Ash Wednesday and the party is over for another year. It feels a bit weird to have not gone to a single parade and have missed out on all the festivities, but I will always remember 2023 as the Carnival when Mom died.
I allowed myself to sleep in this morning. I’m still out of the office on leave, which is nice. I am getting better but am still a bit shaky, if truth be told, and so these extra days to kind of get my act together before going back to work are going to be a bit nice. I did manage to get some things done yesterday. I had a Facebook page takeover promo thing to do, which turned out to be a lot of fun–it was a very nice group, and I have to say, the cozy audience (writers and readers both) are amazing. They are welcoming and friendly and inclusive and supportive and I have to say, this entire experience has been really marvelous. While I was doing that I was cleaning out my inbox and working on filing and organizing. This morning the kitchen/office looks much better than it has since this whole business with Mom started; today I plan to do some more. I also need to make a minor grocery run (probably will go to Fresh Market today) and will order for pick-up on Friday to do the bigger stuff (mainly because they’ll have restocked after the Carnival madness by then). I also need to start working on the books again, and I still have that short story to write, and there’s of course all those emails in my inbox (yesterday I was just basically deleting the junk). I was still exhausted for the most part yesterday still, so focusing wasn’t easy, so I spent most of the day watching documentaries about history on Youtube and making Scooter happy by giving him a lap to sleep in. We also started watching Class last night on Netflix, which is basically an Indian remake of Elité, which makes it kind of fun. The actors are all young, pretty and talented; the show seems a bit less glossy and a lot grittier in this version–can an American version be far behind? (I suppose Gossip Girl would qualify, but it’s not in the same league and the reboot is terrible to the point of being embarrassing.) Class also moves faster than Elité; we discover the identity of the first season’s murder victim at the end of episode 2, whereas in Elité we didn’t know it was Marina until halfway through the season–I also think this version’s seasons are shorter. But it’s fun to watch, even though we know what’s going to happen, just seeing how they did the adaptation and how they had to change things because it’s now set in Delhi, India rather than Spain.
My toe is less swollen, less red, and less painful this morning as well. I am beginning to suspect it’s psoriatic arthritis, but I am going to send a message to my doctor about it through the phone app. I also need to buy more wrap for it; I don’t know where the wrap I bought before the trip disappeared to; I may have left it in the hotel room (note to self: never buy black tape again) since I can’t seem to put my hands on it around here. I can swing by CVS on the way to get the mail to buy more, but it’s not cheap and it’s very irritating to have lost the rest of the roll. Now, the toe is just annoying and irritating, but I need to get to the bottom of what happened to it in the first place.
It does feel weird and somewhat disrespectful to pick up the reins of my life again and start moving forward. What is an appropriate period for mourning in modern times? I don’t think I’ll ever stop mourning, to be honest; it’s just something else you have to learn to live with and never get over completely. I remind myself regularly that this isn’t unique to me–I am hardly the first person to lose their mother, nor am I the last–and that really, I was pretty lucky that I had my mom for sixty-two years and I still have my father. I am still processing this, and probably will for a while. It’s very weird that it takes something like this to give you clarity on a lot of things, or insights that should have been fairly obvious all along but never crossed my mind because there wasn’t a reason to even think about it; they just were, you know, and why question these things or think about them? It also forced me to look back at my life (which I don’t like to do, but have been doing more and more since I turned sixty and the realization that the sands in my hourglass are almost finished running through), and realize that sometimes it’s not necessarily a bad thing to look back. The interest in the past that I’ve always had but never extended to my own has now been triggered, and I suspect more and more of my future work is going to be somehow tied to the past–either being set there or things in the past are affecting things in the present. I also need to assess where I am with regards to my plans for the year; I didn’t really have plans–more of an amorphous this is what I’d like to write for this year thing than anything else–especially since I never really make writing plans because they inevitably are changed or have to change and I am very resistant to change (not sure why that is, my entire life has always been about changing), but I do have a vague idea of how I want the rest of the year to play out writing-wise. I also have to start being more restrictive of my traveling because I am going to start needing to go to Kentucky more often every year (yay for audiobooks!) or at least meeting my dad in Alabama to visit Mom (Alabama is much easier than Kentucky for me, obviously).
So, today is catch-up day; finishing laundry and dishes and chores, running errands, organizing and filing, maybe doing some reading (I am really enjoying One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski), and I also need to start trying to figure out how to fix the dryer, or if I even can. Paul was kind of adamant about not buying a new one at first, but as this has gone on for weeks (I’ve been gone the last three weekends) he is getting more and more resigning to buying a new one. So on the to-do list I am going to update after I post this will go figure out if I can fix the dryer myself. I don’t have to work in the office on Friday, but I do need to swing by there to pick up some more work, and there’s a Lowe’s out by the office I can swing by the see if they have the fuse I may need (I may just need to unplug it and vacuum out the lint thing; it’s the simplest solution and definitely worth a try). I also need to order a Bluetooth keyboard for the laptop; the one I am using now is battery operated and of course, the batteries are always dead when I need to use it, so I need to get one that is rechargeable.
But I feel good and rested and at peace this morning, so I am going to focus on that and get moving. Have a lovely rest of your day, Constant Reader, and I will check in which you again later.