I was feeling pretty foul yesterday. To be honest, I’m still not right. Hormones. You all understand how everyone else is wrong, I am terribly persecuted, and I’m living with a bunch of selfish pigs whose mission in life is to make me unhappy? Glad we have that settled.
So, I waited until everyone’s back was turned and I sneaked off by myself. I went out on the porch – the one we’re scraping and sanding and painting – and I put in a couple of hours. I have dreams of a haint blue ceiling, hanging ferns, and paint that isn’t peeling. It’ll take a while. There’s a lot of detail – spindles, spindles, spindles and that fussy dental woodwork.
My people found me soon enough, but there’s nothing like the threat of hard work on a beautiful sunny day to scare away little boys and my solitude was soon returned to me.
And it was the best I’d felt in a couple of days. Monotonous work, done alone, whose doing makes a visible difference, is apparently my happy place. Hard, repetitive, manual labor, especially outdoors, zones me out in the most pleasant way. I need to remember this good medicine.
And, while my instinct is to hide when I feel this terrible, to not inflict myself too much on those around me, and to stew in my own pity party, it is good to be available and approachable to my people.
As I sat cutting in under a window, my children came to me with a baby bird they’d found. We had a brief lesson on robins and how to determine whether an animal actually needs help, and letting nature do her thing. At the time I resented the intrusion, but in hindsight I’m glad to have been so easily accessible to these excited, compassionate children. And they will remember that I was there.