Taking Things for Granted

Well, it’s Sunday and hope is still dead. I do not see it resuscitating anytime soon. Common sense, self respect and maturity are keeping the reality squarely in front of my face and I am really questioning how I could STILL be in love with a person who is so immature and irresponsible that he would throw up so many screens, and  hide behind so many masks that he cannot see that what has torn us apart is not his feelings ( or lack thereof) or the BTH ( he wishes that it could something as easy as jealousy) but HIS treatment of me. Like Chef, Morning Person, Oscar and Artsy Craftsy, I too believe he knows exactly what he has done but he refuses to face it because then that would mean it really is him and that would require facing monsters, ghosts and truths that he thought were long buried. I do believe that he will return, tail between his legs, offering apologies and declarations of never meaning to hurt me…but they mean nothing if he does not know how to treat me.  And I do not care today if he returns or not…..I have to take care of me, and now I have even more to take care of as his selfishness and immaturity have put me in a position of picking up the pieces, repairing wounds and issues and generally making sure I am 100% before putting myself back out there in any capacity with anyone.

So yesterday I spent the day pretty much alone…it wasn’t a pity party but more of a self-imposed isolation so I could think long and hard about the decision I have made to walk away and if I can stay away. I thought about going out into the world, getting some yummy pasta and catching a flick, but I never went. It was simply too much of an effort to prepare myself to face the world alone….seriously, dinner and a movie on a Saturday night in the city while going through a bad breakup? Dinner and movies can be done solo (and can be fun!) but usually, they are activities that are more fun when done as part of a couple or group, especially on the weekends. When doing such activities alone, you need to have healthy doses of happiness, self-confidence and self-acceptance…..none of which I have in abundance at the moment. I stayed in, ate chocolate, ordered food (no chicken wings this time) and talked on the phone to Cuz, my sister, my mother, The Chef and Artsy Craftsy; I also watched a documentary on a PBS station about blind teenagers at a school for the blind in Texas, and that is where I got the inspiration for today’s blog.

We ALL take things for granted: waking up, crossing the street,  giving smiles to friends and strangers, that we will be coming home after a day on the job, that we will even HAVE a job, that people will treat us right, that our relationships will remain stable, dressing ourselves…..the list goes on and on and on. One of the first things these students learn is how to cross the street—how many steps from the starting point ( this case it is the school) to the intersection ( and which intersections are in what direction), where the crosswalk buttons are (it emits a loud buzzing sound letting them know to cross or not to cross) ,  how to listen for sounds that allow them to know it is safe to cross. I mean……HOW many of us find crossing the street no big deal?? We don’t, because we can SEE. We can read the street signs, see the traffic signals and are not in need of a crosswalk button. These students wait at the bus stop and unlike us, they cannot see the bus coming…..they have to listen for it and a couple of them got fooled by mistaking the sounds of a heavy truck for that of the bus. These students do not turn on lights in their dorms or apartments….for what?? But I found it so disconcerting for them to show off their rooms and homes in the dark. When they meet new people or attempt to make new friends, they cannot see the person’s face….they use their hands to feel each other’s faces and features. They have to learn how to cook ( using timers and the stoves I saw them using were electric so they just had to push a button to get the desired heat) and clean and do laundry….things people do every freaking day and that we take for granted, they do while blind. It may not seem like a big thing to some folks, but I am not sure if I would have the courage and fortitude to do everyday tasks without ALL of my five senses present and accounted for.

Some of them had been blind since birth so they do not know the wonderful blue of the sky, nor have they ever seen puffy white clouds. They do not know what wonderful colors Nature provides the leaves on the trees in fall, or the beautiful white of a freshly fallen snow.  They do not know which color is which, I wonder how they can know the joys of shopping  and finding the perfect dress or pair of shoes, taking one look and saying….that is SO me. One of the students had had the gift of sight for 14 years,  suffered a detached retina and actually made it to the hospital in time to have it repaired, but due to a lack of insurance, was turned away and in less than 3 days woke up blind. I think that would be the cruelest joke of all….to give someone a precious gift and then take it away. The boy’s grandmother said they wrestled with the blindness and with God over it, but she summed it up beautifully: Either there was something so ugly God did not want her grandson to see, or he, like others that are blind, needed to see it with his heart.

Yes, we all take things for granted including ourselves and people we call friends, lovers and family. We plan vacations years in advance and we have no idea if we will even be here tomorrow, if we will even have a job tomorrow.  We treat people carelessly and without thought, thinking that either that they know we did not mean to be so cruel/mean/inconsiderate and if necessary, we can always go back and apologize because they will always be there.  We do not miss the little things in life or that people offer us  until we stop receiving them, and then we are wondering what happened. I am not saying for anyone to stop living or dreaming or long term planning/goal setting, but to take more time to stay in the moment, stay in the day and when unexpected things happen…..a smile from a stranger, someone holding the door open for you, the bus coming ON TIME, someone saying they love you or miss you…do not take it for granted as no one has to do the right thing by you and when they do, it is worth noting.  Remember to say please and thank you and what you put out in the Universe is returned to you. Remember to give thanks  and praise where it is due and sometimes even when it isn’t…the things you take for granted today may not be there tomorrow, and then….where will YOU be?


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