Deep in It
What's going on TNG? Do we still have your favorite writing on all the shit we don't talk about in our daily lives? Well, yes. We're just not on a weekly schedule right now. I won't speak for Nikki, but things got challenging for me when the school year started again. I work in higher ed communications, beholding me not so much to an academic calendar but a recruiting one. It's been long hours and demanding work, but I count myself fortunate to be doing work I love with people I love being with.
There are other things, too. Physically, I feel worse than I have in a few years. I've let my diet lapse, so gleaming donuts and powdery biscuits work their way back into my meals. Candy galore. When I find myself stressed, I revert back to my 10-year-old self getting high on Hersey's. I skip lunches and wonder why I'm drained. It's like I forget this fragile machine needs care, so I neglect exercise; I haven't seen the inside of a yoga studio in months.
The result is nothing critical. I'm rundown. Sluggish. Sort of disconnected, hovering just above my life, swooping down to scratch off tasks on my to do lists, but otherwise disengaged with the real nitty gritty of living and caring for my earthly self. I'm stiff, my joints hurt, and I've been constipated for at least 9 months. Y'all, it ain't pretty.
Sometimes, it feels like all this work to be okay is just too much. Getting to stasis requires Herculean effort. Yoga classes, meal prep, mantras, affirmations taped to my bathroom mirror, walks in nature, organic everything, rock-sized supplements. A cacophony of wellness bombarding my every moment. I can't keep up.
And there are other, bigger things. My grandfather is dying. Someday I will write about the complicated feelings I have for this exceptionally complicated man, but today is for the less complicated part: he raised me. He taught me to fish, took me camping, provided the stable reassurance of a home governed by daily routine. He chose me as his favorite, gave me the gift of expectations he'd place on a boy, and always let me stay in his home when I had no where else to go.
He called last night and said in his matter-of-fact way, "Jamie, I got the cancers." He has an almost comically thick Midwestern accent that near 40 years in Florida has not diminished. Encountering my grandpa's browned, gnarled, workman's body is like finding an ancient, thick-trunked tree in the forest - we can't imagine the landscape without it. As the rest of us panic, he says calmly, "We have to take life on life's terms, and life has given me a lot."
So, I am broken apart. I'm deep in the struggle part of life, more ebbing than flowing.
But, I'm also committed to writing here, the longer simmering between posts meaning that what we do put up has the richness of an essay given time to mature.
Love to all of you, friends.