Life Has A Way of Showing You What You Can Do Without

 

Last Monday I returned home to find that my AC was not working. It was too late to call someone that night so I went without. After troubleshooting on my own every possible thing that could be wrong and within my capability to fix from the breaker to the coolant level in the overflow pan on Thursday the technician came out, locating and replacing a fan up in the attic that had become mangled. Those three days had been sauna-like at times but bearable. The highest temperature reached inside my house was early Wednesday evening when until the sun had been down for a while it reached and remained a faith-testing 87.

I was quite proud of myself for not having a nuclear hissy fit, or for packing up the dog and staying at Mom and Dad’s forty-five minutes away. As nice as it is to know that it’s there to run to if ever I really truly need to this is my house – heck, this is my life, and inhabiting either one is not some part-time thing.

Homeownership happens, you know – you can be happily reading the Sunday paper and all of a sudden something breaks (in the other room; something you did NOT just touch) and that down payment for a car you were squirreling away for your next car goes out the window. It happens all the time, and it happened to me yesterday.

The sound of water can be extremely soothing. When two pipes underneath your bathroom sink have become uncoupled leaving your too-expensive hairdryer, the straightening iron you’ve had since 2004** and every single cosmetic to your name floating in a foot and a half of water, peace is not the overall experience.

I tried to figure out what was more distressing: the standing water or the loss of my insurance policies (the beauty products). Both were clearly playing a part in the discomfort I was experiencing. I found it fascinating that though I rarely use any makeup to lose it was to suffer a loss; the Cover Girl as much as the Chanel. Though I rarely hold onto things I looked at the liners, the lipsticks, the powders and felt a sense of panic as if I may need them some hypothetical someday in a way I have not this past week, month, or even year.

Ultimately then, though I am strong enough to say nearly every day that I am beautiful enough just as I am naked-faced even I not only worry that any day this may not be true but had bought (colorful and often rather expensive) insurance policies which previously sat lined up under my bathroom sink like so many soldiers until yesterday they died in a mass watery grave. Whether this is due to a harsh inner critic, media messaging, conception of my “beauty” vs. standard beauty or the intersection of these things the fact that I sweated it out as I did for three days with no sense of loss but each time I placed one of those slickly packaged palettes or tubes in the wastebasket I began to feel uneasy and unprepared should give me pause (and it does).

I think life has a way of showing you who and what you can live without; why you’re mentally holding onto something that actually stopped being part of your life long ago. There’s so much more I think I need and I haven’t for so long now. Whether I can cut it out before life does the pruning for me remains to be seen.

 

**Be honest — how many friends have you kept since 2004, and those are people. This was a great (and vital) piece of hair equipment. I spent the whole of my tax returns on it that year. I don’t know that I could justify that much on one again so I am glad they have come down substantially since. I only hope it doesn’t take me eight years to break this one in.

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