Sometimes there are days when everything seems possible and then from nowhere and for no reason arrives one that seriously does not want to be with me at all. I could barely get it out of bed. I had to wheech off the duvet and sing loudly in its ear to get any reaction at all. It wasn’t me feeling this way, no indeed, for I was all bounce and twinkle as usual, but the day itself lay heavy and disinterested in itself even with the prospect of mashed avocado and poached eggs for candlelit breakfast. Needless to say, a sad mood inside a home is going to affect all within those walls and I gradually found myself feeling listless and lost. I didn’t want to sew, nor alter a frock, nor any of the other time-filling things I employ these widow days, like wood chopping or stacking, garage floor sweeping, bird feeding, hoovering the carpets or cleaning the windows. I can make even those mundane tasks into a party. T’is my gift. I can chat to my new electric blue stick hoover with headlights and a wonderful base note in the key of B. I find my melody to match her base and off we go like ballerinas, scooting round corners and sucking up the drift, minding the spiders of course. She knows not to go there and her headlights make it so much easier. I tell Henry, as I return Blu to her spot in the dark cupboard under the stairs, that had he headlights and were he to let go of control by holding back his power instead of showing off by lifting newly laid carpets from their nail tracks, and if he smelled as fresh as she does, he would have more exciting excursions around our home. Chopping wood is my stress release. I don’t imagine anyone’s head on the block but simply see the challenge of this big ass half tree before me as one I am more than able to accept and complete successfully. I have a wonderful axe, t’is true and she and I have had many adventures in our time together.
But thanks to the Grumpy Day, I feel I am blowing into the wind, fully expecting it to say “oops’ and to turn around. I whacked up the tunes, made coffee, told myself to lift, lift and lift but the lift was out of order and no amount of poking at the buttons shifted the damn thing. I was slumped and furious at my slumping. So weak, so not like me, so lazy, so ungrateful, so pathetic. Then I remembered something my African son posted on his (Y)our Happy Place Facebook page just yesterday. I don’t remember the exact words but the message was to allow rest and revival rather than dashing into this new year with impossible goals that often lead to failure and self-flagellation. Well, I hadn’t set any goals beyond getting beyond all the fallout from a decade of dementia care followed by death, a process everybody tells me, helpfully, that can take years. But it was the ‘allowing’ thingy that stopped me beating myself up. I have never been good at allowing myself to ‘fail’ my high standards for self even as I am the best and warmest mother hug for anyone else who believes it for themselves. How riddickerluss is that.
The thing I do know about such days when nothing feels easy and all you can see out there is rain and mizzle and dark, is that they are not my fault. These days just come and there is only one way to get to the end of them and that’s to make them warm and welcome, knowing they are random and that everything about their gloom and slump is their stuff, not yours. I watched a movie, sat by the fire, watched the neighbour’s beautiful cat pad around my bird feeders and allowed myself many allowings Although I do feel a bit overwhelmed with all the positive thixotrons that invade social media, posted and re-posted, thus allowing people to say nothing from their own mouths, I do get it. Covid has locked us down too long and that hiding away has conflounced our equilibrium, upset our balance and challenged what we always understood as the pattern of our lives. We are all wide-eyed children now, wondering, peeking out, unsure and we don’t really know what to say next. When I say something next and out loud my dog barks. That is how silent life is when one goes and the other stays behind.
But, I digress. This day is almost gone. Actually it has because I made it some good sandwiches and a flask of tea and waved it off a few moments ago. It was a sad old thing for sure but I did dry off its jacket and boots and we did chat and I did make it very clear it is never welcome but that I will never turn it away and that made it smile. Which made me smile. And that was enough.