Even though it's too cold out today, I need to be in Towl Park. So...I go anyway. My soul just hurts, aches. I'm so tired of feeling as if my one small voice is never heard, doesn't matter. What's the use of trying so hard, having such high aspirations?
I'm tired of doctor's offices. The near constant bad news. Tired of putting a pretty spin on everything when nothing feels right. My oncologist is moving to Arizona next month. I will miss him. He had a way of speaking the truth but not making it hurt. He was the one who told me that I should not go back to work, that my body was just not up to it. He said that I should try and accept a new normal of less energy, less strength, more tiredness. He said that I should simply be thankful that I have the means to take an early retirement. To look at my good fortune and work with what I have.
In general, I do this. I write every afternoon, all afternoon. I aim for five hours per day. I usually end up only managing to do it for three, maybe four hours. Writing this journal is pretty easy. I just go to Towl Park or somewhere else if need be. I write about what I see, what is flying around in my head. Working on my book is harder. I'm old. I've read enough books to be my own worst critic. I sometimes write a paragraph four times before I decide that I like it.
I AM grateful. I am. I have a spouse with a really great job. We have enough money to live comfortably without me having to work. But, sometimes I sorely miss being a part of the work force. I miss wearing skirts, my nice shoes. I do not miss wearing panty hose. I miss being good at my job. Instead, I try to do as Dr. Lemon suggested. I try to work with what I have.
Today, I feel like the rock biter from The Neverending Story, at the end. The part where he knows that "the nothing" is coming and he is helpless. When he looks down at his hands and says, "They look like big, good, strong hands, don't they? I always thought that's what they were."
I look down at my sneaker clad feet. Those feet used to get me through crazy busy work days. I'd hit the ground running and not stop until the building emptied. On the weekends, I'd play catch up with all of my chores. I was often tired at night, but chemo taught me the meaning of the word exhaustion. That feeling of being so tired that getting out of my car and walking across a parking lot into my office building seemed like an insurmountable mountain to be climbed.
I'm better now. But, I still get tired of being tired. I get weary of my white blood cells never cooperating. I walk once around the pond and then have to rest before I can write, as if I am 88 instead of 58. Sometimes, at the end of the day, after my shower, T has to help me get my nightgown over my head, combs my wet hair. My arms are just so tired.
"Never you mind," she says. "This is my pleasure. I love combing your hair."
As I've said, I'm a very fortunate person.
I decided after Trump won the presidency that I needed to get more involved politically. That I needed to be the change that I wanted to see in the world. I took to Twitter. I still haven't been able to talk myself into Facebook. I'm just not a social media person. But, I figured that I would get my opinions out there, at least on Twitter. I could do that. Doing political fact checking is a long held hobby of mine and it serves me well. Slowly, but surely, my Twitter is being read by more than just my close friends. But, with it comes the realization that there are some really mean and stupid people out there. Don't get me wrong, I love a good discourse. I welcome it. Instead, I am getting mean spirited responses from a man with a Jed Clampett avatar that makes Donald Trump look like a spelling bee champ. ( "You leeve our precident alone! I bet your a black dyke!") Is this a taste of the sort of people who are out there? I have been observing and see a group of people who never question anything that Donald Trump says. Ever. But, they do question CNN, NBC, etc. They call this "fake news." It never seems to occur to them that this same news is repeated in Germany, in England, in France, in Sweden. Do they honestly believe that CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR and ALL of Europe and the rest of the world are in cahoots to try and trick them? That only Fox news is truthful? This is madness. And yet, those heads keep bobbing up and down.
I started working for a Democrat candidate's run for mayor because I figure if we can just get enough Democrats in office we can stop this insanity of a Trump presidency. I wish that all Republicans could be like John McCain and just do their job, just do the right thing. Cross party lines and start announcing that our so called Emperor has no clothes.
This is all mentally exhausting. Add that to my energy level and I have to sleep twelve hours a night just to function! So, I become mournful. (I refuse to use the word "sad" anymore. I'm SO sick of Trump's silly usage of it.) I become morose. I start to feel as if my one small voice is useless. That my sneakered feet aren't really getting me anywhere.
But, I will not stop. Because if I do, how will I face the younger generation? How will I face Sarah? Conrad? Lucy? I want them to believe that I can live up to that Kennedy quote. That they will always know that I saw wrong and tried to right it.
Yet, sometimes I think that I am just a speck of sand on a beach. How can I make a difference? I peer down at my flowered sneakers and think that I am so pathetically weak.
A bad day needs a long sit at Towl Park.