So, yes, I haven’t posted in ages. Here’s where I make all my excuses instead of simply admitting to laziness: It was the holidays! I had lots of family visiting! I hurt my knee snowboarding and now I can barely walk! For two months, I’ve limped about! TWO MONTHS!
Really, the knee-thing is actually a big reason why I haven’t posted.
Here’s where you ask me, How on earth does not being able to walk well interfere with your computer usage? But it does, I tell you! Self-pity is more crippling than my whacked-out knee. It affects my brain.
Alas, I have gotten over the crushing sadness of not being able to frolic in the snow, to run on a regular basis, to go flying down a mountainside in one of the best powder years ever. I recall these activities with only wistful nostalgia and a sigh. I’m doing other things for fun, now. Knitting, for example. I’ve knitted a lot. It’s especially exciting when you have an audio book playing in the background. I’ve listened to four books in the past month and knitted a complex pair of mitten-gloves (“glittens,” I believe they’re called, though that name makes me shudder) and a scarf that I started five years ago for my husband. Behold!
(These actually aren’t my pictures, but the gloves and color look close enough to what I made. The pattern is here, if you’re interested.)
And I’ve started swimming, since that’s just about the only thing that doesn’t hurt. Yes, the girl who used to panic in water (I’ll soon have to tell the story of when I almost drowned looking at whale sharks in Mozambique…) is getting in a chlorine-clogged pool and swimming. That’s how desperate I am for physical activity. Right now I’m using a kick board since I still have issues exhaling under water (lungs aren’t meant to be used underwater, dammit), but kicking around as fast as I can with a foam board that looks like a tombstone is actually aerobic, as idiotic as it might look. Beware, Michael Phelps… I’m coming.
Anyway, aside from knitting and swimming to distract me from all the things I’d rather be doing, what helped banish my self-pity more than anything is this one, simple realization:
At least I don’t have bats living in my toilet.
This may not make sense to you immediately, so let me provide some context. While my husband and I were living out in the jungle in Cameroon, we had a deep, frightening hole dug in the ground for our personal use, enclosed in a spider-infested shack. This hole was so deep and so dark, BATS had taken up residence in it while no one had been using it. (You know you have a truly deep, dark hole when bats are involved.) Imagine my surprise when I first discovered them, black shapes winging up around me, whipping my hair in a frenzy of flapping, as I was stuck in a very delicate position. I mean, I don’t blame the bats for being in a tizzy. If someone sprinkled me with urine while I was sleeping, I’d be pretty pissed, too (no pun intended). The problem was, even after we started using the hole regularly, they didn’t leave.
My husband had a distinct advantage, since he could dislodge the bats from a safe(ish) distance, thanks to the male… uh… anatomical arrangement. If they came flying out at him, he could turn away and shield himself with a hand. I, on the other hand, was left a good deal more exposed, so much so that I would require an actual shield. So my bat-dislodging tactic involved dumpling a cup of our precious water that we hauled every day from the river down in the hole, then, if that didn’t work, following it with pebbles in increasing size until they came flying out at my face. Only then could I do my business.
All in all, not the most relaxing experience. Terrifying, in fact. It lent a high level of stress to one of the most basic daily activities, which most people take for granted that they get to do in peaceful privacy. I became jumpy, in general, and tried (unsuccessfully) to avoid going to the “bathroom.” I even started using the bushes until villagers nearly tripped over me several times, and until I was surprised by enormous crabs with pinchers brandished at my derriere and by a giant hairless bush rat the size of a Welsh Corgi. Bats seemed preferable, then.
This whole story might seem tangential to my knee, but it’s really not. Your entire outlook on life changes when you don’t know what might come careening, like little black stealth bombers, for areas best left alone. So, while I might not be able to prance around, at least I don’t have bats in my toilet. It’s all a matter of perspective.