Thursday, December 28, 2017

In Between the Old and the New

So much has happened, and yet nothing at all has happened, really. After seven full months of severe heartburn, I started to feel mostly better in November and now feel mostly normal so long as I stick to the lifestyle changes I implemented when it seemed like I might never feel better and might end up with a scope down my throat to sort things out. One of these changes is that I don't push through to get things done anymore. I can't, or I will suffer. So instead, I get things done a lot more slowly. Thus, less time for blogging and nothing of note to report.

Except I can report on the weather! It snowed, more than it has ever snowed since we moved here three and a half years ago. We were all delighted, and then it melted. We are hoping for more, but who knows. We may have to go to Switzerland if we want to make a snowman or snow angels or snow anything.

This is the time of year that we spend together as a family. Every year, J is off work between Christmas and New Year's Day, so we've developed some traditions that we now keep each year. We go out of the city for a day, and this year we went to Windsor Castle for the second year in a row, as our tickets were still valid, and we hadn't seen everything on the first go. We spend Christmas Eve eating our way through Borough Market and walking along the South Bank, and this year did that on the day before since Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday. We divide and conquer to go to the movies - J and Z to a Star Wars film, and E and me to something a bit lighter. We accomplished that today, and that rounds out our usual traditions. Now we've got a few days to just relax, sort of.

The girls and I have made friends with a lonely neighbor, so we've seen her a few times and will go again to see her tomorrow. I am going to tell you something that I think people don't often mention, but sometimes being a friend to someone who is desperately lonely can be incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable. I think that people often assume that if these relationships are not easy, then there is something wrong. There isn't. Sometimes the people who are most worth befriending are imperfect in the way that most grates on one's nerves. Our neighbor calls me repeatedly and doesn't hesitate to complain that no one comes to see her often enough. I hate the phone and don't like pressure. It is what it is, and we manage, because we love her and do want to see her. We stop by, and she exclaims over the girls' dolls and gives us chocolate or biscuits or a prawn sandwich to take home. We make her smile and feel that her life is a little less empty than usual, and I think that it's a pretty fair deal, even though I really don't like prawn sandwiches. Once she gave us Happy Hippos, and I looooove those.

I am looking forward to 2018. We had plenty happen in 2017 that was good, but it was also a year full of work at a time that I felt unwell, and I am glad to see the tail end of this year. I've heard some people talk of this week as a week in limbo before the new year, but for me it is a time of making plans and looking forward. I've made a few simple lists and a few simple plans. I'm not much for resolutions, but I do love plans. I'm hoping that these will be good ones. We shall soon see.