It’s a weird term, but one that is used by late night talk shows when they show a bunch of repeats. It’s when Uncle Dave is at his ranch in Montana, or that guy in Burbank has too many oil changes to perform, or when Conan does whatever Conan does when he’s not working on his show. Is his show even still on? It’s on at some crazy hour here, and even though I could easily PVR it, I just haven’t even bothered. I saw that Rob Delaney was going to be on it last night, and for the briefest of moments thought about setting up the PVR, but then I just went to bed. Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC was electrifying and exhausting to the ol’ champ here.
It feels like this blog has gone a little dark. I haven’t updated in a couple of weeks and this is for a number of reasons. The last post was a late night frantic ode to my Uncle (who did pass away the following day, by the way.) Two days later, our beloved and wacky neighbour Alvena also passed away suddenly. I say “suddenly”, but when you get into your 90s it’s hard to make the case strongly. But in her case, she was still pretty active, she still lived at home (although it was a bone of contention with her sister), and she still had Marla and Audrey over for tea and visits regularly. Audrey called her “Veena” and knew where all her little dolls and figurines were in the house and felt quite a at home over there. I last wrote of her in the blog post called “Shelter From the Storm”. I really owe her a proper posting here, and maybe I will one day.
And to top off a crummy month ( it started great with a weekend trip to see Coldplay. I didn’t blog about it, but @carolj174 did and you can read it here), our hot water tank starting leaking all over the place and needed replacing. Those damn things have a warranty of eight years, but this thing was in its ninth, of course. I felt like Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” when I was told about it. And it that wasn’t enough, three days later the entire exhaust system on our car needed replacing. Neither one of these unexpected hiccups were cheap by the way.
I know, first world problems.
And as life so often converges, most years I have a problem with the transition to autumn. It’s a mood thing, and some years are worse than others. Some years I need to go on medication to help with the balance and other years I am able to steer out of it on my own. I began to feel it earlier this year, maybe it had to do with me worrying about my Uncle, or maybe it was something else. When I met with my psychiatrist last week, she reminded me that Depression is “chronic and complex”. Also, I tend to carry my stress in my guts. I knew that about me already, but having all those abdominal pains last year and going through all the hurdles of a colonoscopy and a CT scan and finding out that it ISN’T colon cancer, or ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis or anything else that would require serious treatment means that I just need to eat better, get more fiber and exercise, and try to alleviate stress. I’m sure it isn’t one thing, but just a combination of feeling good old-fashioned grief over losing loved ones and the anxiety of scrambling to pay for these unexpected setbacks not to mention the emotional toll of seeing our three year old daughter head off to preschool next week (and everything associated with that). I know, I’m a bit of a cupcake sometimes.
Whenever I get stressed out about bills and whatnot, I think back to when we were first married, and neither one of us had full-time jobs and we were really scraping by, and I thought to myself, “If only we had an extra $5000 we would be fine.” Here we are, almost 10 years later, and arguably on stronger financial footing (our mortgage is nine years smaller, I am making just over double what I was making back then, our total debt is considerably less), and I still think “If we only had an extra $5000…”
All of this is to say that this blog has “gone dark” over the last couple of weeks, because I really haven’t had the time or inclination to update, but don’t worry: Tomorrow we’re driving out west for a week in Calgary and the mountains for a much needed and as it turns out well timed holiday. I plan to come back refreshed and really to take on the autumn and all of the changes associated with it, and maybe one or two funny stories along the way. That’s the thing, really. Despite all of this, I am truly blessed to be surrounded by amazing friends and family who seem to “get” me, or at least “put up with” me, and can see the humour in just about everything. There hasn’t been much to laugh about in this past month, but there will be again. Soon. I promise.
“Wake me up when September ends”. Green Day