January 12, 2009
Yesterday was just one of those days...when every single part of your heart is overflowing. A few years ago I described to a friend that I am most happy when I've had time with each of the 'compartments of my heart'. If it's possible to compartmentalize my heart, the sections would be faith, family, friends, health. On a perfect day, I get quality time in each area. Because each area has specific qualities, it's not always easy to get them on the same day. But yesterday, yesterday, the joy from each part was overflowing so much I had to write it down so I remember it. And on bad days, I want to re-read this post and remember what brings me joy.
Yesterday began as most Sundays do, with Mass. Ross had been suggesting we go to the Gift of Grace House for Mass and we finally did. Coincidentally, yesterday was one year from Ross and I's first date to this place that has become so special to us. We sat in the living room of a normal house in the Virginia Highlands, surrounded by women with varying stages of AIDS and our nun-friend, Sr. Brunetta. A little Irish priest that thought himself very funny gave a poignant homily. At one point Ross leaned into me as we said our comforting prayers. At another point, I reached in front of me to my friend Barbara in her wheelchair. She grabbed my hand on her shoulder and leaned her feisty little face into it. That house holds a part of my heart and worshipping there, with a man beside me who has come to love those ladies (and who those ladies LOVE!!) filled my heart to the top. God is beyond good.
Following our after Mass brunch of a grilled cheese sandwich from the Majestic Diner (I didn't put food in the heart compartments but if I did, grilled cheese would get its own section!), Ross and I set out on our days. He did manly things like touch up the paint in the guest room and catch up on work, while I set out to do woman things. I shopped (that probably deserves a compartment too) and met my friend Jill for a late lunch. An hour and a half of pure girl time brings my spirits up any day. There is something so refreshing about women friendships~about the solidarity and common experiences we all share. No expectations, no pressure to communicate effectively, have patience, love unconditionally. The men folk are wonderful and irreplaceable, but nothing beats sharing a warm meal with a good girlfriend.
I came home from lunch to Ross playing poker with a friend (cue girlfriend's exit from the house during guy time) and went to the gym. While I did NOT enjoy the 96 flights of stairs I climbed or the stupid elliptical that was programmed in metric measurements (no clue how far I went), I did leave the hour of near torture proud of myself. Not because I exercised. But because halfway through the exercise I got the bright idea to weigh myself. Keri=stupid. However, instead of wallowing in a reese's blizzard like I wanted to, I got myself back on the machine and forced myself into the 6 miles I'd committed to. For the first time in, oh, 7 years or so, my emotions did NOT win out. See pigs flying. I left the gym happy that in my full day of all the things that make me ME, I put in time for my own health. It is NEVER fun during the act, but the payoff in my increased self-esteem is wonderful. Plus it's cheaper than therapy .
Leaving the gym, I got to check off that last compartment, that essential, can't live without it compartment called family. For about the 4th time that day, I chatted with mom. Mom- the center of our family. The one who connects us all together. Without her, I'd never know how dad is losing his mind on medical leave or how Katie is doing in school so I can yell at her. Without her I wouldn't know which department store is having a sale or how to defrost a piece of chicken. (She told me how. I still haven't tried it) She is the central force in this Sullivan family for me and talking to her umpteen times a day makes my family feel like 4 minutes away instead of four hours. No overflowing joyous day would be complete without mom's calls (or my calls to her if she goes more than a few hours without calling me!)
The night ended as well as it began, with R making me the perfect ham and cheese panini and some mindless Golden Globe watching. In these days of serious work and serious economy and serious everything else, a perfect day now includes a little fantasy, a little frivolity. Making fun of Renee Zellweger's hair and J.Lo's dress gave me that extra bit of something silly. And seeing Angelina, well, knock me over. The perfect day is finished!