Would it surprise you if I told you that the one thing I wished for this year was a vacation? A real vacation, lasting at least two weeks. I know vacations don't solve anything, but there is a sense of rest and renewal and recharge that I simply can't find at home. I feel like I haven't truly rested in weeks. There are moments, sure, but even so. The house is still there, the groceries that need doing and the laundry that needs folding and so on. It's not that I'm always doing these things, but.. they're there. Staring at me. Annoying me.
Then Covid hit and for the most part I accepted that this year it just wouldn't happen. I'd try to find my calm here. We have a big new house, that's got to count for something. And it does. And yet it doesn't.
Thursday night I realised that I'd been feeling pretty crappy for a while now and if I wanted to feel better, I'd have to take an actual break. In theory, I take Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends off, but in actuality, I tend to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a lot of hanging around on my phone on those days. Things that still wear me out. So I decided that I'd put my phone away as much as I could and I would do nothing for a long weekend. I wouldn't draw or plan or anything of the like. I would only rest. Since the weather was quite hot, I spent most of it hanging around the backyard. Sometimes talking to the cat. A few minutes of an audiobook here and there. I was bored out of my mind but I got through the day. By the evening I'd only clocked 30 minutes on my phone and most of that was probably turning the audiobook on and off. The only real thing I did is spend 30 minutes doing a Pilates for Fibromyalgia workout which is rumoured to help with pain relief if done twice a week over a period of 12 weeks. And we had another barbeque, which was quite good!
By the evening I felt listless yet tired and my head and body still ached. The everpresent tension still everywhere. I made plans to go for a walk with my parents today and looked forward to seeing the woods, or what counts as woods here, again. Walking is important for fibromyalgia and I hadn't been able to do much of it this week. But I barely got any rest last night and despite how minor the workout was, I haven't recovered from it today. I'm more tired than I was yesterday, despite the rest. And my initial resolve to spend all weekend resting gone. Because if a whole day of rest amounted to nothing, then why bother trying so hard at it? It's manageable when you can believe that this rest, this taking away of things from yourself, will turn out to be giving yourself a better gift. But shunning anything that makes the day pass? Why bother if it doesn't do any good? Because to tell you the truth, these days everything feels like groundhog day. Everything is a long stretching nothingness. With nothing of interest. Nothing different. Everything is the same. Every day is the same. And nothing changes. This is the cycle of chronic illness, I am well aware. But knowing that doesn't make it easy enough when I find myself on this part of it.
I saw then, today, that my brother is on vacation. My brother who informed me that I could (and should) make my own mask and wear it everywhere far before masks were common here (and they are still only common in public transport, nowhere else). He's on vacation. Hanging around in a pool. On a sunny hillside, overlooking a valley. And I am here. In this sameness. The garden we planted has mostly died. But I stay here. Safe and responsible. Unable to do anything else. Even him, I thought. Even he can say, fuck it, I deserve to enjoy myself and take such a risk and I felt more dejected than ever. Am I the only one on lockdown here? Or just me and everyone else who has as little energy left over as I do? So I tried to do the one thing that can distract me from the world. That can make me feel at peace. But my hand trembled too much to trace the lines of my sketch onto the paper. The effort of holding and moving the pencil too great. So today there is not even that. Today there is only nothing.
I know this veil will lift. Thursday I will go to my friends for bookclub. No matter how exhausted I am or in how much pain. I have to. That'll be the first time I leave the house and this town for a social visit since April. Maybe that'll recharge me just a bit.