Bacon, Butter & Good Intentions

Welp. I was feeling all kinds of positivity when I wrote that post on Sunday night, and Monday went to hell.

I spent all day yesterday dealing with post-hysterectomy body drama (if you’re counting, I’m 4+ months out and things are not better). I went to the doctor just to get checked out because I am still in pain had a feeling something was off, and I ended up having to have a friend come get me because they needed to do a biopsy which almost made me puke/pass out on the table. Ta-da! I’m good and it’s probably just a weird/slow healing thing, but spending the last two days in my bed (again) on pain meds (again) is boring (again) and I’m not really taking fall by storm.

Anyway. This is giving me a chance to fall deeply once more into my Plants vs Zombies addiction and to finish what Eric seems to think is my 4th rewatch of Downton Abbey. I haven’t done a single productive thing. But you guys, I am going to be the most prepared for the final season series, and I have to do this by making sure I have all of the Dowager Countess’ quips at the forefront of my mind. “Any port in a storm.” Am I right?

UntitledThe cats ignored me all day yesterday, so today I am forcing them to acknowledge me because locked them out of all of the other rooms in the house. They’ll have to see me, at least. In Cookie’s case, it’s only to plan how she will cut my throat as I sleep, but I’ll take it.

It isn’t super comfortable to go up and down the stairs, so I went down about a half hour ago and carried everything up that I might need in the next six hours. Yes, food. Yes, books. Yes, candy.

I did do something fabulous on Sunday morning, though, and since I’m a blog photo thief, I have a evidence. Cely of Running Off the Reese’s moved to Sacramento recently. I have been reading her blog for years and wishing she didn’t live in Texas. Somehow this really happened. Since I am only able to make friends when I can interact with them online before actually interacting with them in real life (see: my entire grad school experience, the complete extent of my friendships in the literary world), this worked perfectly. On Sunday I met up with Cely, her sister Sari, and my local (also a former blogger) friend Tracy at Bacon and Butter and I happily died a death by grilled cheese eggs benedict. Everyone was lovely and I can’t wait to do it again.

baconbutterPhoto cred: Cely

I am going to make an effort to keep the TV off and the ipad out of my hands until I get some reading and writing done today. I have no excuse to leave this bed full of candy and cats. I’m starting Sarah Einstein’s memoir, Mot, today, and that should keep me busy. Right?

Waiting is the Worst

One more day of living out of a suitcase. One more day of not living in our own house. One more day of sharing one sink and one bathroom. One more day until I can UNPACK MY COFFEE MAKER.

Eric says I’m like the cats: if you move my stuff around too much it makes me weird. He’s right.

Real quick: what the hell was I thinking when I put my coffee maker in storage? Okay. We did think we were only going to be living in the temporary house for two weeks–which turned out to be a false assumption–but I seriously underestimated my need for brewed beans. Sure, I said, I can drink instant for a few weeks. Nope nope nope.

Also, why didn’t I realize until a few days ago that I could have just used a French Press while we were here? We have water. I am a moron.

I couldn’t sleep last night. Not that I’ve been sleeping that well in the temporary house anyway (shout out to my Uncle Tom, who I know loves to read about how tired I am…), but I can’t seem to settle even though we’re in our own bed. I hate ceiling fans, and I still miss ours like crazy. The temperature is wrong all the time. Too many things on my mind–a mix of excitement about moving in and fear that this really isn’t going to happen. Where I go, in the wee hours: Maybe I made up the whole house thing, and I’m going to find this all was some kind of mistake, rather than a multi-month, labor- and thought-intensive, expensive process that involved me signing my name on a stack of papers as thick as War and Peace. But then, we don’t have our old home anymore. In the middle of the night it seems possible that we could have left that house and we’d never get this new one and we’d be stuck in uncertain limbo. Cats, frozen between rearranged couches.

This move has to happen this weekend. It has to.

