February is notable around our house for both Valentine’s Day and Cute W’s birthday. A few weeks back, I went on a hunt for a Valentine’s Day chocolate and I took this picture:
They are little mini bubble wands! When I saw them, I laughed out loud because they are so clearly, clearly, a terrible idea for a giveaway to classmates this year. “Here, kids, why don’t you all blow your breath around the classroom! This will go well for everyone involved!” Some merchandising manager wasn’t wearing their thinking cap. Luckily, it doesn’t appear that we’re suffering from a post-Valentine’s Day surge. In our school district, at least, we’re on a streak of zero new COVID cases, and that’s even though they’ve implemented random testing of about a hundred students and staff a day. So: yay.
When it became clear that we’d be traveling for Valentine’s Day and that things weren’t going so well with my Dad, we pulled out the love tokens early. New pillows, cute nail polishes, chocolates. I had this delusional thought that it might perk us all up, but of course it failed.
Then, after our trip to Savannah, we did a hugely long day of driving to arrive home at 1:30 am on Saturday, Cute W’s birthday. It was a big one, and aside from the gifts that I’d set wrapped weeks ago, we had zero plans for the day. So when we woke up later that morning, we looked at each other, trying to figure out what to do. Take out for dinner? Should we make a treat even though we’d been showered with sweets all week by my parents’ friends and neighbors? Did we have the energy for. . . anything?
That’s when two of Cute W’s co-workers showed up with meals, cupcakes, and balloons.
I burst into sloppy tears, so happy and relieved that he got a little mini-celebration with zero effort from me. I’d been feeling really guilty about neglecting him.
Meanwhile my work friends sent me a bouquet of flowers big enough that the cats are too intimidated to try to eat it. At least, so far.
It is good to be home, but also, I wish I were still down south. A sister sent a picture of some of our family sitting outside together, and I was just super-jealous. Part of me would like to pause indefinitely and just hang out and commiserate together, especially outside in the lovely weather, and not even try to carry on with normal life.
Another part of me is frustrated that I keep failing at getting back into my fairly regimented Katie-will-preserve-her-mental-health-through-workouts-and-to-do-lists-and-meditation-and-smoothies routine that I’d been sticking to so successfully until a couple of weeks ago. So far, every night I’ve been telling myself that the next day, I will get back into the swing of things, but then I wake up feeling sick or exhausted or just too unmotivated to do anything beyond the minimum needed for survival.
It feels like I’m trying to unlock a combination lock and I keep accidentally sailing past the last number and having to start over. Which means, I don’t know, maybe I have to crack the code by going super-slowly and trying to listen and intuit when the barrels slide into place? See, it feels like this is exactly the sort of thing that I could conjure into some sort of lovely and graceful mindfulness metaphor if I were operating at full capacity. But I am not, so I’m going to throw it into your general direction and let you just extrapolate some moving metaphor on your own, if you have the energy.
But, I’m trying. Today I did some work and took a walk and wrote this post, at least. And, as Scarlett O’Hara would say, tomorrow is another day.