my boys, catching up with my laundry, and ya know what? I can do this... be here now and not ache to be somewhere else. I am really trying to work on that. Focus on now... not then, not when, no blame, no excuses (except chemobrain... I am totally allowed to use chemobrain!), and no expectations... well maybe low expectations because I like being pleasantly surprised. And my "low expectations" for today (thinking how sad I would be to not be at the race) are nicely waxing into the sights and sounds of ESPN - oh wait - National Anthem... nice flyover... great driver (and CUTE BABY!!!) close ups... engines started... radio chatter... I'll actually be able to see the "bus stop" battles... and I can kinda see our farm when the Goodyear blimp shares its photos! 43 drivers, 90 laps, driving 5 hours - more or less. A lot can happen in 5 hours. (and if Clint Bowyer wins this race, that would be something!) And a lot can happen in 30 years.
A good friend is going through a tough time, having to make decisions no suddenly-single, ridiculously hard-working, amazingly loving mother should have to make in a world that hurries by so quickly. We've been friends since 1984. We met at summer camp - only 15 miles from where we were able to reconnect just yesterday - along the Delaware River. I'd actually been planning this for months... but planning is such a relative term... so this past Friday, I plugged a Narrowsburg, NY, (or was it Beach Lake, PA?) address into the GPS and started my engine. I made ipod shuffle my Magic 8 Ball and headed off to see my friends... "you and I have memories, longer than the road that stretches out ahead", "people hurry by so quickly, don't they hear the melody", "makes much more sense to live in the present tense", "the queen of light took her bow and then she turned to go", "the closer i am to fine..." - I write all my driving "playlists" down in case you need the script (read: movie rights).
I'm sure there are 1000 ways I could've been better prepared - like getting over my fear of food, considering I plunked myself down right in the middle of a huge food festival - but I didn't think about that. Sure, my 2002 CR-V (129K) is prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse - bottled water, Luna Bars, sunblock, bug repellent, blankets, tarps, towels, bungees, flashlights, pillows, a tent, hand-me-down copies of New Yorker (great article on Linguistic Forensics last week!), more bungees, some folding chairs, fake flowers, a pink feather boa, The Illustrated Stories of Hans Christian Andersen (great tattoo ideas), and extra wiper fluid. See, I'm totally prepared.
I just wasn't prepared for the complete overwhelmosis of my own insecurities from the past 48 hours. I felt useless. I got homesick.
And it totally broke my heart to see this just-turned 4 year-old so profoundly - and understandably - sad... confused tears turning her eyelashes into dewy little flower petals that not even my pink feather butterfly fascinator could dry. Helpless, helpless... there was nothing I could do to make Sunny Lemon Tina smile. Even worse, there was little I could do to relieve my friend's pain. I hate that feeling.
Long story short (if you're still here)... in lieu of attending a race, I got to hug Heather. And I got to hug Abby. And those two hugs alone were worth the five hour drive. Sunny Lemon Tina will be okay... and so will I.
You're probably thinking "ummmmmm, where is she going with this?". To tell you the truth I have no idea... I just know that I will "never spend my guitar or my pen".
Maybe someday I'll write about it.