Merry Jury Duty. Yes, even celebrities have to do jury duty. I have a fancy lawyer and asked him if I have to do it, and he said I have to do it. I have actor friends like Jim Parsons and producer friends like Bill Prady and they said I have to do it.
The only week starting with a Monday I could guarantee I was not working was this very week. That’s right: Mayim Bialik has jury duty the week of Christmas. Ridiculous, right? ‘Tis. But true. And while we’re on this thought train, can you imagine Amy Farrah Fowler on a jury panel sitting right next to you, asking you to not think about her being spanked by Sheldon or getting a tiara? It’s absurd.
Given that my father-in-law is not Jewish and celebrates Christmas, we historically spend this week in San Jose where he and his wife live, as does my now-Jewish mother-in-law. This year, though, between the jury duty and everything going on in terms of the divorce, it sort of worked out that I stayed here to dutifully call in to the Superior Court of California each night, and the kids are having Christmas in San Jose.
Although I am away for speaking engagements at least once a month, this is the first time I have been home alone without my kids–ever. It’s very eerie. And also kind of cool. And then I feel guilty for it being cool. And then I miss them. And then it’s complicated.
Here’s what I have done in the 36 hours since they have been gone. I would ask you to promise not to laugh, but I have a feeling you may laugh at every single blessed thing on my “Things I Have Done Within 36 Hours of My Kids Being Away” list. Here we go anyway.
1. Scoured the bathtub. I use baking soda, for your information. And a scrubby sponge. Soundtrack: Elvis Costello’s “King of America.”
2. Steam-cleaned the shower. So gratifying. Not sure why it was okay for so long for there to be orange mold in my shower. Oh wait: I was in an accident and haven’t been able to use my hand for four months to dress myself much less clean the shower. That makes it sort of okay, right? Sort of?
3. Scrubbed both toilets. Also gratifying.
4. Washed the bathroom floor by hand. Also gratifying.
5. Vacuumed with headphones blocking out the loudness which generally rattles my nervous system and makes me do a less-than-thorough job. Result: vacuuming went on so much longer than without headphones! Thorough vacuuming thanks to headphones. Score!
6. Blasted Wallflowers’ album, “Breach” really loud in the early morning.
7. Played Blues Traveller’s album, “Four” on the piano really loud late at night.
8. Jogged two miles after cleaning the shower, tub, and toilets, and then lifted weights while grunting loudly and not having to ask anyone to stop laughing at mama. Also did sit-ups without any small people trying to sit on my stomach or shouting and laughing, “There’s a baby in mama’s belly!” when they see my mama belly trying to get toned with aforementioned sit-ups.
9. Organized all of the loose pictures I’ve been meaning to put in photo boxes for the past year or so. Got a little sad when I moved the wedding photos out of the way.
10. Organized my file cabinet.
11. Set up an accounting ledger for 2013. (Not fun being divorced for so many reasons, but if nothing else, it’s a great way to learn accounting.) Sidebar: it’s awesome not putting things away like I always do when my kids are here; I literally have left all of my accounting stuff on the dining room table since they left and no one can mess it up, draw on it, wear the folder as a hat, get grimy jam hands on it, etc.
13. Drank a responsible amount of Wild Turkey Bourbon.
14. Worked on my assemblage art focusing on my accident and healing from said accident.
15. Spoke to my older son three times on the phone. My younger son hates talking on the phone and screeched “NO!” when asked if he wanted to speak. Older son reported that he went on rides at the fair and told me it was “totally crazy” that his Safta told him he couldn’t wake her until 8:30 a.m. He usually wakes her to play at 6, God bless him. Older son laughed when I told him I found his collection of boogers that he’s been wiping on the wall near where we sleep and that I don’t appreciate them at all.
16. Spent time with my BFF who is in town from Atlanta: she took pictures of me in possible dresses for the Golden Globes to send to stylist Ali, ate so much vegan gluten-free soy-free food we thought we were each going to give birth to a vegan gluten-free soy-free baby, got to hug her and feel not alone.
17. Drove at night on the freeway for the first time since my accident. (I only started driving a few weeks ago.)
18. Felt sorry for myself. Felt confused about the freedom and loneliness that await me. Felt grateful that my sons’ father is a wonderful father.
In the next four days until they come home, I will:
1. Stop thinking God will make my path straight.
2. Stop wondering what God has in store for me.
3. Take life one day at a time because that’s all I can do.
4. Stop being in fear.
5. Stop doubting.
6. Enjoy what is beautiful.
7. Love the complexity of life.
8. Be okay with uncertainty and try and find peace in it.
When my boys come home they will make the bathroom smell like urine again. For now, it smells like tea tree oil and orange oil. And the dining room table will be cleared off when they come home. And I will have art to show them. And my voice will be hoarse from singing so loud and so strong.
But it’s okay. Mama’s voice will be okay. It will all be okay. Thank you God for making it all okay.