As readers of this column may have gathered, I was given a timely reminder last month regarding the human condition. A mistaken operation led to an opportunistic infection and a hospital stay. There has been home time accompanied by medication, pain, and boredom.
There has also been attention from a governmental agency that suggests any real need that one may have will probably not be met. The agencies will churn and burn, but the chief product will be salaries for their employees and reports for their bosses. The patients they are tasked to help will get better or not, independent of any real help.
If you are laid up you miss going out, doing things, or participating in life. It rankles. There is only so much that you can do on a screen, even if you are an inveterate scribbler like myself. Eventually you long to take out the garbage and get a haircut – it may not sound like conquering Everest, but it is…
This week I started driving again. Slowly and carefully, but that is how I roll anyway. The little round of the shops, barber, and bank were a positive pleasure – so much so that I was courteous to the pests in the shopping mall who wanted to bail me up for promotions. That’s how much I have changed.
I daresay I’ll get blasé about it again in a few weeks, but right now I am appreciating life pretty well.
The week in the armchair has been productive. The leg heals, the mobility increases slightly, and there is no lowering horizon – save a growing list of things that I want to get done once I can stand. I think there is going to have to be some prioritization in the jobs list for a while.
If this sounds a little Pollyanna-ish you must forgive me. I won’t make myself better by worrying about what I might have troubles with – I’ll do far better to do what can be done and be pleased with that. To this end I watched pointedly useful YouTube shows all the week.
I also reorganised on paper what the rest of the year might look like. Sitzenzeit is good for that…if you can be honest with your plans and get a balance between wanna-do and canna-do. I suspect that there are a lot of times in the past when a week spent in the hangar would have led to some better flights of fancy afterwards.
One thing that hangar time forces you to do is to ask what it is you actually want to do in the future. If there are activities and ambitions that have been rather marginal in the past…but you’ve stuck to them from a sense of inertia…you have an opportunity to decently step away from them. You can streamline the wing load by unhooking the unwanted ordnance – without the necessity to drop it dramatically on someone.
The other thing that happens is you find out how many times that you go out on the road to the shops to spend money or some reason. When you can’t walk , you can’t drive, and you can’t go out and spend money. It is a bit of a shock to realise that this has not lowered your standard of living for the week. Or perhaps you are brought to the realisation that the book, bed, armchair, and convenient toilet are as high a standard as you really need – and the designer platinum-coated egg whisker that is being offered for a fabulous discount may not be for you.
I have not yet given in to the temptation of on-line shopping. I may advocate it or others, but I realise the danger of it for the bored or unfulfilled. I can wait.
Starting on a second week of home confinement under sentence from the doctor and chemist…I have been inspired to a brilliant idea.
Up until now I have been cooped in a chair that has an electric light behind it for reading. This is fine with a paper book and a cup of cocoa on a winter’s night but makes a sad yellow mess of trying to see a reflective iPad screen in the daylight.
Then I looked at the location more closely – right beside a main picture window. A simple tug of the blinds swivels them around and in comes filtered daylight. The screen is not yellowed nor overborne. And there will be a definite demarkation throughout the day…not just one dim twilight.
As well, I can now sticky beak the neighbours, though I am sorry to say that they are all respectable. None of them sunbake nude on the verge and most keep the bathroom curtains drawn.
On a different level, is this not a metaphor for life? Open the curtains to the sunlight and use natural light to satisfy your curiosity. Then make notes for later blackmail. Alfred Hitchcock had something going for him…