Day 250, with holiday plans

Today is a light-gray November 17th, and my little world is a stew of political nightmares. Biden won the election in the US handily*, but 44.5 won’t concede and millions of people here think the election was stolen. Millions of people think this virus is a hoax, too, and demand their “right” to endanger millions of others. In my city, easily a third of the people walking around my neighborhood are doing so maskless, and another significant chunk wear a mask around their chin but ignore “keep 6 feet distance” guidelines. Because freedom, I guess.

It’s frustrating. I have been in this small apartment in the middle of a city for 250 days, and have only been past the front stoop thirteen times in those 250 days, those 35 weeks, those 8 months. Five of those times I stayed in the car. In the meantime, through my apartment or car windows I watch unmasked people wander outside blithely. The few times I’ve been out to walk the dog I’ve had to stand in the street waiting for unmasked people to pass, wobbling on my cane, forced to pay attention to them and the cars and the dog and my feet all at the same time so I don’t fall over into traffic.

And people elsewhere are yelling about how horrible it is that state governments are headed for the oh-so-frequently-predicted-earlier-in-the-year second lockdown. Because it’s “cancelling Thanksgiving” or “cancelling Christmas.”**

I know it’s hard for some people to be away from their loved ones. Back in July my own mother asked me to start thinking about “ways that Thanksgiving could work – don’t say no, just think about how it could work.” I didn’t have the energy to burst her balloon then, but I knew there would be no way I could attend a group gathering inside. Since then she’s listened to others in the family, but I was bracing myself for a hard conversation.

Sometimes I’m baffled at the resistance from people who know the virus is dangerous. We knew there wouldn’t be a vaccine ready until 2021. We were told by experts that the process doesn’t work like the movies. We heard all of this way back in April.

Because of all that information, I knew that my holiday plans this year would have to be treated like they were last year, when I couldn’t climb stairs and thus couldn’t be at my family’s house or Jon’s: with thought about how I’d demonstrate love to my family from a distance. I spent last Christmas at home, alone, texting or Facetiming or calling people as they celebrated. I asked Jon to go to his family instead of staying with me, because I get him every day and they do not. I was happy with our little tree at home, texting everyone, laughing at photos of my nephews opening their presents and my nieces smiling.

It was fine. I was fine. Sure, part of me being fine is that I’m a deeply introverted person, but part was because I was prepared for it.

I was prepared for this one, too.

I feel so very sorry for people who are having a deeply difficult time with the prospect of yet more alone time. Truly, I do. But if you think staying home means a holiday is canceled? You’re ignoring what the basic social premise of a holiday is about, and I don’t mean the religious aspects.

Holidays are about togetherness, and togetherness is more than just bodies. One’s love for another isn’t contained just in flesh. I promise.

It’ll hurt. It’ll ache. But the holiday can still exist. It’s up to us to make it.

.

*As of today Biden has well over 5 million more in popular vote, 306 projected Electoral College votes
**You can tell a lot about who “they” are by these two comments. Pisses me off that they never include Hanukkah. Plus, there are some prominent Sikh and Baha’i celebrations that can’t happen in the usual way.

Norovirus + Cold

Okay, this is pretty miserable.

Went to my gorgeous niece’s birthday party this past weekend. Lucky us, it happened to be scheduled during a brief pause between when Jon was recovering from a nasty bug (it’s been going around his office) and when I was coming down with it.

But the “coming down with it” happened while we were prepping for the 5-hour drive back home. Ugh.

Let me say that 1) traveling while sick with norovirus is uncool (UNDERSTATEMENT) and 2) having a cold on top of it is just extra cruel. Last night with its combined “not only are you nauseated but you also can’t breathe through your nose” made for some unpleasant sleep.

And then I dreamed I was being framed for a horrible thing I didn’t do. Had to escape from Bosnia-Herzegovina on top of a train without being caught or electrocuted. (I’ve never been to any part of the Balkans; I don’t know why that came up. But apparently Bosnia-Herzegovina has lots of lovely waterfalls, so maybe I should go…?)

Enduring simultaneous multiple illnesses affecting the head and throat: do. not. recommend.

Spring Cleaning – The Moving Version

Welp, things are again changing dramatically over here.

Jon and I are moving out of Houston, back to the East Coast, back to snowier climes. Which we’re thrilled about.

*confetti* *dancing*

This has been cause for much celebration by friends and family in the northeast, and not so much from friends and family here in Houston. (It’s nice to be loved.) But once again, Jon and I have to live hundreds of miles away from each other for a month and change, due to his company’s scheduling. He literally stopped his contract work here on a Saturday and started work in the new city on Monday.

So yeah. 45 days apart once again. Which we are NOT thrilled about.

Soooooo, given the frustration and bodily trauma that was “packing to move to Houston,” I am looking at this as an opportunity to really lighten up our load. Books about decluttering, such as Konmari and others, have been a presence in the media the past few years. We read a few but never thought we could do anything like that, because we love-and-joy REALLY hard on lots of things. (As in, YES EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF THESE WATER GLASSES GIVE ME SQUEEJOY GO AWAY kind of hard.) Now I’m in a “uhhh fine these can be replaced” kind of mood, because cross-country moves are annoyingly expensive.

And so is packing.

Ugh.

So I guess yay new adventure, boo the leadup? I am looking forward to the end point, though.

The Day Before

I imagine this as a test.

“If you had only 36 hours left in the lifestyle you currently know, what would you do?”

It’s in me to have pretty melodramatic reactions to shit. It’s a useful trait in a writer, after all, and a hella convenient one for a project manager in a dysfunctional organization. Seriously, when I was doing project management in one particular company, having various “OMG DOOM INCOMING EVERYTHING IS GOING TO SHIT WHAT THE HELL DO WE DO” reactions saved my cookies more than once, because off I went, finding the best possible ways with the resources we had to respond in case the worst DID happen.

Which it did. More often than I like to remember.

But that org is a long time past and I’m no longer a project manager. Now my doom and gloom thoughts don’t have good redirection… and this is one of the doomiest election cycles I’ve had a chance to witness. So here I am, looking out the window at the charcoal-purple evening sky and wondering. If this was the last time I got to have this life as it is, what would I do?

Um. *heartflutter*

     Caveat: I can’t really visualize an arc-shattering event in my country.
     But I have family who lived through bombings & destruction in WW2.
     I see what is happening in Syria. I know it can happen anywhere.
     I owe it to myself to know.

Well, listening to the 2 early Hamilton Mixtape releases is a good start. I’ll luxuriate in Kelly Clarkson kicking ass on “It’s Quiet Uptown.”

I’ll listen to a selection of music I love. I’ll cry, like I do, at a lot of it.

Sweetie is at work. He’ll come home and I’ll say “YAY” loudly, like I often do, and run to him, like I sometimes do, and get kisses and skinses* before he can even drop his bag, like I often do.

We’ll walk the pup. Delight in the park. Come back and snuggle with animals and watch the Westworld episode we missed last night. Maybe watch some CW shows.

Then I’ll sleep. Hope to sleep well, but aware I’ll probably wake, often, worrying.

…I couldn’t even get past that. I don’t think I’d want to get out of bed the next day. The likelihood would be that all the roos would be with us. And I can’t imagine spending a better last-few-hours than that – safe, warm, supported, with the sweeties I love all around me.

It took a while for me to realize it.

I am exactly where I would choose to be. EXACTLY.

And that gives me more hope that I expected.