I did it. I actually took a sick day. Are y’all proud of me?
That said, it’s hard. I’ve never been good at relaxing, and it’s not getting easier just ’cause I’m unwell. I managed to get back to sleep after taking meds, emailing my boss and feeding the cat, but it took a while. I miraculously remained in bed until after 10am, which is huge for me. I’m old, I’m decaying, I’m trying my best. I’ve only checked my work emails three times today, which feels like some kind of restraint. I played some magic, did dishes, applied for a job, put washing on and now I’m trying to get writing done so I can… get back to trying to relax? What am I supposed to do? Read a book?
Actually not a terrible idea. I put a reservation on my library app months back for Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf. It’s finally come in, and I’m realising that my chances of finishing it are pretty damn tiny unless I put effort in. The book is 640 pages. It’s hardly slim pickings. It’s supposed to be a stupendously ambitious fantasy novel by a Man Booker Prize winning novelist. Thing is, I’m a lazy reader. Of books, anyway. I’m mainlining online articles all day. I use reading as an escape on commutes, and I probably get a solid hour of good reading time each day. By the time I started reading, a few days had passed. I’ve been working from home and/or sick this week, so there’s a bunch more potential reading time lost. It expires in two weeks, and since it has a huge waitlist, there’s no chance I’ll get to renew it. Chances are that I’ll get halfway through, then have to wait another 6 months until I can read the other half. Non-ideal. However, if there’s anything an abundance of half-arsed Minion memes have taught me, it’s that the power is within us all to create change in our world. And that lots of old people still find hilarity in “you won’t like me without my morning coffee” jokes.
I’ve been trying with the food too. Been salt gargling, keeping up the kimchi, had some banana and peanut butter toast, licorice tea, and all sorts of comfort foods. I even had Kraft Dinner last night. Okay, I grew up with KD variants, and loved it as a kid. I got older, and my cravings extended to actually making macaroni cheese bakes. I’d do it all homemade from scratch. I’d toss in all kinds of spices and ingredients, then bake that bastard in a big dish covered with breadcrumbs. Crispy top, loaded with cheese and assorted goodness. Ideal comfort meal. I don’t eat much pasta anymore, because I’d only ever cook and eat Too Much Pasta. I don’t know that a substantive serving size is for pasta. It’s usually however much fills you to bursting, and then some. Now that I’m a 32 year old crone, I have to try and take care of myself, or elsewise combust. Toning down on the pasta has helped my body continue to function, instead of my internal gears (oh, did I not mention my cyborg state?) grinding to a halt while trying to process complex carbohydrates and a brick of cheese.
I was sick, wanted comfort food, and KD seemed to fit the bill. I wanted to throw in sundried tomatoes and pickled jalapeños, but I thought I’d be responsible and steer clear of agitative (I looked it up, it’s a word, apparently) foods. This also meant skipping the gratuitous quantity of tomato sauce I used to soak it in. So instead I piled in fresh garlic, kimchi and a little ketchup flavoured popcorn seasoning (which we have on hand because my girlfriend is a popcorn fiend. It’s basically the same stuff as KD flavour sachets). Also, obviously, copious cheddar. It was… fine? I guess. I don’t know what I was expecting. The kimchi somehow wasn’t bold enough to stand out amongst the other big flavours, and the macaroni may even have been a little “over dente”. I had the leftovers today for lunch with a little tuna, which worked much better. I think next time I’ll stick with the grown up stuff and bake my own.
Enough writing, it’s reading time!!!