Times might be stressful, but the work goes on.
Lunches must be packed, pantries filled, clean clothes available in the drawers (or at least in a pile on the lounge). The car still must be filled with petrol, admin forms signed, work deadlines met. Family life is steady and relentless, and there’s always washing-up to be done. Sometimes this is comforting and satisfying, and sometimes it takes all of my available brain-and-heart space; and then life asks a little more.
An unhappy child. A sick relative. Flu. Travel. A list of worries that weigh heavy.
In short, a tough winter.
I think I am tracking along fine, one foot in front of the other, and then my body starts doing something to let me know it’s not OK.
‘Shush,’ I tell my body. ’It’s fine, we’re on top of it all, body. Shush…’
‘Stop and listen to me, you crazy witch,’ says my body, via the interesting method of making me short of breath for hours every day.
After a battery of tests to rule out anything sinister, the diagnosis I’m left with is stress and anxiety.
My solution: keep the home fires burning, dole out love and lasagne and priorities those healthy things like walking outside, yoga, making myself leave the hermit-cave and see my friends. I’m trying not to worry about the things that are out of my control, and trying to be a support for the loved ones around me who are hurting, without internalising the pain that they are feeling.
Also, I have a minor obsession with this lady.
Alejanda, so uber-American, with ever-so-slightly-crazy eyes, and a serial-killer-level of organisation, is bringing me life.
Chill out, my body is telling me. Spend a little time on the lounge watching YouTube clips of Alejandra bringing lunatic order to her shiny, shiny world. I don’t want to – could not – live like this, but watching Alejandra do it is inexplicably appealing and calming. Also: My Dad Wrote A Porno is the other shining glory of my existence right now. Listen immediately and then write and talk to me about it. It is the funniest possible present you can give your ears. And you will never, ever think of the Titanic again without picturing ‘nipples, as hard and large as the rivets on that fateful ship’.
I hope you are travelling well out there, comrades. May life be treating you well and if not, I advise applying 20 minutes of organisation-porn and 20 minutes of Belinda Blinked, painful, fumbling and hilarious erotica written by Jamie’s Dad. Works for me.