Some things I’ve done the past few weeks that I recommend:
- I recommend dogsitting. Specifically, dogsitting these two dogs in Magnolia: Maggie and Max. They’re both very good dogs, and extremely well trained. Max is a good dog, sure — he will sit in your lap and wag his tail and be extremely pleased when you find the right spot to scratch his back. Maggie, though, is the saint, the angel dog, the paw-print hagiography: she is nine years old and half-retriever, she has eyes that make you faint from earnestness. Dogsitting is perfect because it lets you cosplay as a dog owner for a couple days without assuming any actual maturity or responsbility; the only downside, so far as I can see, is that you will find yourself at home a week from the act of dogsitting wishing that you had something to pet.
- I recommend rebuilding your blog. I’m in the process of doing this (take a look at the terrible WIP!) and boy, pulling up the Jekyll docs every 18 months or so is just so satisfying. Maybe not even satisfying — comforting. Like a friend from your hometown to whom you return and grab tea every year or so, as tradition. (I might blog more. I probably won’t. But I am looking forward to the prospect of it, the potential universe in which I am a blogger.)
- I recommend taking a mental health day. I would describe my mental state the past few weeks as “the water being exactly at my head”. Not in a dramatic or an anxious way — merely that I feel like every day or so with a full plate of work and society and activity ups my Stress Meter by like 1%, and I was sitting in the ~90% range for far too long. A day to reset (and of course my version of reset is hardly lugubrious: an indulgent morning routine, lots of work on Buttondown, and a minimum of social contact) is so nice.
- I recommend Autobiography of Red. I considered myself something of an Anne Carson skeptic until I read it. There are many interesting Modern and Literary things to say about it, but it is just a perfect meditation on wings and flesh and ruin.
- I recommend some cedar cones. Light a couple in your house on a night like tonight, when dusk hits early and you are waiting for the heater to kick on. Throw some soup on the stove; make a hot toddy. It will be like you have never left Virginia.
Have a good Sunday.
(Next week: Buttondown chat!)