also ready to re-engage with a church. Years ago, I found a church community that felt like home to me. Until it didn’t. Two people I considered to be friends were having trouble trusting one another and ended up pointing their mistrust at me, as though I somehow threatened their relationship. I didn’t and still don’t understand where they were coming from, but I think I’ve spent enough years letting their insecurities create a bunch of my own. I’m ready to try being in community again. Somewhere.
It’s funny. I feel really settled where I am, but at the same time, I feel myself and my life changing. Somehow those things feel consistent to me. It all just feels right.