Sick Daze

My friend told me her children had been on holiday break for 17 days – 17 days!!!

I can’t believe we didn’t hear about them on the news.

No, that is not a judgment on my friend’s parenting style. Nor is it a commentary on her children’s behavior. But Good Lord, 17 days – out of routine, out of school, in each others’ faces!

Today is my first day of vacation.

School started back up Monday in these parts, but my eldest decided to vomit all over her bed Sunday night. She looked miserable Monday and Tuesday morning, saying her stomach hurt and she felt like she’d be sick again. Wednesday morning when I threw down the gauntlet of ‘no vomit, no fever – go to school’, she dressed and ate breakfast only to vomit it all over the kitchen floor. Shortly thereafter, my youngest awoke with an earache, glassy eyes, and continued congestion. My middle was not a happy camper as the only one of her trio boarding the bus that morning. She announced that she wanted a sick day. I told her we’d quarantine her as the only one who wasn’t sick.


Think you can come up with a fun word for this phenomenon? Click through for the challenge!

So today, Thursday, fourth supposed day of school – my whole crew returned to routine. I’m as giddy as a school girl myself. Well, maybe one who skipped school. For I was able to return to a quiet house, which even with its piles of detritus left from stretches of sick days (did I mention I’m sick, too?), seems somehow calmer, cleaner, more zen.

I don’t know what I’ll do today. Maybe get started on pulling down those Christmas decorations that have overstayed their welcome. Maybe de-germ all community surfaces. Maybe turn over a New Years’ leaf and write some more pages of my lonely manuscript.

But right now my eye lids feel heavy. I might just take a nap – and wait for the call from the school to come pick up a sick child.

Write On

I am sitting at my desk for the first time in a long time. At least to sit and write. I’ve sat a few times to check email or Facebook, but haven’t sat here in a long time for its meaning and purpose.

As I sorted piles of dirty clothes by color in preparation for laundering last night, I saw the top of my writing cabinet rolled back just enough to reveal the rocks I’ve placed there as talismans. The ones chosen for memories: one thrown by a dear friend barely missing my head, one from a bright, beautiful day at the beach, others for their touch and feel. All within smelling distance of dirty laundry. All untouched, robbed of their potential for healing or inspiration.

During these last few cold months, I’ve set up camp by the wood stove. A stack of books on my daughter’s miniature rocking chair on one side, a stool with a mug of tea on the other, computer in lap, feet on ottoman, aimed at the stove. Not bad, I must say.

But – if I sat at my desk on my ergonomic chair, I might not exacerbate that crick in my neck. I might not strain the shoulders I tweaked in frenzied shoveling yesterday. I might not draw the ire of said daughter for thieving her miniature rocking chair. I might stick to the task at hand. And – AND – I might be inspired by the lovely things around me.

Since it’s been awhile, things other than my work have inevitably piled up on my desk. My daughter’s outgrown ducky slippers. A pair of fleece pajamas I’ve yet to exchange for the right size. My middle daughter’s class portrait grasped from her little sister’s tight fist at just the last second. There’s a colored pencil that doesn’t belong to me. A bathing suit I still haven’t decided if I want to return. There’s the goody bag from my friend’s burgeoning business of skin care products I’ve yet to put away – but this is a lovely procrastination; for the smell of sea foam has provided the most uplifting aromatherapy.

While putting off and getting away from routines or rituals can be detrimental, it can also give the chance to come back with new eyes. Had I sat here every writing session, every week of every month, perhaps I wouldn’t appreciate the little corner I’ve carved out for myself. Perhaps I wouldn’t remember to hold that solid hunk of earth in my hand, wrap my fingers around but one chunk of the infinite space around us.

Does that mean I will sit here each time I write now and be incredibly prolific? Probably not. But the space is readied. For now, the mind is readied. My spirit is ready.

Desperately Seeking a Daytimer

Second rewarm of my tea this morning.  Second start to holiday vacation for my kids thanks to a snowstorm.  Second application of warm socks and boots for the youngest who managed to lose her left one in a fall.

Final and total, complete agitation.

I rose to the insistent plying of my youngest to make her ‘brefkast’.  A detour into her sister’s room to find her playing on her iPad kept her there and left me alone with my laptop.  Instead of writing the three posts I should be or researching and revising the short story I should be, I putted around with email, online statuses, and reading blogs and comments other people had written.

I’m about as mushy as this 4-8 inches of snow will be once the temperature soars to a balmy 48 degrees on Monday.

How many pains in the asses do we have to feel before we become a cranky ass?

I’ve gone too long without a routine, this I know.  The four to five days following Christmas where we ambled out for a hike once we actually got dressed, ate whenever we wanted, and cuddled in actual or electronic firelight were divine.  I sorely needed them.  But one day of waking early, rushing to the bus stop, running errands, etc. etc, etc, and then back to that loosey-goosey schedule was not enough.  As much as I hate working to a clock, leaving me to structure my own days is a little like playing with that actual fire.

Plus, as excited as I am about some new ventures coming down the pike, they’re new and therefore anxiety-inducing.  Will I succeed?  Will I have enough time to complete my new tasks in addition to my existing ones?  Will I be able to create enough quality content for three blogs? (Rob and Ruby, if you’re reading . . . of course, I can! 😉 ) Perfectionism is the enemy, but if I’m putting my name to it, it best be good.  Nothing like self-induced panic and pressure.

We’re in that in-between state where the merriment of the holidays is no more, but it’s unclear what this new year will be.  Unknown strikes fear into the heart of the fear-a-phobe.

Which I suppose is why I sorely need a schedule.  One trivial, nitpicky way to get some tiny semblance of control over the whirling dervish that is now – my thoughts, my responsibilities, my needs, my children, my irrational, unfounded worries.  That should be one hell of a calendar.


A split pill in a shot glass every other night


imagesSwinging open the cabinet door,

tired on the nights it’s empty,

still annoyed on the night’s it’s not.


A twitch, a shake, tension.


A task, another tired tendril pulling me down.


I’d stop if I could.

It’d be worse if I did.


What’s worse –

The ailment or the cure?


An oblong blue missile and its snapped companion.

One and a half ovals.


Tiny pale packages with the ability to contain my fears.

And yet, they dissolve and disperse throughout my body.


Is the volume the same – just not in a concentrated form?

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