Stop Me

There is great comfort in life’s small predictabilities. We don’t know what life will throw our way, but I enjoy the fact that some things are fairly predictable. However, I do enjoy the element of surprise as much as the next gal. Although sometimes that leads to unpleasant outcomes. It’s life. It’s not perfect. But most days behave and unfold according to their predestined plan.

But some days just don’t fall in line.

I recently challenged myself to take special note of, or if, something stopped me in my tracks or surprised “got” me. Making an “average” day unique.

I found three. In one week.


May 26, 2016:

Everything was fine. It was a lovely Thursday. I was at work, helping every single person in Lapeer County get their goods for the weekend’s DIY projects. Therefore, needless to say, I was busy. The store was hopping.

After lunch, I had a customer that I recognized. The man looked familiar but I didn’t know why. I assumed that I had seen him in the store at some point in the past. Maybe he lived on my street. It was anyone’s game and the best guess won. I didn’t know.

My checkout line was long, and he wrote a check.

I took the check, examined it for all the proper “things”. Date? Amount? Signed? Signed. That was it. I looked at the man and back at the check. It was his last name.

“You’re her brother.” I said. “That’s why you look so familiar.”

In the past month, I have written about my former music teacher and my one and only blind date. This man? He was brother to one and father to the other.

I remembered that he lived near my current hometown.

I explained that his sister had been a mentor, and she was a beautiful soul and made music come alive for me. He asked if I knew that his beloved sister had passed. I nodded, tears beginning to form in the corners of my eyes. I’d just written about how hurt she’d be to know I quit music. I told him that she was amazing.

I didn’t tell him about the date.


May 28, 2016:

A Saturday. Saturdays are usually quite busy here in my neighborhood. Mowing gets done, gatherings are had, and during the summer months, some idiot sets off fireworks at all hours of the day and night. Welcome to kind of rural, but still yet suburban, Michigan.

What I love about Saturdays are my walks. I walk every day but on weekends I can walk without time restriction. And I can go outside. I listen to books, music, or my favorite podcasts. Away I go. I strive for five miles and I have yet to fail. I am currently walking with my spirit animal, Amy Poehler, and listening to her book Yes Please.

As I was walking on this particular Saturday, I heard a rustling to my left and I saw branches on a pine tree moving. It’s not unusual to be greeted by a dog, but to be sure, I looked anyway.

It wasn’t a dog.

A peacock strode out from under the tree. Under. The. Tree. I paused Amy and stared.

I dislike birds but, big majestic ones can have a slight pass.

It preened. Showing off its beautiful teals and purples. I was jealous. And we stared at each other for what felt like one whole minute.

Then, it turned. It walked away from me. Possibly to go show off for a band of squirrels or to tease a window cat. It is a bird after all, and they are evil.


May 31, 2016.


It was a shit show.

Everything about the day was wrong. But it started with my getting stuck (yes, stuck) to the screen door in our door wall.

I’d just let the dogs out and desperately needed to get ready for work. Then, one of the beads on my “Listen” bracelet got stuck in the track on the screen door.

I wear five things religiously, as in, I don’t take them off. Ever. Unless they could get damaged. They are on my person 24/7. My wedding ring, heart necklace, best friend bracelet from Jil, and my Irish heritage bracelet, and most recently, my “Listen” bracelet. I didn’t want to cut the bracelet off. Not that I could’ve reached the scissors anyway. I wasn’t going anywhere. Any time I moved, it got tighter.

I struggled, baffled. Who the hell gets stuck to their door?!

I was all but frantic, when for some reason unknown to me, it came out. My bracelet, and my left wrist, still intact.

The rest of the day preceded to go to hell.


Both metaphorically and physically, I was stopped in my tracks three times. In one week.

I think my former mentor’s brother showed up to remind me, or push me, to pick up my music. I need to stop letting her down.

The peacock showed me that “weird” things, or even things I don’t particularly like, are beautiful, and maybe I need to redirect my attitudes and attention.

And my “Listen” bracelet got stuck because I need to slow down. I get in a hurry. All the time. I rush. A lot. I think fast and I move fast.

But now I wonder how many everyday “stops” I’ve missed over the years. 100? 1,000?

Sometimes I think about how one choice affects the other events in life. “If I never took that horrible teller job, I wouldn’t know Paul, much less be married to him.” “If I hadn’t taken Native American Literature, I wouldn’t know one of my best friends.” “If my parents had put me in private school like I begged at the end of fourth grade, to avoid going to middle-ish school, I wouldn’t have met Jilebean.” “If I hadn’t been in Ed Hoeppner’s class, discussing T.S. Eliot, I wouldn’t have applied to graduate school.” And so on…

So my challenge continues.

I need to be stopped. I want to be stopped.

I am quite sure we all do.






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