Quotidian is an adjective that means
- of or occurring every day; daily.
“the car sped noisily off through the quotidian traffic”
- ordinary or everyday, especially when mundane.
“his story is an achingly human one, mired in quotidian details”
With pearls around my neck and not a bra in sight, I sit on my couch enjoying the first official day of holidays. How glorious to not live according to innumerable tasks but by the amber path of the sun, which snakes quickly across winter’s grey sky. With the cats upstairs and the groceries bought this morning long since put away, what to do? It’s a dilemma with rounded edges that feels nice to entertain. Work always seeps in, part gift and part albatross for those of us who live to think and love to write. I wouldn’t know 9-to-5 if it was staring me in the face. I love working, not all the tasks of course, but many of them bring joys of all kind: accomplishment, support, new ideas, collaboration, moving agendas forward, opportunities to expand myself.
Work is also one of the most powerful places to put ourselves, socially and spatially. It represents growth in stature, reputation, and financial standing and it quite literally governs where we situate our bodies on a daily basis.
This is true even in our increasingly mobile occupational settings, where Zoom, emails, and texts dominate professional interactions. Work is also becoming embedded in my body in new ways since Covid and home ownership, two new developments that have seen me type more than ever and engage in different kinds of physical work. I doth love my hedge clippers too much – UGH. But, it’s so satisfying to clip – clip tree branches and when they bob up, with buoyant grace, after each snip it’s like they’re saying “thank you.”
Sadly, my intense arbor-ing is what created the conditions for tendonitis to sneak into my life. I had to give it up before I could realize all of my clip-clip dreams and get the endless supply of mammoth yard waste bags to the curb. They were too heavy :(. This means that the debris of last fall sits in many tall bags in my basement, next to suitcases, the furnace, an old pool table, and boxes of non-essential personal items I refuse to let go of. When the soft balls of knotted tissue appeared just below both elbows I freaked out and tried to restructure my work to reduce my typing, which is a lot harder than it sounds. I then went to physio, where I learned that my forearms aren’t the ‘problem’. My wrists need to be strengthened and I do this, not as often as directed mind you, a few times a day with a red resistance band.
The cats love when I do these exercises, especially my new kitten Jhona, who attacks the band with feigned ferocity as I quietly do my 3 sets of 10 exercises. For some reason I’ve opted to do these stretches in the smallest of my three bedrooms, the one at the top of the stairs with no door and the most slanted of all the ceilings. It’s cozy with many books, plants, and a large window that looks onto my backyard and those of my neighbours on all sides.
From the Victorian settee, Elliott watches every wrist bend and sometimes gets in Jhona’s way as he battles for supremacy with the rubber band. It’s weird but these bands always remind me of tripe for some reason, maybe because they’re both long, flat surfaces.
Returning to cats, I had to block an errant member of the Cat Club I founded on Facebook. Ours is a cheery place for cute pictures and GIFs, no horrid tales of torture or adoption plugs. I approve everyone who asks to join and have only had two problem members over the years. Both older cat ladies, the malcontents committed the same violation of posting sad pictures and desperate adoption stories. The first one acknowledged the error of her ways and didn’t do it again, but the other one was wild. She responded to my reminder about our good, clean rules with a “thumbs up” emoji, but was at it again the next day. WTF?
When I brought the matter to her attention she asked me which group I belong to and, incredulously, asked me to send her a link and/or screenshot of the group to remind her. UMMMM. I was floored and it took everything in me to not say: (1) Listen Sheila, I have a FT job and am not about to waste my time doing this, (2) How many FB cat clubs do you belong to?; and (3) Maybe you should slow your roll with the feline thing and pick up a less nutty hobby. Instead of saying any of these things I just deleted her from the group in one fell swoop.
After my un-membering, I posted an Instagram story with a picture of He-Man, who had an arm raised, sword in it of course, and a lightening bolt emanating out of the sword…or from the sky. Either way, the effect is the same: righteousness.
So ends my mundane, early holiday musings – no specific aim or plot in sight. It’s nice to write so freely. How are your holidays unfolding in this strange Covid season?