bunt sign

Saturday, July 7, 2001

Too often I tend to look at the narrow frame and miss the bigger picture. I've been fixated on the tiny obstacles, so much so that I turned them into impenetrable barriers. That's the way I've always lived, and it's probably the reason I have insomnia and abdominal pains. No one taught me to be that way; it just comes naturally.

Sometimes I let it beat me. Last year at this time I was overwhelmed with obstacles to my getting away for a week's vacation. With each problem that was solved, another arose. Finally it was physical incapacity that kept me home, but really it was the accumulation of all the difficulties, some overcome and some not, that wore me down. I was sick because I couldn't cope, and I couldn't cope because I didn't let myself put it all into perspective.

This isn't a good way to live. In my heart I have faith that most things will work out, because most of them are too small to matter in any cosmic scheme. The universe is not out to get me; this I know for sure. It's foolish to worry that unknown forces are arrayed against me, because the world simply doesn't work that way. The randomness of chance dictates that almost any difficulty is just as likely to be resolved in my favor as against me.

So why is my initial inclination to think I'm going to miss the ball every time I swing the bat? How can I look at the life I have, which is a good one, and see the weeds that are taking over my back yard, instead of the roses blooming in the garden? (Okay, that's a bad example, because I think the gophers are killing the roses.)

It takes a positive act of will for me to believe that I can hit the ball (unless it's a curve or a backdoor slider, of course). And I'm working on it. I'm determined to leave Thursday night for my vacation, as planned. Somehow I'll make it happen, in spite of all the reasons to think it won't. If I'm lucky enough to have people who want me to spend a week on a houseboat with them, I can't afford to surrender that opportunity to the side of my nature that worries about what might go wrong while I'm gone, or what turmoil I might face when I get back.

That being said, I spent the whole day sitting by the phone, waiting for the dish installer to return my call. Calls, actually, because I've left him a message every day, each one more pitiful than the last. When I went off to the bank and the post office today, I left him a special message on my answering machine. I rushed through these errands and hurried back home, but I needn't have worried, since he didn't call.

I'll probably give it up until Monday, and then call someone higher up the ladder. I suspect he's just gone for the weekend and will call me next week anyway. But I think I'll stay home again Sunday, just in case. It worked in my favor today, because I got a lot of weeding done, and I caught up with the watering.

Mostly I just sat around waiting, checking the phone every so often to make sure it was still working, listening to baseball on the radio and reading Jessica's Big Brother 2 recap on Mighty Big TV. The fact that she thinks Justin is Joey Tribbiani cracks me up. (By the way, I like Mike's strategy of nominating someone everybody likes along with the person he wants evicted, but I'll never forgive him for not making the despicable Kent the first victim.)

great self-portrait, eh?

Here I am, waiting for the phone to ring.

So anyway, I'm outside watering this afternoon, and I turn on the jet stream and aim it in one of the gopher holes in the side yard. After a few seconds a soggy and very irritated reddish-brown lizard comes shooting out of the hole, looking around grimly. I actually apologized to the creature. "Sorry, you're not the one I'm after."

I went on with my watering, and for the longest time the lizard just stayed there at the opening. Then, after awhile, I saw it curled up just inside the hole. Later it was gone completely, so I assume it kept going further underground as the waters receded.

Now I suppose I'm going to have to stop trying to flood out the gophers, because I really have nothing against lizards. Besides, it does absolutely no good anyway.

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