It was Monday. It was a gorgeous fall day with the sun out and the wind blowing the slightly changing leaves across the neighborhood. And I was on the couch with the dog. I stayed there most of the day. I had intended to go run, doing our two mile loop up on top of the Rims, but I had hit a wall. Not physically, even though we’d hiked twice over the weekend and done some good outdoors work, but emotionally.
Partly, it was due to waking up to the news about the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I made my first trip there last spring and was just stunned at the scale and the volume of people on the streets. I’m not the first or last to talk about the horrors that unfolded there Sunday night. But it hit me in the gut and I just shut down for a while. I found myself staring at the news, at my phone, at Facebook and Instagram watching everyone post about it. I checked in a with a few friends who had connections there. They were all safe, but some friends of friends were hurt. I sank further into the couch. The dog came and slept on my legs. It was as if he was saying “Just stay put here. It’s ok.” So we sat. We sat and sat. I changed the channel around 10am to a movie that I wasn’t watching. I plugged in my phone to charge it as I’d already sapped the battery. I half heartedly looked up some recipes for the focaccia bread I’d promised Dan I’d bake that day before dinner. I printed some out. I procrastinated.
Then around 2pm, I realized that if I didn’t start baking the focaccia, it would never get done in time for dinner, since it needed several hours and rounds of rising to happen. So I got up and picked the simplest (i.e., the recipe that didn’t mean I had to go to the store for a different flour than I have at home) and got to work. I put the dough together easily and put it in a warm oven to rise. I’d done very little so far, and was still in my pajamas. I still didn’t feel like leaving the house, but I went out to get the mail from the box and to bring the trash can in from the curb. It was something.
I went in and at least washed my face and brushed my teeth. It was something. I felt better. I put on real pants (no bra, still, because, c’mon, they’re awful). I puttered and did some dishes. It was something. I put on a movie I didn’t really have to watch. I started researching writer’s retreats I could apply for, since the one I’d put my hopes in back in July had sent me a rejection on Sunday. I found a few that had deadlines that had just passed. Bummed, but OK with it, since I saved myself $70 in application fees I guess.
The bread timer went off and I went and did the next step. It was behaving OK and that made me feel good. I went and got fresh rosemary from the garden for the topping. It was the first time I’d put on shoes that day. The dog was feeling like fetching for a bit, so we did that.
The bread turned out great and dinner was good with leftover soup from Sunday. Dan came home from a long day on the road and we sat down to dinner together. We missed the entire evening news cycle. I broke the news about Tom Petty. It was kind of somber.
So I went the whole day and didn’t work out. But I felt OK by the time we went to bed. I did some small things that helped my mental state. Ended up with some good bread. Had a slow day watching something or other that I’ll forget, and set a plan for doing something better today.
It was something. I’m trying to be ok with “something.”