It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
So I finally dug myself out of that depression I was talking about earlier. It took me some dancing in the kitchen, several parties and festivals, a lot of time with friends, and finally and probably most importantly, the decision to just keep working through it until I got through it.
I have to say though, there were definitely a bunch of things that did not help me get out of that depression. For example, Christmas was a bit of a gong show when it came to illness.
We had family Christmases in Saskatoon, which we had a glorious and fun ride down for on the way there, and my time with Paul’s family was great, and Gran had games and Mennonite food for us… but the amazing plan I had with Ruth to go shopping for lawn ornaments at the auction was not to be.
As Paul and I like to meme-reference, “But it is not THIS day”
Please Mister postman look and see
If there's a letter, a letter for me
That night I got home and finished the massive Christmas card mailout I did this year (over 50 cards went out, mostly to Canada, but also to USA, UK, and Australia!). The cards I sent were mostly one of my favourite ever Christmas cards - an unconventional standard envelope size with a beautiful churchyard scene with glitter on the snow and people caroling and sledding and walking dogs.
And once that final installment was all finished and ready to mail, I went to bed, slept poorly, and woke with a very, very unhappy gut.
I got an absolutely vicious stomach flu, and being that I wasn’t at home, I projectile vomited onto my mother-in-law’s bathroom wall and had to wake up the hubby, and I continued to project from both ends until there was nothing left but retching and whatever water I managed to ingest. I was probably sick for almost 8 hours and then slept for almost two solid days afterwards, before finally starting to eat things again. Happy Christmastime, right?
Actually, here's the thing, looking on the bright side is usually difficult for an experience like that - but that was an amazing start to the year because I was really hoping to start eating smaller portions… And I swear my stomach contracted to half its size, which has been SUPER helpful with that goal.
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
At some point in Fall that I don’t recall, I think Paul and I decided not to buy each other Christmas presents. This was silly, and I probably should have seen it coming when I did something super special for him… and the one time he remembered a past conversation, it was that one we had ages ago about not buying each other presents for Christmas. Whoops. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the rest of the Christmas gongshow - and to be fair, I did just get a stunning blown glass ornament which I’ll talk about later and I’m very happy about, but at the time because I was depressed and things were hard, it was not fun for me. Caveat: I do not blame him at all, he was totally going on an agreement we made, I’m assuming, since I don’t remember this conversation at all. I can totally see myself proposing something like that in a fit of misplaced frugality. Seriously, past self, when will you ever learn?
Okay, so here’s the thing. I finally start recovering from the stomach flu, which I had thought at the time was food poisoning. Well, you don’t give your husband your food poisoning three days later. Thankfully, his came on at a time when he didn’t have a full stomach, so his was more feeling absolutely terrible for several days - but small mercies out of big stinky nastiness, it also shrunk his stomach… So we’re both feeling more full on smaller servings.
Unfortunately after getting sick in mid-December, I got sick again a few days after starting to feel good again, this time with a more traditional cold and cough, and then gave it to Paul. I’m still hacking up gobs and losing my voice on occasion, and it’s almost two weeks later now. There was too much happening and we felt exhausted after his long vacation... but we're grateful to have another vacation week booked and coming up soon. Taking vacation in winter is good for us. We need it.
No blinding light
Or tunnels, to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
So… I have finally fully given up on the iMac, which I had prematurely said was dead a while back. My iMac finally died for real - at least unless I can figure out why it won’t turn on. What this has meant is that our tradition of watching the Muppet Christmas Carol hasn’t happened yet, and the gorgeous Fireplace program that I installed on it hasn’t been running beside the Christmas tree, which is one of the true joys of winter and Christmas that I have actually enjoyed this holiday season.
I didn’t really listen to much Christmas music. Seriously, it was one album - the Pentatonix one that I fell in love with last year. Methinks this year may call for an epic Christmas-In-July.
Alright, now that was a terrible litany of issues taking up an entire page… Which brings me to the close of all hardships and the dawn of a glorious new year!
So this is the new year
And I don't feel any different
The clanking of crystal
Explosions off in the distance
I was just well enough to go to my friend’s New Year’s Eve party and sit at the bottom of the hill on a sleeping bag, watching the fireworks. And I finally felt fine enough to go with Paul in early January to the Board Game cafe, where we went wild with a huge groupon and bought food and fun for hours - we played a bunch of two player games, half of which were new to us. We went to a birthday party and played a fun guessing game… things have actually been getting more and more fun.
