I like to make plans. I make lists of steps to take to accomplish my plans, and there are so many different plans that they become a list in themselves. You might think all this leads to a long list of accomplishments, but alas no. That list is barely a list at all.
I decided this year that I was done putting off writing while the kids were doing virtual school. My plans for 2020 were extensive, but by April I’d thrown out my date book entirely. Though I am at most an assistant teacher in my kids’ classes, I am assistant teaching in two different classrooms as well as occupying a three year old, and I am a writer who prefers silence and stillness when creating. No such silence exists in this house. But, as the kids became a little more self-sufficient I started planning a novel and blogging twice a week, the most I’ve ever posted in the five years I’ve had this blog. All writing is good practice, so even if no one reads what I write or my novel is garbage (a likely possibility at this point), it’s all good practice for the next time.
So I started researching and writing and posting, and also worked on my knife skills and tried a lot of new recipes because my blog traffic increases if there’s a picture of food in the link, and also I needed to deep the clean the house because we have been living here non stop for over a year without so much as a few hours break where the vacuum lines remain perfect while the kids are in school. I started doing mild workout classes on an app for my mental health and a brief escape from the ’round the clock jobs of cook, cleaner, snack-fetcher, butt-wiper, therapist, landscaper, and so on forever. My shoulder mobility is poor — I have scar tissue from arthritis caused by a medication I took years ago, so I have been doing high reps with very light weights (also I’m just a generally weak and out of shape person who hates exercise so this is what I had the capacity for).
As a result of all these plans, I now have tendonitis in my elbow (according to the very reliable Dr Google). Unfortunately, all the plans I had involved repetitive motions mostly with my right arm — chopping, whisking, scrubbing, typing, curling, etc. The solution to tendonitis is to rest the inflamed area and just not use it at all. LOL. I could really use the Winter Soldier’s bionic arm right now, because just not using my arm is not an option. Plus, I’ve started the novel at this point and stopping for a week or two would probably convince me it’s all crap and I should scrap the entire thing (this is maybe true anyway, but I don’t want to think about it until I’m all the way finished, because otherwise I’ll just throw it on the heap of writing projects I haven’t finished — it’s okay if it’s crap as long as it’s completed crap). Also, I like cooking and can’t just stop preparing meals for my family of five. And the house is dirty, I tell you! Now that I’m in a deep-cleaning mindset I can see all the things that need to be fixed and it kills me to not have the time or the elbow mobility to fix them. I haven’t lifted weights in two weeks because just gripping the child-sized dumbbell hurts too much to pump up my child-sized biceps.
And so, I write with my arm wrapped in a bag of frozen peas. And the rest is on the back burner, because yesterday I tried to clean the grill, which is one of my least favorite tasks, and at the end my arm hurt so bad I gave up. Every time the grill gets disgusting I debate just pushing it off a cliff, but years of apartment living have given me a fondness for grilled food, the mark of a true homeowner. It will survive another year for now.
Right now, my three year old is crying next to me because I had the gall to tell her it’s not her birthday. I don’t know why she thinks it’s her birthday, but she has high expectations that involve a “Princess Peach cake.” I feel I’ve set the bar too high for myself with the previous year of cakes, and using a piping bag right now sounds like torture. Pray for me, my busted elbow, and my emotional child as she navigates this world where she only has one birthday a year and it was two months ago.