I’m sitting here with a blank “page” in front of me, doing my daily mental scrounge for a blog topic. A reader wants me to write about Grief and Peace, and I will because it’s a great topic, but I need to put it off for a while. Although I’ve been fine during the day, I felt a bit sad the past couple of nights. I’m feeling emotionally neutral at the moment, and I want to keep it that way, so I’m staying away from blogs and books that might turn what was a tiny dent of sadness into a sinkhole of despondency.
For most of my life, I read a book a day. The only vacation from reading I ever took were six or seven years after Jeff died. I started out reading as always, but every book I read set me off on a crying jag. Either a couple got together, which made me sad because Jeff and I were no longer together. Or the couple didn’t get together, which made me sad since Jeff and I were no longer together. Or people died. Whatever happened in a novel — be it gruesome or horrifying, mysterious or charming — set me off, so I stopped reading fiction and didn’t start again until I was housebound after I destroyed my wrist, arm, and elbow. (Which, incidentally, are doing well. Although there is some pain that could be the beginning of the post traumatic arthritis the surgeon promised me, I have full mobility of the wrist though he said I never would. But that was before he understood I would do the exercises he gave me. It shocked him, I think, because he told me almost no one ever did what he asked them to do.)
I am back to reading a book a day, but occasionally one of those endings — togetherness, apartness, or death — get to me. This time it was the togetherness, and I felt sorry for myself at being alone. Not that I mind. I generally prefer being by myself, but sometimes . . . sometimes it does get to me.
It’s not that I want a relationship. I don’t. And I certainly wouldn’t know what to do with a relationship if one came my way. It’s more that the relationship I did have has become nothing more than me talking to photograph.
I’m over that sad spell, probably because I talked it out. (Jeff was always a good listener, but he seems to be even more so now.) To be on the safe side, I made sure all the books I got from the library yesterday were emotionally neutral mysteries or thrillers. (Emotionally neutral because none of those authors ever make me care about their characters.) I’m also writing an emotionally neutral blog today and will save the Grief and Peace piece for another day.
Speaking of going to the library: a couple of times I left without getting a slip that tells me the due date, and both of those times, something happened so that I had to contact the library to make sure everything was okay. The librarian and I joked about that yesterday, and guess what? I left without getting a due date receipt. I sure hope that doesn’t mean there will be a problem because that would sure put a dent in my emotionally neutral day.
One thing did happen that tipped the neutrality a bit — I harvested a few cherry tomatoes! Delicious.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator