Did you ever make plans a few months or weeks ahead of time, then when the day comes barreling down, you’re just not prepared? Even if it’s a simple 24 hours away with some favorite people? After lining up care for the elderly grandmother and elderly cat (who needed a sitter, which required me to have a semi-clean house) and clearing off work, and something else that I can’t quite remember now but it was super important on that day, I was beat before we ever got in the car to leave. I’ve never worked harder to leave the house for such a short period of time.
But we made it. We got to the Airbnb, and I tried to shake off the day’s frenzy and enjoy jawing with a friend while the others in our group trickled in.
Just sitting, yacking, and absorbing the old bed-and-breakfast-style home near downtown Indy.
When it happened, I was in mid-sentence.
Sparkles appeared in the periphery of my vision, and I tried to whisk them away with my hand. As if a hoard of lightning bugs hovered just to my left. Floating. Dancing.
“Did you see that?” I asked.
“See what?” replied the friend with that look.
Uh oh. That’s always a bad sign. When no one else sees what you see. My friend assured me there was nothing floating through the air. No sparkles. No spots. No glitter.
Just air. And just that look on her face.
Great. Water, crisp fresh air outside on the porch, and food. Maybe that will help. And it did. All the pretty lightning bugs faded into the background then, poof. Gone.
Fast forward a few weeks to Halloween. In an attempt to be a team player, this introvert came as a unicorn to our kids’ program. Silver horn, face paint and all.
And glittery hair. Now that’s a funny one. I thought I bought a can of white hair paint with glitter in it. I’d actually bought pure spray glitter and went overboard because my hair wasn’t turning white, and I couldn’t tell anything was happening. It was. Happening.
Glitter and sparkles everywhere. I did have enough sense to do the spraying outside, but this brilliant unicorn shed all over the house, especially the bathroom, and all over the vehicles (we had traded cars with a friend. Who hates glitter. I felt bad).
The next morning as I was brushing my teeth, it happened again. All the pretty sparkles. But alas, this time it was real glitter left over from my dumb-butt stupidity, sent flying in swirls around me by the furnace. Okay. That was real. No issues. Just vacuum out the vent, Beth.
Fast forward to November. Our vehicle tried to putz out on us on the way to Thanksgiving dinner, and hubs insisted it was time to call a lemon a lemon and get new transport. Holidays are stressful enough, then add car shopping on top of that and I was a mess. I test drove the new SUV to church in thick fog. Sparkles everywhere. Glittery against the dense ground cloud. Some bright like tiny camera flashes and some muted like white Christmas lights covered in snow. All moving and dancing. Everywhere.
“Hey guys, isn’t that pretty? I’ve never seen fog like this.” Me. Being a seriously oblivious idiot.
“What are you talking about?” Hubs.
“I don’t see anything.” Son.
Then those looks.
There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m not having a stroke. I’m not stressed. I’m okay.
I lied to myself. To make myself feel better. (And don’t sit there all smug, wrapped up in your fuzzy robe while sipping your coffee and judge. You lie to yourself too. We do it all the time.)
And I lied some more:
What’s really happening is that I’m SO SPECIAL that I’m the ONLY ONE who’s developed the unique ability to see into another dimension, but this current reality keeps pulling me back before I can get a true glimpse of where the glitter and shimmers and lightning bugs are trying to take me.
Maybe a waterfall. Maybe a mountain. Maybe the ocean is spitting up white shimmering sand and if I get a little closer I’ll be able to smell the moist saltwater air.
Maybe my unicorn spirit animal is just beyond the glittery veil and all I have to do is keep walking/driving/moving toward the lights.
All the pretty lights…
But alas, in my current reality, naggy and concerned loved ones have that look, so I went to my Eye Guy. After torturing me with Satan’s slit lamp, Eye Guy said there’s nothing wrong with my eyes and that the spot that had been on my retina a few months prior had disappeared. I asked him the date of the last crazy vision episode I had, when another spot had turned up on my retina. And guess what?
That visual issue, which boasted psychedelic colors and trails of leftover images (and occasional lightning bugs) happened during a different massive stress event about eight years ago. I’m sensing a pattern…
As I looked back at my calendar for 2018, I’d say our family hit massive stress in early spring and promptly left that station for sitting in the corner, rocking back and forth and not knowing what day it is around late summer. It’s been downhill from there.
Eye Guy, with that look, sent me to Primary Care Woman who smiled sweetly with that look and told me that I’m likely stressed. And the great thing about it? I paid her money for this particular news flash.
And guess what? Not one single thing I can do to remove the current stressors. Just gotta wait them out. And may be take a little pill so my ticker doesn’t explode. And so the pretty glitter will go away.
Now to work on my response to the stressors. Like pray. Walk. Fresh air. Hydration. Healthy food. Write more. Take the good moments when they come and wade through to the other side of the stressor. But not to the other side of the shimmering veil where the lightning bugs dance and sweet ocean air calls my name… Okay. Not ready for that trip just yet…
So, evidently, glitter is my warning sign. Or a sign that I may have over-sprayed my unicorn mane, but since that glitter is mostly cleaned up (can you ever really clean it all up? It was seriously everywhere), I’ll stick with “It’s a warning sign, stupid. Go chill out,” and not a unicorn calling from another dimension.
I’m okay. There’s nothing wrong with me.
I’m not even stressed.
Now where’d I put that little pill?
Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on Mondays for a new blog and the first Friday of every month for a free fictional short, and be sure to visit my Amazon page.