Things I Wish I Could Do

Once in a while I wake to the blare of my brain making a list of things that I wish I could do.  I stretch my cramped arms, shift off of my wonky hip, and watch the light rise around me.   As the shapes reveal themselves to be comforting familiar objects, my blood starts to stir and my brain keeps on conjugating.

I wish I could make the bed without losing my footing and doing a full face-plant on the mattress.

I wish I could remember each of my siblings’ birthdays without reciting the entire list in birth order.

 I wish that I could say which plant is actually a philodendron; and while I’m at it, I wish I could spell that word without a dictionary.

I wish that I could eat more than five kinds of food without my tricky system rebelling.

I wish that I knew how to apply make-up.  Not that I would, really, but once in a while it might be fun.  Not that I go anywhere.  Or that anyone looks at me.  But still.

I wish that I could stick to a budget.  

I wish that I could whistle.

I wish that I could see my mother’s face one more time.  I wish that I could convince my son that I’m proud of him.  I wish that I could stop my brother’s trigger finger.  I wish that I had said no to so many events that I could never recount them all.  I wish that I had said yes to one or two or maybe a half dozen opportunities, people, places, songs.  I wish that I had officially changed my first name.  I wish that I had worn braces.  I wish that I had gotten braces for my son.  I wish that I knew the names of all the presidents in their order of election.  I wish that I were an inch shorter or three inches taller.  I wish that I had a mouth which knew how to smile.

The morning has brought the fullest of California light into my tiny house.  I’ve gotten my first robo-call about health insurance.  I’ve eaten breakfast.  The minutes tick by and my brain keeps making its list. I think about a friend who once told me that I needed gentler self-talk.  I haven’t spoken with her since before last year’s election; I just couldn’t deal with her insistence that Trump was the messiah.  But she might have been right about me and my judgmental brain.  Everybody’s right about some thing.

It’s the thirteenth day of the eighty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

My last glimpse of the ocean from the Marin Headlands on a pandemic day trip last September.




3 thoughts on “Things I Wish I Could Do

  1. Genevieve

    I hear you about all of the things you wish. I too have a long list of “I wish I could” I also agree with your friend about the gentler self-talk, but not about the Trump stuff. I love that you are always growing and picking apart your thought process – never giving up on change. It is interesting, I know that your struggles against your bodies limits and your body image are a daily part of your life, yet it is not the thing I think of first when I think of you. I think of your welcoming inclusive personality, I think of you standing at the entrance of Suite 100 inviting everyone to enjoy art and snacks with you. I think of you inviting everyone to go on your tiny house journey as you discover what exactly it means to move your whole life and live tiny and sustainably. I think of of you always putting yourself out there and meeting people, and challenging the things that you see that need to be challenged. I think of you traveling back to KC for as long as you needed to do it to finish up your cases. I think of you overcoming the fears that must have been there to pick up and leave everyone and everything that you had known, the life you had built, your career, your home, your social network, and to move across the country and start forming new networks. I want to pick up and make a new life, and even with a partner it is hard. I am so in awe of you, how much harder it must have been when it was just you finding a new community. I think of the big big inclusive heart that is housed in your petite frame. I have so much love for you.

    1. ccorleyjd365 Post author

      Dear Genevieve, your words moved me beyond my ability to express; I cried; I laughed; I felt your love and warmth. I miss you. Keep yourself safe so we can hug one another soon.


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