It’s been a while, so prepare for a ramble.
I’m looking outside at the grey cold. Actually, only the sky is grey; the back hill is flush with pine tree teenagers still boasting their green needles. The upstairs neighbor has the heat on, and his new unit goes louder before it shuts down; it sits outside the 2nd bedroom window. The quiet when it shuts down is lovely. Les doesn’t leave the TV on much anymore, as he’s glued to his phone (radio shows, podcasts, etc.), and I welcome the quiet. We’ll probably cancel cable after the holidays.
I’m simultaneously bummed and glad the snow’s holding off til evening, because we haven’t been to the grocery store yet this paycheck. The weekend got away from us and likely, I’ll send Hubs off to the EBBS* by himself later, because I need to work. But my focus is fleeting a bit today, hence this post. I just read Jenna’s latest, and it was wonderful…like, print-that-sucker-out-and-post-it-on-the-fridge-for-motivation-wonderful. Just a basic “day in the life” post, but for those of us who don’t have our farms yet, it sings with anticipation.
I put the new lease in the mail this week with a sigh of relief, a bit of sadness, and a healthy dose of determination. Things need to change this coming year, but for now, there’s still a roof over our heads and food on the table.
I woke up this morning as I have been lately, around 7:20 a.m. because the kitten climbs over my head and on my hair to get to the bedroom window. He hops up from the bed to the top of the short bookcase and just looks and looks, tail wagging like a dog. I’ve gotten enough sleep, but the awakening is startling and makes me grumpy, and thus it takes me longer to get my motor running. There’s no animals to walk or wood stove to tend, so I make a cup of coffee and try to settle in at the laptop. Check email, play on FB, do a site. Unfortunately, that’s a bit of a theme during the week for me though, which makes me fall behind quickly and work more Saturdays than I’d like. For someone who has 3 other living creatures counting on her, I could really use some more self-discipline.
I think about looking for office work after the holidays. I don’t know if this will actually happen, or if I’ll budget us differently and soldier on. I know deep-down that I’d rather do the latter, but I’m also uncertain about the intelligence of that scenario.
The holidays are sneaking up on us. We’ll put the tree up this week, and spend the next 3 weeks disciplining the kitten probably. I’m quite devoid of spirit this year, so I’m hoping the tree will give me a morale boost in that area. It’s going to be a very thin holiday, but that’s probably a good thing. I tend to let my hedonism go bonkers this time of year, but between new insurance, new glasses, and a host of other bills, it’s plain not possible right now.
We don’t want to travel, but we will, hopefully just for an overnight at his mom’s. His mom’s house is not a healthy environment, but she’s only almost-3 years widowed and needs the family support around the holidays.
Thanksgiving was a bit of a puzzlement, and the cause of my lack of holiday spirit, I think. I usually kick off the season that day with Macy’s on the tube and a hearty meal, and we did just that. His mom visited, and we bought a local bird. But I made way too much food this time around, and the week coincided with an offer for more money at work, so I was chained to my laptop when I wasn’t listening to his mom sigh and feel sorry for herself. That sounds cold, but it’s a situation that’s been going on for years, long before Les’s dad passed, and the parties in question are in some serious denial as to how to change things for the better, so all we can do is listen and advise (and then get frustrated when our advise falls on deaf ears). I was out of sorts for 3 full days after she left, needing naps and chocolate, and my moods swung wildly.
Not coincidentally, I dove into Buddhism last week, attending several sessions at the local sangha in downtown AVL to see if it’s my cup of tea. It both is and isn’t, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to investigate that for myself. I’m too shy lately to desire much community. I dropped in on Ashley at Malaprop’s the other day for a hug and a chat, and got overwhelmed toward the end. Such a silly thing to have happen when you’re just chatting with an acquaintance, but it happens. So I’m recognizing that I need to meditate more, that it feels terrific to do so; but I’m steering clear of individual sangha activities until I know more about what area of Buddhism speaks to me the most. I respect the religion too much to interlope without more knowledge.
The kitten chirps himself awake, turns around once, and curls back up to sleep, next to me on the guest room bed. He’s my anam cara, and the lap time he sometimes affords me in the evenings is a balm. My cyclothymia was kicking my ass on Sunday, but when he hopped in my lap for a spell that evening, his presence filled in some of my cracked spots. The juxtaposition of barely keeping the wolf at the door while noting how incredibly lucky we are to live how we do is not lost on me, and I find myself more grateful and humbled this time of year. The key is keeping up that mindset year-round.
* EBBS = Evil Big-Box Store, in our case, Walmart