Whenever I come back to this blog after an absence, I feel compelled to throw an explanation into the ether about where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing—in much the same way as I catch up with an old friend in the grocery store. You know how it is—a quick listing of my recent activities, how the family’s doing, where I’m working now, etc.
Instead, I’ve decided to tell you what I didn’t do.
These past few months, I did not:
Spend too much on Christmas presents.
Worry about the size of Tom Brady’s balls.
Worry about the condition of my home. I live in a condo with two big guys, an active, happy dog, and a cat. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my home will never be “company ready,” and that’s just fine, because, like the introverts we are, we never have people over anyway. We both work full-time, and we do what we can, when we can. It’s been rather liberating, actually, and easier to look at piles of yarn or books and cluttered end tables as “works in progress” rather than “a mess that needs cleaned up.”
Comment (as much) on the news. People are going to make bad decisions, and news sources are going to report on, promote, and even celebrate them because they’ve nothing better to do. It’s been tough! So far I’ve bit my tongue through:
- “Taliban aren’t terrorists;”
- “We’ll send several officials out in the middle of Ferguson’s violence to encourage further race-fueled looting and pillaging of black homes and businesses, and killing, but not to France to stand united with the world” (not to mention “Let’s send an aging 70’s musician to sing a song to France instead”);
- “Yeah, it’s winter and we live on the coast, but we’re not going to prepare during the warmer months for disaster so we can gut the stores and buy up all the bread, milk, and eggs hours before a blizzard arrives because who doesn’t need French Toast during a weather emergency?”;
- Various photoshopped images of contemporary “celebrities” in ridiculous poses that either skew everyone’s perceptions of physical “health” or send the world’s perceptions and expectations of women screaming back to the 50’s (usually both simultaneously);
- “That deceased, highly decorated, Navy Seal sniper was a coward of the highest order for protecting our troops and our country and doing what he was told;”
- “The unemployment rate is decreasing (just don’t mention that they’re mostly part-time jobs and they’re still underemployed);”
- Anything Dennis Rodman has to say about relations with North Korea; and
- “Seth Rogen and James Franco are geniuses and their movie should be shared around the world! It’s a cinematic masterpiece! About that ‘hacking’ thing, that’s really not a big deal.”
You can see how tough that would be to ignore, don’t ya?
It’s getting easier as I go. I can concentrate on keeping up with what’s important in my little corner of the world—
Helping my son, who recently lost his father and who may end up paying for the funeral with the handfuls of nickels left over from his part-time, fast food paycheck because the life insurance company has denied the claim his employer said his father qualified for;
Getting my already exhausted husband through the last month or so of basketball season (his busiest time of the year), in which he has no scheduled days off;
Ironing out the particulars of some new opportunities related to my volunteer work on campus, which will hopefully become a paying enterprise (if I can keep from getting frustrated with the “speed” at which the university works);
Designing and building a new, more permanent cold frame on the garden table to house seedlings and early spring crops;
Paring down the rest of the container garden and eliminating the smaller herb containers in favor of my newest experiment, dwarf blueberry bushes, as well as continuing to grow the green onions and tomatoes that do so well on our porch;
Rearranging the pantry and the kitchen cabinets to accommodate and organize our slowly-growing store of food and paper goods;
Continuing to prepare for disaster (basically, one of us losing our job) by stocking up on essentials a little at a time; and
Continuing to contribute to savings, even if only a little at a time, and try to forget it’s there.
As you can see, there’s enough to do without worrying about what everyone else is doing…