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Begin Again, and Again

That whole week between the 25th of December and the new year had been a blur. I had to work, with a deadline on the 31st. It was sheer bad luck that delayed the project that added to the workload and extended the timeline. And then one of the kittens suddenly fell sick and it was Parvo and he was gone in a matter of days (with a $425 vet bill including cremation). Because of the dayjob project delay and the vet bills and the food bills I had to take out a small loan which has now tied me down to a 12-month installment for the whole of 2022.

And then the flea infestation blew up and I had to temporarily camp in my sister’s room and my cat had to camp in the bathroom. I only got to start to de-flea yesterday, with a lot of vacuuming and spraying and wiping with anti-flea formulas (all plant-based and pet-safe, of course). The other kittens are on supplements twice a day to keep them from getting sick like their brother and I am on duty for that.

I have officially accepted the full-time dayjob offer and will be starting on the 17th. Meanwhile I have to show up for a couple of year-start briefings before my official start date.

No insomnia or anxiety attacks, so far. And this is without the aid of GABA or magnesium or any of my calming supplements.

The loan money is almost gone as I had to replenish stocks at the beginning of the year — the freezer and fridge were nearly empty. I got paid finally for the delayed project that I submitted on the 31st but part of that went to flea treatments which were a lot because they were not just for the cats but also for clearing the house.

I had to buy a new mattress because the old one was too infested and possibly a haven for the flea eggs and larva we couldn’t see.

My first sketchbook entry was a mess and I have been too mired in the day-to-day that I couldn’t seem to feel the forest anywhere.

I haven’t made any other art since the new year began and I haven’t even listened to any music because the flea bites itch like hell and I couldn’t sit still long enough to dream.

I believe I am also still in some kind of limbo transition state about the full-time dayjob. Going back into employment was the last thing on my plan, if it ever was on my plan at all. The pandemic has changed a lot of givens, however. And I am open to give the regular paycheck thing a try with the new parameters. Work from home is big plus. Being almost 50, I guess, is also an advantage in itself. I have just enough hope, without the dreamy idealistic high of my 20s that often led to a heart-shattering crash.

The household problem is still as knotty as ever. I need to make, seriously, a housekeeping manual. When I go full-time on work the house has got to stay well-kept or else it’s going to drain and drag me down and eventually affect my work performance. I am not a perfectionist — what I want are the basics done well such as:

- wash the dishes properly within the two hours after meals

- clean the stovetop

- clean the kitchen counters

- put away leftovers

- clean the dining table

- prepare food on time for meals

- set the table properly, i.e. don’t just put down plates to mark places that people who sit down to eat will have to keep standing up again to get stuff

- clean the sink

- put away the containers and pots in their proper storage when dry

- change the kitchen towels regularly

- keep the trash bin dry and clean (as it tends to moist and smell bad if not maintained)

- keep the shelves and fridge organized so people can find stuff easily and not miss out on what’s already there, or what’s nearing expiry

- do not leave dirty pans with used oil overnight

I’m not even expecting much for the rest of the house. I take on as many chores as I can but I can only spare so much time and energy. I insist on the kitchen maintenance at the very least because of health and hygiene reasons, as well as being able to feel a sense of rest and wellness after a long day’s work when I go to the kitchen to cook a meal.

Today I continue de-flea-ing the room, do some shop work, cook meals, and maybe get to do an art piece sometime along the way.


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