Thursday, December 25, 2014


Up early this morning to lean into the day with some sense of purpose, hopefully to gain a small feeling of accomplishment but mainly to prevent the inertia of wallowing. I started a fresh to-do list, jotting down the immediate with the long-term, the deeper ponderings with more mundane household tasks, in no particular order except as they came to me.

Do laundry. Check. Easy enough, though a two-hour task stretched to four because I kept forgetting about it. I'm still tugged off course by innumerable distractions, not the least of which has been FB, though in my defense, I do try to pop in and back out quickly. Without television, I gave in and reactivated my Netflix account--just one dvd at a time--so if I don't work up the stamina to go out to the movies just yet (I know some of my friends are watching Into the Woods even as I type this, but I just don't want to be the sobbing blubberer that drowns out the dialogue during all the death scenes), at least I can catch up on a few from last year.

Go through his computer files for anything that might help. Check. Lots of pictures deleted (if you're reading this, you know who you are) and some others saved because they're good, and a few others I should delete but haven't yet (if you're reading this, I'd like to know who you are). A copy of his will from 2006, but, alas, I have found no printed (and witnessed) copy. I did find many photos that I would have included in the slide show I put together for Yule. No journal. No letters to me. Not much writing at all. This makes me very sad, because Randy had some wonderful stories (and some harrowing ones about his at-best negligent parents).

Finish emptying the fridge. Check. Out with the yellowed kale and wan scallions in the bottom crisper. Out with the last of the gravy he made for Thanksgiving dinner (do not judge me, bitches; it is hard work to throw away food made by a man whose cooking will be terribly missed). Out with the--what is that?--well, out with it. Make room. Breathe.

Think about making a new will and legal documents. Okay, I'm thinking. I would like to get this out of the way because, well, because my job is stressful beyond belief right now and I spent half of Tuesday at work thinking I might be having a heart attack. Which I didn't. As far as I know. But still, it would suck for my siblings to have to come out to Pennsylvania and try to go through all my stuff with no legal access to my estate. Ha. What a word, estate, conjuring wealth. Because the opposite.

Stop checking Growlr every 15 minutes. Check. Because if anyone wanted to message me, they'd message me, and if anyone wanted anything more, well that's not very likely right now, is it?

Figure out how to cook the pork roast. Okay, I'm not sure I have it figured out, but the damn thing is in the damn crock pot, the potatoes and carrots are nearly tender enough to take out (so they don't go to mush), and though the meat feels nowhere near tender and fork-flaky (if that's a word), I don't think it's supposed to just yet, so points to me for chopping veggies and mincing garlic and searing the meat and figuring out how to cover the rickety, too-small lid with a folded dish towel to keep the steam from completely escaping. Side note on crock pots: You gets what you pays for.

Be kind to anyone who checks in today. Harder than it seems, because some people don't seem to get that Have a great Christmas! is so not the thing to say right now, which means I have to be the better friend, dittoing the sentiment, instead of calling said friends on their insensitivity, which at least in one case has been, for years, a classic pattern of shallow and evading platitudes whenever difficult emotional matters arise in conversation. Said friend has not been dumped because--well, I need to ponder this more deeply, but I think it's because (a) there's history, which means friend knows things about both Randy and me, and could possibly help me sort out some of those events, and (b) I may be a mess, but I know that not everyone is as strong (or tactful, or reliable) as I want/need them to be.

Repot some of the basket plants. Check. Six plants from one gift basket became eight (the palm, which is really a mass of about thirty seedling palms, got teased apart into three smaller clumps). Most are now on R's window sill, where I hope I will remember to water them. The other gift basket will have to wait, because its huge amaryllis, having opened four blossoms, is now set to open more flowers on a second spike. I don't want to mess that up.

Throw out his shoes. Check.

Sort the papers in his room. Check: most into the recycle bin, some into the shredder.

Decide about the press. So much to decide here: do I suspend the press for another year to new submissions while I figure out how and where I will live? Or jump into it, inviting the universe to buoy me along into a regained footing and, hopefully, the kind of growth and recognition I think Seven Kitchen
s deserves? I've made a separate list, a huge list, of items to consider, and all of it needs to be decided by the end of this year. (Yeah, no pressure.)

Write thank you notes. I was saving this for nightfall, which slows me down to a near-standstill. I've managed I think three cards this week and have probably thirty or more to go. I wish I didn't have to go to work tomorrow; a four-day weekend would have been a balm right now. Plus I need to leave the car with my mechanic and can't do that because I've no other way to get to work. Maybe next week somehow. Meanwhile, I'm using an old towel to drape across the opening where my driver's-side window won't close. Keeps the rain mostly out. Cold, cold on the morning drive, though.

Be kind to myself. Working on this. We all have demons. Mine are lately taking the form of various regrets, though I try to dismiss these gently but firmly. What good is looking backward? What's done is so very done. Looking ahead, though, can be terrifying: my new scary mantra, I can do anything, a blade to cut through doubt and my usual fear of the unknown, points keenly at the next moment, and the next after that: Now choose. 

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