Tuesday morning, another in a string of lovely days. It seems serene out. The door to the garden is open through which I can hear birds gently tweet. The sunlight today seems to have a glow to it. A clock ticks.
I’ve been out and back this morning. I deposited some cheques to mum’s account and inquired about closing it, but need the death certificate. At my bank I had a bank cheque made out to pay for the funeral catering. Popping into the supermarket for a couple of things I bumped into one of mum’s friends from Probus who had come to the funeral last week. Back here I rang the funeral directors to query an account, then received a call from someone seeking news on the fucking will. I’ve paid bills and cancelled accounts and slowly bringing things into order.
I’ve felt quite aimless the last few days. I’ve tried to impose some semblance of order on my life hoping that would help. Through all the ructions moving home and dealing with mum’s illness and death many of my small routines fell by the wayside. I ate erratically, sometimes much, sometimes little, often more unhealthily than I am accustomed to these days, and at odd times. I’ve probably lost more weight than I’ve gained, but it’s probably yo-yo’d 3-4 kgs in the space of a few weeks.
On top of that I normally exercise each day, but that has been a rare occurrence in recent weeks. It probably wasn’t a big deal when I was shifting house – I was too bone tired to exercise – but I feel unhealthy and uncomfortable without it, and in recent times sluggish – thanks no doubt to the erratic diet, and the cortisone I’m on.
These are a couple of obvious things, but in reality just about every aspect of my lifestyle has been disrupted and turned upside down. Much of what I miss now I must do without for months. There’s little I can do about that for now. What I can control is my diet and exercise, and so I’ve attempted to re-assert those routines, exercising much as I did before, and looking to eat more healthily and regularly. That’s tougher in an unfamiliar kitchen and with everything going on, but it will come.
While that sounds sensible the fact is it’s a very little thing. A couple of feeble routines don’t a life make. And in reality much of what I am going through is independent of anything I can do. I struggle against it of course by getting busy, but there’s a part of you that is perfectly aware that you’re whistling to keep the ghosts at bay.
On Saturday I woke up and wondered what I should be doing. Back at ‘home’ that was never a question – there was always more to do than time available. Here, alone, rattling around in mum’s big, empty house I had to create something. That afternoon I tagged along with my sister to Doncaster Shoppingtown. That was an experience. As malls go Doncaster is at the premium end, all marble and high end shops (amid the $2 shops) and grand piano’s. It’s the mall I would go to most often when I was a kid, but nothing remains of that version.
I spent 5 hours wandering around without seeing daylight. The world may have ceased exist outside and I wouldn’t have known it. It killed time for me though. I bought a couple of little things, browsed the lovely gourmet shops, and poked around in some of the more boutquey places. I watched the crowd too, well to do in general, though very suburban to my inner-city eyes.
That night I went to my sister’s to lounge in her big bathtub before sharing a lovely meal of roast beef with her and the kids. Returning here I watched a great game of footy. Next morning I went out to have a cooked breakfast, looking to recreate part of my life. The day after degenerated into playing Civilisation V on the Mac for a good 8 hours straight. It’s the intellectual equivalent of smoking dope, and I felt quite guilty afterwards.
Yesterday was the flattest of my days here. I woke and didn’t know what I should do. For the most part I didn’t feel bad, just dulled. I’m slowly recovering my strength after a very fatiguing month, but this was something different. I was not tired, rather I felt as if I had been unplugged and left to run down. My emotions hovered around the midpoint with barely anything registering above it, but a number of sudden troughs appearing. I’m not sure why it embarasses me, but a few times tears came to my eyes, and once I cried.
I cry for mum, but mostly the tears are for myself – what I am reminded of, what I miss and know I will have to do without, what I have lost, and what I don’t know. Doubtless there is a good mix of self-pity in there too. I’m sure it’s quite normal to be this way, especially in my extreme situation – probably more than normal. Still I struggle against it, struggle to assert that self image that has me strong and forever in control. I am those things, I feel strong, I remain in control, my ability to cope is undiminished – but I am frail too in aspects. I understand it and excuse it, but remain resistant. Silly though, like being ashamed of getting wet in a rainstorm.
Today I am better. I grind on. Each day I’ll shift up to another cog. There are things to do, and I do them. Though my mind is not in it I’ve set myself to return to the studies I put aside 7 weeks ago. That will feel strange, but necessary. I am out tonight and tomorrow, and probably Thursday too. Sunday night I fly out.