Officially, today is a holiday for my company's Idaho site. The rest of the company, however, does not observe this holiday, so it was "suggested" that it might be a good idea for us to work the holiday, reserving this day for some future date when we need a day to keep us from running screaming from the building. Sigh. Have I mentioned the part where I need a new job? :) It's on the list.
My sister's middle daughter is having a baby. Today! She is overdue and verrry pregnant, and today IS the day. I'd love to be there, and I'm very aware of the distance between me and the people I love today. Over the weekend I talked briefly with my sister, and was joking with her about this conversation I keep having with the therapist - he gives me the depression test, I say "Doesn't frustrated ranting indicate a lack of depression???" Now I smile as I say it...but I mean it. He laughs, reminds me he has to ask the questions, and then we talk about living with depression, next to depression. My husband is fighting depression along with, and in great part because of, his physical challenges, you see. Or therapist-dude tries to talk the hard-headed me into believing that some small distinction of the difference between anxiety-induced behaviors, addictive behaviors and compulsive behaviors matters. For the record? In my book - they do NOT. They may come from different places in our minds, but they FEEL the same. Your life, your actions, your behaviors are not authentic to who you are. I keep telling him - your job is to know what caused the problem so you can fix it. My job is to tell you you're not doing that great a job yet. :) It's okay, I'm charming and I say this stuff with a smile and a relatively light heart, and so that comment makes him laugh.
This weekend, while talking to another friend, we wound up talking about the things we always thought we would do that we are not doing. She is a single mom, and I am...well, I am not where I thought I would be. Here was our short list: camping, backpacking, snowshoe weekends, international travel, impulsive road trips (that one was mine). Seeing a pattern here? Uh...it's all about escape, babeeee. So we went digging into our Campus Rec calendars to find low cost opportunities to do this stuff. We're going to go snowshoeing in a few weeks on an overnighter (there will be no snow camping, a lodge and someone else cooking will definitely be involved). I'm going to take a belly dance class. We're going to find some group to try backpacking with. It's so easy to accept limits when you are tired, isn't it?
So...I'm reading a book called Atonement, by Ian McEwan, recently made into a film. I've owned the book for a while, and when I began reading it again, I remembered trying to read it once before. It is lovely. Lush prose, surprising observations in a WWII setting, the lens of today on a time that is at once familiar and unfamiliar to us now. What makes it hard to read is the act of a child, a precocious and smart and headstrong child, that shapes lives. McEwan circles the moment of this act with precision and grace until it is almost unbearable to read it. Books do that to me. My dance with the written words of a book, or of letters, or emails, create such a vivid place that I feel I inhabit it. Unlike, completely unlike, the experience of film, where I am clearly an observer. In any case, one of the things I'd rather do than work today is finish this book. Tomorrow night my teaching career resumes, with a nighttime beginning fiction class. I am both excited and wondering how I'll manage it. So, another of the things I would rather do today is work on my materials for the class - my syllabus and handouts and schedule and...all of it.
Most of all, I'd like to spend the day writing. I have a story that is aching to get out of me, that I'm pacing around like a caged lioness, afraid to start, burning to start. The act of writing these stories is so involving, though. I lose myself for a time, and it can be almost frightening to do that. Right now, it feels both seductive and a little scary. But irresistible.
Find peace, stay warm and smile often.