My finger is bleeding; I’m cold and frustrated, and now I’m crying. Time to go inside and figure out what’s going on with me.
I still have occasional melt downs. I am still grieving.
Today I went to the Wisconsin DMV to get a new driver’s license, car registration, title and license plates. I am not exactly timely in getting this bit of business done, and I still have to figure out what to do with the other car that is in Chicago with my daughter. I don’t relish going into “the system”. I often feel stupid, pushed around, ripped off and helpless. I try to do my homework and come prepared. I cannot tell a lie and haven’t figured out how to find justifiable loop holes to save myself some money. Steve says that I think in black and white, which is why the system loves me. Fine. I suppose that’s my personality, and I don’t think it’s so bad. I will never be a shrewd iconoclast. I’ll leave that to someone else. I figure I did okay getting out in 30 minutes with new plates, a new title, and a new (temp) driver’s license. I was kind of proud of myself for a moment for jumping through this hurdle. I got home and updated my insurance info online and then went out with a screwdriver and the plates to do the swap. The back plates are held on by a hexagonal bolt. Fine. I went to get pliers. Back outside. I couldn’t budge the thing, and the pliers kept slipping. Fine. I’ll go find a socket wrench or something. I do have a handy array of tools, and I rather like solving problems. I found a set of wrenches and selected one the right size. It fit on the bolt, but I still couldn’t move it. I needed more force, so I went back inside to find a hammer. With the hammer, I decided to be more aggressive. I wanted to move this stubborn bolt, but the rust resisted. My knuckle scraped against the plate and started bleeding. Fine. I’ll go inside and wash my hand and find some gloves. Back outside. Final attempt, nothing’s budging, I’m cold and ILLINOIS is staring me in the face. “This is Jim’s car,” pops into my head, my nose starts burning and suddenly, everything is blurry.
If this little operation had gone smoothly, I wouldn’t have thought much about it. I still play the games inside my head that swing me from “This is no big deal” to “This is something important” and back again. Denying emotion, repressing the thoughts and feelings that spring unbidden in an ordinary moment. Where is that Middle Way?
This isn’t an emergency. There’s no need to be anxious, but something notable is happening. I want to slow down and pay attention. I am thinking of Jim, and I am sad. I miss the way he took care of all kinds of “system business” smoothly and happily. Knocking away at his plates with my hammer makes me feel like I’m dismantling something precious, and I don’t want it to be taken apart. I can’t preserve everything, of course. What can I keep? I don’t need the plates. I appreciate the car. I want always to have the love. I wish I could hang on to the security.
And that’s what it is all about.
I am grateful to have a partner who provides a safe, warm place for me to talk about this and arms to encircle me and fingers that can open a package of Band-Aids when I’m trembling.