Some days start out with a four page to-do list and end up with comfort food.
This is one of those days. Two dear friends have beloved mothers in the hospital, at the same time, in different states, and I can’t be with either of them, though I’d love to be with both. One expects to get her mom settled back into her own home by the end of the week, and the other, oh, my heart aches. I don’t even want to type it.
Real Life Romance Hero was home today, both of us drained and cranky and concerned for our friends. We made grilled cheese and tomato soup and hung out in the kitchen, discussing food and film and baking lemon poppyseed quickbread. He advocated greasing the pan when the directions didn’t call for it, and dumping the excess butter in the batter, both of which ended up happening. Dinner will be Chinese delivery or meatloaf and his homemade mashed potatoes (that would be Real Life Romance Hero’s mashed potatoes. I don’t know if Meat Loaf makes mashed potatoes or not, but if he does, that would be fitting.)
Prior to the comfort food, I shoveled the walk, for the third time in twenty four hours, and, also for the second time in twenty four hours, hauled a load to the laundromat. Not my first choice of activities after said shoveling, but A) it’s February, B) we live in Upstate New York, and C) I was out of socks and long sleeved shirts. So, laundry had to happen.
The smaller pad, next to the Diet Coke can, ended up with a four-page to-do list, which I informed Real Life Romance Hero about upon my return. I told him also that Plan B was to say “forget all that and watch movies.” Because sometimes, we have to. Our bodies are tired. Our heads are full. Our hearts are heavy. This is one of those days, and I do have Revolutionary Road, which I know darned well is going to be gorgeous and tragic all at once, waiting for me. I haven’t cracked it open yet, because that’s the way the day has gone.
That four page to-do list? There are going to be a lot of arrows on it. Arrows, in my lists, mean carry over to the next day. Because there will be one. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time on this planet, it is that. Carrying things over from one to-do list to another doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is the way I accepted that today. Okay, not going to get All The Things checked off today, but did have a good hangout in the kitchen with Real Life Romance Hero, got to warn him not to touch the food until I’d photographed it, and had a much-needed break where we got to discuss Things That Are Important (friends’ mums, what both of us are doing with work these days, how the deep freeze outside affects our plans for the week) and Things That Are Not (current movies neither of us want to see, things we each read on the interwebs, how to share a single order of silver dollar pancakes and what side dishes there should be with that.)
We’re in a lull now, him doing dishes in the kitchen, and me under an afghan in the comfy chair, Spotify open and tuned to one of my story playlists, inspiration picture open in another window. We’re both waiting for the quick bread to cool (he calls it “a dirty tease” that there is an in-pan cooling period and an out-of-pan cooling period.) He’s puttering and I’m…writing.
It strikes me funny that, when not so long ago, trying to write meant me smashing my head against a brick wall for hours at a time, and now, when I’ve given myself permission to take a day off, I’m diving into my fictive world because that really is where I want to be, when I can be anywhere. To have the WIP be the place to go for comfort and rest, that’s a pretty good thing. I will take that, and gladly.
View from the laundromat