The kids are good. They’re so excited that I really do hope we get to move in. They need a win, at this point. The ins and outs of real estate escape them; all they know is we’ve been saying “not yet” a lot. I’m ready for them each to have their own rooms again and to have some free time to go outside and explore the creek and parks around the new house. I’m glad they get along, but we’ve all been spending too much time in each other’s bubbles.

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September birthday buds.

Last night for dinner, I cracked crab with two friends who’ve been in my life for 20+ years. It was so much fun. We drank beer and ate cupcakes and just didn’t do anything productive. As I drove home I realized there hasn’t been a lot of fun happening lately, and I really miss it. I’m such a nerdmobile, I almost cried. I was so happy (and tired, natch). Other than a few bright moments when relatives have rescued us, it’s been a long couple of months. In fact, pretty much since my surgery I’ve been holed up in the house or out getting shit done. Not a lot of hanging out or drinking beer with other humans. My body is finally — 4 months after surgery — feeling and acting like my body and finally not hurting. I am thinking it might be nice to join civilization again. Not jury duty civilization, or work civilization, or the driving-kids-back-and-forth-across town civilization, because that’s been happening. But fun. Maybe I could have a conversation with my husband that doesn’t involve a sewer line or a moving truck, and maybe I don’t need to feel guilty about taking two whole hours to eat dinner.

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Sweet baby Jesus, I can’t wait to have a real cup of coffee in my new kitchen.

Days that count

UntitledI’ve been a real peach this summer. A cranky brat.  This, as most of my peevish moods, came out of a dumb assumption. For sure my hysterectomy was only going to put me down for a few weeks, right? That’s what I thought. Then everything would be normal summer awesomeness: bike rides, daily swims, short trips around the state.

Nope.

I have spent most of this summer building a wall of books around myself–I’ve read 14 books in six weeks–and reading so voraciously that something feels wrong about it. Reading has been a way to fill my time and avoid thinking too much about all the adventures I’m not having. Last year’s dizzy summer of travel is still fresh in my mind, while this summer I have done a whole lot of zero, and I’ve been angry. A pouty, unreasonable, frustrated anger. Let’s call this a tantrum.

Poor me. I know. This is nothing. It’s really nothing. But right now it’s my something.

Anyway, it’s getting better. I’ve had some days, in the past week or so, that count, and make me feel like I’m moving. Yeah, I’m thankful for all of my days and they’re a gift; the healing, boring days are just harder to appreciate. It’s a stagnant state of I’ll-be-happy-when, which is, frankly, shit. I don’t like waiting, and I don’t like it when I struggle to find joy in the moment.

In the past week I’ve had three really good days, three days that meant I could forget that waiting. First, a funeral for a friend’s mother. Not that funerals are any reason to celebrate, but it put things in perspective. It was sad, but it was so lovely. Such a positive remembrance of the way that one person affected so many people in her life and made each person who knew her feel special. That day was also filled with people I haven’t seen in a long time. It ended up being a reunion of sorts: the kind of day when you laugh and tell stories and don’t watch the clock.

Second: Tuesday I took a solo day trip to our family cabin. I dropped our kids off with their grandparents and drove another half hour to my happy place. I haven’t been there alone since I went to finish my thesis in 2013. I spent most of Tuesday staring at the water, reading, and dozing in my chair to the white noise of water on rocks. I feel whole there. If a place can be an antidepressant, this river is it.UntitledUntitled
Third: I had lunch today with some friends–all retired teachers from my school. It felt like being normal. It felt good to laugh. It felt like an actual reason to get out of the house, but not the kind of day that means being worked up. Today was ordinary, but joyful. And another reminder that the people in my life are so great. I also had a decision about work to make today, and the day ended with one of these glorious friends telling me that no matter what, everything is going to be okay.

It doesn’t get any better than that, if you’re wondering.

I’m beginning to feel like a person again, and less like a body whose sole purpose is to sit still and knit together. If I’m being honest, I’m still shaking my fist at the sky a little because I know I won’t feel 100% until the day I go back to work. This entire break will have been an exercise in patience. This was not a fun summer or even an interesting one. But tonight I’m thankful for a few days that really count.