A month in and a month out


uneasy, by Harry Kran-Annexstein on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Sorry to anyone who’s been missing me around here. The new working lifestyle is still settling in. I don’t spend a lot of time checking in with my emotional or mental state, which is probably for the best. After a solid month of addressing pent-up need for my presence at work, things have slowed down a good bit. This week is spring break and it will take every fiber of concentration for me not to waste the week. It is deserted here. I have half a mind to take up residence in one of the primo study carrels by the windows and spend the whole day daydreaming. I’ve never been very good at staring down an empty calendar and magically filling it in with worthwhile, fundamental, enriching activities. There’s some very important but very self-guided stuff I need to learn, so I have blocked out time on the calendar to do that this week. I don’t want to let myself down. I am spending 12 more minutes on this post and then shutting down social media until… until… well, for an hour anyway.

A month into my second coming as a salaried worker, I feel totally okay about it. The kids seem to be thriving, and we found an after school sitter who is just right – responsible and responsive, but not a parent replacement or an entertainer. These kids basically entertain themselves, especially now that Young A is reading up a storm. Young J has finally come around to math, now that multiplication is no longer an impenetrable fortress. And perhaps most important of all – we aren’t starving, nor are we subsisting on takeout. This wouldn’t be possible without J, who is my absolute equal in the kitchen (and way better at things like trussing a chicken than me). I try to compensate for my absence in the kitchen by making nice things when I can.

I’m a month away from my next scan. The days between today and the day I get results will not be any different, but I’ll be inhabiting them differently, either lost in a blur of distractions or lost in morose contemplation of how life proceeds for me these days – a lease that gets renewed in short installments. When I’ve had a good meal and some coffee (still decaf), I can luxuriate in some fantasy: They look at the scans and can’t find the tumors anywhere. Like they scanned the wrong person, maybe, until they find the calcification on my right lung that’s always been there and realize I utterly smote the tumors dead.

I’ve had to learn a lot about faith in order to not go crazy. And I’m not talking about religious faith, either. I’ve had to learn to have faith in my immune system, something I just have, and if I’m  lucky it works and I don’t need to know another thing about it.

I don’t need to know another thing, except that when required and when encouraged to do so by pharmaceuticals… it can turn into a fucking ninja.

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