This apartment building is 75+ years old. The bathtub is also that old. It’s no longer a shiny slippery white enamel. Its got a fine tooth of many scratches from many scrubbings which have accumulated enough to create lots of surfaces for dirty to just settle in and just roost.
For a long time I struggled with it. I used every type of cleaner on the shelf, EXCEPT Comet. I was taught never to use Comet powder on enamel. But this bathtub would not get properly gleaming clean. So I started to waver on the Comet. It’s not like I could ruin an already ruined surface! That day past at least 30 years ago.
Anyway, I finally broke down and used Comet with Bleach. And then like some sort of mad woman I scrubbed my bathtub at 11 pm last night. I’m sure my neighbors though I was crazed. And it was like a sweet song of relief. Comet works in this bathtub. I was happily and vigorously scrubbing for 45 minutes last night. Its cleaner looking that it’s ever been. Significantly cleaner than it was when I moved in.
It’s clean enough that I am contemplating an actual BATH. Baths are like nirvana to me. But this bathtub always looked so gross even after cleaning that I couldn’t bring myself to soak in it. Only shower. But now!!!
Tonight, I BATHE!!!
I’m smiling like a maniac just anticipating it. I know – only a mad woman would add a boring post about scrubbing the bathtub to a series about Smiling. But seriously, I’m full of joy over this little thing.
“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” ~Sylvia Plath
I live on a busy intersection.
Today it is very warm – mid 60s in February. Open window weather.
A few moments ago a car of women were stopped at the stop light singing a song BEAUTIFULLY acapella.
And then they drove away and I listened to it fade.
It was a surprise gift of a smile from people I never saw, people I will never know and people who will never know they gave me a gift.
I have had a rather bad few weeks. My current job has become somewhat untenable due to their choice of insurance.
Which is to say, my anger at their choice of insurance. They have chosen to use minimum required insurance. Until this, I had decent insurance through the Marketplace. The upshot is that they are saving money by taking it out of my pocket.
This is untenable for me financially in the long term. I don’t make much money and will end up in a spiralling debt if I keep the job and try to continue to keep up with my health issues.
So I’m looking for a job. Which is a cesspool of anxiety for me. I have imploded from it. But this morning I got an interview scheduled with a company. This is a huge step. Its a terrifying step. But its a grand brave step and I did it.
And it also means that despite all the things my brain keeps saying to me, I do at least have sufficient qualifications to be called in for an interview.
And it means that I’m helping myself in a situation that feels so overwhelming to me. That’s a special feature of depression and anxiety, they distort situations so that you feel like normal steps to help yourself are impossible. And my brain has been working overtime on that feature. But this interview is like a lifeline. I may not get the job but existence of an interview provides tangible evidence that there is a way out of my situation. One interview means its possible that other interviews can happen. And that eventually I can get a better job.
So I’m smiling about the path, the lifeline that is symbolized by this job interview. There is a way out. I just have to keep running down the path and remember it.
I live on a very busy corner with a traffic light and a bus stop.
Its 915am and no one is on either the street. The silence is wonderful.
When an occasional car does drive by they are silenced by the snow on the road.
Its BEAUTIFUL. Its like magic.
Also, its pretty. But that is tempered by the fact that I’m going to have clean the car off in a couple of hours. The silence let me sleep without the usual wake up calls from the traffic.
I have read Georgette Heyer’s novels – the historical ones, at least 10 times. Some of them significantly more.
They are old friends. I know what is going to happen, but visiting Heyer’s world is always going to make me smile. I know the characters, I know what is going to be said, I know what is going to happen. But just like talking old friends, there is a pleasant joining of phrases, known and beautiful that make me relax and know that life is OK. They make me smile.
These books have kept me company while I sat for endless hours in hospital rooms, while eating alone in a restaurant, while flying across the country in a plane. They have made the unendurable stress of being helpless bearable. They have cheered up moments of loneliness. They have made time pass pleasantly.
I will never be able to thank her for the gift of her words. But they have given me a great many smiles.