Appreciating the Double Take of Misery

The double take of misery. That’s how I want to start this blog, with gloom and drama, also I sort of like the way it sounds. The double take of misery is what I found myself doing a few minutes ago when a grainy-headache inducing screen sealed my fate by placing the word “delayed” next my flight status. Now, I know it’s not the screen’s fault, but I still found myself hurling silent insults at him. I accused him of having a bunny aerial connection, I told him no one would look at him like the other screens but most of all I willed him to be wrong, I promised to forgive all his shortcomings if he was wrong. I looked away, I pretended it wasn’t a big deal, that I hadn’t even seen the update. Then I stared at him, I turned my head sideways, I squinted my eyes, but he would not budge. He threw those angry red letters at my face as if he didn’t care. Still I couldn’t move, convinced that if I did, I’d miss the moment the world righted itself (yes, it’s dramatic I know). Finally, after realising that I was in the middle of a walkway, having a silent argument with an inanimate object, I decided to try and let it go. But first, let me get a drink.

So, here I am, sighing like my life depended on it, nursing my whiskey and writing. I’ve decided that after what feels like a week from hell, what I need is to write and beyond that to write about everything that I am grateful for. I started doing this about a year ago, forcing myself to be grateful when I was annoyed, when I had a bad day and then it became a habit almost. I started to write an appreciation log daily, no matter what kind of day I had and it actually gave me greater sense of control in a weird way. I’ll let you in on it today to preserve my sanity. Since you’re still around, here is the appreciation log of a woman who is going to make great use of this airport lounge before her flight departs:

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Don’t you love this?

I’m so excited to share this one with you, I almost didn’t write it for fear of messing it up. I saw the best road sign this morning (well not the absolute best but at least a very good one). It read “Shoulders Drop” and to assert it’s authority, it paced an exclamation mark above it’s bold lettering. I love it. I love it so much that I had to stop my car to take a picture of it. I can’t quite tell you why I am so deeply moved by this otherwise ordinary object other than to say that I was moved by it. Literally. I read it and immediately dropped my shoulders as if it had given me an instruction. The very action of dropping my shoulders in response to a road sign was so ridiculous that I started to laugh. I had been dragging my feet and “dropping” my shoulders all week and for some reason the sign made me realise how ridiculous I was being.

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That I’ve just spent the better part of my work week in a beautiful small town. A place where even the sight of power lines over a blushing sky can be romantic, where the mist rolling over the mountains in the mornings brings not only the cold but also a sense of wonder. I got back to my rental apartment late the other night and while stomping out of the car, moaning about the fact that outside light that did not work, something made me look up. When I did, I saw a night sky so clear, so bright, that when I stood there watching it I didn’t even feel the cold. My hands spread out beside me and I twirled with my head lifted towards the heavens. I fought the urge to grab a blanket and lay on the grass to get a better look. With the stars twinkling above me, I felt as though the world was sighing along with me, the world was saying Hey, stop being so annoying. There’s magic here and if you’re stuck in your own head you’ll never see it.

My nephew’s laugh. I have harboured this soul crushing belief that my niece and nephew are growing up without me. They are, most definitely doing that and more than anything I hate the physical distance between us. But this week, I got to see my niece hide behind her hair (when did she grow up?) and I got to hear my nephew laugh the laugh I have known throughout his life. It’s a laugh that makes me wish he’ll never grow up. It’s a laugh to bring tears to my eyes because I miss those two crazy children beyond belief and it’s a laugh that helps me store joy in the pockets of my mind. It’s a laugh to start another conversation with my sister convincing her to move back to Johannesburg, back to where I am.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t appreciate the whiskey in my glass. It’s a Glen something and I must say, he’s quite a charming character.

That I started this blog with the words “The double take of misery”. It makes me feel more important than I am to have strung those words together. Maybe, years from now experts will find this piece of my writing and marvel at how astute and insightful I am. Maybe, (a more likely option) it’s all madness

Most of all, what I really appreciate, is that I can hear the first call for my flight. I’m one short flight away from home. One short flight towards Husband, towards the dogs that will ignore me before they forgive me for leaving. One short flight towards home.