Another month of Many Bad Things, which I dealt with by being spitefully happy whenever I could. Spent seven hours at the hospital — twice? Sing loudly and intentionally badly in the car all the way home. Tired of the apartment being a mess, wanting to fix it yourself, but too tired to do so? Self-date, complete with a fancy dress (dirty hair is fine), popcorn and a movie from the 90s. Utterly fed up with medications, appointments, being Responsible and Practical and Adult? At least thirty minutes on the sunbed in the shade, smelling the lemon thyme and the salty sea air until the world grows large again.
Spiteful happiness — because it works©.
Three seagull babies, finally! I do get a bit obsessed with them, but they’re the closest I’ll get to having a pet and also they’re adorable. Sudden wind and dark skies, all thundery and hot. The amazing smell of summer rain. Big rainbows, apt for June. A stereotypically aloof cat. Airing out all the blankets and rugs.
This year I’ve taken an interest in the garden/outdoor area by my apartment. Gardening has never appealed to me, so I’ve been easing into it by choosing things that smell nice (hello lavender) or taste good (I lovelovelove fresh herbs).
June was generally a month for thinking about what I surround myself with; everything from my home to my clothes to what’s outside my door. When I’m extra ill for a while, my surroundings gradually build up with things I’m just not able to deal with: laundry, dust, dirt, mess. As I’m sure you’ve suspected, I don’t thrive in chaotic surroundings. At the end of the month I finally managed to get things more back in order. My desire for order isn’t because of perfectionism or a fear of how others see me, but feels more like a way to respect myself and treat myself well. And so —
— I’ve been on something of a mission to tackle those do-it-once-and-it’s-done kind of jobs (as opposed to neverending chores like laundry and dishes). Somehow I managed to go through all the bathroom cabinets and drawers, giving them a wipe-down and proper sorting. I have a pretty minimal routine going now in terms of skincare/hair/makeup, especially compared to a decade ago. To me it’s immensely satifying to have products that just do what I need them to, and it takes a lot now to tempt me to try something new. It baffles me to say it, but everything in my bathroom is now carefully vetted and organized.
Even more surreal is that the same goes for my wardrobe. A good helper emptied and steam-cleaned the whole closet, and I did the classic keep/maybe/no piles. It’s been a couple of years since I last did that, so I was extra ruthless now, keeping only the things I actively want to wear, or that fill a necessary function.
As you can see above, my wardrobe is quite sparse now. I have ninety-two items registred in my wardrobe app, and that includes shoes, outerwear, bags, and most accessories (exempting jewelry). Far from being smug about this low number, I actually wish I had more, because it’s not practical to need to do laundry as frequently as I do, and it also wears out my favourites a lot sooner. Plus sized shopping is a whole other ball game, I must say!
I picked up my shawl crochet project again, then promptly overdid it in two days and got really angry wrists.
Food with fresh herbs from the garden — seriously, some parsley and chives and aioli makes basically anything delicious.
Iced mochas with extra everything.
Thank the saints and the seagull babies for the disability community on Instagram, who taught me to advocate for myself and ask for accommodations. And on the flip side, a heartfelt fuckoff to all the vocational “rehab” and enforced “ME-classes” that taught me the exact opposite.
This summer I’ve been trying to slip into Summer Mode as much as possible, to really indulge in this short time of the year. I vaguely recreate specific memories from my childhood summers, like driving with all the windows down, drinking soda from a can, and reading in bed an entire afternoon. I choose books and movies and music that, based on my own history, give me that nostalgic vibe of summer. To complete the sensory experience, all I lack is some of that blue Nivea sun lotion (on the shopping list!), and the smoke from a neighbour’s barbeque (I’m keeping the windows open and my fingers crossed).
- I finished the Daevabad trilogy I mentioned last month, and though the ending was long, it was also immensely satisfying. Once in a while I’m lucky enough to stumble across a book that manages to both fully engage the reader in me (what’s happening, what’s happening, OMG did that just happen??), but also the writer (come on, Chakraborty, come on, how on earth are you going to tie all this together and resolve all those pl— okay, that’s clever). Ever since I’ve been able to read-with-my-eyes again, I’ve been running from one book to the next, but after this I genuinely needed a day to just let the story settle in me. Though not every aspect of these books are my thing, I know, and love, good craft when I see it.
- Several truly bad books, some of which I finished, others I firmly deleted off my Kindle altogether.
- Sheet music, specifically Satié’s 1st Gymnopédie. I do okay, but struggle to quickly read the bass clef, esp once it gets below G2.
- “La Fine Fleur” (2020), the perfect movie for an evening of hardcore PMS and general rage at the world.
- Crow videos sent from, and filmed by, one of my sisters.
- All of “Shrill”.
- the seagull babies, through my binoculars.
The album “Anomaly” by Jasdeep Singh Degun.
Playlists on youtube called things like “(more) songs to slow dance to in the kitchen at 2 a.m. with the one you love”.
My alarm going off four times a day for more meds.
My two pairs of me-made culottes, one in a breezy linen, and one in a floral cotton (with a matching top for faux-jumpsuit-possibilities!).
A perfect outfit: big white cotton shirt, black-and-gold chunky braided belt on top, comfy viscose pants underneath, ballerinas, a black bag with chain strap, and two necklaces: a silver medallion, and a tiny crystal on a gold chain.
As little as possible, once it got properly hot.
I’ve also been trying to balance all my complicated feelings for my body by taking really good care of my nails. I’ve never had properly long nails, I can’t stand how it feels, and it’s so impractical for things like playing the piano or removing contact lenses. Still, I’ve been babying my cuticles like a nail blogger from 2008, and generally trying to remember to use hand lotion. And you know what, it really helped to have a small part of my body feel uncomplicated and relaxing.
An hour in the shops, where I got to touch and compare things before buying them (a rare luxury for me these days).
The Day The Microwave Came, which has made meal preparation so much easier it’s ridiculous.
The first day with the new seagulls, glued to the windows to sneak a peek of the tiny fluffy things.
Garden days, in the shade.