Posted by: scintillatingspeck | December 10, 2011


Okay, I admit it.  I’m freaked out by what’s happening in Europe right now.  I’m not the only one acknowledging that there are reasons to feel extremely alarmed, of course; feel free to check The Automatic Earth, for example, which includes links to a variety of credible sources.  Even if you can’t wrap your head around the arcane financial language, you can get the gist of it: it’s bad.  It’s really, really bad.

It has been a deeply weird week.  All the illness and stress has been disorienting.  Tom not going to work for so long is disorienting.  Then my parents volunteered to come get Lily and take her to Boston with them for a few days, and not having Lily around is disorienting.  I miss my little ray of sunshine.  And on top of everything, I keep reading the news.  The problem with reading the news is that it never leads to feelings of calm and groundedness.  Instead, my fretting has mounted and mounted.  I don’t even have Lily here to distract me from it, to remind me that sometimes all that really matters is running around in circles, or drawing in a dot-to-dot book, or snuggling together and saying to each other, “I love you so much I’m going to explode.”

So this morning I woke up and had a bit of a freak-out.  What if the banks are all going to crash in rapid succession, interconnected as they are, in a matter of days or weeks?  Have we done everything possible to prepare for such a thing?  (Of course we haven’t done everything possible.)  What is the current state of our food storage?  What about tools?  What about all the projects we were going to do on this house and garden where we’ve only lived for four months so far?  Should we take money out of the bank?  If so, how much?  Where would we put it?  How can we possibly prioritize everything that we should do, as soon as possible?

All this fretting led to:

  • a brainstorm with Tom, with accompanying list of procurable stuff
  • a hastily hatched plan to visit EcoBuilding Bargains, Florence Hardware, and River Valley Market (as well as Yankee Mattress Factory to pick up the mattress I had ordered before Tom’s back went out)
  • a call to the dear, affable, helpful Hannah, who willingly agreed to join the shopapocalyptic freak-out and mattress retrieval
  • an actual visit to Cup and Top (oh, right, lunch), Florence Hardware and to the mattress place; the other destinations were scrapped for today.

Clearly, anxiety can only get you so far in a single day.  I started hitting a wall of overwhelm pretty fast.  It doesn’t help to be in a store filled with lots and lots of potentially useful products, only to be semi-paralyzed with fear of running out of time, fear of making ill-informed decisions, fear of not having one’s priorities straight, and fear of being perceived as a veritable lunatic.  (In talking with the owners of Florence Hardware, they seemed to settle on the idea that the shopping frenzy was prompted by a combination of us being new homeowners along with the recent power outage.  Or maybe they’re nodding to themselves, saying, “Yep.  Preppers.”  They did seem suitably impressed that one of the first things we did upon moving in was get the wood stove inspected, the chimney cleaned, and ordered and stacked our cordwood.)

After all of that, I was so sure I was going to make it to River Valley Market at least, but it didn’t happen.  It was all I could do to make a cup of chamomile-lavender tea in a feeble attempt to calm myself herbally.  The agitation continued.  It doesn’t help that I am still sick with a cold.

I went to Owl and Raven in the evening, which was a marvelous choice.  There was excellent company and good cheer.  I also learned that there is a full moon tonight, which seems to explain a lot.

Hopefully my new mattress will make me zonk right out.



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