Now, actually in the morning!
^^^My next-door neighbor’s house. I have the nicest, coolest neighbors on this street!
I need to get back to moving the photos, since I found that I posted a lot more photos in 2014 than I expected. The nice part of this was reliving my first visit to the Oregon coast at Pam’s cabin – it was maybe the best travelogue that I ever did. It was organized around this poem that was posted in front of a house in Portland. The bad part was that I know that afterwards I was falling apart. I was drinking so much that I almost got taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, and I lost that awesome purple fedora that I am wearing in some of the photos. Instead of writing about my pain and grieving, I either posted nothing or I posted a visual journal photo, so you won’t see any of that on the blog. I was furious with my husband. I was helping to clean out my mother’s house, and that was major. My sister did most of the work since she was retired. Between the emotional anguish and the allergies from dealing with packed mildewy mousy closets, deciding what to keep and what we had to let go, it was a rough time for both of us.
That’s why I was avoiding 2014. It dredged up a lot of memories of grief, anger, and shame. 2020 was very, very bad, but other than my wonderful trips out west, ordinary life in 2014 was worse. I did not cope with it well at all. I think that it is important to acknowledge that now.
One reason that I’ve thought of this time lately is because I have cut down on my drinking so much. I figured that I would want to drink more alcohol during the pandemic, when the opposite happened. Occasionally I will have two beers in one evening, but usually I have one beer around 5:30 and then I don’t want another. Sometimes I don’t drink any alcohol at all. I used to drink a lot at home. Sandy hardly drinks at all any more and he has never drank at home much. I enjoy my porters and stouts and dark ales, and I talk a lot about Smithwick’s red ale, which I consider to be a little taste of heaven. Surprise! I am more of a social drinker than I thought.
As bad as it has been, I am actually much better as far as my mental and physical health goes than I have been at other times of my life. The years 2002-04, 2007-08, and 2014 come to mind right off the bat. Sandy mentioned one time that he and I are actually well suited in personality to deal with having to stay home. That is somewhat true, in a way. I am not the kind of person who needs to go out much around town. When I’m in Greensboro, I mostly stay home or go to work. Sandy and I miss going out to eat in restaurants, but we still get take-out once or twice a week. My biggest grief has been missing the art retreats and big travel trips that were my sanity savers.
I thought that working from home and not being able to get my monthly massage was going to be murder on my back. I have actually been in much less pain because I have a good office chair and I get up and walk around a lot more frequently. When my back does hurt, I can lay down flat on my bed for a hour and that usually does the trick. My neck pain is almost completely gone these days – I need to knock wood here – and I don’t remember the last time my neck hurt. So I will be very reluctant to go back to the office on a regular basis.
I do need to get more exercise and I’m going to try harder to make that happen. My hips are getting stiff again.
It looks like from the timelines I have seen posted that I am in this for the long haul, unless my high cholesterol is considered heart disease, and my BMI crosses the line of obesity (I stopped weighing myself – it may have by now) I will likely be in the very LAST group to get the vaccine. Wow. But I accept that. At least I won’t have to worry so much about other people being sick or contagious.
Okay. Back to finishing the 2014 posts and moving on with the day.