THIS WEEK IN REFLECTION
Last week I mentioned that I went to a rather challenging doctor’s appointment, and to be a bit more transparent, it was largely about anxiety. My physician recommended I listen to the 10% Happier podcast, which has topics like the science of hope — and I appreciate the combo of some posts being more woo woo and others data driven. The doctor also has me writing in a journal, which is much harder. Why reiterate what I’ve already talked about with Nick, or even worked through in my head (…this may be the problem)? But I’m trying.
I wanted to fill my week with good things, especially since Nick was leaving Tuesday morning for a conference in another state and not returning until the wee hours of Saturday. I visited the hospice patient I met, this time on my own. Being a good listener and intentionally turning the conversation away from myself to focus on someone else’s life is a humbling experience.
I also did something random: remember how I bought that new dining table with the chairs that have eagles on them from a garage sale? Turns out the owner does the sale about every three weeks with things she procures from auctions. She gave me her business card when I left. Last Sunday I texted her and invited myself over (she has a lovely farm house front yard) and said I would bring my coffee, and she agreed! We talked for over two hours and laughed and petted kittens, and she sent me home with a pot of sunflowers!
Because I knew Nick would be gone so long and my mental situation has been down, I planned to head to Biscuit’s house for the week. The trip is just over three hours, all of which was spent listening to The Storyteller by Dave Grohl, whose choice to organize his memoir by stories instead of chronologically does wonders for the book.
I did all sorts of things in Michigan, including taking my brother’s kids swimming (the four-year-old boy tattled that I made him wear a life jacket), I went out to lunch with my brother to a place I haven’t been in about two decades (I said, “This burrito tastes like high school!”), and took Biscuit and my sister-in-law to the local ice cream place to get a treat I hadn’t tasted in ages: chocolate ice cream with real chocolate chip cookie dough spoonfuls mixed in. We definitely sneaked off so as not to alert those four children because the other option was to lie and say we were “just running to town.”
I had planned to meet a middle school friend at a brewery an hour north of Biscuit’s. He’s so wonderful and we talked for over three hours. You ever meet someone for whom you always, always wish the best and think about frequently despite years apart? That’s how I feel about him. Some of it was catching up (who from high school is living where and doing what), and some of it was talking about brain stuff. Another part was what his job as a special education teacher is like, and me explaining how deaf children are now more likely to be mainstreamed, and why.
Friday I left Biscuit’s and drove back to the doctor’s office for a follow-up, and she was happy with what she heard about my progress. There’s more to it, but not enough space (or bravery) to share it all on this blog. I’ll see her again in two weeks in case we need to pivot.
After seeing the doctor again I finally made it home, where I found all of my flowers on the brink of death after not being watered for four days. I was so disheartened and vowed to either never leave again, or to buy a kiddie pool to fill up and leave the plants in that next time. I watered them like crazy and crossed my fingers. Just as I was feeling toad-ally bummed, guess who cropped up for a hello? (I’ll bet you can guess).
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POST
I’m glad I listened to everyone and chose to get on top of a book that you all wanted to hear about, because there was quite a lively conversation about Fat Girls Hiking by Summer Michaud-Skog. My biggest takeaway from the comments? We absolutely approach hiking as an activity differently in the U.S. than people do in other countries! Shame on me for making assumptions!
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POST
While I tackle the sizable James Baldwin novel Just Above My Head, enjoy another Meet the Writer feature on Wednesday, this time with author KB Jensen. This author used to be a crime reporter, a past she puts to use in her “artistic murder mystery” novel. Her newest collection is described as a “genre-hopping blend of contemporary fiction, noir humor, speculative fiction, and horror, with an undercurrent of love and the relationships that bind us together in the darkness.”
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 181
Owned Books on TBR Today: 180
Thanks to Anne @ I’ve Read This for her recommendation!