When I actually think to read my horror-scope, I like to read it at the end of the day. Somehow, it’s all so much more mysterious when given the day’s events, I’m able to analyze the extent to which the stars have been correct. Or at least that Holiday Mathis, who happens to write the horoscopes our daily paper prints, is correct.
Today, mine stated, “Neither here nor there is a good place to be. It’s not that you’re undecided or wishy-washy. You’re thinking is flexible, open — just in case a better idea comes along. It will tonight.”
It’s amazing how that works. I know it’s all about interpretation, but still. “Neither here nor there” has to do with my opinion on whether my mother should move back to California or Virginia. She drove across the country to Virginia seeking adventure last summer. She sold her casita, gave away almost all of her possessions, packed her car and left. Why Virginia? Because my sister and her family recently moved there and it makes sense that when you’re 70 years old and you want to relocate on limited resources, you might feel more confident if you know someone once you arrive. I know I would.
But things didn’t go quite the way my mother expected and when she couldn’t face the challenges that kind of a move forces on everyone, after a few months, she drove to New York to stay with her sister. There has been no adventure. Zero. I was hoping there might be, because my mother can have quite a spirit, but I was wrong.
I’ve been wrong before.
Mom, you know it’s true. But wouldn’t you have rather had me encourage you than tell you you couldn’t do it? That it wouldn’t work? That you’d never stick it out? That you’re not strong enough, or too old? If I’d believed any of that, I would have told you. I actually believe people can do things they don’t realize they’re capable of. I’ve seen it. I’ve also seen what happens when they’re suffocated by someone who thinks they can’t do anything. Can’t meet expectations. Won’t fit into whatever box has their name on it. It makes me sick.
I’m a Pollyanna. When I believe in something, I really believe it. I believe it so much that I’m convinced that being positive can influence even the most negative circumstances. I think people struggle with this idea when they really know me, because I’m also very blunt. I haven’t seen a rule that suggests that if I’m an optimist, that I must also be coy. Or “wishy-washy.”
I suppose some may consider that being wishy-washy is one of my characteristics because I choose not to say exactly what I believe is best at a particular moment in time with five seconds of thought on the situation. Call it the effect of working with and caring for over 1,000 students in my career, each of whom was very different from another. I’d say that being “undecided” about something is more about “flexibility” because the very best decisions are made after time spent measuring and thinking, stewing and talking.
But that’s difficult for some. Sitting down, making eye contact, and actually talking in a constructive fashion is daunting. I’m supposed to be understanding about this, and I can when I have to, but I’m just not feeling the love right now. What could possibly happen? People might actually understand how one another feels?
If I was a calm person, I’d be able to shake it off. People often tell me that. But I’m incapable of shaking anything off. If I was a dog, I’d be a flea bus. Things sit with me, or on me, nudging and poking me to pay attention to them. To argue, to fight, to figure them out…yesterday. Isn’t that ironic? You’d think I wanted to get them over with. But I can’t, because they require time, and what I’ve learned is that with time comes reason.
Think about all the great aspects of life and living that come with time: babies are born, seeds sprout and blossom, a roast braises, a plot unfolds, wine ferments, love deepens.
I’ve started this three times and have deleted all that I’ve written. I won’t this time because I’m tired. I shouldn’t be, but I am.
Going back to the horoscope, as far as a “better idea coming along tonight” is concerned, I’d say yes. I vote for my Fairy Godmother to tap my head with her wand and grant me any wish to come true.
I’d wish that you were free of worry, Mom. That you could be happy. That you could laugh and enjoy life. That you felt you deserved things…
What do you want, Mom? Do you know?
Have you ever known?
I can’t imagine.