Curing the Crankies

I am a grouch this morning. There’s no other word for it. I didn’t sleep well because my knee was hurting and I have this restless leg thing happening after the surgery that’s quite annoying, and I don’t FEEL like doing my work, but there’s a lot piling up and it needs to be tackled.

Also, there are about 27 jillion errands that must be run. My mail has gone missing in this weird little Twilight IMG_7361Zone transfer of addresses and I can’t seem to get it straightened out, so my poor daughter in law has to keep forwarding it to me. Then it gets sent back to her. Rinse and repeat. There’s a box with books for my eldest son that’s been sitting here since Christmas. I spent the weekend running around doing fun things, but then I got super tired and haven’t recovered. Yesterday I forced myself to go swim because I need to get my aerobic capacity back after six months of doing almost nothing to take care of that. (Also, my core strength is not what I’d like and that needs work, too.)

I’m still healing from getting my legs chopped in half then put back together again, and it’s a long road. It’s a good road, but like any long journey, there are times you stop, weary of the same landscape, wish for rescue by helicopter. There’s no helicopter here. Just me and my precious body, on the road toward feeling better.

This morning, I should be writing, but I can tell you right now that’s probably not going to happen. I’m tired and resentful of life roaring back at me so hard, and I’m not quite ready to leap in with such intensity. Because I am a writer and I set my own hours, I do have a certain amount of freedom to step back.

Instead of coming into my office to write, as I planned, I moved things around. The new bottle of gesso I bought last Friday found its way into my hand and I found a brush in the other and I glossed some paper with it, just to play. Some little something started to breathe in the midst of all that irritability. As the paper dries, I pull out a photo of a tomato that I want to paint, and look for the right paper, the right size and weight, and I’m starting to draw. Later, I’ll add a little bit to the small journal of watercolor pages that seems to be a long, long love letter to my darling girl. I miss her terribly, and this is helping. Last week, we had a long, rambling, cheerful chat via Facetime, the first time she’s been really engaged, and she didn’t want me to “leave her house,” and showed me thing and blew raspberries and laughed when I kissed her. At one point, she said, “Nana’s stuck inside the iPad,” which has been haunting me slightly ever since.

All of this inner drama is why I haven’t been writing blogs as I promised. This morning I realized that is dishonest. I’m not always cheerful—far from it, actually. My life doesn’t always flow smoothly, and things show up in clusters—the urgent need to replace my knees, my parents’ ill health the past year, my beloved granddaughter and her wonderful parents moving 800 miles away—and I struggle to keep an upbeat attitude.

I have no wisdom today except that I’m going to take some pleasure in this little cabinet I bought to keep art supplies more orderly:

I’m 1454626_819401144817143_7649465128040458001_ngoing to paint and write something on those gessoed pages. I’m going to listen to music and see if it will speak to me about this book, and I will take a long nap. I am tired. I am healing. I am human. That is what I need today.

What do you do to cure the grouchies? 

Love,
Barbara

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7 thoughts on “Curing the Crankies

  1. “Nana’s stuck inside the iPad” is so Python-esque that it made me laugh, a big loud belly laugh into a house, empty except for the sleeping cat. As for the restless leg thing, have you tried taking calcium and magnesium? Might help. Shouldn’t hurt.

    • Barbara

      Gina, I know. She has the quirkiest way of looking at the world. And I amtrying magnesium and calcium. Also tonic water, for the quinine. It does seem to help.

      Oh, Gabi, yes. That describes it exactly. It’s all just some weird routing issue and it will go away, but it can be maddening.

  2. Gabrielle

    I hear you on so many levels. At nights after my hip surgery, I would get surges of energy down my arms–it felt like I had lightning shooting out of my fingertips and I had to shake my arms vigorously to get rid of that sensation. This was in the hospital, so I couldn’t mix it up by going to sleep on the sofa or sit at my desk. Frustrated me to the point of tears.

    When I’m grumpy, I either grab a cat for a cuddle and curl up in front of a comforting TV show/movie, call a friend for a coffee (without telling them I’m grumpy so they don’t try to “fix” it–that comes about by listening to their news and getting out of my own head) or going to a shop with pretty things to distract me. Something about the color of a linen store, or the smell of the produce in my local health food store soothes me.

  3. pamb

    I read a good book. (g)

    Hugs on missing The Girl. So hard. Maybe she could draw you a picture or two & her wonderful parents could mail it to you? Groom her for letters. : )

    And sometimes, I realize I need a hug. Just a real, arms-around-me hug. So I ask for one from the nearest human.

    • Barbara

      I am going to ask for those drawings!

  4. Melina

    I wish I had better advise for you, but my mid-winter doldrums have kicked in and I can only suggest chocolate and Celexa. On the other hand, I plan to march with my Bulldog in the St. Patrick’s Day parade tomorrow. That’s always a fun event. If you can get downtown to a spot where you don’t have to hike, come cheer us on. Then chocolate.

  5. Toni

    Barbara — trolling for inspiration today. Put my latest book down last August and haven’t picked it up to work on it since, but your Feb post puts that feeling into words. It all seems so crystal clear in my head, the story, but then on the page, it is like your geraniums look to you. Flat. And then I got it critiqued and then I put it away. Anyway, thanking God I re-found this blog and already have some sparks beginning to spark again or I wouldn’t be headed down this path. To terrible first writing! I was searching to see if you still do online classes, I took one many moons ago (Your last post was closed for comments :).

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