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Puttering

Every so often I need a day to just stay home and poke around.

I wrote this weekend off anyway – this year I finally got a flu vaccine for the first time ever (I’m a tiny bit phobic of needles, and I never got the flu either so why mess with success), and because I’d heard some people can have flu-like symptoms for a day or so afterward, I timed it for a Friday night so I could get through the next couple days at home if I had to.  But right now, except for a slightly owie injection site, I’m okay.

But the idea of just sort of hanging close to home appeals anyway.

Oddly, I’m not thinking of just doing nothing flat-out.  Even the one time I did the “staycation” thing from a job, where I took a week off but didn’t travel, I spent a lot of the time in mildly ambitious housekeeping tasks – clearing out a closet, making big batches of cookies I could stash away or stews I could freeze, giving the bathroom a better-than-usual scrub.  The only time I left the house today was to gather this weeks’ CSA box, followed by a side trip to a Middle Eastern food shop on Atlantic Avenue that has deals on bulk nuts and spices and flours so I could get nuts for spicing and oats for making the British kind of flapjacks.  My roommate is out most of the day, so except for maybe hauling some trash down to the curb, I’m most likely going to be inside scrubbing mirrors and pondering whether there is any kind of casserole I can make that uses half an andouille sausage, five pounds of spinach and some weird bacon-infused cheese.

Over time I’ve noticed that I do this when my life outside the home has started spinning a bit; when I’ve been juggling extensive tasks at work, or I’ve been out and on the town a lot, or I’ve been racing to do other errands; it’s a way to come back to center, exert control over one small corner of the world and ground myself.  I may not be able to completely control my love life or smoothly navigate getting a visa for MIddle East travel to my boss, but making a batch of stew and stowing it into a neatly-marked box in an orderly fridge is an anchor.

Years ago, I read a brilliant observation in a book of Neo-Pagan philosophy – “you must serve the Goddess of Trivia before you can get around to serving any of the others.”  Sometimes you can’t think straight to do anything else when your head is cluttered with your having had to squint at yourself through toothpaste flecks on the mirror.  Best to serve trivia now and then.

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