Monday Redux (Krissie)

Okay, why is this computer being weird?  I’m bouncing between three computers and none of them are working right, but what the hell.  I’m trying to add media (as in, put a picture or two up) and it’s not working.  Grrrrr.

I’ve been busy!  After being so worried about my lack of energy, I seem to be able to do more, the more I push.  First off, I’m making myself turn off everything before 11 and start trying to go to sleep then.  While I’ve generally been sleeping till about ten, Yesterday I got up at seven and today at quarter past six.  And I did so much yesterday.  I scrubbed the kitchen – every bit of countertop, tossing things right and left.

I think it was Hoarders that did it.  I’d watched it a couple of times in the past and felt great sympathy for the people who were trapped by their possessions, the clear mental health problems that affected them.

And then I watched it a couple of weeks ago, and took a look at my house.  It truly is appalling.  I don’t know how it got so bad, but it’s really horrifying, so bad that when I showed Tim what my bedroom looked like when we were Facetiming he was shocked, and he grew up with my haphazard ways.

So I cleaned the room.  It’s an ongoing process, but I removed incredible amounts (5 bags to Goodwill) and in the following two weeks I keep chipping away at the stubborn stuff left, not letting it slide back into chaos.

Everywhere I look it’s horrifying, truly.  So I’m feeling really good about what I’ve been doing so far.  Last week alone I did the following:

wrote every day, worked on revisions for older books, made a dress, pants and outfit for the Wellie Wisher doll I’m giving Ali (You can find what I’ve been making on Instagram – I followed Jenny’s plan for posting an art project every day, but in my case it’s just my creativity for the day.  
Son of a bitch, it’s upside down again. That was my doll sweater which, while not perfect, is still useable. I added white buttons.

Sigh. 3 computers and none of them working well. So, made bread pudding, fresh bread and seafood scampi for dinner, went to church, worked on cleaning out the hall, squared up Ali’s quilt, went off to the big city, the shrink, crochet class (I’m taking a beginner’s course to work on the basics). Lots and lots of other stuff this week as well, all without ending up flat on my back in exhaustion like I was (technically I know I should say “as” I was but what the hell).
And I think a lot of it is my worry & anger about feeling so gobsmacked the other time that I was determined not to give in.
Let me tell you about my sister. Taffy was a beauty when she was young, but all three of us children were damaged goods. For some reason I survived and they didn’t. My sister lost her 18 year old son, and then her adopted away 38 year old daughter, and it was too much. She’d wanted to be waited on her entire life (her toddlers would bring her her cokes) and she basically got in a chair and didn’t get out. She had Chronic Fatigue (probably) and unbearable grief, even though she still had Mini-me, and when something hurt she gave into it. By the time she died she’d gained more than a hundred pounds and could barely walk, and her death was from emphysema complicated by obesity. I still have things I need to process about all that.

But I was starting to feel like I couldn’t move, like I was too exhausted to even try. So I rested a couple of days, and then got up and got moving. And I keep pushing just a little more every day, and the more I push, the more I can do. It’s logical – we all learned this when we were young, but it’s easy to forget as pain and age start to take their toll on our bodies. I’ve got something called Chronic Pain Syndrome, with two destroyed knees, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, replaced shoulder that is very funky (weak and painful) blah blah blah.
My sister, and a lot of other people, focus on that pain. But since you can’t really get pain-free (and people run into trouble with opioids when they try) you have a choice to cave and whine or to keep fighting it. (Taffy didn’t whine, but she was understandably hopeless). I’m going to keep fighting, and I’m beyond happy with the very fast results.

I think it’s a part of aging – you keep expecting to have the energy and mobility you had thirty years ago, but there’s wear and tear on the joints, and damn, you just get tired. But you have to push beyond your comfort zone, or be the sort of person obsessed by her aches and her troubles.

(I bet you’re rolling on the floor because I probably seemed obsessed by my aches and troubles on here. I’m not, but when I talk to you guys I’m thinking about my life objectively, so I may whine a bit. Mea culpa).

So that’s Sister Yoda’s advice for the day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Sister Yoda is from Wales). Or, as my role model would say, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live!” It is a banquet, full of wondrous (and horrible) things. You can wait for your food to be delivered on a tray to your hospital bed and you can go out there and wrestle it to the ground.

I’m all for wrestling.

