I arrived back in Scary City on Saturday. Had dinner that night with my new dear friends here: La and her partner. This was important. Coming back here from my time with friends in Home Region - with A, with S, with M, with my dance community - and being able to walk right into a fabulously fun night in a similarly easy friendship, was symbolic of my perhaps beginning to put down roots here. Just beginning.
I am not teaching this term, because of my surgery. This makes me feel at once guilty and gleeful. I went to campus today to do a couple of things, and everyone around me was in high gear, what with the first day of classes. I can't believe the gift I've been given. I can't believe what a difference it makes, not having that pressure. I am a whole new me.
This is one of many things that are making me feel amazingly optimistic about this new year. Last year was such a disaster that I think I have really sub-consciously felt the turn to a new year. Having my birthday and New Year's at the same time really allows me to reflect, and to consciously turn a page. Last week, I was staying with my friend A in Home City and she made me a birthday dinner, including this cake, which perfectly captures my feelings about this transition: Perhaps because I'm not teaching, I really do feel as if I will be able to rock this year. Funny that I feel this way even though I am starting out the year with invasive surgery. But the recovery will be lovely. And I am rubbing my hands with glee at the prospect of diving back into my research and writing. I have big plans for writing, between now and August - and feel quite confident that they're achievable, which is certainly a novel feeling.
In preparation for my surgery, I have also begun cooking in ridiculous quantities and stocking my freezer. Today, it was a kind of baked ziti with wild mushroom sauce, and a yam/peanut soup. Before I go into hospital on Thursday, I'll make a double batch of macaroni and cheese and a pot of chili with veggie ground round. I am so set, foodwise, and this too makes me happy. To be taking care of myself.