It’s a Sinead O’Connor kind of day, man.

Any morning that starts with an 8-foot pee trail across my living room from a 16-pound schnauzer puppy (whose only talent is to pee undetected while walking across an entire room) is bound to lead to a day that is more than slightly off.

Today is that day.

After scrubbing up the puppy wee (and tearfully begging him to please, please stop weeing in the house, for the love of all things holy), I was five minutes late for work. I scuttled in with wet hair and I may have forgotten deodorant.

Now, I’m in my office listening to Sinead O’Connor and wishing I was 20 again, still in college, full of hope and promise, and truly convinced my life would be incredible. I was certain then that time and age would make me beautiful, successful, finally thin, and incredibly, disgustingly happy. But, as Don Henley and The Eagles said in “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things/She’s still the same old girl she used to be.” Amen, brothers.

Do we ever really change? I mean, I’m certainly crabbier than I was at 20. I worry more. I feel less sure of myself, but more willing to speak. But, am I fundamentally a different person? If I met 20-year-old me today, would I recognize her? Would I like her?

Sometimes, I feel exactly the same and I get sad when I realize how much is different and how much of my life is already gone. I miss hope and my younger willingness to imagine and have faith in better tomorrows and years down the road. Is it possible I am still those things underneath so much acquired crabbiness? Do I have to cheat on my rich, elderly husband, as in The Eagles song, to get the original me back? (Note: I don’t have a husband, rich, elderly or otherwise…that was a joke.)

I’m afraid these are too many questions for a Thursday afternoon. I have miles to go and promises to keep, and bean salad to eat. Sing it, Sinead. Sigh.

Grilled cheese and the secret to happiness

At a trip to the vet yesterday afternoon, I was waiting in the lobby when I overheard the two gals behind the desk having a conversation. The one girl, who was in her early 20s and had a clichéd rockabilly style with blunt dark bangs, heavy eyeliner, and red lipstick, announced that it was Grilled Cheese Tuesday. The other gal laughed and questioned the designation, and the first girl explained she and her boyfriend had decided that July was their Grilled Cheese Month and every Tuesday, they would have grilled cheese.

The conversation was strange because I’d mentioned earlier that day that my life was distinctly lacking grilled cheese. In fact, life got harder when I stopped eating grilled cheese on a semi-regular basis. Now, whether this has to do with becoming a grownup or it’s directly related to a declining rate of grilled cheese, I noticed the correlation and vowed to eat more grilled cheese. (You know how important self-improvement is to me and, if it takes eating grilled cheese, damn it, I’ll do it!)

The conversation also caused me realize that designating fun, special months for yourself seems like a very worthwhile thing to do. Too often, life is caught up in repetition (wake up, walk dogs, gym, work, walk dogs, sleep, repeat, repeat, repeat), but perhaps if each month were made special in some simple way, there would be more to look forward to each week. For example, if I knew that every Tuesday in July, I’d go down to Shari’s for a grilled cheese, every non-Tuesday would be spent looking forward to Tuesday. And, each Tuesday would be fun and full of grilled cheese. Then in August, I could celebrate another of my favorite things, like maybe Hula Hoop Tuesday or Tetherball Tuesday or Care Bears Movie II Tuesday.

Perhaps the others days wouldn’t be so hard.

Rockabilly chick might have been on to something life-changing. I’ll keep y’all posted.