A Sharp Turn in Life

"Always fasten safety belt" - NARA -...
“Always fasten safety belt” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a kid, we never buckled up.  The cars were big, and the seats were hard and flat.  If the driver took a sharp turn, we’d slide across the back seat until we pressed up against another passenger and flattened them to the door.  Cloverleaf turns were the best because they went on forever, and you just couldn’t right yourself.

Sometimes life is like that.  I’ve taken a big turn, and I’m giggling.  It’s exciting and fun, but I’m pressed up against the side of the car and I can’t seem to right myself.  In the chaos, my purse tipped over and all my belongings are strewn across the floor.

If you’re not a woman or don’t carry a purse, you have no idea what kind of catastrophe it is to have it empty on the floor of a car.  There are cosmetics, credit cards, pills, scraps of paper, keys, and candy that will melt if lost and forgotten under the seat.  This is how my life feels.  It is an upside down purse on the bottom of a car, careening around a cloverleaf off of Interstate 94.  And I’m smooshed against the window giggling so hard I’m in danger of peeing my pants.

I know you were wondering why I hadn’t posted in a while . . .  You were, right?

The car is finally starting to come out of its turn and I’m thinking about how to put my purse back together without stepping on any of it first.  I chose to write here, because it seems to clear my head.  It’s some type of conscious meditation, connecting brain fibers, inducing deep breath.  It feels familiar, like soil under bare feet.

I see that there are two ways to go with this.  I can pick up the most important things first — the credit cards and pills — or toss the scraps of meaningless papers out the window.

No, I don’t litter in real life.  This is all metaphorically speaking.  Try to stay with me, here.

Isn’t there some saying about swallowing your biggest frog first?  Yuck.  It reminds me of a nightmare I once had.  I’m going to pick up my credit cards and pills first, which will make the rest seem like tadpoles.  Gross.

So here’s the plan.  It’s not etched in stone, but the internet is close.

  1. Pick up the credit cards.  I’m going to pay my bills before I forget them and they become overdue.  While I’m doing that, I can check my bank balances.  I’ll put all the tax documents in one obvious annoying place.
  2. Chase down the pills.  Take a walk.  It’s a beautiful day — the sun is shining and the dog is eager.  The fresh air is the medicine I need to complete the rest.
  3. Put the cosmetics back in the case.  Clean myself up — get dressed, from my makeup to my shoes, to gear up for the rest of the day.
  4. Throw out the scraps of paper.  Clutter is caving in on me.  I still have Christmas stuff out for God’s sake!  I’m going to pick up, tidy up, clear out, and throw away!

    Embed from Getty Images
  5. Pick up my pocket calendar.  I’m pretty sure my son’s birthday was this week.  What was it he requested?  Vegetarian lasagna . . .
  6. Find my keys.  There are errands to run.  Groceries need buying — soy sausage, noodles, sauce, maybe cupcakes . . .
  7. Fish out that bit of chocolate under the seat.  Lastly, I’m going to treat myself.  Maybe I’ll watch a movie with popcorn or find a pair of shoes at the mall.

Another fun thing I remember about the old bench seats is a sharp turn followed by one in the other direction.  I never knew if Mom or Dad did it just to hear us laugh, but sliding from one side of the car to the other was a thrill I will never forget.

One best left to memory, and not encountered in metaphor!

Nowadays we have seat belts, helmets, shin guards, face masks, and anti-lock brakes meant to suck the fun out of everything keep us safe and extend our lives.  When they come up with one for the sharp turns in life, let me know, will ya?

Peace . . .

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15 thoughts on “A Sharp Turn in Life

  1. I did wonder where you were. I finally had time to sit down and start sorting out my inbox which became overrun with the house, weeklong guests etc and I found i’d saved some of your posts to respond to when I had time to actually leave a well thought out comment. I realized it had been a while since you posted and hoped everything was okay. Are you okay?

    I love your metaphor for life. Yes, those twisting roads were some of my favorites, still love driving the winding roads today when I have the opportunity to drive. It was always fun to try and squash the siblings into the door knowing when the road switched direction I would get paid back in spades. 🙂

    1. I’ve been thinking of you too, wondering if you were wondering . . . I am eager to find out what you’ve been up to. Will have to stop by soon. On to Step 4. This place is driving me insane!

  2. Jean, hear me–okay? You truly have serious writing talent. Raw, real skill. Please keep posting, but also please start mulling over the ways you might be using this gift more. I not only connect with you, but am refreshed by your style of prose in much the same way that I’m left sighing by a really satisfying poem. You are a complete stranger to me, but I feel compelled to encourage you in pursuing this. Keep going forward–you might be surprised where this takes you.

  3. Glad you’re back! I just figured you were adjusting to your promotion that you were enjoying so much. 🙂 Think of it this way….50 some days until spring…which brings motivation….in theory…yeah I am right there with you….

  4. ahhthesimplelife

    Hello Jean,

    Such an insightful post. You have described to perfection the best way to react to a sharp turn in life.

    Wishing you well wherever the joourney takes you.

    Carol

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