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Under the weather

Weather took a sharp turn last week – on Wednesday, ceaseless snow refreshing what had become (in places) rather dirty, icy slush, covering everything in a good layer of fresh, crunchy white. From Thursday on, almost non-stop rain. So by lunchtime, most of the snow had disappeared; by evening the stream was flooded with snow melt; by Friday there was pretty much no sign there had ever been snow here. (Except a little on the hilltops. I’m impressed at how much lasted there, actually – even now.)

Flood! None of this should be wet. It’s coming from the stream (left) that’s normally a tiny trickle about a metre below ground level.

So I can at least go running again (of course others never stopped, but they have better shoes; I’ve found even walking a bit dangerous). But the prospect of another week of rain is not great. It’s so dark. The snow days were dark too but at least they were pretty; this is very gloomy. Especially in a house with inadequate lighting. (We suck. There has been some good excuse for the delay – broken hand, lockdown, other pressing priorities at times when those didn’t apply – but still, this is ridiculous. At this point I just assume we’ll be living in the dark until spring, so it really is the gloomiest winter.)

Running has to happen quite urgently because yoga alone is not enough to get me ski fit (though the combo a lot better than running alone). And plague allowing, we’ll be skiing in a month. I’m not actually looking forward to this, partly because I’m very out of condition and partly because… well, skiing is scary. Awesome, but scary. And I am not keen on feeling physically insecure at the same time as I’m so emotionally insecure.

I happened to find an old diary yesterday – almost two decades old – and what struck me was, firstly, how very much better my handwriting used to be. I mean wow. It was actually good. The deterioration of my writing in a digital age is a source of great sorrow. (And my kids have strong Opinions about it. They’re absolutely right, it’s barely legible. Shocking. But what do I write other than shopping lists?) Anyway more interesting of course was seeing that the issues I was grappling with then were largely the same as now, only now is more pressing. At that time the hardship in my life was mostly external (other people’s issues and how they affected me) but the questions on my mind were still, what am I for? What is the point of me? I.e. how do I create a work life that’s rewarding and meaningful? At this point obvs I’d settle for pretty much any work life. I’m slightly over the idea of finding meaning through work. I mean it would be nice, but just doing something I’m reasonably good at with pleasant colleagues, that’s fine too. Meaning doesn’t have to come from paid work, does it. And yet the absence of work does feel a lot like the absence of purpose.

* In #Not52recipes news: I can report that pizza beans were a hit with everyone except the smallest, even though none of us are big beans fans and I didn’t have any mozzarella, so they weren’t all that cheesy. Similarly, last night’s twice-baked potatoes (with two different fillings, it’s a pleasingly versatile meal model) were very popular but M left most of the cheesy filling.

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