Friday, November 13, 2020

End of week

 Yeah, this was another challenging week and I feel all used up.

- Lots of students having lots of issues with BlackBoard, and the realization that BlackBoard might go offline tonight for the preplanned maintenance that happens every month, so I had to push due dates back a day for everyone.

- More administrative tasks being devolved on to us; I have to do some online training next week.

- I've been having muscle cramps thanks to trying to do more intensive and more exercise. I was able to get some coconut water at the grocery; maybe that will help. (I don't always tolerate the food coloring in sports drinks - the usual electrolyte replacement - all that well)

- Just....all the news. A number of local districts have gone to all online, and yet - one that is is still doing HS football. Priorities, I guess

- Came home and found one of the local tomcats had gone into the crawl space and sprayed. Have you ever smelled intact-male-cat urine? It's not good. And I can't reach it to clean it because it's in the crawl space, and even if I weren't too claustrophobic to go in there, the opening is too small for me and I'd be afraid of getting stuck. So I guess I make a run to Lowe's tomorrow for that zeolite odor-absorber stuff for in the house, and maybe get some of those anti-mouse sachets that have a strong smell to throw into the crawl space? 

- it makes me sad how excited I am to have an excuse to go to Lowe's for something. Given that I'm not going out for "frivolous" reasons. 


Not going in to work this weekend. I have work I COULD do, but I can do it next week. 

I was thinking about how in previous years, this was usually the weekend I put up my Christmas tree. When I was traveling for Thanksgiving, it made sense - do it the weekend before traveling, it's there when I get back. Now, this year? I don't know. Not gonna do it yet; don't have the motivation (and it's supposed to be nearly 80 F here tomorrow).

I do need to pot up the amaryllis I bought and get them ready.

I'm thinking maybe Thanksgiving week I get the motivation to put the tree up. I've decided I will mostly stay home that week and not work, and maybe I'll want to do that then.

My mother reported that she bought a small artificial tree for herself - last year she asked me if I thought it made sense (after we wrestled a probably-cut-too-long-ago fresh tree that dropped needles everywhere). Like me, she will be alone. She seems to tolerate it better than I do. 

Oh, maybe when I'm better-rested, maybe when I'm not dealing with being asked to do fifteen things every hour, I'll feel better about it. Maybe when there's some certainty about next semester (I am suspecting we go all online - a better option MIGHT be to push off the start date a month or six weeks, and go that much later into the summer, and dump a summer session this year). I will do it eventually, I'm sure. I actually ordered a couple more vintage ornaments from Etsy - a set of three flocked fairy skaters that are identical to ones we had when I was a kid (and I think at least one still exists in my mom's set of ornaments). The seller said "they might be as old as 60 years!" and I am like "lol I remember my dad buying these in like 1976 or 1978" but they were a good price, and I wanted them, so....

That's a very on-brand thing for me; wanting things I remember from my childhood and buying them if I see them on Etsy (or in the before-times, in an antique store). To me, these remind me of the happy times of my childhood - decorating the tree, lying on the floor in the evening watching the twinkle lights on it, wondering what I might get as presents, all of it.

This year is going to be very different. I haven't decided yet if diving deep into my childhood memories or trying to go a different direction and somehow make new memories (as much as I can, with not going anywhere) is going to be the most comforting thing for me.

I just want comfort. I want that cozy feeling again, that feeling that, even if the world as a whole isn't a friendly place, my little corner of it is. And my corner hasn't felt friendly for a while. Oh, maybe not actively UNfriendly, but certainly uncomfortable and awkward. And I don't like that.

(And I admit, I think of that gag I posted before about "No afflict! Only comfort!" and I admit I have enough of the Very Traditional Protestant in me to look at everything going on in the world and say "what have I done wrong and how am I to learn from this" and also recognizing that I was one of the comfortable, and in some interpretations, I would therefore be deserving of affliction, and.....I don't like that.)

So yes, I have my amaryllis, which I should pot up and start forcing tomorrow. And I am contemplating ordering some candied fruit and making the old white fruitcake recipe my mom always made and....I don't know what else. Cookies are only really fun to make if you can share them; for one person it's too much and it's a lot of work. (Fruitcake will keep for months and it freezes okay). But I don't know what else. I know someone told me years ago that I needed to create my own traditions, because I wouldn't always be able to go to my parents', and I realized that abstractly but never really thought much about it before last year....and now I think about it a lot. 

Too much empty free time weighs on me. When I go visit my mom, she's there, and there are also things to do. Me, alone in my house, alone too much, is not good for me - if there weren't a pandemic but I couldn't travel I could go out shopping and do things like visit friends. 

I admit it: I'm spooked about the dark places my mind might go to this winter stuck here alone. I'm hoping maybe books and documentaries on Amazon Prime and getting out in better weather to walk will help, but I'm still nervous. I have seen how fast my mood can sink in all of this. 

I'm also thinking about how last year I almost had a "I lived, everyone!" piece of jewelry made to exorcise the badness of 2019. I'm not thinking that this year because I feel almost like it's a temptation to 2021 to be even worse....

I also admit I was looking at good-luck charms on Etsy today and wondering, should I buy something? Even though I mostly don't believe in luck, and really, I shouldn't, for several reasons. But, I don't know. I feel like I'd like something to help things along, make them work out better. Because "being a good person" ain't it - either it doesn't work or I'm insufficiently good for good things to happen lately. 

Another thing I will have to do, at least, is move the little bookcase I loaded up with "work books" back in March, to make room for the tree. (I might just shift it to the dining room for a while; there's a place it could go. I'm hoping eventually to haul the books back over to school and replace the books in my bedroom - now stacked on the floor - onto this shelf).

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