We had this decrepit chihuahua when I was growing up (and then after -- little dogs live a long time). She went by many names but the final name, that stuck up until her demise, was Boo, and so I shall refer to her thusly.
Boo was shaky, old, and toothless, lame and halt after an injury sustained in her youth, and yet something would happen on a warm afternoon -- she'd prance around the yard, zip through the grass in antic circles like a squirrel. "Oh, Boo's having her second youth," my mother would say.
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So! I got into nursing school! Well, one of my nursing schools. The one where I come out with a BSN and then later on I have to apply to an MSN program, but which is less likely to kill me in the process. (Still waiting on school 2. I'll keep you posted.) School starts in August.
Which means my second youth can't be spontaneous -- it can't wait for a warm spring afternoon. Hey, I'm a busy mama. I have to schedule that shit. Yep, I have five months left to cram in ALL THE AWESOME I POSSIBLY CAN.
Some of it is awesome of the racing-around-in-circles-in-the-grass variety: Sharing a case of the Fuck-Its with my kids on a beautiful afternoon, converting the dining room into the Art and Music Salon and just leaving the paper and crayons out all the time, encouraging reading at the table by, oh, everyone.
Some of the awesome is of the ostensibly superficial variety: every haircut I've ever wanted, from mohawk to purple stubble (I've had shaved but not PURPLE shaved), remembering to play my old music loud at every opportunity and to pay attention to new music, wearing the ridiculous combinations of shorts and tights that I've loved and put away over the years (why? Why did I stop wearing shorts and tights ever?). I say superficial because yes, hair and clothes are not the same as artistic expression or life changes, but you know what, that stuff can be a touchstone for the part of your self you don't want to lose. I've let go of that self here and there over the years and it's always a relief and a joy when she returns to me. So I wear the knee-high stompin' boots to remind me to kick my OWN ass about being who I really am. I do funny things with my hair even when I'm not really feeling up to it because it sharpens my awareness of any disconnect between who I am and who I want to be.
And finally, some of the awesome is actual, real stuff I want to accomplish. I hate to mention specifics because I fear I'll doom my projects to the Idea Scrapyard but there are things I need to write and draw and DO, and at least one of them needs to come to completion before August. I have a deadline. I have an Estimated Date of Delivery, people. It's all sketchbook form now but when it's not I'll let you know. Pinky swear.
Five months of awesome. Five months left before everything about our lives changes so radically as to render September unimaginable.
But I want to know about you, readers. I want to know how you keep ahold of your self when changes come. What are your touchstones? Your road signs? How do you know you're still you when you feel like you've been knocked off your orbit? How do you come back to your self if you get too far afield?