I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll begin with my resolutions.
1. Blog more.
I really do want to work on this project. I like how it feels when I write regularly, and I think I could be good at it. And hey, look! I’m accomplishing this resolution right now.
2. Keep the house cleaner.
I was really good at this while Faramir was in the hospital, mostly because a) I wasn’t doing anything else, and b) I was terrified that being in a dirty home would make him sick. I even wrote to an advice columnist at one of my favorite websites. She emailed me back within hours, with helpful and compassionate advice, but the question got published this week. Being reminded of my former concern for cleanliness and sanitation has helped me realize that at this point, as things in our lives have normalized, keeping the house clean has become less of a priority. Admittedly, part of this resolution stems from how difficult this Christmas was, for reasons I’ll explain below, and my own slightly insane belief that I can control all situations if I just! Work! Hard enough! But it couldn’t hurt to be a little more conscientious in my response to clutter, mess, and the catbox.
3. Spend more money on beauty products.
This one may seem a little silly. Here’s the thing. Almost all the makeup I currently own was bought at a CVS or a Duane Reade in preparation for a friend’s wedding. In 2008. Some of it, I’m ashamed to admit, is even older. It has only recently come to my attention that higher-quality makeup looks better and lasts longer. I’m an adult, I have a well-paying job, I’m gonna lay down some cash at Sephora or somewhere in order to feel special on special occasions.
So that’s it. That’s how I’m going to live a little better in 2012.
Like I said, this Christmas was a tough one. Faramir started feeling logy and blech about a week before Christmas. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with shingles. He started the course of treatment and was told that everything should be perfectly straightforward…except that he should come back in right away if he noticed any facial paralysis. It’s pretty rare, the doctor said, and highly unlikely, but just come back in if you notice anything. But you almost certainly won’t.
Why do people say things like that? Sure enough, when we woke up on the 24th, the left side of his face wasn’t moving. It’s called Ramsay Hunt syndrome, and it can happen when the shingles outbreak is on/in the ear. So instead of dinner and church with my parents on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day with his mom and family friends, we spent both those days in the hospital. The only bright side was that, now that he’s spent so much time there, he pretty much gets whisked up to the oncology unit and given the star treatment from his favorite nurses. Even with those friendly faces, and with visits from our family and friends, it was a shitty way to spend Christmas.
I hesitate to say that I learned anything from the experience. For one thing, this is not a Christmas special of any kind. I also don’t want to de-emphasize how angry, sad, and stressed I was that we had to be there. There was no moment of serene revelation that what truly matters about Christmas is in one’s heart. It was more like exhausted resignation, and the eventual acceptance that Faramir needed to be there, getting the help he needed, no matter what day it was or what we’d had planned–and that I had to be there with him. I am grateful for people who work on Christmas–not just the nurses, but the bus drivers and folks at the Chinese restaurant (my eventual Christmas dinner with my family and all the Jews in Oakland was delicious). The outward signs of cheer got stripped away this time around, and we weren’t happy about it, but somehow it was still Christmas. The presents helped, I guess.
We’ve had a quiet week at home since then. Last night my sister (Gudrun? Heh.) and her fiancé came over for New Year’s Eve. I made a personal-best pie. We watched Star Wars, played Settlers of Catan (oh God, how I hate board games, but everyone else had fun), and watched fireworks over the Bay from our deck.
I hope your New Year is filled with peace and joy. Thank you for reading. I’ll be around a lot more in the weeks to come.