When life hands you dry lemons

I’ve had a lot of those days recently.  Those days when nothing seems to work out right.  You know how it’s always on the mornings that you’re running late that you manage to spill coffee all over the kitchen floor and forget your phone and mess up the other umpteen things that only contribute to delaying you even longer from getting out the door?  Well, I think those kinds of mornings are sort of a metaphor for life.  Chunks of life often proceed like that.

A few weeks ago I literally was trying to juice one of the lemons from the Trader Joe’s bag I had bought the previous week and hardly obtained any juice.  Two teaspoonfuls—if that—dripped out of both halves of the lemon, and as I was trying to decide whether or not it would be worth wasting my entire bag of lemons to obtain enough lemon juice for one simple salad dressing, a roach ran across my countertop.  Now, the whole vegan thing leaves me conflicted about what to do with bugs and flies and other creepy crawly animals that have the ick factor.  Mentally I am not so confused: they do not deserve death merely because they have happened to find their way into my living space; I am a human being, only one of the many creatures here on earth, and we can peacefully coexist—that is, once I chase you out of my apartment into the grass and clear away from my food supply and bed comforter, thankyouverymuch.  But practically, emotionally, in the everyday, I have a much harder time.  These insects seem gross.  Yucky.  A little bit scary.  I want them to be gone and not risk that they will reproduce and take over my space even more.  Roaches like coming into Nashville homes in the summertime.

Roaches and bad lemons aside, the rest of time also seemed to drag.  The blog went down for a week, right after I decided to put some money into buying a custom domain name.  Hours and hours of researching only to learn that the error was not on my end but on Google Blogger’s, an error that they took several weeks to rectify.  Every meeting went long.  Class discussions seemed particularly painful, everyone especially determined to contribute whatever mundanities happened to be in her mind at the moment.  The idea of filtering somehow became lost on these crowds.  My internet would only work intermittently—not, incidentally, on weekends or weeknights after five, because the traffic caused too much stress on the old, decaying cable lines in our apartment building.  The majority of my cell phone minutes I use on Comcast representatives now, and I describe the same problem over and over again because they never actually get to the root of the issue.  Even my hair seemed weak, tired, as though it had given up: it would just hang lifelessly despite my continuing the exact same blow drying routine I have always had.

These are not the sort of challenges that you seize ahold of, initially frustrated, but note later your appreciation for because they have made stronger, more capable, more creative—no, these are the sort of life-sucking challenges that make living a chore.  You dread getting out of bed because you know the bed is waiting to crack beneath your weight, or, if it’s not the bed, the drain will decide to stop working in your shower, or if your daily cleansing passes without event, then you will have a wreck on your way to work.  These are the unproductive challenges, those that crush your soul a little bit each time they arise, the ones that leave you so angry you want to scream bloodcurdlingly loud but so worn-down and defeated that you can hardly whimper.

So these have been my days lately.  I know I will have them again.  It’s strange, though, how suddenly they can turn around.  When everything goes wrong and then starts going right.   Not like the movies, a happily ever after, complete state of bliss kind of right, but more smoothly again.  Everything is not a chore, a hurdle waiting to be overcome, leaving you so winded after its completion that you feel that you have managed a large feat when really you have only made coffee (but coffee that you had to make a special trip to the store to buy since you discovered that the bag you had in your home was infested with roaches, and coffee you had to remake because the first batch you spilled, and coffee you had to clean up off the counters and the floors and wipe from the shards of glass from your dropped broken mug).  You breathe a little easier again.

No kidding.  I went to make hummus the other day and I did not give myself blisters simply trying to juice the lemon.  It just poured out.  A little too cliché, but true.

The blog is up and running again, my custom domain is working, and my husband who has been away for a year is coming home.

Oh, and a Comcast tech is coming to my apartment tomorrow, but I am not holding my breath.

Emily Rowell Brownhumor, musings