I’m still grappling with the definition of Labour Day. Does it mean we should work, or abstain from work? While I mull it over, I sit on my balcony enjoying a brunch of soft boiled egg (a double yolk!), cherry tomatoes, toasted whole wheat bagel with butter and a cold can of Pilsner Urquell beer. To accompany my meal, I’m reading #23 in the Alex Delaware series by psychologist-turned-author Jonathan Kellerman.
Still hungry, I come into the kitchen, open the fridge and rummage. I decide to cut myself a generous wedge of goats-milk Camembert cheese (very yummy and goes well with the bitter Czech beer), reminding myself to drink a large glass of fibre-and-water later (cheese is one of the main no-no foods for people with, um, digestive issues).
Back to the balcony to sit in the old Bentwood rocker I inherited from the previous owner of my condo. The food and beer are almost gone (it’s my second and I’m feeling that slight buzz that slows me down and mellows me out) and I’m wondering which way to go, viz Labour Day. Should I go in and vacuum and steam clean my kitchen and bathroom floors? Or should I relax, keep reading, perhaps watch Jerry McGuire, the movie I taped last night?
The weather doesn’t help. It’s gray, overcast, the clouds a monochromatic gray panorama above the river valley. The air is a bit cool but offset by humidity; it’s pleasant to sit and rock and read and drink and think.
I come inside again, to answer a call of nature, and I get hit with this visceral wave of déjà vu. It’s Labour Day. Tomorrow, the kids go back to school. The weather will cool down and soon green leaves will turn red and gold and brown. Soon, it will be Thanksgiving (second Monday in October in Canada). That means a big dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house, a long-distance phone call to my cousin for his birthday – another family gathering marked by overeating and drinking, with everyone praying that tempers won’t flare and that we will peacefully celebrate our many blessings.
As I come out of the bathroom, I think – how many times have I done these things? More than 40. Even I, who cling to the familiar comforts of routine and ritual, find myself feeling bored and restless. What does it all mean? Is this all there is?
It’s 2:00 pm. Still time to make something of the day. And yet… I’m drawn to laziness. Napping. Playing couch potato. Tomorrow, I’ll be back in the office where I’m paid to be, to work. Today? I’m home, alone. No one expecting anything. Or needing anything. Just me. It’s my choice and I can do whatever I want. (You’re not the boss of me, says the rebellious adolescent I have not quite outgrown.)
I think I’m going to watch Jerry McGuire. Nap a bit. And later, I’ll have to cook – chicken and stir-fry veggies – meals for the week.
Tomorrow, it’s back-to-school/work autumn. Already, thoughts of Christmas are flickering around the edges of my consciousness. I try not to live too far ahead. To focus. Live in the present and enjoy each moment as it comes… it’s the only thing totally within my control.