Sunday, March 18, 2012

In which, briefly, life is totally perfect

I spent Saturday sleeping in and doing crafts. Redbeard tinkered with his bike in the backyard all afternoon. We decided to grill and some friends in the neighborhood strolled over. Today, same thing: sleeping, crafts, and we decided to grill again, because we loved it so much last night.

Oh did I mention I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL? Which lent the whole weekend an air of relaxation that I haven't had in a long long time. What's better than warm weather, the smell of charcoal smoke, the crack of a beer can, the flicker of a candle as the sky gets darker and the living sounds of the neighborhood?

Nothing, I tell ya, that's what.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In which I tell what I've been up to, consider the merits of boredom, remember to give thanks

It's been all quiet on the blogging front for a little while. I got a gnarly stomach bug, the takeaway from which was holy shit, it feels so good to be healthy and alive after you finally bounce back from something like that. Tonight Redbeard and I got pork bowls and as I devoured my slightly spicy sweet meat-strips like a ravenous movie dinosaur I thought, oh hell yes, thank god for this.

It's been a quiet few weeks, going through the routines, but actually incremental progresses have been made. I've been making greeting cards on a regular basis that I intend to sell at some future point. I started a Couch25K routine after my subconscious finally tugged at my sleeve enough times about my basically-sedentary lifestyle. I continued to show up for The Kid, the gal I nanny for. Struggled with procrastination on the other job, in which there is a decided lack of flaming, in-my-face deadlines, which tends to be tricky for me.

I saw The Secret World of Arietty, which was magical and inspiring. Redbeard and I are starting to get a team together to create a kinetic sculpture to participate in the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, which, once completed, will fulfill a longtime dream of mine.

And then there is the almost overwhelming tidal wave of projects, classes, and adventures I want to partake of. There's the list of ten goals for the year I started last September that I am still working on, 5-7 of which I am totally kicking ass on. There's my intention to end the day doing something relaxing, the same way I've made a habit (I just typed habitat, that fits too I think) of a period of quiet reflection in the morning. There's emailing with my friend C, we go back and forth about our struggles and triumphs in the realm of the good life. There's garden season coming up. There's the community group I want to continue to be involved with. And oh right there's grad school and financial aid applications and all that.

And then of course there's the sleeping, which is key for me, and the trying to not eat too much of things that will prematurely put me in the grave, and trying to do this in a way that will not put Redbeard and me into insolvency (I'm looking at you, fresh produce and lean proteins). And then there's the cat poop to scoop and the dishes to be done. 

It all sounds so quotidian written out here like that. After several years of overall life-upheaval, I can't forget to be grateful for peacefulness, stability, routine, things going as planned. If there is a vague sense of boredom, maybe I can try to be kind of zen into that, see that beneath the boredom there is maybe just maybe the seeds of a stable, rooted, grounded life. Maybe I can see the germination happening, promising shootings bursting up out of the ground, like the crocuses and daffodils this year, lured early from the earth by the mild weather we're having.

Oh! And something both ordinary and spectacular: the doctor said I could go off the medicine for ulcerative colitis. It happened in such a routine and unspectacular way - after a rainy morning in the waiting room leafing through a withered magazine - that it's easy to overlook what a victory, what a blessing this is. Three years after the original diagnosis - and, truthfully, three years of hard work at turning my life around and tuning in to the wisdom - yeah, I said it - the wisdom of my own darn body - and it's easy to forget what it was like when I basically couldn't live my life due to the spasms of pain and the necessity of being within three minutes of a bathroom at all times.

So now, as my life chugs merrily along, I have to remember not to get too blase about this slow locomotion down the tracks. Having been derailed, and having fought to get to where I am...a peaceful journey through the countryside is a gift the likes of which I did not before have the sense to appreciate.

So fine, I'm overwhelmed by all the things I want to do and see and accomplish in my life. So, fine. Great! I am in love with the possibilities, the chances, the opportunities, the excitement. Better that than the dull gray film of depression, where nothing interests and nothing excites. Better that than the utter misery of illness, in which the world shrinks to focus only on the pain and its interludes.

If only I can remember not to tie every ribbon to this splendid and spectacular future, and give thanks for that which is before me now. A quiet Sunday night. Redbeard sighing in and out of the rooms. The dryer in the basement beneath me churning rhythmically like a beating heart. Now Redbeard is trying to do a Vulcan Mind-meld with the cat, holding it to his forehead, attempting to know the inner workings. Everything working properly, humming along, the household machines, the car, the body. The night now coming to a close, pajamas, a reigning in of those things finished and unfinished. The promise of a night of rest, another day, say thank you, and thank you, and thank you.