O—M—G (G for goodness, gosh, and golly-gee-willikers)!!! I cannot believe it has been almost five months since I sent out this weekly-ish newsletter. What???
Then again, I seriously doubt any of you have been sitting around thinking, “When will I be getting another edition of The Not Too Long and Short of It?” If you have, I apologize. If you haven’t, no apologies needed on your end. I just appreciate you being my friends and humoring and encouraging me whenever you are up for it. And I hope that at times I humor and encourage you as well.
This edition will be a little different than most — more like a brief bloggy piece to catch you up and justify my unintentional ishy lying; in other words, to explain my lack of communication, which I am partly processing myself as I write this.
If you don’t know this already, let me remind you that I love writing. (Writing is fun! Writing is fun!) But writing is also work, and the past few months have been filled with other energy eaters.
First of all, let me share the good ones. It seems like spring and summer brought with them more family events than we’ve had in a long time. Our fifth son graduated high school and headed off to college, our fourth son graduated college and headed off to non-school and planning his wedding, and there were at least a dozen family birthdays, including one-year-old celebrations for our grandchildren born six days apart during the early days of the pandemic. We had visits from parents and visits to parents, and then there were the vacations we took just for the fun of it where we actually flew on airplanes again. It sure felt like, at long last, life was getting back to normal!
There have also been a few angsty personal issues to deal with, quite a few in fact, which led me to start seeing a counselor, something I’ve never done before. Though energy sapping, the process is a good one and has actually involved a lot of writing that you will never see (remember, I write to process). On top of the emotional and psychological angst, I have a worrisome back that is not being nice to me because it doesn’t like the fact that I sit at a computer for work all day and then try to sit at it even more to write or do the many other things that we all do on our laptops. It also doesn’t like when I stand up and cook or hold my grandchildren or garden. So, I am also seeing a physical therapist and have added new exercises and stretches to my daily routine.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m complaining (wah-wah-wah). Let’s just call it taking stock of one’s life. Facing the facts. Assessing the whys of my lack of writing productivity so that I don’t erase reality and beat myself up for not living up to my goals. There, now I feel better.
Meanwhile, there is evidence that the writing bug is returning. In the past month, I have written two new poems that I published on Medium, started working my way through a writing Masterclass by Margaret Atwood, attended an online lecture about how to get into publishing, and signed up for Story Club on Substack with author and professor, George Saunders, where I am learning all about the art of short story writing.
Oh, and I would be remiss if I failed to mention one other little thing that has recently sapped my energy. I woke up two Saturday mornings ago with an unwelcome visit from another kind of bug. Yes, it was a particularly ugly one that I’ve been trying so hard to avoid for a year and three-quarters. And right when I had planned to get my booster the following week.
I didn’t know the exact nature of the bug at first, of course, thinking and hoping it was just a nasty head cold with body aches, but just to be careful, and because I had been with my kids and grandkids the two days prior, and because my husband needs to be around people for work, I went out and bought a home COVID antigen test. Lo and behold, that test came back negative, just as I anticipated, so I texted the whole family and let them know not to worry; it was just a cold.
I proceeded to go about the activities of a normal miserable, sick person with a bad head cold, doing what I could and trying not to breathe or cough directly on my husband. Still, I felt too ill to work or go anywhere, really, which was a good thing since on Monday, I retook the dang test, and you can probably guess the results.
There is a reason why they have you take a second test after 36 hours have passed.
No, that little positive pink line did not bring me joy like the positive lines on those home pregnancy tests I took many moons ago—quite the opposite. I was shocked, flabbergasted, angry, anxious, and generally emotionally put out. It was pretty immediate isolation after that, and though technically an introvert, I am a social one, and I do not like forced aloneness.
[Here, I leave out the details of my experience with COVID.]
You will, I hope, be happy to know that I survived. I am still recovering but feel my strength returning and my head and chest clearing. Apparently, I had what would be called a mild to moderate case. For that, I am very thankful. My theory is that being vaccinated and taking the monoclonal antibody treatment helped me more easily kill all those ugly spike balls, but, of course, I will never know if that is the case because I will never know what would have happened had I not been vaccinated and had that intravenous infusion.
Still, though mild or moderate, COVID did a number on me. It messed with my head and energy on the physical front but also on the emotional one. I often find the latter to be more difficult, but I might not be saying that if the physical had been worse. Either way, I am happy to be coming out the other side and to have lived to tell the story. (Okay, that was a little overly dramatic. I don’t think I was ever in any real danger of not coming out the other side, but when you are in the middle of it, it is hard not to wonder, especially when you are all alone for hours and hours with your own thoughts.)
And I’m extra thankful that even though I was with my entire immediate family the day prior to showing significant symptoms—we were all in close quarters decorating the tree, eating Thanksgiving leftovers and freshly baked Christmas cookies, and singing Christmas songs together—no one else got COVID!
Oh my goodness, gosh, and golly gee willikers, how cool is that?
Stay tuned for the next edition which I plan to NOT make all about me.
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As always, thanks for taking the time to read The Not Too Long and Short of It!
Thank you for sharing your experience of Covid, and I am really glad you knew to take monoclonal antibodies. They are an amazingly effective treatment, and so it is a shame they aren't in the news more, Dr Peter McCullough cheerleads for them often, and berates the government for not trumpeting them loudly, as they are not in short supply - the government bought up millions of doses of them.
It's great you can be around your children and grandchildren at this time - festive seasons are very important family bonding times. My only two grandchildren have been born during the 'pandemic' and I have been unable to meet them yet, because we live in separate countries, both of which have been basically locked up for the duration. Governmental policies cause terrible costs that are rarely discussed. But thank heavens for internet. We sing, make music, read books, have parties, etc - all via a screen. It's not the same as being physically there, but a lot better than nothing.
I hope your back heals soon. Have you tried rubbing arnica cream on it regularly?
I’m glad you came out on ‘this’ side and not ‘the other one’. This made me smile! Thank you for your openness!