Well. The last seven days have got to be pretty high on the “least fun weeks ever” list. Not a lot of income for me, my husband’s job getting more and more unstable, and oh yeah, my niece’s funeral.
One of the cruelest things about death has got to be that life goes on. It doesn’t even hesitate, not for a moment. My email was backing up and my cell phone ringing all day Friday, as we bumbled around the LA area trying to find the right freeways to get from our house, to his aunt’s house, to the funeral home, to the reception, and back to our hotel – which believe me, is a task. Especially if the driver is one of those guys who always has some clever route or other which will be “faster.”
Or was faster, fourteen years ago when he actually lived in the area. Ahem. Yes. Moving on…
I had a few moments when I wanted to just pitch my cell phone into the nearest convenient body of water. The people calling weren’t at fault, for heaven’s sake! At any other time, their calls would have been most welcome. “Hello, we’d like to hire you, and then pay you oodles of money for making our problem(s) go bye-bye!” is not a call people generally get pissed about receiving.
Quite the contrary. Under other circumstances, I would have been a squealing bubble of happiness to have my formerly silent phone ringing and ringing and ringing like that.
But we just spent three days on less than four hours sleep per day, arrived in LA at 2:30 in the morning, got hello, yes, again with the less than four hours sleep (thank you, tree trimmers…I am so pleased to know you arrive for work bright and frickin’ early, 6:30 on the dot, to start yelling, shouting and whistling to each other…and commend you for sticking so stringently to the rule about no chainsaws before 7:00 a.m. because yeah, I have to admit: those suckers didn’t roar into life until 7:01…) and then had to go to a funeral for a feisty, sunny child of only twenty-four years with my cell phone buzzing like a pissed-off rattlesnake in my bag the whole time, and I’ve known her since she was ten and I would like someone to, I dunno, recount the votes or something because a mistake has obviously been made, here and excuse me, but WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME RIGHT NOW, AGAIN?!?!
I came perilously close to actually spitting something like that out to a poor, unsuspecting manager looking for someone to help her underling figure out which end of his spreadsheet was up. It was very shortly after the service, as we were puttering through the inevitable LA traffic on what turned out to be the wrong freeway (don’t ask). Blah blah blah SQL something about reporting got the Crystal or the Brio or the look, lady, I really don’t give a @*(^&@ right now…I only answered the phone because I for some INANE reason thought you were Uncle Greg calling because one of the Denizens had fallen down a well and frankly my mind is filled with the image of my sister-in-law weeping because her precious baby is gone and can never be replaced…
But I didn’t. I just said that it was a really bad time, I was on the road and away from a pen, and if she could please send me an email with the specific-as-possible requirements in it, I would be more than happy to get back to her bright and early Monday morning with an estimate. Yes. That would be great. OK. I’ll be watching for that.
I’ll admit, I’ve had a really hard time paying any attention at all to business today. And I need to, I need to pay really good close attention to it, today.
Today, this very day, as of about 11:00 this morning, my no-longer-traditionally-employed husband and I are starting a real, honest-to-God no-really-BUSINESS-business, together.
Life. Seems the more I’d like it to just slow down or maybe even STOP for a second, the faster it likes to go.
Buckle up, racing fans…
New permits, taxes, fees. New business cards. IRS forms for quarterly tax filings. Partnership agreements. Health insurance applications. Business banking accounts. Website design. Website hosting that can handle SQL Server applications. Figuring out price lists for my husband’s more advanced skills. Setting up the new software. Resale license. Contracts.
People, it is serious, and I need to stay on it.
No matter how much I’d like to spend the next few days just sitting in my knitting chair staring out the window, thinking and rationalizing and trying to hold a flitted life in my hands, trying to figure out why, or what might have been done to keep it on this side of Eternity a while longer…I just…can’t.
There are bills to pay, Denizens to feed, homework that needs doing, flashcards I need to flip with brightly colored shapes and common household items…the cat needs her nails trimmed, the lawn could use a thorough mowing, we have new neighbors in the formerly vacant house next door who should be welcomed and furthermore if I don’t get all those frackin’ boxes of crap my husband dumped all over my nice! clean! bedroom! floor! put away I’m going to kill myself some dark night, trying to navigate from bed to bathroom…
…my little business just turned into the only income source for the Den…
…and dear $DEITY, I worry so much for my brother and sister…even surrounded as they are by the family down there, over three hundred miles away, still…I wish there were some way I could just…help…instead of just thrashing wildly in these foreign seas, wishing I’d paid more attention when they were talking about rowing and swimming and saving others from drowning…
Damn it, Life…could you quit with the machine-gun-propelled curveballs?! Those suckers sting when they hit, and there’s just no guessing which way would be the ‘right’ way to jump when they’re coming at me like that…
But I suppose in a way this is Life’s big promise, too. It was before we came along, it will be after we’ve bowed out. When I’m gone, life won’t stop for anybody else, either.
It will go on.
And better yet, it isn’t only the bills and housework and worry that continue. The laughter does, too. The hugs and excited tales of What Happened At School Today. The singing and dancing. The sweet scent of vanilla wafting up from a freshly-cooked batch of pudding. The warm contentment of a purring cat on my lap.
Friends and family, who grieve and laugh and dance and sing and yell and always reach out to catch you when you’re about to take a nasty spill…and then give you the honor of doing the same for them, when the circle comes around, when you’ve found your strength and caught your breath and are ready to take Life on again.
It goes on, for better as well as worse. It goes on, in sorrow and in joy, in laughter and in tears, in sickness and in health.
It goes on whether you ride it for all its worth, or get dragged along in the dust.
Suppose I need to dust off my chaps and get back in the saddle, huh?
Yup. Reckon so.
Right. Web hosting, with SQL Server database option…
16 hours ago