I got a four day weekend over Labor Day. Friday – Saturday – Sunday – Monday. Four days. 4. Count ’em.
They were awesome.
The funny thing is that I literally picked up where I left off on July 5th. That day, the final day of my Fourth of July four-day weekend, was going to be a housecleaning extravaganza. I was going to vacuum the upstairs and the steps, catch up on laundry and dishes, sort old clothes out of my dresser, and maybe make blackberry jam from our bushes. Aside from the jam, the berries for which are long gone, I did all that stuff this past weekend. Did I mention it was
It’s just so satisfying to see a job that needs to be done, do it, and then look at it. There’s just a sense of calm I get when I walk into a room with a swept floor, a clean counter, a non-dog-hairy bed. It’s like the palette is clean, ready for me to fill. And there’s the practical side of things: I can actually find the things I’m looking for, or at least not get distracted by the ten other things that I could put away or clean.
Cleaning can go too far. It can become an end in itself; it can make a space sterile and lifeless. But in balance, it can be regenerative. It can give you space to live.
And since I’m all about balance…I took the opportunity of having a clean kitchen to mess it up again! We used up all of our remaining Redwings tickets this weekend, which put us at the ballpark on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. This was a ton of fun, but it did not help us use up our giant CSA share. So on Monday, we made chili, tomatillo salsa, tomatillo crema, and steamed beets. Then we fired up the grill – my first time actually outside using it – and grilled five zucchinis’ worth of zucchini slices, a bunch of portabella mushrooms, and some sweet red peppers. Enough leftovers for at least 3 days!
Which is good, because weekends can only exist in the midst of weeks, and as I recover, weeks get busier for me. I’ve put in solid half-days of work the past two days (in a ROW, no less), and the doc has cleared me to go to a two-day meeting in Geneva (New York, not Switzerland) tomorrow and Friday. It will be the closest to an actual workweek I’ve had since the end of June. My brain is finally functioning well enough to handle the work; I’m not drug-fogged or fatigue-fogged anymore. The hard part is getting myself accustomed to the fuller schedule again, juggling multiple projects, balancing an more-normal workload with the rest of life.
I know that just the fact that I’m ready to consider doing more work shows that I’m getting better. I’m finally regaining a foothold in my normal life – literally, sometimes – and it’s starting to seem more difficult to try to work from home than just to go in to the office. I also know that I’m not ready to dive in fully yet. I can’t even drive yet, for Pete’s sake, and most things – from getting dressed to walking upstairs – take longer than they normally would.
But we’re getting back to normal, or maybe a new normal. I hope my new normal will include room for a few more long weekend days, if not in actual days then in spirit. I need some spaces between all the action in my life for the action to make sense. And you know what? Life isn’t just about speed, about packing in as much as possible. It’s about being there for what you do, for who you’re becoming. There’s such a thing as too fast and too slow, and I hope that experiencing the extremes will help me find the middle.