Here’s hoping


Someone please stop me next time I say I look forward to any challenge.

I should be getting my shoes taken care of right now. Instead, I’m sitting here at my computer. Somewhere between yesterday and today I lost my OV chip card, the vital little piece of plastic that allows me to use public transport. I retraced my steps. I used what Dutch I have to enquire at every place I went yesterday. All to no avail. A whopping sixty euro out the window. Had to use my language skills again, this time to cancel my appointment this morning.

And you know what? I succeeded. Everyone understood me, and I understood what was said to me. But my victory today came at the expense of my inner calm. For 40 minutes this morning I sweated, berated myself, and generally felt pretty damned shitty for being such a dunce as to just lose the damned thing.

Last straw was to realize that the grocery shopping had never been done yesterday, and we had no milk for breakfast and no water for the day.

My mind was quick to jump to the absolute worst thoughts I have. I am worthless. Worse; I cost extra money when I do things like this. I am a drain. People (my brother) would be better off without me around, doing shit like this. I cried some tears, just to release the pent up emotions that I felt were overwhelming me.

As usual, my brother jumped to the rescue. He’s modified his schedule for today to include a downtown stop to buy a brand new chip card for me, as well as doing the grocery shopping and running his own errands. I’m sitting here, typing away. He’s out on his bike, doing stuff. Stuff he HAS to do now, because I fucked up (just can’t let that go completely yet).

Yes, of course. I’ve said it all to myself. It’s a bleeding mistake. I’m not the first person to lose their card, and I won’t be the last. It’s not the end of the world.

I find it real hard to just own up to my mistakes without bearing the guilt of EVERYTHING. You name it. I’m guilty, somehow.

Right. That’s my problem. Good enough wasn’t ever good enough, and my mistakes were to blame for everything. That’s a mind set forced on me by narcissists. I refuse to let it rule my life anymore. Am I hearing myself? No. fucking. more. This is it; the end of that attitude.

The world isn’t held ransom for sixty euro. I haven’t tipped the scales of the Netherlands into bankruptcy. Nor have I tipped my own economic scales into red. It’s a shame to have lost it. And it’s certainly not something I can continue to do every month. Lesson learned; I’d been carrying my card in a separate billfold so I could carry it in my pocket and use it easily. No more. Into the main wallet the next one goes. I’ll force myself to fumble for it each and every time I use the metro so I don’t lose the damned thing again. It’s terribly unfashionable to do that. But I’ve put fashion into the backseat more and more often as I age.

That’s not always been an easy task. I look at my face now in the mirror and see the sags and wrinkles. Don’t know that I would have ever called myself beautiful. Attractive. Handsome, maybe. I think it’s hard to watch your face age, whatever you think of yourself. Or maybe that just shows how shallow I once was (or am), to even spend time thinking about these things. Hard to say – and I sure don’t want to think of my younger self (or me, now) as shallow, no matter what the evidence points to. I certainly don’t spend hours thinking these things, or shed any tears over my appearance. But when I DO glance at my reflection I see all these signs of aging, and it makes me sigh. Sigh for that youthful ease of simply looking your best no matter what. I don’t think I ever fully appreciated it when I had it.


But that’s nothing to mope too long over; not when I fumble I screw up in so many other ways. I’ve got bigger things to make myself feel bad over. That’s half honest sarcasm, and half joke.

At least I can muster up HALF a joke.

Reshuffle, rethink. Now that I know I’ll have a new card by tonight, I can call the shop (again) for another appointment. It would be great to just get my shoes done. Not quite mentally up to it yet. I still haven’t had breakfast on this topsy-turvy morning. No rush. I’d rather call later in the day than have to explain that I need a new appointment tomorrow and not today because my brother hasn’t yet returned with my new card. Too many words and ideas for me right now. And unnecessary. I said I’d call back after I had a new card. Just stick to my words. No reason to attempt something I’m not ready for.

Yikes. I guess it’s too late to go back to sleep and pretend it’s a brand new day when I wake up, right?

Better not. I might dream of seeing giant chip card like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. And then who knows where I’d end up? Next thing you know I’d see myself on my death bed and hear a voice saying ‘I’m sorry, Beeps, I’m afraid I can’t do that..’ while aggravated monkeys surround me and beat me with dead fish.

Me and my chip card, oh my

I don’t want THAT to happen.

Back to mundane tasks: dishes, laundry, language drills. Today will be what it is, and if I don’t waste it feeling bad over a simple mistake it might actually turn out okay.

Here’s hoping.


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