I'd been wanting to do more here this last week. To get more pieces written and on display. To look more closely at the books I've been reading, at the life I'm leading, at the thoughts and feels and actions. But I've been sick. I have that not-quite-a-sinus-infection that likes to make appearances when the seasons are trying to decide which way to go. Being sick is full of small indignities and ironies. Like needing extra sleep but not being able to lay down and breathe at the same time. Or having all this extra down time to think of new and exciting projects but not having the energy to care about them or take any action.
I guess it's good, having the down time. Sometimes I think that's what this kind of sickness is about, about taking a few minutes (or days) to process everything. To let the vagaries and ideas of summer pass so that the peacefulness of fall can settle in. Falling leaves. Sweatshirts. Pumpkins as decoration and plans for big family dinners. Football on all the screens, everywhere, much to my chagrin. Cooler temperatures. Shorter days. Halloween candy. Pot roasts and roasted squash.
A lot has shifted for me over the last few years, with the culmination coming earlier this year with the total lifestyle change to (1) a successful live-in relationship with the most amazing man I've ever met; (2) the best and most stable job I've found in the fifteen years since I moved back to Kansas City; and (3) being the type of grown-up who has health insurance and retirement savings and renter's insurance and a plan for getting completely out of debt. Some days it still seems unreal, like I'm walking a tightrope. But then I look down and see that I'm merely following a sidewalk crack, that the ground around me is surprisingly solid and there is really very little chance of my falling.
So I guess it comes down to this: things take longer than the best laid plans. It's taken me a long time to find the guy, to find the job, to settle into a life of words that is as rich as it is safe. So taking a few days to play too many silly internet games or wipe out all the Good Eats episodes from my dvr isn't so bad. The words will still be there waiting for me. And I will be in a far better place for them, meeting them from strength and clarity of mind and enthusiasm instead of from guilt and neurosis. Also, being sick means I get to indulge my love of Pepperidge Farm's double chocolate Milano cookies, and that's always a good thing.