I had a hard week this past week. I had a head and chest cold from Saturday to, well now really. I was well enough to go back to work on Wednesday though and struggled through the last three days. It’s little wonder that I caught a cold: I’m still very up and down with my grief so it’s little wonder that I am a bit run-down.
While I was off work I was feeling terrible – mentally as well as physically – so I watched some films I’ve been meaning to see for some time but haven’t been in the right mood. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was great and the ending nearly had me vomiting but the basic premise was wrong. The camp commander’s family lived near enough to the camp that his son could see the camp outside his bedroom window. The son presumes it’s a farm and, although he’s told not to, goes to visit. And there lies my problem. The Germans were far too efficient to allow a Jewish child to sit on his own for long and certainly wouldn’t allow an Arian child to sit and chat to an inmate. I had to keep reminding myself of this fact afterwards in order not to dwell on it.
The other film I saw on Monday was Life is Beautiful. Despite it being a holocaust film, it is life-affirming! Completely unbelievable yet when the end comes, I found myself thinking “How’s he getting out of that?”
On Tuesday I saw Casablanca. Have you ever seen it? It’s more than just a love story. Very very good. Then I realised that I’d want to do myself in if I didn’t cheer up so then I saw a comedy which didn’t work well and was completely forgettable since I cannot remember which film I saw. (!)
Wednesday at work was OK. I really struggled in the morning but felt a bit stronger in the afternoon. I was still coughing my way around the office but managed to stay the whole day. Unfortunately we received an email saying that our free car parking was coming to an end as of the end of October. That coupled with the fact that my friend who I’ve been carpooling with three days a week is retiring made me really start to panic about money. I came home and started doing the numbers: should I get a train ticket or do the local Park and Ride? The train is more reliable with winter coming but will mean that my feet will take a beating and I’m getting the same feet problems my mom has… The Park and Ride costs about the same, I’ll walk almost as much but will mean that I can carry things more easily… As you can see I’m still debating the pros and cons of my options…
Thursday was awful. One of the partners from our head office came in, full of the joys of spring and said to me “Isn’t it a wonderful day?” I looked at him and said “What’s so great about it?” However, I really wanted to say “How do you think I’m going to afford to visit to my father’s grave next year now that my friend is retiring and you’ve taken away my free parking?” but managed to resist. Biting your tongue is often a good option in the office. He didn’t quite know what to say and left me alone. His comment sent me into a foul mood on top of my coughing around the place. I cried for a while in the toilet. Lucky for me, my HR lady was in a meeting with him that morning and, when she emerged, she said that he truly hadn’t known that my dad had recently died. So now I knew I had to brace myself: the guy isn’t a heartless bastard and I knew he would apologise. Later that afternoon he apologised nicely and said that I must have thought him very insensitive. Well, I said it’s OK, as you do, and that our HR lady had mentioned the conversation they’d had. He was still being nice to me so I told him “Don’t be nice to me.” I don’t know about you but I go to pieces when people are nice to me. Well he laughed and said “Get back to work! (pause) No seriously…” and he touched my arm and apologised again. I went to pieces. I HATE crying in the office.
That night Helios and I were meant to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in concert but I asked him if we could skip it and cuddle on the couch instead. I’ve seen DVDs of the band and would like to see them live (Their rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has to be heard to be believed!) but I just wasn’t up to it. I don’t regret skipping it but hope to see them again at a point when I’m feeling better about life.
Luckily I had a dream where I was actually having fun on Thursday night – one of the symptoms of my polycystic ovaries is strange and vivid dreams. I was at an office party where a number of other office parties were taking place. (This happens a lot in the UK.) As I’m organising my office Christmas Party this year, I think my brain was concentrating on that! It was OK until I saw a popular girl from my high school. When she turned up in my dream, all jet-lagged and unhappy, I went over to say hello. Everyone in her office wanted to talk to me about UK/US differences and how I felt about living in the UK. She didn’t talk to me much, which made me think that she was jealous which made me feel slightly superior. I know it’s pathetic but after the day I had, just feeling competent was an achievement. While I was chatting, the people from my office left so I went off to find them. In another room there was a wave machine and I went surfing. It was great fun and I woke up wondering if I should really be beating myself up as much as I do?
Friday at the office was easier: the head-honchos weren’t in and I got on with some filing. I’m not looking forward to the next couple of weeks at work: my line manager (wonderful woman!) is on her fortnight break and I’ll be in charge of office admin. I’ve been left plenty of notes and have been told to ring her if needs be. Normally her going away is a little stressful but nothing I can’t handle. I acknowledge I’m really not myself at the moment, however, and I hope I don’t struggle while she’s away.