I am having a bit of a “woe is me” weekend. The stress of this ridiculously unlucky year has been catching up with me over the last month or two and my naturally cheery self is nowhere to be found. This is very poor timing since I should be extra industrious this month, studying hard for my upcoming exam. Except I barely have the mental capacity to write a grocery list, never mind cramming tax rules and investment theories into my overwhelmed little brain, after a full day at work. This is my third exam of the year but by far the largest. I keep telling myself I need to buckle down and work hard for just a few more weeks and then I can relax and take a few months off of studying before starting on the next set of courses. This is very true and very sound advice. I just need to act on it.
Saturday was not an impressive day in the life of Claire. It started well enough but quickly went off the rails. My computer died a quick and entirely unexpected death. If you were ever hoping for a review of the Sylvia Townsend Warner letters I keep mentioning, I apologize. My notes are lost forever. Also, I have now spent 24 hours looking for my Microsoft Office installation CD and it is nowhere to be found. A small thing – at least I have the internet up and working again – but enough to drive me batty in my current mood. My favourite sweater bled in the wash. I forgot to buy key ingredients for dinner but of course didn’t realise until I was halfway through cooking it. My hairdresser worried that I might have a serious health issue because of a recent change she’s noticed in my hair. This of course led to deeply distressing internet searches. For a nice distraction, I thought I’d go see the new James Bond film at my local theatre. I got there 40 minutes ahead of showtime and it was sold out.
Usually, I am up to this level of chaos. I am resilient and cheerful. I am generally considered to be charming and optimistic. I take things in my stride and move forward. Yesterday, I just wanted to hit something. Very hard. Or take up drinking. Instead, I had a hot bath, finished reading A.D. Scott’s A Double Death on the Black Isle (not as good as the first book in the series – or was is that just my cross mood colouring my view of it?) and went to bed early.
Today, I tried to calm myself. I did yard work. I bought flowers for myself. I went for a lovely walk in the woods. I attended a concert of Mozart’s Requiem. But I still feel frazzled and exhausted. And tomorrow, another work week starts.
The Mozart concert today was held at a church and before the music started, there was a reading. It was Ecclesiastes 3 – a passage even heathens like me are familiar with:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
This last year has been a trying season of my life and in the lives of those around me. I keep telling myself things will get easier after X is done. But we’ve been through five or six X events now and it’s not getting any easier. It’s not getting worse, though. There is that. I am still hopeful that once I get through this exam at the end of the month, I’ll be able to relax properly for the first time since last November. Fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, I keep reading more novels than I should. Definitely more historical novels than I should in my current mood (damn you Mr. Trollope and Ms. Heyer for being so irresistible). There is nothing so alluring to me right now as a heroine who only needs to worry about her family and her romantic life. How simple that sounds! How much easier than having to balance that with full-time work and further career ambitions! If you know of any gentleman of means looking for a sensible, financially-savvy wife to serve as chatelaine of his profitable estate, please send him my way. Immediately.