The weather forecast promised snow last night, but there was only sleet. It was gone this morning; a mostly-melted scattering. The faintest hint of white left behind, as though someone had breathed with cold breath on the grass.
It is a miserable kind of cold today, not the killing kind, which is my favourite, with its brittle webs strung in the hedges like Christmas ornaments, and its treacherous silver streets. Today has been simply damp, the sort of cold that makes everything seem heavy and grey, and the sky look like sodden laundry.
Everyone talking about diets in the office today, and food. How many calories are in this or that, what range of numbers constitutes a healthy BMI. I sit quietly, knowing the answers to each and every question almost before it’s asked, marvelling at my hard-won knowledge, my dietary omniscience. I am the guru of loss and lack, of metabolic rates and mysterious acronyms: BMI, BMR, RDA...
I miss therapy today. From nowhere this morning, when I was looking out of the window at the wide, wet sky, I thought suddenly of Jane, and Thursday afternoons with a sudden longing. I miss Jane’s smile and her kindness. I miss the colourless hospital corridors and the waiting room with its moulded chairs and pink floral art-print. I miss that feeling of leaving somewhere lighter, unburdened. Mostly, I miss the way our words would fill the room and, touched by light, make a sudden, certain sense.
At least I have my writing. (How do other people do this? Stay connected without words?). I write diary entries, I write blogs. I work on the fiction project, and the memoir; I write down scraps of thought that might be or become poems at some point. And I’m getting better, all the time. I’d write anyway, simply for love of the act itself; that it is also healing and balancing and a source of calm and pride is a phenomenal extra.
I still feel a little out of sorts – cranky,and anxious – but on the whole, I’m much more engaged and so much calmer than I was before Christmas. Sometimes a bump in the road doesn’t mean that a crash must follow, but only that you need to correct your steering. My hands are at ten and two again for the first time in weeks, and I am consciously filling my days with moments and objects of beauty the way I was towards the end of therapy when I was focused, and committed to my health and wellbeing. I bought pink tulips at the weekend, lit a million tealights and watched Les Miserables (which was breathtaking; I wept and wept). I put on a new crisp white bed cover. I aired the mattress, burned scented candles and cleaned the carpet with a cool blue freshener so that by the time I’d finished, the room looked beautiful and smelt pretty and flowery and clean.
Keep doing this. Keep refocusing. Keep the people and things around me that are conducive to my happiness, that mean, for me, a measure of joy or contentment. Keep working on my goals, on creating, on making things beautiful, on communicating. Keep working full-stop, because there is pride and self-worth in it.