I’m doing this “rest” thing. The guilt is there but I’m trying to ignore it. After living to please most of my life and feeling bad whenever I have to let others down, this is most definitely new territory.
I disappointed one circle of friends as I refused to travel all the way down south to have dinner with a classmate I had neither seen nor heard from in the last decade. I don’t have the energy – physical and fuel – to go the distance. If they’re really my friends, they’ll still talk to me someday. I hope.
I disappointed former colleagues who wanted my opinion and inputs on a couple of things we used to work together on. I had to say no. I’m not emergency-room-sick but I’m nursing a cough, and all of a sudden, the bed sounds more inviting than digging up old files and putting my brain to work. I can’t even imagine getting started on the writing required for that. Sorry if I seem to be a bit irresponsible and downright selfish with my time, but really, I ache for rest.
Yesterday, I had coffee with a sister, slept a lot, watched “The Best of FRIENDS” (a wonderful Christmas gift from Kuya Dan and Peeya), and went to mass. Today I had coffee with my spiritual uncle, went for a short walk, watched “Sideways” on cable, and heard mass. I noticed that our community had been upgraded because there’s now a Jollibee along Don Antonio. I also bought “our daily bread”, but more like every-other-day bread because my parents and I don’t consume a loaf of Gardenia everyday. We share some with the three carpenters who are working on Mama’s dirty kitchen.
Re “Sideways”, it was a movie that appealed to me given what I’m going through. I could relate to the character played by Paul Giamatti, a recent divorcee who wrote a book that would not be published. He tried to do the right thing most of his life, except that he particularly loved wine and drank too much once in a while, making him mover over to the “dark side”, as his best friend put it. He also fell for a wonderful woman, an attractive waitress, but he was shy and reluctant to approach her. He eventually did. I love happy endings. His book didn’t get published but he had one woman who believed in him. He could go back to teaching and life would not be so incomplete anymore.
I looked at the books on my table and searched for the unwritten novel in my mind. I remembered my fear of publishers and editors, as well as rejections. I blog because this is freedom from all that. I have a book entitled “How to Get Happily Published” but I haven’t even read page one.
I’m also doing the job-hunting thing but on a very minor level. It’s a bad time to send out applications because it’s year-end and nobody’s scheduling interviews. I should take my sweet time and enjoy the Christmas Octave.
All that wine-tasting in “Sideways” made me thirsty, actually. It was a wish that was immediately granted, for my parents and I planned our New Year’s Eve menu afterwards and it would include, I happily noted, uncorking the recent bottle of fruity dessert wine that my Ate sent us from Australia. The simplest of pleasures are indeed the easiest to satisfy.
What am I doing New Year’s Eve? Barry Manilow crooned in my Martha Steward Living Holiday Music CD. I would most probably be cooking, going to mass, eating, and drinking with my parents. Most likely, we’d be guarding the phone for overseas and local calls from the rest of the family distributed elsewhere in the world. I would probably send out text messages wishing my friends a Happy New Year.
I would be an unpublished, unwritten character but it would not matter. I would be home.