On My Way To Better

I started this post last week right after I got my first vaccination so my feelings have changed since but I thought I’d leave them here anyway. I’ll catch up later in the post.

My sweetheart and I got our first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine today and I should be elated but, weirdly I am not.

It doesn’t make any sense. I have been dreaming of this day for over a year, from the moment the WHO announced that we were in the middle of a global pandemic. Back then the idea that just a year later 40% of Americans would receive a dose of a completely new vaccine was unimaginable yet here we are. What gives?

Last weekend after we made our appointments, we booked a place in Puerto Vallarta for May to celebrate being immunized and safe(r) to travel. We dreamed about it, we planned about it, now I feel kind of resigned.

Maybe it will just take a little time to sink in.

I think I’m experiencing emotional fatigue. Everything has just been so much. The murder of the Asian women in Atlanta, the murder of ten Boulderites, the break-in … it’s getting to me.

I attended a vigil for the King Soopers shooting and I visited the site and took it all in. This is a moment in time I should be present for, but I feel numb.

Then yesterday I was scrolling on IG and I saw a horrifying video of a 65 year-old Asian woman get knocked to the ground and kicked repeatedly in the head by a random assailant as a security guard inside a building watched, and then closed the door to the violence. It haunted me.

It’s not that this is the first time I’ve seen horrible things, but this one really tore me apart. Why they all don’t tear me apart, I don’t know. They all should. They do on an intellectual level but this one is inside me.

It seems the only solution is to shut it out, which hardly seems like a solution at all. With actual gun control seeming futile – if it didn’t happen after Sandy Hook where 14 innocent children and six adults were murdered, why do we think it will happen now? – does it make sense to torture myself? Of course I will vote. Of course I will write to my representatives, but how does it serve anyone to be lost in a deep depression? I’m torn.

So I’m taking a social media break, and a news break, and a political podcast break. I have to for my own sanity. I have to figure out a way to exist.

Hugs and cat motor boating would be great.

Now it’s a week later and some optimism has slipped back into my worldview, thank god, but dang I’m tired. I had a moderate reaction to the vaccine, which was to be expected since my body already has developed an immune response. My arm was super sore for several days and I felt tired and headachy for a couple days.

Maybe it’s the good news I’ve been reading about the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine against the scary variants, or it’s the prospect of spending time on the beach with my sweetheart and my boyfriend, Steven Retchless.

Now I just need to get my kids vaccinated and I will be able to breathe easier. I get fairly regular alerts from Micah’s school about Covid exposures so it’s definitely on my mind. At least he’s got some antibodies but Casey does not and he will be returning to school in the Fall. I’ll feel a lot better once I know my family is protected.

I look for signs where I can and my drive to Fort Collins was full of them. Namely on the cars in front of me.

It was an incredibly beautiful weekend. On Friday we decided to have movie night with the housemates so I cooked my standard summer meal (grilled chicken and tofu, veggies, a big salad, and made potatoes and tahdig) and set the food out in platters for people to serve themselves.

The familiarity of cooking for others was tremendously comforting. Since it was so warm we had the doors open and my sweetheart worked in his garden, planting herbs and salad greens. Neighbors made conversation, friends stopped by to say hello, and we all happily reported on our vaccination progress. Almost everyone had at least one shot. There was something about the late day light, the breeze blowing through the house, the smell of food on the grill, and sacrament of sharing a meal that made me feel like myself again.

I remember the time after my first divorce when I abruptly went from being the center of a robust community that met regularly and ate the food I prepared, to being just me and Lonny. We, too, suffered a disaster during that time, his house caught fire and it took a year-and-a half to rebuild.

I remember the isolation but also the bonding during that time. It is when Casey was conceived. We rebuilt the home, started a family, and nurtured a new community. For a while we had a beautiful life … I think. Memory plays tricks and often I don’t know what is real. My phone likes to remind me that “on this day 10 years ago” things looked perfect. We’re they? It’s such a mindfuck.

There are many parallels between that time and this time. It isn’t a bad thing, quite the contrary. I see myself rebuilding and I know the potential. This time however, I want to grow together with my partner, to build relationships and rituals that keep us connected. I don’t want to find myself here again when I am 66.

While I was doing this, my boys were camping with the Scouts at Shelf Road, a well-known climbing area in southwest Colorado. A good time was had by all.

We took part in our usual Saturday routine of sleeping in, doing errands downtown (I was on the hunt for a belt from a thrift store) and then stopped for lunch on the patio of Jeju.

Does he know I take pictures of him in his sleep and post them? Beats me. Privacy is but an illusion anyway.

Again I return to my other life in Boulder feeling happy, loved, and relaxed. These days I’m especially happy because I admitted to my sweetheart that while I love being with him in his home, I miss the beauty of my house, the color, and the care that went into creating the space.

He lost furniture and decorations in his split and hasn’t been motivated to replace anything. He settled into a bachelor existence with his housemate and didn’t give much thought to his surroundings.

It seemed that my comment lit a fire under him and he’s been on a mission to make his home feel more hospitable. I appreciate it more than words can express and I am enjoying collaborating on creating a new look. In both my marriages I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make horror movie posters and clown paintings fit into my vision of a warm and artistic home, which is why I loved having full artistic license in my own house.

This experience is different … neither an exercise in extreme compromise (because I really hate clowns – not because I think they are scary or have an irrational fear, but because they are ugly, they are supposed to be – and horror movie posters) or me just doing what I want. This is an actual conversation, a merging of taste and an expression of opinions that are respected. We work to find something we both like. I can get what I want by asking for it rather than waiting for someone to go out of town. While that worked to get things done, I can’t imagine it felt great for Lonny to have the rug pulled out from under him, even though he usually came to like the changes I made. It was sneaky and a little stressful for me. I’d rather not have to use subterfuge to get things done.

I’m determined to make this mural happen in our room, though.

Meanwhile in Boulder I am getting my weekly walks with Tabby in now that she isn’t tending to daily plumbing disasters on the farm. I must say that I love the curtness of our communication.

She’s a woman of few words and that’s fine.

Oh, I also got in to see a physical therapist about my bum shoulder. It turns out that I have early stage frozen shoulder.

Lauren had it really bad, she couldn’t lift her arm at all. My therapist said I could get my mobility back with range of motion exercises, massage, and regular stretching, but it will likely take at least a year to restore my movement. Severe cases require surgery and injections. Yikes.

Let’s hear it for e-stim.

Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming. I hope everyone is doing okay.

2 thoughts on “On My Way To Better

    • Me too! He’s been producing his own one-many shows and has been getting rave reviews. I think he’s launching a drag show the week before we arrive so we will get to see him on stage. The theater he performs in is really great, it will be so much fun. Plus a beach day with ceviche and seafood salads, pie vendors, and gay nightlife. I can’t wait!

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