“If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.” ― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

11.2014 whiteout

**warning – this post is full of utter misery and feeling-sorry-for-myselfedness. you’ve been warned.**

For the past year and a half, I have tried to focus on the silver linings, and choose good cheer and optimism over being glum, but some days are just plain bad and there’s nothing you can do about it. For example, yesterday.

Yesterday, Miss L woke up sad before she was even out of bed, still all warm and cuddly and sleepy and – sad. Cheerios cheered her up, as did her new fur hat that makes her look like a teddy bear, but when it came time to drop her off at pre-care, she just didn’t want me to leave. And there were tears, and there was her visible struggle to be brave, which is a terrible thing for me to witness, watching her draw her six-year-old self up and face things when I wish I could just take her home and put her back into pajamas and save her from having to face anything. Then there was me crying in the car on the way to work and being late.

My boss told me that I have to give a presentation to the same committee that saw me fail horribly a couple of months ago, and although I didn’t even twitch, just stoically said, ‘No worries’, on the inside I was stamping my foot and screaming “WHAT?!!” I just wonder what the fucking point is. I know everybody has to do things that they hate and fail at and despise every day of their lives but DAMN. You would think blatant, visible failures would at least have the silver lining of not having to do it AGAIN but I guess the universe has a little more humiliation and degradation to expose me to, so I will turn the other cheek, dress up, and get my ass kicked by my own self YET AGAIN.

Yesterday, my stomach felt a little unsettled before lunch but I thought it was just the lingering aftereffects of an emotional morning, so I went and tried to work out anyway. I gave up running after a pathetic mile and got on the elliptical with a roiling stomach and my friend came in and got on the same treadmill and busted out many miles at a sprint pace with no visible strain and I wondered how I can possibly call myself a runner.

By 4.00 I was full on nauseous and had my space heater on full blast, but still found myself shivering. Outside my office window, the snow scoured the bare lot and the polar vortex came down inexorably, and there was a whiteout on the drive home. I got home, and after having only juice and an apple all day, I dumped some Cheerios and toast into my protesting stomach and climbed into the hottest bath I could stand.

My bathroom is sunny and is the home for most of my houseplants, partly because of its exposure and partly because it has a door I can close to keep Emmett and Sarge out. This weekend, one of them got into the bathroom and chewed up one of my plants and barfed it back up and made an enormous mess; I’d blamed Miss L for leaving the door ajar. (“WHAT!!” -Miss L. “You must have, the boys can’t open the door themselves!” – Me. “Sarge can open the door!!” – Miss L. “That’s ridiculous.” – Me.) Well, as I shivered in my bath Sarge meowed violently at me from the hallway, and then proceeded to open the bathroom door and saunter in. (“WHAT!!” – Me.) This is a bad thing, Sarge figuring out doorknobs.

I was in bed by 6.30, freezing and sweating, and by 8.00 the Cheerios and toast had come back up (sorry, graphic, but true.) Emmett had knocked another picture off the wall so I’d locked the cats out of the bedroom and Sarge opened the door at 10 and brought up a section of the rubber basement flooring to gnaw on contentedly. I had fever dreams of being in Paris and then getting ready to run a race somewhere wind-torn and barren, and not wanting to see someone that I knew would be there; I woke up soaked in sweat but finally warm.

I suppose the silver lining is that I am home today and after a mostly liquid diet, broth and ginger tea, I was able to brush my teeth, which is a huge improvement, and it looks as though I will finish Tana French’s “The Secret Place” today as well, which has been a really great book. (I love Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad.) And maybe tomorrow will be better. No, tomorrow will definitely be better.

11.2014 duck stream


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