Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Catching Up (or...The Completely Random and Bizarre Thoughts I Have)

My alarm went off this morning and I hit snooze, as usual. And then I laid there and watched the block of sun shining through a transom window creep across the wall and around the corner. And I thought about how now that I know where the pin is in my left big toe I can feel it, even though before my first follow-up appointment yesterday when I hadn't seen my foot since before the surgery I couldn't. And I wondered if the small muscle on my right leg, just above and to the inside of my kneecap, is spastic for a reason. Blood clot? Leg muscle cancer? Parkinson's? And I thought about the stuff I needed to get finished at work today (harsh edit of an obituary that was a.) too long and b.) written entirely in passive voice to the point where I was tempted to make a drinking game of it and knock something back every time I read the word "was" only to realize that if I did that I'd be polluted by the second graph). And I wondered how Zoe is doing, away at Girl Scout camp, and wondered how much longer the Girl Scouts would be able to offer resident camp since numbers appear to be declining and how sad that would be for whole generations of girls to not experience everything I got to. And then I realized that I wanted to start writing again.

I have taken quite a break from writing. Months. I haven't worked on the book, I haven't written any flash non-fiction, no short stories, no personal essays. I bailed on Open Mic this month because I had nothing to read and I didn't feel like sitting there and beating myself up for being so unproductive while everyone else read. I have thought about writing, but haven't felt motivated to actually do it. At all.

Once I got back in walking form from the first foot surgery, I started walking. I was up to over an hour each evening, which is a big chunk of time to take out of my day. It was good, though, and so worth it. I discovered the beauty of podcasts while I walk. I listen and am transported out of my sneakers and into whole new worlds. I can walk for hours if I have good podcasts to distract me. Just when I got all settled into my walking habit, it was time to fix the other foot. Now I'm back in a boot and sidelined yet again.

I went on a reading binge. Book after book after book. I have a long list of excellent recommendations from friends and colleagues and I started tearing through it. My Kindle died in the process and, after I finished crying and whining over it (I was very attached, it was a gift from M and converted me from books to e-reading) I ordered a new one. The new Kindle is amazing, so much better than my old one. I purchased "Go Set a Watchman," Harper Lee's new novel, in hardback as I wanted a first edition. I read it and found myself annoyed that it was an actual book and not on my Kindle. I never thought that would happen. (Note, the content didn't annoy me at all. I actually liked it, and think that people should get over the whole "Oh no Atticus is a racist" thing and focus on the humanity of the story, which to me is this: one of the hardest things in the world is realizing that your parents are not only mortal, but also very flawed human beings just like everybody else.)

We bought a new couch for the basement, which has inadvertently led to a new hobby and severe decrease in productivity. While we have been looking at couches for two years now, this was an impulse purchase as I wasn't actively couch shopping when I found it. We moved quickly, though, and took advantage of a good sale. Now the couch is installed in the finished basement and faces an empty wall. M has been instructed to buy a television already and has started his tortuous process of research, analyzing, and generally flogging the dead horse to hell and back before making a decision. Somehow the discussion of television sets led to a discussion of paid television and suddenly we found ourselves signed up for Netflix. I have launched into binge watching Gilmore Girls and am starting to annoy even myself with the amount of time spent in front of the boob tube. And yet, I see no end in sight as I still have over half the Gilmore Girls episodes to watch before resuming my obsession with Doctor Who and catching up with the rest of the world on Mad Men, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and a variety of other shows mocking me from my Watch List.

I completely changed my purse habit. For my female readers, you know how big this is. My standard bag for the past umpteen years has been the same: it must have both a long strap to be wearable as a cross-body plus a shorter handle(s) to carry easily by hand, plus an outside pocket that's large enough to accommodate the cell phone but little else. The bag itself can't be too large because then I just fill it up with crap but it can't be too small because sometimes there's a lot of crap I really need to haul. Because of these criteria, my husband has deemed my purse the "family bag," or the Fambag, as he has taken to calling it. We step out the door on any given day for any given destination, and before we even pull out of the driveway my bag is suddenly home to my husband's glasses and, depending on what he's wearing, chapstick, wallet, keys, etc. Zoe usually throws in an item or two, and then I'm walking around weighed down while my family moves blissfully unencumbered. Then, recently, I noticed a trend among my friends and one cousin. They have adorable little wristlets that carry cash, cards, a key fob and a phone, and little else. Then they have larger totes they toss the wristlet into when they need to carry more. I looked at my adorable summer bag I use for work and a light bulb went off. I found myself a snazzy bright blue wristlet that, with a coupon, costs me all of two dollars, and gave it a whirl. Breakthrough. Because I now usually no longer have anything that resembles a Fambag, I am not asked to carry everyone else's crap. Mind. Blown. It's a whole new way of life.

I have been working a ton. Some things shifted at work and suddenly my laid-back summer (busy, but not crazy busy) shifted into a much higher gear (crazy busy). It's all good stuff, but it has taken an enormous amount of concentration and effort. Some nights I barely have any brainpower left to even read and comprehend what I'm reading.

But I want to start writing again. So I need to just, you know, write.

Maybe after this episode of Gilmore Girls.


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