Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fumbling in the Dark


I found myself aware of something at 5 am this morning that I normally don’t question. As a result of moving the clocks ahead, my mornings are now significantly darker when I go outside. What struck me today was that it was also totally impossible to see as I tried to get dressed in my bedroom. There had been a brief alteration of my routine over the last couple of weeks , and I didn’t realize its effect until things went back to normal.

For many years, so as not to wake up my husband, I’ve been used to getting dressed in the dark. I leave my clothes neatly stacked up in order next to my bed so I can quickly pull them on without looking at them. I always feel for the tags on the back of my pants and shirts so I don’t get them on backwards. It’s never occurred to me that putting on my clothes this way is inconvenient, difficult or annoying. Until today. This says a lot about me, I think.

My husband has just returned from a lengthy business trip. During the time he was away, I was able to wake up, turn on the light next to my bed and see what I was doing when I got dressed. I could be spontaneous. I didn’t have to plan ahead. I didn’t have to feel if everything was going on in the right direction. It was liberating. So, now that he’s home and things are back to “normal”, I found myself fumbling around in the dark again. I had forgotten to prepare for this situation, so I couldn’t find anything I needed. Eventually, I resorted to turning on the flashlight that I keep on my nightstand. Of course, this woke up the hibernating bear that was sleeping in my bed. Growling ensued.

It made me consider how often we do things by rote and never question the discomfort that it causes us. I haven’t written anything here on my blog since we had all the flooding over the weekend. We got five inches of rain in one day, and it rocked my world. The basement flooded. The garage where I store my hay flooded. Both stalls in the barn flooded. Trees came down in my neighbor’s yard and blocked our road. The only good news was that we didn’t lose our electricity. The bad news was it just kept raining and blowing. Naturally, my husband was out of town. He has an uncanny way of missing all these big weather events around here.

Five hundred and fifty pounds of wood pellets later, the barn still is oozing up water when the horses step in the front of their stalls. Luckily, they have very large stalls, with doors at both ends. We’ve changed the routine so they eat in the back instead of the front. It’s disoriented Siete but not Silk. Occasionally, with old age, we become more adaptable. Siete hates being in the barn right now, and as soon as I open the door to the corral and the pasture, she rushes to dry land. Every day, I go out to shovel and invent new ways for the water to drain. It’s a lot like fumbling around in the dark.

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to shift the balance. I realized that we can choose not to be frustrated and open ourselves to new possibilities. As I stumbled downstairs to make a pot of coffee, I came up with the brilliant idea that tomorrow, I would try getting dressed in the bathroom.

16 comments:

billie said...

LOL about the bathroom! Wonderful!

I'm sorry to hear of all that rain and the flooding - it sounds like a huge mess, and I can't imagine dealing with something like that alone. Here's to dry ground to stand on, light when you need it, and good humor to get through the mess. (you clearly already have that part!)

Breathe said...

Can I just say that as much as I love my grouchy bear, I'm glad when he's out of town and I can stop being accommodating?
Is that terrible to say?

the7msn said...

T'is better to light a candle than curse the darkness /T'is better to get dressed in the bathroom than put your clothes on backwards ... same thing.

Stay dry, my selfless friend.

Kate said...

That's way too much water! Hope you dry out soon.

I think we're often prone to fall into routines that may not be optimal - but I suppose that's why they're routines, because we don't think about them. But sometimes it's time for a change!

detroit dog said...

Oh, so sorry for the mess, but I do agree with billie's good wishes for you!

And why don't men accommodate their wives to the same extent?

I really question the necessity of bedroom furniture; I get dressed in the basement and my husband dresses in his office. :-/

Grey Horse Matters said...

I've got to say that sometimes I don't miss my 'bear' when he's out of town. It's just easier to do what I need to do without worrying about annoying someone else.

We really did have a lot of rain and trees down, it sort of looked like a war zone for a while. I feel sorry for you that you had to deal with all that water, it's too bad you can't just move the barn to higher ground.

Glad to hear you found an alternate plan for getting dressed, you never know when those flashlight batteries will give out. Although, it might be fun to go out dressed backwards and see if anyone in the house even noticed if you put your underwear over your pants!

Wolfie said...

I actually don't mind having the house to myself when hubby travels. The dogs and I have a big pajama party and we get to eat whatever we want!

Having proudly walked downtown with my sweater on inside out and one pant leg rolled up (was putting on boots and forgot to unroll it) I can tell you that getting dressed with the light on sometimes doesn't make a difference......

We had storms here last weekend but no where near what you have described. I hope the clean up doesn't take forever.

Jayne said...

Sorry to hear about all the flooding and mess. I know how stressful that can be. Had to giggle about the "hibernating bear". I have one of those too, and have to tip-toe around in the dark getting ready for work. It's not easy, is it?

deejbrown said...

Sometimes everyone needs to make adjustments. Instead of you slinking off to the bathroom, your bear just might adjust to a teeny flashlight that will signal his wife is up and well and getting another day started in their shared life.
Just sayin'.

Michaela said...

Oh Girl, that is SUCH a cute post. How very considerate you are! I, too, pull my clothes on in the dark so as not to wake Mr Grumpy. I walk my son to school in the dark for early band rehearsal. I carry his sax. My hubby and son show me a great deal of appreciation and consideration in return. No doormats here! ;-)

Victoria Cummings said...

Hi Everyone - I feel I do have to mention here that my husband does put up with, indulge and offer huge amounts of assistance and support for my never-ending care and attention to my horses. So if he has a hard time waking up in the morning, I make every attempt to accommodate him as a way of thanking him for his loving support. Your comments are great and I'm glad that some of you can identify with this situation.

Máire said...

Hi Victoria,

I have been quietly reading your blog for a while now. I just have to comment as I really enjoyed this post and it struck a cord obviously with your other commenters too. My growly bear was in the States recently and I relished my space. That said, he is very tolerant of all my horsey activities.

I feel for you about the flooding. I hope it is clearing up now.

Máire

Lori Skoog said...

Victoria...the bathroom is a good idea! 5 inches of rain had to be the worst! Hope all that water has started to disappear.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

We have heard about all the bizarre weather that just keeps hitting you guys, and realize that with it comes so much difficulty in every day living. You are right -- we do adjust to things "by rote" without realizing how much we inconvenience ourselves. Would he sleep with an eye mask on like they did in those old movies from the 30's & 40's??

Rising Rainbow said...

Sorry to hear about your flooding. I know from experience what getting rid of all that excess water can take. It's so frustrating. I really feel for you.

Great idea about that bathroom! That'll work and you won't have to fumble. Funny how life is. Something so obvious can still be illusive until something jogs it loose.

Once Upon an Equine said...

We are in the reverse here. My husband finishes dressing in the dark when he gets his socks out of the dresser. On the rare times that I'm up before him, I've tried to do the same and I just cannot find the right socks. I asked him his secret. Brown socks on one side of the drawer, black socks on the other. I've got multi-colored socks and socks with flowers and socke with horse....I need the light. Good idea to dress in the bathroom. Isn't it funny that a solution like that doesn't dawn on us until our routine is disturbed. Sorry about all the flooding. Hope it dries out soon.