Day of Wallowing

I’ve been struggling with concentration all week, so maybe trying to edit wasn’t the best idea. Because of that, I’ve decided to lean into it today. It’s cold and rainy, so today is an official Day of Wallowing. I let myself sleep late (didn’t set an alarm, but I got up at about the same time I usually do), made waffles for breakfast, and have enjoyed a leisurely morning. The rest of the day will be devoted to work-related play. I’m going to watch documentaries and other things that relate to a project I’m brainstorming, do a little reading, and maybe some baking.

I’ve been cooking a lot this week, in part because I’m making sure I use my fresh ingredients before they go bad, in part because cooking is comforting, and in part because it might be a good idea to have some meals prepared and set by in case I do get sick but not enough to be in the hospital. Then I can just nuke things and be set. Or if the urge to cook wears off and I’ll just want to nuke something. So far this week I’ve made jambalaya and a vat of lentil soup, plus today’s waffles (the recipe makes five big waffles, and I can eat one, so the rest are set aside). I may bake a batch of pumpkin muffins this afternoon and put most of them up in the freezer. Tonight’s dinner will be chili, made using some cooked carne asada I found in the freezer.

I’ve also been trying to get back into my music. With no choir practice, I need to keep singing so I don’t lose my voice, and I’ve been playing the flute. I still have the fingerings down, since I have a habit of mentally playing my choir music as I sing. It’s my way of finding notes. If I do the flute fingering, I hear the note in my head. That means I’m rusty on notes that are outside the normal vocal range. I have to stop and figure out what the notes way above the staff are and remember the fingerings. My real problem is my lip. I get sore and tired after a few minutes of playing, and I don’t have a lot of control, since I’ve played only sporadically in the past thirty or so years. I hope with practice it will get better. Yesterday I found the music for my 8th grade chair test, and while I could still play it, I don’t think I’d be getting first chair right now.

Something I forgot to mention in my list of comforting things to watch:

Look for “Slow TV” online or on the Pluto app for Roku or other streaming devices. It’s from Norwegian television, and it’s mostly train rides. They put a camera on a train, and it goes for hours. No editing, no narration. Sometimes they show what’s happening on the train, but mostly it’s either out the front or side windows. You just watch the countryside go past. The “episodes” generally tell you the kind of weather and the season, like “rainy summer day.” When I can’t take anything else, I find this really restful to watch, to just sit and see the world go by. As a bonus, I’m thinking of modeling the kingdom I’m creating on this general landscape, so it kind of counts as work. It’s like watching Google Street View for getting a sense of the location.

Nature documentaries can also be good, if you can be sure you’re not watching something about animals attacking other animals. There was one on Amazon called something like “Beyond the Garden Gate,” in which a wildlife photographer focused on the wildlife around his village over the course of a year. Lots of hedgehogs, foxes, birds, and deer. It was lovely.

And now my sofa is calling me. Time to make a pot of tea and get my book. Next week maybe I’ll manage to get back to “normal.” For now, I’m in my fleece pajamas and fuzzy socks and treating the day like a holiday.

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