Nice and good things


If you’ve been reading Jam and Idleness recently, you know I had a really bad case of the flu and was generally incoherent from around Feb 20 until further notice. I’m finally better, but it took more than a month and the fallout continues. A month’s worth of forced inactivity has set my very tricky neck and shoulder situation back years, and so on top of being forced to turn down a bunch of work when I became too sick to continue, I’ve had to limit how many hours of work I do because sitting at my computer has become a serious problem. This knot or something behind my left shoulder blade starts pulsing and burning soon after I sit down, then it spreads up my neck and over onto my shoulder and pectorals until I can’t bear it. Then I go for very long walks because that’s all that helps; it did, anyway, until the arch of my left foot collapsed again. Which is why I’m here right now.

To sort the first part of all this, my husband and I began bleeding money to replace all our chairs because literally none of them have been comfortable for me in the year since I fell and pinched the nerve in my lower back. Good news: we found some chairs. Bad news: except for my desk chair, which is a dream on my lower back but is so far not keeping me from feeling like my left shoulder is being torn away from my neck and head, none are here yet. You see, if it doesn’t come from IKEA, it might actually take time to make—and, one hopes, not be utter junk. I am looking forward to maybe ever sitting on a couch next to my husband again. Or being able to read a book without having to take painkillers or just give up after an hour or so because the armrests are driving my shoulders up into my ears. For those of us who are of average height but walk around on runty Hobbit legs, it is surprisingly difficult to find furniture that isn’t too deep, furniture that isn’t designed only to slouch or drape or perch upon.

And, of course, I won’t actually know if any of the other chairs and couch are good choices for me until I try to sit on them for extended periods of time after their arrival.

I’m tired, man. This has all been going on so very long. Stoics can suck me arse, as we used to say down east.

Because hope is no longer flowing spontaneously from my brain into my heart, or vice versa, or wherever hope flows from and to in order to keep humans from being overwhelmed by whatever their interminably unpleasant experience of day-to-day life happens to be, I am now consciously going to do something to try to simulate that happy event. I am going to do the sort of thing feel-good flakes that make me want to punch heads might suggest. I am now going to create a list of things for which I am grateful. A list of nice and good things in my life. Here goes. I will try not to drown this list entirely in irony.

The Official Jam and Idleness List of Nice and Good Things [DRAFT]

  • Never having to look nice—or even clean—to go to work.
  • All the cats. (Today, while I lay with an ice pack under my spine, I had two cats (Lyra and Jones) attending, each holding a hand and purring very loudly and reassuringly. But then there’s also just Fat Jeoffy, all the time.) Fat Bubs
  • Blue jays in the tree outside my window.
  • My husband is the best person in the world and he invents awesome words; today it was “glummox,” the meaning of which I think should be obvious but if not: Glummox, n.: A sad lummox. E.g., my ex who, during the transit strike in our last year of undergrad, spent all day on my couch in his tighty whities staring blankly at the TV and eating chips until he had to get ready to walk the 20 minutes to his 6 pm class, which made him chafe and cry.
  • I just ate what might quite possibly have been the most delicious orange of all time.
  • Chekhov, Mantel, Nemirovsky, Turgenev, Woolf!!
  • I do live in a pretty interesting and cool part of town.Neighbourhood watch
  • I don’t live on the frozen icy death-scape that is the entire eastern seaboard. Although it is snowing here, in Toronto, on April 4, it is not going to make anyone’s roof collapse.

This is rather shorter than I was hoping it would be but my shoulder is evicting me from the desk now. Let’s assume that I will have both cause and occasion to add to this list in the near future.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. heidenkind says:

    (Hugs) For awhile I felt like there was a black cloud hanging over me and I wrote down one thing I was grateful for everyday day. It is cheesy, but it helps. Hope you get your chairs soon!

    1. Colleen says:

      Thanks, T. I feel rather black cloudish myself, so will keep at highlighting the things I’m grateful for. 🙂

  2. lizbass says:

    I’ve been silently following your blog for some time and just wanted to pipe up and say that I feel your pain. I have a neck-shoulder issue similar to what you describe. Last year I spent a bundle on chairs. Having good support and low armrests is a big improvement, although computer work continues to be a challenge. Good luck!

    1. Colleen says:

      Yes, the computer is a problem…the place where I eke away at my livelihood AND many of my happiest leisure hours. Trying to remain hopeful…! I’m glad you’ve gotten at least some relief from all your new chairs.

      (And hi! Nice to meet you.)

  3. Stefanie says:

    Your neighborhood is protected by Batman? That is so awesome! Fat Jeoffy is just the cutest.

    So sorry about your back and foot. At least the flu is gone. My husband and I are both a bit shorter than average but in addition I have long legs which allow me to sit comfortably on furniture and he has stumpy hobbity legs and whether he is on a chair or the couch he has a pile of pillows crammed in behind his back. His inability to ever be truly comfortable is frustrating for both of us. I think I will try and be more sympathetic now though.

    1. Colleen says:

      I envy you your freakishly long legs! We just got our new couch and I can actually sit in it–what a relief and what a delight. If only I could just sit and read instead of work…

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