When it snows, it forces the majority of the population to stay indoors, to cancel plans, and to slow down. It forces many to be in close quarters with others. Company is welcome, but not the one you have.
I realize as I type this that I, in this moment, do not appreciate the company that I keep. The truth is, there is so very little to appreciate in the way of this company. They’re all in a foul mood, flipping everyone off left and right and yet I yearn for something else, someone else, but not to live with or necessarily speak with, but just to be around. We’re social animals after all.
Enter: The brother, the surgeon. He has 24 hours to be at home before being whisked away in a sheath of white, his white coat.
He is someone who is my kin, who I can live with, but is also someone I hardly ever see or converse with. So I stopped what I was doing, in the other wing of the house, away from my parents, to serve my brother food and to chat it up for the duration of his eating. I got my mother to take in an earful, rarely getting out a word from her, while she was having a sorry excuse for a lunch: two pieces of not so much toasted as warmed up toast. I try not to get locked into the comparison trap of what the other woman in the house is eating as compared to what I eat.
Although, yesterday was the first time I saw her order off the “lighter menu” at one of those God forsaken chain restaurants she favors and then not even eating half of that.
Comparison may not be verbalized, but it sure is internalized against my better judgment.
My brother was unsurprisingly quiet, releasing bits and bobs of acknowledgement between swallows and sometimes throwing out his characteristically exasperated, “why” and unflinchingly annoying “I don’t know - you choose.”
The white outside is seeping into the crevices of window panes and shutter slits. The brightness had woken me up around 4 in the morning and continued to taunt me until I ultimately got out of bed before 6 am on a Saturday, exactly one week before Christmas Eve. Better for me because I get to mill around the house as some form of cardio before anyone became privy. Not better for me because the lack of routine and hustle on weekends that I hate with an undying passion, feels prolonged.
The saving grace is that one-liner from the Bracebridge Dinner episode from Gilmore Girls. I paraphrase: there’s no such thing as a quick minute because a minute is always sixty seconds.
Well, the same goes for there being no such thing as a slow day because there is 24 hours in a day for better or worse.
But today feels impeccably slow. I just want Monday to come, but that brings a whole slew of other issues.
One: I’m closer to having my lone time without partaking in forbidden activities like walking, depleted for about 10 days.
Two: The ultimate truth of how much progress or lack thereof I have made in recovery will be revealed.
That said, there is a flip side that sidelines positivity and instead focuses on reality, just as with time always being defined by a certain number.
I’ll be closer to having the anxiety end and having the time pass until the new year when everyone returns to work.
No matter what happens in the doctor’s appointment, it won’t change the fact that this will be how much I weigh and how well my organs function, even if I had not gone to see the doctor. I can’t change nor do I have control over it, so expending any energy on it is to no avail.
Just like I cannot change my parents. They will eat or not eat, take off from work or not, and exercise whether or not I like it. Allow this to resonate. Let this slowly sedate your anxiety until it passes. Let this newfound space conquer and fill it with all your hunger, desires, wants and needs.
The snow had stopped. The freezing rain too. The temperature has increased by a few degrees, but the damage is done. Sheets of white still cover rooftops and streets still promise to buckle underneath pockets of ice.
But time will pass. The more adventurous or rather, impatient citizenry have begun to drive. I can hear the soundtrack of crackling snow underneath tires. They are helping to clear the path for those who deem it impossible to exit the confines of their house. Insert my family here.
If only I lived in Manhattan, or on my own, I would have been layered up and out the door hours ago.
If only I lived elsewhere, I would not be prone to comparing: cataloging every meal consumed, or not, by my parents, calculating their every calorie, cringing at their every cardio and sculpt exercise.
Time will pass. Tomorrow the brother will have left before sunrise, the temperature will have increased by twenty degrees and the rain will pour, effectively wiping out remnants of Saturday’s snow. If only the rain could wash away the emotional detritus.
Emotions aren’t solidified concepts. They’re meant to be embraced, could be ignored, but in no way house the truth. And so with time, we’ll be spared of the emotions from now and retrieve a new set. Seasons Tidings.