Remedy for a Bad Week

Posted April 2nd, 2012 by Candice

The bad week started week before last, actually, with the news that my husband would need surgery on his right lung.  We knew this was a possibility, but hoped the lung would improve on its own.  We both took the news in stride, but five days later, I had a nervous breakdown in Wegman’s.

If you’re going to have a breakdown, Wegman’s is the place to have it.  It’s so crowded that one almost-sixty-year-old woman pitching a hissy fit in the middle of the Asian food bar is hardly noticeable.  I felt as jagged and ugly as those chain-sawed pirates.

My week continued to shred.  Persnickety had to go to the vet and came home with 5 new medications.  The earthquake knocked our chandelier from the ceiling.  I received a dismissive rejection on the novel I worked on for a year that was even more jarring.

Though I banned myself from grocery stores, I managed to get my hands on a shocking amount of sugar.   I quit exercising.   Irritable and jittery, I went back on Prozac.  This sounds like a simple solution, but, like many people with a mood disorder, I tend to resist medication.  It feels like failure, especially since I’d been doing so well without it. 

Except for one good day out with a friend, I spent last week flapping around the house like a cabbage moth in a Mason jar.   I searched for salvation in Kohl’s and on the Internet, letting myself down even more.

Finally Saturday came.  I packed my “field bag” (an old leather briefcase I got for $1) with my notebook and Canon and Nikon cameras,  and my husband and I set off. 

First, breakfast at our favorite restaurant.  I can’t resist taking furtive snaps of the people around me.  I take these pictures very fast.  Only the baby was watching me.  After breakfast, we stopped at Paul’s Bakery for donuts (in case we feel peckish), then headed east into King George. 

I dropped off donations at the Opp Shop (where I got the $1 briefcase on our last trip), a thrift shop entirely volunteer-run and only open a few hours.  You won’t find Goodwill Goddesses click-click-clicking hangers on the racks looking for Calvin Klein.  The people shopping here are in genuine need.  All money is poured back into the community.  

From there we went to Colonial Beach.  The ospreys are back, females squatting in nests, males gliding in with sticks in their talons because the missus insisted on remodeling.  I took pictures but the kit lens on my Nikon doesn’t have much zoom power.  I had better luck at the marina at Winkiedoodle Point.  This swan came right up to me, clearly looking for a handout.  I gave him my husband’s donut and he posed prettily.  (Notice I didn’t sacrifice my donut.)

The best part of our outing was coming upon a venue of black vultures (yes, that’s the proper term).  Thirty to forty vultures stood along the highway and perched in trees like a gathering of the local Rotary.  We screeched to a stop and I hopped out to take pictures, but vultures aren’t very sociable.  They flopped into the air, clearly disgruntled at people breaking up their meeting.

When we went home, I felt the frayed ends of the previous week had smoothed a little.  The anxiety of my husband’s third serious surgery is still there, but whittled down.  My favorite moment of the day serves as a reminder:  When you feel rotten, get out with an old friend (or your spouse), wait patiently, and someone will bring you breakfast.