I was supposed to get a new hip last week. Got a phone call while I was on the way there that too many staff had come down with COVID and all non-emergency operations had to be cancelled. Le big sigh. I got off the train and sat on the platform* for a while, txting people to share my frustration and, I must admit, letting a few tears fall. But at least I was now able to have breakfast so, silver linings and all that.
It was particularly frustrating because I had worked late the previous two days, trying to get enough stuff finished to make it possible for my bosses to be able to cover my minimum four-week absence,** stayed up late to try and get my apartment in some kind of order and then gotten up really early on the day of the operation to do the washing-up, pack and get on the road in plenty of time. So I was tired. But I turned that into silver lining number two: when I got home, I ate, unpacked one more box of stuff lying around, went to sing with my local choir at a funeral and then spent the afternoon sleeping.
I had so much stuff to organise in my apartment because I was planning on giving up the studio I rented a while back as an office/extra space*** but unexpectedly, through a friend-of-a-friend type situation, I was able to sublet it to a student who was just moving to start studying here. So, the desired result but at kind of short notice which mean a very busy weekend drawing up a contract for the sublet, trying to find the main contract to attach to it and then finishing the painting that I started......who knows......at least a year ago as well as move all the crap that I had moved over there back to my own place. A lot of it was just stuff needing to be sorted that had been thrown into big shopping bags and moved over there out of the way. I did actually give myself the space to move one or two at a time over the course of a week**** and sorted them a little bit immediately. I had some nice spare canvas organiser-type boxes and was trying to at least get all the smaller bits and pieces into them. I do still have quite a lot of stuff to go through more carefully and deal with but at least some of it has gone and the rest is sorted into relatively tidy-looking boxes and baskets. It was nice to find some items and realised that in the meantime, I have actually come up with a proper storage solution/place for that category of stuff. So often it feels like I'm making no progress at all but small little decisions or realisiations do end up gathering pace and resulting in actual improvements. I need to not lose track of that in the future. And I did get rid of three big bags of recycling and rubbish.
Best of all, for me, is the fact that the situation with the studio spurred me on to make some changes to the layout of furniture in my apartment that I have been thinking about for a good while. I bought a rug****** for under my dining table and had unrolled it in the studio to flatten out and air. And then it got rolled up and stashed in the bathroom there because I started painting last year. I do still have moths but, regardless, I brought it over and put it down in the place where I had moved the table to. I lived with that for a week but something wasn't quite right and so I used some of my newly-free time at the weekend to try something else. And what do you know, sometimes just turning a rug so that it's sideways instead of lengthways is just what you need to do. Bonus, now the chairs also actually fit on the rug. In fact, I think this is how I originally intended it to be and had just forgotten.*******
Just a quick photo that I took to send to my sister and a friend to show what it looked like in the new set-up. I skillfully didn't include the row of boxes on either side of that open floor space that still need to be dealt with but even with that, loads of floor space.
I also finally bit the bullet and ordered myself a Shark cordless upright hoover (ok, a vacuum cleaner, but where I'm from, we always call all vacuum cleaners hoovers). The cheap Aldi version I got a couple of years ago gave up the ghost last week but even though it wasn't great, it was definitely easier to use, which meant more frequent hoovering. I expect great things from myself with an even better tool in my hands. Which increases the chances of me doing yoga and stretching exercises more frequently. It's kind of disheartening to get down on the mat, turn your head to the side, and be distracted by dust bunnies gathering closer and closer.
I am choosing to think of this past week as one step back but two steps forward.
* Which is to say, I sat on a bench on the platform. Maybe when I do eventually get a new hip, sitting on the platform might not seem quite so impossible.
** I still feel a bit like I haven't caught up since I had COVID in March and was off for two weeks. Three weeks holidays June/July, some random sick days, then a week off sick in August with a bad cold, followed by two weeks of doing the bare minimum because I was still not quite rid of the cold, followed by a week's holiday in September (went to visit my sister in France for her 50th birthday and it was lovely) and a couple more sick days and time off for doctor and hospital pre-op appointments. So, yeah, not my most productive summer ever.
*** Except for one regular monthly job, my sidegig of translation work has all but dried up and I haven't had the energy to go looking for more. So I have been paying the extra rent but not actually cutting back on any other expenses to make up for it. Debt is building up again.
**** Still didn't want to finish the painting and this was as good a way of procrastinating as any.*****
***** Asterisking and foot-noting are fun. :-)
****** I just looked it up. NOVEMBER 2020. How ridiculous is it that I bought something I wanted to use, loved when I got it, and then left it unused and unloved for almost two years!!!!!!!
******* TWO. YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!