Mad about neglect

As I drag a broom across the dusty floor of my creativity and my house, I wonder why people don’t take care of their homes, let alone their own selves.

I wonder what kind of person lives in a house that has felts of dog hair tufted in the baseboards, or who can live with water so hard it turns the tub, tile and clothing blue. Why would someone live in a place where the carpet smells like that of so many thirsty dogs and why did they let them do duty on the carpet anyway? Get up off your butt and let the dogs out!

How can people ignore what’s around them? I guess the dog hair and blue water is only a metaphor why people don’t take care of themselves.

I can’t say anything about taking care of my own self and pass judgement on others. My lack of sufficient funds is part of the reason I’m wearing worn out jeans, my Skechers have lost their tread and the “Check Engine” light has been on in my car for the last 3,000 miles. I would love to get a massage like I used to, and have clothing that doesn’t come from the fat department at Wal-Mart. A membership to a local gym would be nice, or that trip to Seattle my friend Peggy and I want to take.

I asked my friend, Peggy, why she chose, so early-on in her life, a career that would make her $50 an hour. She told me she was poor growing up and was career driven because that would get her out of the no-heat projects of her life and her mind. Today, Peggy, takes care of herself. She’s a role model for being healthy; she’s lost 60 pounds in the last year, and she leaves for a 10-day cruise in December. She has a Rembrandt’s color-palette of threads in her closet and any clothes horse would be envious. She has friends, family and a good life that most people only dream of. She never rubs it in my face, she understands that taking care of herself is about taking care of her friendships, too. What a role model.

I sometimes wonder if I had ALL the money I needed, right now, to fix up this house and make it something Peggy would live in, would I do it? It takes a lot of work, time and energy to live a well-planned life and coordinate a dozen craftsman.

What would I do, if I had the money?

Get flooring. I’d love flooring in here. I’d put up nice siding outside and buy windows that didn’t move air as if you were standing behind a jet engine. I’d have someone put up walls and paint and hire someone to find all the colors that match and create a mood in my house that says, “hey,” rather than a color palette that screams, “HEY!” I’d buy curtains made from fabric other some oil-based bargain basement bolt, rip out that flesh-colored bathroom and have someone fill in the moat. I’d take a class to learn how to weld a backbone so people won’t talk to me like I’m an idiot, only because I don’t challenge every nasty thing the occasional person says to me. I’d go join Jenny Craig or hire a personal trainer and lose the fat because the clothes for Rubenesque women tends toward sweats, t-shirts with Looney Tunes characters or pants with elastic waists. It would be fun to have the money to move throughout the world and find where creativity bubbles like a fountain. I’d take time to refresh and energize my creative batteries – walks along my favorite beach in San Diego, sit and sketch the lavender fields of Sequim, learn what those boaty-things are and glide down that river outside of Buena Vista.

For me, rejuvenation comes somewhere between doing laundry and a story about a car wreck.

I don’t think it’s always about having enough money, it’s about the belief and drive to have what we want that gets us where we want to go. I’m not sure why we get stuck, settle for old jeans, move gingerly through our finances or  paint every wall in their house egg-shell white. I haven’t figured out any of those tough questions.

All of this from dog hair and blue water.

3 thoughts on “Mad about neglect

  • November 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

    There must’ve been a sale on commas this month.

  • November 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I laughed, I cried, I love your free writing style.

  • November 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

    This is one of the best, most honest posts I’ve ever seen. I love it!


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