There was a lot that was unfamiliar for me in the past couple of days. I kicked my usual do-gooding up a notch and instead of bringing friends food I’d cooked at home, I went to their houses to make soup. (Logistically, this is a better option.) I also went to a laundromat to do some wash for a friend who was feeling lousy after chemo, instead of toting it home to my own machine (I didn’t want to have to look for parking that many times).
So I wound up working in unfamiliar kitchens, and feeding quarters to unfamiliar machines. (I had no idea how picky laundry machines were about quarters, by the way.) Yesterday I just had this feeling there was some ulterior motive behind leaving my comfort zone, but I didn’t know what it was.
It wasn’t until I was standing by the sunny window in the kitchen of my friend’s apartment, chopping veggies for the soup, that I realized why I needed to do this: I needed a change of scene. I have chopped veggies in my own windowless kitchen for years. Doing the very same thing somewhere else really opened things up for me. Suddenly, I think as I did the carrots, I started thinking again about an essay I’ve been trying to write for a year or so. And I had a new idea about how to structure it and what I wanted it to say. While I waited for the laundry to dry in the laundromat, which by some strange fluke was the very first laundromat I’d ever done laundry in since moving to NYC, I made some notes. I admired a bulldog in a jaunty sweater, who was waiting inside the laundromat. I went down the street to a café and had the most delicious cherry danish I’d ever had. (Actually, it may have been my first cherry danish ever.)
When I finished my kitchen and laundry duties, I drove back home and found a great parking spot. Such a great spot that I had to sit there and bask in it for a while. I opened my email to find another translation job offering! It reminded me of the weird concatenation of events that seemed to happen all the time when I was on Decadron and half-crazy from it. I think a lot of people are feeling half-crazy these days. (That is, those people who aren’t 100% crazy.)
I hope you will also go out and do something good for people, and also have good things happen, and that you don’t drive yourself bonkers trying to figure out if one thing caused the other to come about.