Cold season

She has an entire 12- step program of denial :

1. Take a hot shower. Many things can be worked out in the shower. Even viruses! Especially if she talks to herself. Humming and singing are optional additions to this round of denial.

2. Drink coffee. Because mostly she’s just really really tired.

3. Eat something. Then at least she knows it’s also not just because she’s hungry and cranky.

4. Stretch. Maybe she’s just been clenching her entire body all day and that’s why she’s all achy.

5. Breathe. Deep and long, even just the rhythm can distract her from really thinking about what’s going on. Though truthfully, this could also be labeled “big sighs” – which she does all the time.

6. Walk around. Because sitting is the new smoking. And [insert other phrases from wellness articles she’s read recently]. Plus check out the crappy average 51 steps recorded for each of the last 4 days on your iPhone health chart. Yikes. Problem obvious !

7. Consult the internet. Type in a random sampling of ailments, just in case she’s overlooked some treatment that isn’t normal. Consider seriously whether she has a confluence of rare and deadly diseases instead of the common cold.

8. Meditate. Different from just breathing because she’s now actually trying to clear her mind. Except she has to abandon this effort 30 seconds in because she can’t breath through her nose.

9. Rub random parts of the body. Ideally against door jambs and hard furniture. Nothing distracts from pain better than different pain.

10. Drink water. [More unrelated wellness thoughts here]. She’s just sort of delirious now anyway – so a little water can’t hurt anything.

11. Wait. Pretend that steps 1-10 require time to kick in and that nothing else should be done until these are given a chance to work their magic.

12. Nap. See point #2.

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Myths I want to keep believing tonight

1. That donut holes are really just what’s left of the doughy center cut out of regular donuts

2. That feathers are slipping out of my down jacket because they get smaller when they’re chilly – probably from shivering so much

3. That I have a soulmate and I just haven’t met him yet

4. That I will get up the first time my alarm goes off tomorrow morning

Prayer for today

{universe intervene, please,

in the street or perhaps

on the subway platform,

maybe as we leave a room –

let us all find unexpected

joy in an unguarded moment,

serendipitous memories

swirled with the pleasure

of a soft secret smile as we

stand among strangers,

the warmth of our

remembered happiness

embracing their humanity

too. }

Note to world #7103

I write of this moment to remember it.

Eighteen, more than a little moody &

wearing on my last good nerve.

She asked me to please fix

the rip in her beloved teddy bear,

like she was still 7, and I thought:

sometimes no time has passed;

sometimes, time can’t pass fast enough,

while I patiently stitched the

shredded bum of the ancient animal.

Note to world #7504

Day 4 of the new year.

I am recovering from one of the most depressing Decembers I’ve had in years. And I just found out I have the flu and a sinus infection.

I am determined to get a little happiness in 2019 – even if it kills me – although I’m pretty sure that isn’t the way it is supposed to work.

The dog owner who wasn’t

The housekeeper sometimes drops by the house in the morning on her way to her first client.

Just to say hi to the dog.

In a special squeaky voice.

In a secret language she only uses with the dog.

She and the dog love each other in a way I – as the personal bank paying for the dog’s many and varied health issues – simply cannot.

And sometimes the housekeeper also leaves me little notes about the dog, propped up directly in front of the coffee machine so I can’t miss them….often written in a way that strangely reminds me of a ransom note maybe.

The notes say things like, “I fed Sunday” with a giant smiley face – which always makes me feel slightly inadequate, as though I had already failed in my first and primary duty as dog owner before 8 am.

But sometimes I fantasize that the note will say “I took the dog and she’s mine now”.

Which might leave me with a giant smiley face. And I think I could cope with any feelings of dog owner inadequacy.

Note to world #7500

A note consisting entirely of the word ‘delete’.

Old blurry photos from a shared project.

A poem about the crossword.

And a postcard about puzzles.

The recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

In the end, I take the advice on the note he wrote before I could know what it really meant : delete delete delete.

Note to world #5530

My children and I have been quietly fighting about their dirty laundry since the moment winter break started.

Ok, mostly I’ve been fighting about it.

First, my silent refusal to pick up their dirty clothes.

Then my stoic decision not to take the stinky mound of cloth to the basement for laundering.

Then my ever increasing vocal opposition to the amount of laundry accumulating in their rooms. Texts, even.

Protests have been held.

Marches planned and executed.

Proof of its harm has been submitted : photos of socks embedded in dog poo as Exhibit A. [Don’t worry, I won’t expose my readers to the harm caused by such a graphic image.]

Dirty laundry is not a victimless crime, I say : the dirty clothes nearly killed the family dog ! A sideways glance over a bag of chips is all I get.

And these arbiters of dirty clothes, they are not the innocents they seem to be – making more dirty laundry every day, twice a day, when they change into a fresh set of pajamas to slouch around the house and watch bad TV.

So the mountain of dirties has grown and grown. It’s now practically the size of the southern border wall that Trump wants …. and finally, I felt I had no choice but to threaten a mama shutdown.

But no one seemed to care, not even the dog – who has been enjoying the supply of smelly socks.

A reason to wish for the start of the new (school) year and the end of the break!?