I never imagined how utterly mind numbing having nothing to do could become. Since my fall, and even more so after my surgery, the days seem to go on forever. Sometimes I catch myself staring at the clock trying to make sure that the hands are actually moving.
     When I first started caring for my aunt, and the state of her health was much more in question, the tasks of daily life were endless. Partly from the newness of the circumstance, and partly because I invented things for myself to do, especially that first winter. The winter of 2010 was the Year of the Sparkling Appliance at Chateau du Scott.
     Now that my aunt is much more mobile, and I am the one who must watch my activity levels, 6:30 pm seems like it lasts about three days. Some evenings I actually just give up and go to bed at a ridiculously early hour in sheer self-defense. There are only so many syndicated sit-coms and Steve Harvey hosted episodes of Family Feud that I am willing to sit through and remain conscious. I try my best to be productive and to write more, but my pain levels distract me, and the medication does nothing to improve that situation.
     My doctor has told me that I need a second, more serious surgery, so Waiting Game Part Deux has begun, and it’s the insurance company’s serve. I have my doubts about their willingness to approve the second surgery, so this time around the waiting is a bit more involved. If they deny my doctor’s request for the procedure, then a
big ole, “Now What?” floats to the surface. That’s an entirely different kind of waiting game, and I must confess this entire process has exhausted me. Beyond the physical discomforts, these past six months have kicked the shit out of me, and I am feeling the effects. Living on 2/3 of an already laughable salary is the pits. And with the cost of absolutely everything skyrocketing, I have decided that this game isn’t fun anymore, and someone needs to knock down the blocks so that we can all start over.
     I am certainly aware that I am not the only person in this area struggling. I have spoken to friends recently, who are also forced to play what I like to call “Into-the-Cart-Out-of-the-Cart”, which is the practice of putting things into your shopping basket that may or may not make it to the check out counter based solely on what is needed and how much is in the budget. Our geographic region is particularly hard hit on the economic front, but unfortunately, recognizing the fact that I am not alone isn’t comforting. I find it frustrating, embarrassing, and crippling. I have robbed Peter to pay Paul so many times that even Mary has stopped talking to me (That sounded so much funnier when it was still in my head). I can remember scolding Shane time and time again for using one credit card to make payments on a different credit card. But truthfully, my recent financial shenanigans regarding minimum payments and due dates make his methods seem like top tier financial planning.
     I was supposed to be settled and secure by 40! What the hell happened? Oh yeah. Life. Life happened. All of those things that weren’t in the projected model. Illness and death, mourning, and breakdowns, goal changes, and soul changes…life. “This isn’t where I wanted to be!”, I find myself saying, over and over. I feel like screaming and wailing at the walls. I want to pound my fists and pull my hair. I can feel my face pulling itself into misery and I settle in
to cry. Again. For the hundreth time this week. “This isn’t where I wanted to be!”, I say again.
I can feel myself sinking, just a little bit more than yesterday, and I can’t decide whether I should worry about where the bottom might be, or if in fact I am already there.
     I need things to be the way they were, for just a minute. I want to be fun and interesting again. I want to worry less, and to have the things that I need. I want to laugh, and to stay out late, and to be relevant. And oh God, I want to be young.
For just a few minutes more.

scott j