I’ve been relaxing and recuperating, watching a lot of TV, reading some books, and doing absolutely nothing of vital importance - which has been great, but now that I’m getting bored of that, I’m working at scheduling more fun times out of the house.
The best things in life are free
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Now give me money
That's what I want
I had a day where I listened to the greatest hits of Motown - I have that day every few years at least - and I ended up dancing around the kitchen until Paul came home, and then dancing with him to a couple of songs about money - since finances are super tight this month.
Beautiful, powerful, dangerous, cold
Ice has a magic can't be controlled
Stronger than one, stronger than ten
Stronger than a hundred men
The cold snap finally ended. Our landlords are doing major renovations on the house that involved gutting the entire basement suite, and now installing laundry machines upstairs - which is okay, but we’re losing some downstairs storage now, which I’m not a big fan of… A little good, a little bad, and an absolutely amazing amount of noisesome work on the house. It was worst when I was sick, and then I was handling it okay, and THEN it has just been too long.
So when the cold finally went back to hovering just below zero, it was like going wild.
We had an absolute blast at the 10th Annual Deep Freeze Winter Festival - our first go. We ate maple syrup that was frozen in the snow, Paul and a friend of ours sawed a log with a two-person lumberjack saw, we ate bannock in a tipi, we played ice-carved X and Os, we raced each other in deep freezers on skis… There were awesome artists there… It was sincerely the most fun I have had in ages, and in addition I walked forever in my new boots and there wasn’t a sore spot or a rub or anything bad about them, which I think may have never happened before in a pair of boots that had fantastic grip on slush. We also caught the tail end of a glass-blowing demonstration - and I found an all white textured christmas bauble ornament that looked like a blizzard frozen in glass. I asked Paul and he got it as my Christmas present. I normally try to buy at least one lovely ornament - and technically this year I did pick up a beautiful little Father Christmas with a tree and a lantern that reminds me of Good King Wenceslas, but two in a season isn’t a bad thing either for a lover of Christmas like myself.
Despite the fact that my meds are keeping me up most of the night these days and I’m getting woken by power tools every morning (which puts a person in a cheery mood shall we say), this morning I took the dog to the dog park, where he enjoyed several fantastic encounters with other dogs, including one who was much faster than him. I was chatting amiably with the other dog’s owners when Murph pulled a real whippet move and conked himself soundly on the head with a tree that he didn’t see… He didn’t hit himself hard enough to be a worry, just enough to make us all burst into hysterical laughter. It was a good morning.
Last night we had supper with friends, and we tried a new game with a funny fairy-tale vibe called Fairy Tale Gloom, where your aim is to give your characters a funny and unhappy ending to win - and you inflict good luck on your friends. What a silly idea!
So many posibilities
To not be alone
Tonight we went to go see Passengers, which is one of the most powerful stories about loneliness I've ever heard. I love stories, and this one was epic... and apparently not well loved by critics. I cannot fathom not loving it. It had love and space and ethical dilemmas and a beautiful tale of loneliness and forgiveness in the face of death. Loved it.
I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go go go
So Paul and I have declared this the year of working on ourselves and our marriage, and I have to say, two weeks in, I think even with many setbacks I am doing a better job than usual of putting self care first and making it all work. There’s many ways that’s happening.
Back in November, Paul and I started a marriage communication course that we’re working through, and it has been truly excellent. It’s been difficult to work through feelings, in more ways that I would ever have thought, but it’s been a very worthwhile exercise, so Sundays are course time and we’ve been finding it useful. I’m meal planning a ton, partly for health and partly for financial reasons, and despite a few days where I’ve really felt setbacks, I’m typically managing to keep us eating at home, eating well, eating less and still feeling full, and trying new things.
I’ve been dancing around the house tidying, cleaning, or doing housework, and now that it’s warm again, I’m going to hit the dog park as often as I can. I used to love the indoor track at the Field House in Saskatoon, and I dreamed up a harebrained scheme one sleepless night about starting an indoor dog-walking centre - this is unlikely to ever reach reality, but I couldn’t sleep, so I planned it all out anyway. I also really want to go back to swimming more often, and potentially finding a gym where I can shoot hoops or play basketball one on one. I also want to make a practice of some body-weight exercises. We’ll see how all that plays out this coming year.
All of this to say, that after many years of dealing pyschologically with the ED issue, it’s time to go ful---- no, not full speed ahead. Slow and steady loses the weight. Basically, it’s time to take those BEFORE pictures again.
So don't stop me now
Don't stop me
'Cause I'm having a good time
Having a good time