Monday, 18 March 2013

Cats and the Art of Sleeping

But good things have come from this.  Better than I could ever have hoped for, or even have begun to imagine while I was shivering in terror on my sofa, living from one home visit to the other from the great team of people who took care of me when I was discharged.  I'm made some big decisions, and banished some ghosts.  I've come to appreciate the comfort of home that previously oppressed me so very much and relish it as a place of safety, and comfort, and refuge.  That's not to say I stay in it all the time, but at weekends where the bf and I usually had a timetabled list of activities, at the moment I'm content to linger at home and potter, and think about doing the garden (though so far the weather is in some disagreement), and lie on my bed and luxuriate in sleep,  now that I finally can.  Saturday night has been an orgy - of Spiral,  and before that Borgen.  I have art materials spread out all over the dining table, and finished a suitcase for my youngest's birthday, and a photograph album for a new bride in the office.  I eat too many biscuits and drink Yogi Rose Tea which is the only one out of the thirty or so herbal varieties I've tried that doesn't taste like the pee of a very well hydrated nun, and I peel juicy oranges to rival Barbara in Billy Liar, to the disgust of the ginger cat who, another pleasure, often curls up on my knee, or lies beside me purring in sleep.  There surely can be little better therapy than watching a sleeping cat, unless it's watching two sleeping cats.  They sleep like they have a gift for it, as though it's a learned skill; an activity at which they naturally excel - the stretching, the curling, the little paws tucked in, or wrapped around their faces - just gazing at them makes me feel good about the world, and when one of the other falls asleep on my chest, I've been known to sit there for half an hour longer than I meant to just to enjoy the warmth of the furry little body.  This from me - former Cat Hater.

I know.  Look.  I know.  Cats, gardening, arts and crafts, Saturday Night TV - I might as well be dead, as I'm obviously brain dead, but the new me doesn't care.  I like it.  I'm wearing my Kalinda outfit today - PVC shirt, Shiny black patent knee high boots, short skirt, but with the Helen Mirren hair (but shaggy where as hers is short) and, sod it if the outward appearances don't match the inner reality.  For a year I was sitting at home in despair and nobody would have guessed that either, so if they don't realise that I put the red lipstick on for the cats, then go home to get into my pjs and watch a drama about Chicago Firemen, or muddle about with paste and paper, does that matter to any one but me.  I doubt anyone's looking.  We are all so invisible, even to ourselves.

There are lots of things to be happy about.  Not least the fact that, despite being suddenly in love with my house (partly it has to be said because I'm not alone in it since the bf is keeping me away from sharp objects and sheer drops) I've decided it's time to sell.  It's been five years since the husband left, and the kids are all finishing university and ready to get out there and on with their own lives.  They don't need a family home any more and I need to learn to live without the family in the home (not as difficult as you might think), and so in the few seconds before I fall into the 'am induced coma (which nevertheless features vivid and apocalyptic dreams accompanied by the need to pee every hour), I imagine my new place - squeaky clean and white and bright with nothing there I don't want, no noise, nobody talking at me, and everything just the way I want it, my make-up untouched (who took my Benefit eyebrow pencil?) my clothes folded and waiting for only me, me, me (who took my orange sweater, my Anthropologie silk shirt, my red dress, my purple LK Bennet?) and everything calm, peaceful and 100% tension free.  At least that's the theory.

I'm also working less since I realised that coming back to work was sending me backwards, not aiding my recovery but adding to my stress.  I've now discovered the wonderful word of a four day week.  It's bliss.  Discovering the world of the 4 day paycheck will be slightly less transcendental, but you can't spend it if you're dead.  So it's a compromise.