Monday, January 24, 2022

Frayed and coming apart at the seams

My nails represent January.

December was a blur because I had to squeeze in  trip to Florida for my son's graduation the week before Christmas. (I love Florida!) That meant a lot of orchestrating with other people and dogs. Fortunately my middle son and his GF stayed at the house and took care of things and made sure my youngest was on track with hockey and school.

Coming home just three days before Christmas means a lot of scrambling to get the house festive and the gifts sorted (and bought) and wrapped. My oldest came home and I was also managing a big surprise for my husband...his daughter was flying in from Spain for the holidays! (Fortunately, he hadn't noticed that I had set up the small bedroom as a guest room. (I had been using it as an office until my computer refused to work without Ethernet. Hello 1996.)

Hockey doesn't end for the holidays. The only days off were Christmas and New Year's Day.

I barely decorated so cleanup was...non existent really. I have all the bins and decor in that small bedroom, waiting to go up to the attic because the door to the attic is in that bedroom. The small bedroom is cold and the attic is even colder. (I was the last person to sleep in there during the few days I thought my husband might have COVID.)

My tree is still up. There are maybe four ornaments on it. Each of the boys looked through their box of special ornaments but didn't feel like putting them on the tree. No one watched The Polar Express because my middle had brought it the disc to his apartment and left it there.

I haven't sent out too many New Year's cards yet. I should have just got Valentines. (I did send out most of the graduation announcements I planned to, though.) Every year I say I am going to stop doing this. Maybe next year...and instead I will make a donation to an organization that plants trees. (Except, my older relatives...)

I can't get that nail polish off because I have too many hangnails and split skin, both from work stress (my contract didn't get renewed at my primary gig until mid-January and there was a massive leadership change and reorg where I contract and that is all I will say, other than it is a challenge for me not to roll my eyes on many Webexes and I often have to shut my camera off) and using so much sanitizer and disinfectant when my husband was sick.

Then my youngest had COVID, and at that point I just gave up worrying about sanitizing and disinfecting (as much as I had before, mainly to prevent my husband's possible COVID from further disrupting my son's hockey season). The first time he came downstairs wearing a mask (to protect me, he said), I told him, "Please don't worry. If I'm gonna get sick, the wheels are already in motion." (We spend a lot of time together in the car.) "Give me a hug."

The frayed cuff on my shirt? That is actually a shirt I bought as a souvenir in Clearwater, FL (just a month ago) at a 24-hour Walgreens. I liked the saying, Stay Salty, on the front. But it's coming apart at the seams, in addition to fraying. 

What an apt metaphor (I think that is the right word, and I'm a writer, and I just Googled it, and I still don't know for sure) for what my life could be like: "frayed and coming apart at the seams," if I didn't work out regularly.

I haven't posted during the pandemic. It has been a wretched time. This will possibly be the 3rd roller derby season lost (2020, 2021, 2022). In 2020, I began "rage-skating" on our local rail trail. My skating buddy and I did the whole trail a couple of times -- it's the equivalent of skating a marathon. In August of that year, I joined a boxing gym. Do not underestimate the importance of hitting and kicking things. Skating and boxing have kept me on a mostly even keel. But I'm not gonna lie, I destroyed my teeth during the pandemic by grinding and clenching and am now wearing Invisalign. (I know this because my roller derby mouthguard no longer fit after our forced nearly 18-month hiatus, during which time our rink was sold and converted to a U-Haul storage facility😭). I'm also taking an anti-anxiety med, which I had declined the first time my doctor suggested it, but the discovery that I needed braces, even after rage-skating and boxing workouts, prompted me to reconsider. My stress level as indicated by my fitness tracker was too high. (Stress = cortisol = belly fat = other health problems.)

Why do I have time to write today? I got up at 3:50 a.m. to help my son get out the door for before-school hockey practice. His ride came at 4:30. It's still dark out and I have taken care of the dogs (one has a medical issue that necessitates bloodletting) and cleaned up the kitchen. Now I am going to get shit done so I don't feel bad about taking off midday to pick up the cats I am adopting. They came from Arkansas and they're finishing their mandated quarantine at a human society far, far away.

(Life is better with pets. I love my dogs and I have missed having a cat since our dryer kitty, "Ditty," passed away five years ago.)

So byeeeeeee for now!

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