I’d been meaning to write for the longest time, but after returning from Asia, I fell into a major funk. Reasons? Oh, there are endless possibilities:
1. After frolicking around the exciting metropolises in Asia, returning to the suburbs was anticlimatical to say the least.
2. For me, the holidays spell anxiety and disappointment: they remind me just how little I fit in with society’s ideals regarding family. Speaking of which, how many people have contacted me on Facebook only to inquire about my brother. Jesus, do I need to post a note on my profile stating that I have no idea what my brother is doing– we’ve been estranged since late 2003?
3. The last minute cancellation of all my holiday plans (including what was going to be a therapeutic visit to see my bud Pamela in southern California followed by a week-long cram session in Mexico) was a major downer.
4. I’ve grown increasingly frustrated (or fatigued?) with “chasing perfection,” as John explains it.
To exacerbate my crappy mood, John and I started fighting again. Have you ever seen The Story of Us? It follows a couple through the entire rollercoaster ride from the fun and exciting courtship to the new life together/best buddy phase to the resentful, annoyed, distant period, and back full circle to starting again. Well, the last few weeks, we were in that pissy, belligerent, irritable middle period. For days, I wondered how we possibly transitioned from best friends to annoyed roommates. Maybe that term is too harsh, but seriously, it felt like one extreme to the other.
Christmas eve sucked. We tried to get along but I went to bed after I made dinner. I was exhausted, and I yearned for simpler, happier times.
I finally emerged from this darkness the day after Christmas. Chuck and his wife had invited us over for Christmas dinner, and though I wasn’t in the mood to feign happy holiday spirits, I considered it a welcome distraction and also a perfect opportunity to see how the new kitten Stanley was settling in. As usual, Chuck cooked a delicious meal.
When I asked whether he had slaved in the kitchen since morning, he said, no, only since the afternoon. He hadn’t been feeling very well due to the chemo treatments (his fingers have now gone numb), so he slept in late. Really it just takes a little perspective to kick my ass back in gear. The day before that, I had told Fonda John and I might skip going over for Christmas dinner (since we weren’t getting along). She asked what we were fighting about, and when I tried to explain, it all sounded so foolish and petty and insignificant. Not that I want to dismiss our disconnect completely, but relatively speaking, consider what they experienced this past year, between Chuck’s diagnosis and Oscar’s abrupt death, I know I have a lot to be thankful for.
Long story short, we are back to trying again. And since the day after Christmas, we’ve been doing much better. In retrospect, the answer seems so simple but I suppose as my father always says, “it’s easy if you know how.” I don’t know that the current answer will always be the correct future answer, but for now, I’m relieved to be back in my groove. Sleeping all night and all day just wasn’t me. But I suppose every now and then, the soul needs to play itself the violin. I hope to be back to a regular writing schedule. Thanks for hanging. Oh and happy new year. Get those resolutions down on paper!