As an exercise in not sitting about feeling dank and desolate over my reproductive capabilities, I decided to list my blessings this morning.
This could also be fever-induced optimism – a sort of hallucination of rosiness brought on by an excess of throat sweets even – as I am still glowing like an old-fashioned electric three-bar heater. For example, I spent yesterday baking soda-bread and making ice-cream, which even H thought was odd behaviour for someone whose thermometer seems determined on 100F. Since when is can-do optimism a side-effect of a bad sore throat? I know cocaine used to be a common ingredient of throat lozenges, but really, in Britain? In 2007? I can only conclude the part of my brain I use for being gloomy with has melted in the heat.
Anyway, blessings. Lots and lots of blessings.
- Fighting with H. We do have the odd silly row, and the odder silly rows about the fact we’ve had this silly row seventeen times this year that seems to grow out of any given silly row, which disintegrates into a messy row about communication styles just about the time I’m on my third tissue of frustrated weeping and H is starting to look shell-shocked. But we don’t really let rows fester, and do tend to work grimly through the mire until firm ground is reached. Whereapon, usually, we retreat to the bedroom (heh heh). While it can, at the time, bring on extreme feelings of hopelessness and the occasional swear-fest (uh, sorry about those), I have lately been given to thinking about other couples I know and the way THEY row, the endless refusals to explain why they are sulking, the grudges, the name-calling, the weeks of petty sniping, and I feel quite smug. Because while H may be prone to manly fits of inarticulacy and sulking, and I may be prone to ranting in an extremely articulate and wildly exaggerated manner, neither of us hold grudges, name-call (err, well, I did a couple of bad times call H an idiot in vigorous and impolite language, but I was very sorry afterwards), or refuse to discuss the issue. So.
- H generally. I have no idea why I love him so much. I could rationally list his kindness, his patience, his sense of humour, his brains, his lovely hair, his general sexiness, his putting up with me, but even I in the depths of my adoration know that there are other kind, funny, sweet, sexy, patient men out there. But they’re not this one. This one is special because he just is. As Elizabeth Barret Browning wrote:
If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,
‘I love her for her smile – her look – her way
Of speaking gently,- for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’ –
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee – and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.
*Ahem*. Moving swiftly away from this scene of unprecedented soppiness.
- Going back to school in September, to do my MA. There are many (idiotic, neurotic) reasons why I am absolutely terrified of this, mostly to do with fear of failure, fear of new people, and fear of not enjoying it after all. But when I can get over myself for five minutes together and think like an adult, I have already received several large lumps of validation – I was accepted onto the course (which is highly over-subscribed, and somewhat prestigious), I was given a bursary by my work-place to do said course (so some people clearly have a lot of faith in my abilities). And I like academic study. And I will be so darn busy, studying full-time and working part-time, that swooning about in the Slough of Despond simply won’t be an option. It takes time to work up a good despairing swoon. (I have no illusions that I won’t be stressed, though. I’m an idiot, but not a fool).
- My mother can afford to send me to fancy-dan alternative doctors. The jury is still out on whether the fancy-dan medicines are doing anything at all except complicating my morning schedule, but it is nice that my mother, after years and years of money-trouble, can happily afford this, and cares enough to lavish it on me.
- Most of my family do not suck. Or are learning not to suck. Or I don’t so much care if they suck.
- We may not be able to buy a house at the moment, but the flat we rent is charming (if dilapidated) and the area we live in is really so very nice that it is a major reason why we can’t afford to buy a house here. But we are getting to revel in the niceness while we wait for the possibility of affordable mortgage.
- I have very few friends. But the friends I do have are simply splendid.
- I am very good at knitting. Knitting is kinda cool these days, so I am suddenly kinda cool. And it is good for the shredded nerves and bruised heart to have at least one thing one is happily bone-deep-sure one is very good at. Also, my winter socks fit perfectly and look very cute. Also also, so do my sister’s, my aunt’s, my mother’s, my step-mother’s, my father’s and my husband’s.
- I love reading. God knows, I pity people who don’t.
- I am a good cook. So many of my friends and relations simply aren’t. Some of them even try hard to be good cooks and somehow mess up a lot anyway. As they are intelligent and capable people with a better sense of planning and timing than me, I can only assume that cookability must be at least partly innate, and I am lucky and can’t possibly take it for granted.
- My hair was pretty even when it was thinning and being oddly oily at the roots and brittle at the ends. Now that it seems to be getting over all that hormone-induced hiccoughery, it is beautiful. So bloody there.
- I like my job. I like my colleagues. I even feel vaguely fond of Most Annoying Colleague, whose heart is in the right place – though please God don’t ever let me have to use his desk, as I might, just might, be unable to refrain from gagging at the idea of putting my bottom where his bottom goes.
At this point, my coherency chip started to sizzle. It is definitely time for more Throat Comfort tea (incidentally, this tea belongs to a range whose manufacturers like putting little improving messages on the tea-bag tag. There’s nothing for puncturing a sunny bubble like being patronised by a tea-bag), so I will go now and watch rubbish day-time telly and see if I can find any knitting simple enough not to screw up. And drink the damn’ tea, because it does actually help for, ooh, up to twenty minutes.
Yours in an insufferably chirpy and yet decidedly unwell state,