Krissie: What I did For Love

Photo on 7-2-14 at 10.13 AMFortunately I do most everything out of love and very little out of duty. Or so it seems. You can tell by what my house looks like. So here’s what I did yesterday.
Woke up, wrote a blog, checked my email (briefly). Wrote 2,300 words. Went into the pool (couldn’t float because my sunburn on my legs is too nasty). Copied my pages from the script, went through and marked my lines and my cues. Went in the water again. Loaded the dishwasher. Fixed the printer. Went through more of family boxes and letters (a report my father did on how women spent their leisure time in the 1950s — he was a researcher for the Saturday Evening Post at that point). Plus photos and letters and wonderful pictures from Mini-me’s wedding, all of which was slow and either painful or not (the wedding pictures weren’t at all painful, even though happy memories often are). Did three hours of rehearsal/read-throughs. Came home, went swimming, had dinner (salad), went to bed. You know, it doesn’t sound that tiring when I write it down.
Our key phrase this summer is from Calvin and Hobbes — The days are just packed. Phantom (the cat) spends his days hunting. The stupid robin yesterday decided to hop away from him yesterday instead of fly, but fortunately a squirrel was caught in the netting that protects the blueberries and he got distracted. Then he found a mouse. (I’m writing on the front porch and I watch him stalking back and forth on the edge of the grass, or perched on a rock and watching.
Richie saved the mouse (I don’t know why) and praised Phantom and brought him inside. Let him out later, Phantom found the mouse again. Richie came out once more, this time the mouse was dead so he threw it in the grass. Yesterday morning we had a squirrel head on our deck (small enough so that I didn’t notice, thank God). Now Phantom is sleeping under the picnic table. The days, as I say, are just packed.

So, today I write another 2k plus words (which I’ve been doing I came back from Crusie’s, where I wrote 3k a day most days) and I’m still at a place where I love this damned book so much. I have no idea if the pacing is right or any of that shit — I’m just loving the story as it unfolds for me. Usually that means it’s a winner. On occasion it means a broken heart. But you pays your money and you takes your chance.

I really really need to get pool supplies and food, but Richie’s going to the town where the grocery store is so he can get necessities and I can go out tomorrow when I don’t have a rehearsal. The pool can wait one more day. It’s been in the upper 80’s every day so really wickedly hot, though poor Mini-me is stuck in Sacramento on jury duty so comparatively speaking I don’t even know what hot is. So I’ll write and I’ll swim (carefully, since the sunburn is still bad — it seems to have gotten through the wet towel I placed over my legs on Monday). I really need to go to the basement and sort through the fabric and stuff for costuming, but I keep putting that off. And today my rehearsal schedule is brutal — 4 to 7 for chorus (not so bad) but 8:30 to 11 pm for Acting as in Act, damn you. I go to bed at 8:30! Fortunately Billy Bigelow is darling, and so is Enoch Snow and Jigger Craven. In fact, Mrs. Mullin will make eyes at just about everybody (I’ll keep away from Zack, who’s about 17 and still a kid). Oh, and since it was just a read through I got to sing along with “Mr. Snow” – which I used to warble as I’d walk uptown in Princeton every Saturday. (People must have thought I was nuts).  It was fabulous!

So. I’ll write. I’ll swim. I’ll empty that stupid box and maybe even get down to the basement for a little bit. By the way, Richie cut peonies for me and put them on the table beside my loveseat (thank you Crusie) and they smell divine. There’s a breeze (there’s almost always a breeze) and it blows the scent to me. You have no idea how exquisitely lovely it is here. It really is breathtaking, and even the heat is lovely with the breeze (it’s not a hot breeze yet — it’s probably still in the low or mid 70s right now).

And I will walk to the end of the driveway and back once a day. I need to call the orthopedist and be reassured that walking won’t make my knees worse. He saw the latest X-rays – he would know. And my BFF is coming back next week, so I’ll sew with her. Maybe I’ll see if I can do a little bit about the disaster of the living room. It’s depressing. But I gotta conserve energy for tonight.

When I can get my Cougar on.

I think part of it is (ahem) aging. We don’t realize we haven’t got the limitless energy we had when we were younger (at least mine was limitless) and we can’t pace ourselves properly and we get so frustrated that we collapse in exhaustion over what should be trifles. But it must be a universal problem because everyone wants more energy.

Aha, Phantom has joined me to walk across the keyboard, bless him Better get to work — I think there’s sex in the offing.  (not for Phantom — we had him neutered a few weeks after he showed up at our doorstep.  Not for me.  Ah, but for Bishop and Evangeline … I love my job!)

(Oh, and there was nothing for make it Wednesday.  Go out and take pictures of your gardens and put them in dropbox.  That’s your task for the week).