Damn today has been fairly shitty. My partner and I are both still sick, and we have been fussing at each other as if we were adversaries on opposing sides of a long-standing conflict who are forced to interact through diplomatic circumstances. Icy moments interspersed with snarling. Tears and slammed doors. The increasingly full waste baskets accumulating used tissues are a visual reminder moment-to-moment that we really are both just sick. It’s unpleasant – it’ll pass.

I thought maybe a nice dish of coffee gelato might be refreshing. I lost interest quickly; limited appetite, even after 10 days of being ill, and I’m just sort of “meh” on food. Without meaning to, I gave up cannabis at some point in the past several days… couldn’t vape. The coughing it caused was intense and painful. I might just leave it as is see how things go. (I mean… if I don’t miss it, does it matter?)

I’m pretty “meh” on any number of subjects right now. Being sick has a tendency to refocus my attention. This afternoon, my attention landed on my rather messy collection of music and video playlists, and more than any meal or flavor this really engaged me; disorder in my environment, over time, adds up to disorder in my thinking. Could just be me, but it’s a thing I know to watch out for. It was my default “Watch Later” list on YouTube that got my attention. It was woefully out-of-date, clogged with shit I’d already watched, or had lost interest in. I cleaned that up, then noticed that a particular music playlist had several tracks that had subsequently been deleted from YouTube… so… I cleaned those up, too. I noticed that my “everything” playlist (literally just all the videos I’ve liked/enjoyed/been fascinated by in one place – b-sides and one-hitters, cool visual art, just… everything) didn’t actually have all of my everything in it, any more… there were new things added to other playlists that never got saved over. I cleaned that up, too. My “favorites” playlist seemed a bit stale… so many tracks that aren’t really “favorites” at this point that should live on over on the “everything” list instead. I cleaned that up, too. As I worked from list to list, tidying up, I experienced that same surge of satisfaction and contentment that I get when I clean the bathroom, kitchen, or tidy some particular space such that everywhere I look is just… right. The details matter, when it comes to our sanity, right? πŸ™‚

I’m not saying that any of this is a cure for stress or anxiety, or in any way a substitute for proper therapy, medical care, or healthy practices generally. It isn’t. It’s more a nice addition, and something to do on a sick day when I’m feeling fussy. Well, I was feeling fussy. Now I’m mostly just chilling. A better feel for a summer Saturday. The music plays on. Videos on one monitor, and this “blank page” on the other. Part of what feels so good about self-care is simply the obvious; self-care feels good. We all want to be cared for. Sometimes I forget how easily that can start with how I care for myself. πŸ™‚

I’m also thinking ahead to my camping trip. I don’t always sleep well when I’m camping. Those wee hours of darkness and solitude are sometimes best passed with some sort of entertainment available – a good book, something to study, some music. Having all my playlists sorted and “in good working order” could be handy. One of my camping trips, I slept during the afternoons almost exclusively. I was wakeful and restless during the night, eager to hit the trail in the mornings, so it was afternoons when I took my ease and got rested. Those were long nights. LOL That location had no connectivity.

Self-care matters. What does it take to feel cared for? How much of that can I do for myself? That kind of emotional self-sufficiency doesn’t just lighten the load on our partners and friends, it also provides a level of all-over independence that reduces how easily we succumb to heartache, loneliness, or manipulation. I feel a surge of anger that I got so sick at all – I’ve got shit to do!! Places to go! Fitness to pursue! A garden to take care of! Meals I’d like to cook! I glance at the clock, keeping an eye out for timing on the next round of cold remedies to take. This will pass.

…I can tell I am at least starting to feel better; I keep wanting to do more, or to cook, or tackle a project. Attempting to respond to the inclination with real action generally still results in frustration, breaking out in a sweat, getting dizzy or woozy, and just giving myself up to the visceral reminder that yeah, I’m still sick. LOL It’s a very human experience.

…I’m so ready to begin again. πŸ™‚