#39 The Sweater

I have a sweater that I bought years ago. I got it new, which is a rare thing for me, being the second-hand junkie that I am. I had gone into the store to buy milk, but then I saw this irresistible example of vestment perfection on the rack and it spoke to me. It beckoned me over to try it on. I liked how this particular sweater made me look and feel when I was wearing it. I felt confident and saw myself in a different light when wrapped in its comfortable fabric. I loved myself in it. At first, I didn't think I deserved such a nice garment, but I just couldn't walk away from it. I didn't care how much it cost. I got out my wallet and I made the transaction with a smiling clerk, who only further affirmed my good taste.

But over time something happened, and the sweater I once adored became old news. I got used to it. The feelings I had when I first donned it were no longer there, because I'd replaced it with newer, more exciting versions and had pushed the old sweater to the back of my closet. My tastes had changed and that old sweater was not what I wanted...  What I've just described is disenchantment. It doesn't only happen with clothes, people. It happens with jobs, with hobbies, with lovers, and with countless other things. It happens to me with great frequency, which I see as further evidence that I need a good psychotherapist and a silent meditation retreat where I can both rest my voice and clear my head.

When things are new they're so exhilarating. The honeymoon phase. I can remember 3 years ago when Davey Hazard and I first started Hot Pink Hangover. I was completely obsessed. I dreamed about songs we would write, tours we would take, and daily show hosts we would stun with our talent. I was all-consumed by my desire to get our band to the next level- genuinely believing we had what it takes to succeed in this fantastic but fickle industry.  But it didn't happen. Venue owners ignored my pleas for gigs, festival coordinators picked other acts over ours, and even local radio stations wouldn't recognize us. So I got sad. One of my classic moves when I feel this kind of malcontent is to redecorate my apartment. Some of you may have seen it. I went from hoarder grandma to boho minimalist in one afternoon. This is one way I cope. Another way is to stress eat mass quantities of tortilla chips and artificial cheese dip. Jesus, the skeletons are coming out of the closet tonight. 

We tend to get comfortable, then complacent, and then we start taking things for granted and stop caring about anything at all. At which point, we either go into a state of depression, or have a mid-life crisis. I'm still trying to determine which is my current status. There's an ebb and flow in life. We all need to hold on tight, while doing our best to maneuver through the eddies and falls that may arise in order to come out in one piece unscathed. Support systems are necessary. Making mistakes is necessary. Change is necessary. It doesn't get easier the older we get. I'm learning to appreciate what I have when I have it because one day there could be loss, or misfortune, or worse.

My 10 year old nice was admitted to Children's Hospital almost a week ago. We were all at the hospital for Christmas, which is obviously one of the last places anyone wants to be- especially for a child and on the holidays. Yet I witnessed my brother and his wife spreading joy to their daughters, despite the awful circumstances and I was incredibly inspired... Rather than complain about everything and have a pity party (which is what I undoubtedly would have done) my brother spoke of the delicious meal they had on Christmas Day. His wife glowed as she showed us the crafts they'd been working on to help pass the time. They were kind and enthusiastic to every nurse who came in to tend to my niece. They set an amazing example- one which was probably intended for their kids, but which was also not lost on me. It was a reality check for how much I have taken for granted in my life. I'm going to head back to the hospital to see them now and I'm wearing my old sweater. I have a new appreciation for it. It may be a bit tattered now, but I'm remembering why I bought the sweater in the first place. Because it fit me perfectly, it was warm and comfortable, and I loved it. Happy Holidays, Hotties. 

4 comments

  • Tony
    Tony Tennessee
    Well said Mercy. My grandson Emory has such a great attitude despite his condition. It was spending time at Childrens hospital that made me realize how blessed my whole life has been. All the best to your niece and family.

    Well said Mercy. My grandson Emory has such a great attitude despite his condition. It was spending time at Childrens hospital that made me realize how blessed my whole life has been. All the best to your niece and family.

  • Patti Storm
    Patti Storm St. Paul
    I hope things are going as well as possible with your niece. Thinking of you and will keep your niece in my prayers. When I find myself obsessing about things I can't control, I rearrange the furniture and purge a few items. I always get back to being thankful and enjoying my less cluttered peaceful space. :)

    I hope things are going as well as possible with your niece. Thinking of you and will keep your niece in my prayers. When I find myself obsessing about things I can't control, I rearrange the furniture and purge a few items. I always get back to being thankful and enjoying my less cluttered peaceful space. smile

  • Vicky
    Vicky Chaska
    You didn't even look at the price! That's "irresistible examples of vestment perfection" for ya!

    You didn't even look at the price! That's "irresistible examples of vestment perfection" for ya!

  • Mean daddy
    Mean daddy Mx
    We too often fall into the complacent "take it for granted " place. It's a happy ending to your story. It was a sweater. It could be anything that we forget how much it has meant.

    We too often fall into the complacent "take it for granted " place. It's a happy ending to your story. It was a sweater. It could be anything that we forget how much it has meant.

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