Last week, in the midst of the hurricane that is my life, I received one of the best gifts ever from my youngest sister MCV. (My middle sister, Mood Ring Momma, has also given me cherished gifts just when I needed them). It was a big, black wool blanket with a bright orange A emblazoned on it. Now, to you, the reader, this probably seems like a crazy gift. Why would the EPP rejoice in a rather ugly blanket stinking up her delightfully appointed family room? Why indeed? This is what it looks like:
The accompanying note read: “Dear EPP, You always deserved the Blanket A! As it is wool, we cannot really use it [think allergies]. Put it out for Halloween/Fall and enjoy! Kon Mari it if you’d like. Do not send it back. Love, MCV”.
The “Blanket A” was a prize my high school bestowed on the most outstanding male and female of each class. In order to be considered for the award, each candidate had to have an athletic letter, a scholastic letter, and an activity letter. The “A” stood for the name of our town. Strangely, I did not know about this award until the fall of my senior year when my friendly rival, Rose of Sharon, tried out for the cross country team. Until this point, Rose of Sharon had both the scholastic letter (an excellent student, she was/is smarter than me) and an activity letter (she was/is an accomplished musician and songbird, among lots of things). Rose of Sharon was the third of four sisters so she knew the drill. Back in the day, if you were still standing at the end of the cross country season, you got your athletic letter. No one got cut. I had run for 3 years and was elected Women’s Captain of the Cross Country team, not because I was the best, mind you, but mainly because I am/was a good cheerleader). Rose of Sharon and I both had a good season, together and separately.
I think you know where this story is going. MCV won the sought after prize the year she graduated and I was runner up, eight years earlier. I used to lament my “runner-up status” for years because it was, frankly, a theme. Homecoming Queen runner-up, Environmental Law Review editor-in-chief runner-up. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. So many near misses!
So last week, when I was getting buffeted by the high winds and torrential downpours of life, seeing the unexpected, silly gift, sitting in its box made me LAUGH HARD. This is how I know that the sky is not falling – I can still laugh.
But let me back up and return to MCV’s note. The Kon Mari Method is an organizational method dreamed up by Marie Kondo, detailed in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I received this book from my mother (regift?) at Christmas because I had already decided what my words for the year were going to be – “quiet” and “purge” [to read my blog post on this subject, go here]. Kon Mari changes lives, which is why I was the recipient of the Blanket A in the mail. The first and foremost rule of purging your house of clutter is to ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?” YES! There is no way I am going to Kon Mari that blanket’s A** because IT SPARKS JOY . You would have thought I actually had won it when I opened the box.* But joy sparked only, apparently, in me. MCV was able to let go of her Blanket A and somehow, I doubt Rose of Sharon has hers on display. The question is: Has she Kon Mari’d it????
So why did I need a little pick me up? Because my life is approaching a Category 3 storm and I needed a security blanket. Amidst the noise, I am seeking the eye of the hurricane, where “the weather is calm, the sky is clear, and the winds are just light breezes”, getting “stronger and more organized,” per Wikipedia. The still point is where I want to be. Thing 1, it turns out, has had a little complication with her recently reconfigured eye. Having larger than average pupils, her new artificial eye lens got sucked into the pupil as it was dilating down. (The pupil is the black hole in the middle of the iris, through which light strikes the retina.) The lens will need to be popped off and re-placed. How the surgeons are going to prevent this from happening again, I know not. An Uber driver called Thing 1 a warrior last week as she traveled home from work and that is exactly what she is.
This week Stephen Hawking hypothesized that rather than being destroyed by the black holes of the universe, whatever gets sucked in remains there, in some form or fashion. This is good news, if you can understand quantum astrophysics, which I cannot. But as the storm churns over us , I will be there for the post-op, to swab Thing 1‘s forehead, and get the Coke for the impending migraine swirling. We will move on to the second eye at some point, wiser and hopefully only slightly worse for the wear. Because there are no runner ups in Infinity and Beyond. Everyone gets a prize, sighted or blind, short or tall, black or white, smart or dumb, organized or a mess. Everyone.
*In a recent blog post, Glennon Doyle Melton writes about Brene Brown’s new book Rising Strong and how it shaped the way she now views her own failed cheerleader try outs. Am guessing the book has something to say about runner ups.
N.B. Did you notice the three photos at the top of the post? The Creator is not disorganized.