A Post-Birthday Slump

I’ve been struggling a little, the last two days. My 50th birthday was lovely, but then there was a bit of a post-birthday slump. Alleviated by birthday lunches with friends, but still.

I’m a little depressed about Delta, I think, and the likelihood of needing to go back to masking indoors, rethinking planned fall travel, fretting about our kids going back into the classroom (even vaccinated, which Anand can’t even start until September 24th, when he turns 12), holding off on various crafting / writing group activities we’d otherwise be starting up this fall. We’ll still do things, I think, but maybe only outdoors. Sigh. (I’m thinking about holding a porch knitting session next week, ping me if you’d like details, locals. Probably Tues eve. or on the weekend.)

I really hated shelter-in-place; I did it, dutifully, but it made me miserable, and I’m dreading the chance of it coming back this winter if case numbers start to surge.

So I’ve had a little bit of a hard time motivating to do…well, much of anything. I’ve managed to do the exercise I’d committed to — having paid appointments scheduled helps. But there’s a ton of garden and house stuff that I should do, and instead, I spent a good half of yesterday either playing video games or crankily watching not very good TV. Which is just no good…I stay in a bad mood, if I do that kind of thing. I know better, but I just couldn’t seem to get myself to switch tracks to something productive. ANYTHING productive.

Eventually, Anand came and found me and asked if I wanted to watch some Steven Universe together (he’s on a rewatch, I’m watching for the first time, partway through the first season), and he snuggled me and that was comforting. After a few episodes of that, he got restless and went off; then I vented to Kevin for a while, and he snuggled me and watched a TV show with me (we’re watching Person of Interest right now, still on the first season). Then I went to sleep, hoping today would be better.

It’s a little better, so far. I got up early, at 5-ish — a little short on sleep, but that’s okay, because I’m really trying to get on an earlier schedule, which is better for me overall. I’ve bought and installed a new app, Cold Turkey, which keeps me off laptop social media until 9 a.m. — in theory, that should let me focus on writing, and it worked yesterday, but today, I just had a bad case of ‘don’t wanna’.

But I did clean the porch for 30 minutes, straightening out the potting bench area, which was in dire need, so that’s something? While cleaning, I listened to some Milk Street podcasts, which in theory is at least somewhat helpful towards my current goal of writing more food essays, and maybe even for recipe development.

They were talking about using crumbled nori to enhance flavor for vegan dishes, and it made me think that it might be worth trying it in some traditional Sri Lankan dishes like cauliflower poriyal, which typically is made with little salty dried shrimp to enhance the flavor. If it works well, that’ll be good for our family, because Kevin doesn’t do seafood, and it’ll be good for the Vegan cookbook too.

And I went out into the garden and clipped a few weed trees and staked a few lilies, making a pretty noticeable improvement in one area in about 10 minutes. So that was satisfying. Going to try to keep pushing myself to actually accomplish things today — I may have to ask Kevin to hide the iPad I play video games on at some point, because my will is weak right now.

We had the basement ceiling painted earlier this week, and I think it’s probably dry enough now (and free of paint fumes) that I can start the immense task of organizing it. Gah. Kind of overwhelming. Needs to be done. Don’t wanna. In normal times, I’d drag some friends over to keep me company while I do it, but pandemic, trying to avoid too much inside time with people outside the household, etc. I can get Kevin and the kids to work with me, but I can only get about an hour of work out of them at a time before they start to melt.

If I really can’t get myself to work on anything, at least I have a great book to read, Lori Rader-Day‘s forthcoming Agatha Christie-themed _Death at Greenway_, that I have an advance copy of. Thank all the little gods.

It’s sort of funny that a murder mystery can be such a comfort, but here we are.

We’re actually thinking about having an outdoor tea party here in October to launch and celebrate Lori’s book; locals, if you’d like to be on the invite list, do let me know. If it happens, it’ll probably be the weekend of Oct 16th / 17th. I will make all the tea sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam and lots of shortbread and probably some passionfruit marshmallows and milk toffee too, and I’ll pull out my mother-in-law’s two sets of fancy china teacups and the silver tea set (and probably the TARDIS teapot and the other teapots too), and it will be splendid.

(Clearly, I need *something* to look forward to.)

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