Cathy: Oh Well
I’ve been having an odd week or so, and it continues into next week.
Baby C’s 1st birthday is approaching, and nothing seems to be working out to get people together as planned. There is an event conflicting with my planned party date that the couple of baby friends we wanted to invite will be attending. My parents are up before their town zoning board around the same time, trying to split their property so they can keep living in the house we grew up in, so they can’t travel from Connecticut. My aunt-in-law’s son is competing in a statewide math competition on the same day I planned the party, so they’ll be in Richmond instead.
My husband has some kind of lump in his neck that hurts, and he’s been bringing it up to me for well over a week now. He vacillates between thinking it’s cancer or a tooth infection that is swelling a gland to press against his carotid artery, and hurting all the way into his chest. I’m somewhat worried, his mother is worried, but I’ve reached a level of impatience about his not making an appointment to see a doctor about it, which is making me say inappropriately, “Call the doctor, or shut up and die. I‘m tired of your complaining about it to me and not doing something about it!” On one level, I’m trying to be humorous, but I’m worried and annoyed he’s stalling making an appointment.
I also have a few friends facing bad mammos and other tests, setting them up for consultations with surgeons of various types and one whose house just burned down on Friday.
My novel is progressing in fits and starts, and I just want it to end now so I can move onto the next project, or breath between them, or fly a kite or something. I’m getting tired of not being finished with it. It’s been so close for so long.
Spring has officially sprung, but now it’s cold again and seems to want to remain that way just so I can’t get out there to garden. I still haven’t finished that darn room excavation of boy numero dos; and I can’t seem to find baby gates like the ones I used to have ten or so years ago, where the press handle is at the top and you can easily open and reset it with one hand, while holding the baby in the other and don’t need to screw it into the walls or stair rails.
Nothing seems to be going my way, but surprising, I’m calm. I have a very casual attitude about it all. “Oh well’ has become a mantra.
I took a silly facebook quiz: Which of the Seven Deadly Sins Are You – and came up as Sloth. The way the multiple choices were phrased, just struck me that my answers weren’t of the prideful, gluttonous, pornographic, jealous, wrathful or particularly greedy persuasion. If nothing bothering me too terribly much makes me lazy, so be it, but I prefer to think that it shows I’m remarkably well-adjusted in my mid-forties. If all of the above mentioned personal dilemmas going on isn’t fazing me too much, I’d say I’ve reached a milestone in my life. I know in my twenties any one of these would have sent me into dramatic reactions played out before an audience, and if I didn’t have one at hand, I’d go looking for one.
But for now, I press my husband to make an appointment a few times a day. I walk away from the computer to go read or play with the baby or something else entirely rather than sit on facebook with my manuscript open and pestering me on the same screen. Instead of taking everyone else’s conflicting plans around C’s birthday as a personal affront, I just say, “oh well, guess it’ll be lower key than I thought, and now we can do cake on her birthday rather than the weekend before.” S’s room stays messy for another week, and the gardens remain unplanted until the weather warms a bit more. And I feel pretty confident in telling my friends that I’m sure everything will be alright for them, the important thing is they are taking care of what needs to be taken care of and only a cat was lost in the fire — a beloved cat, but not a human loved one.
I’m hoping this sense of everything being okay anyway is grace. I’m taking a page from my friend whose house burnt down. She took it as a harbinger of change to come, rather than dwell on the loss.