An Australian prime minister got into much trouble for quoting (many, many years ago) that “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.” We’re so busy focussing on the big picture and the life-threatening health issues that sometimes the small pass us by. I’m a constant reminder to others that the small is also important. And that life is not always easy and it’s seldom simple or straightforward.
I turned sixty on 25 April, and had a good (but small and quiet) birthday. I wanted to do All the Things, but pandemic is pandemic. It’s just as well I wasn’t impossibly ambitious because I had a bit of an infection in a joint on my right hand. It became quite severe very quickly and I’m still on antibiotics for it. Today is the first day I’ve been able to type anything that long since then. Everything hurt, including sleep.
That’s my reminder. Turning sixty is no big deal. Ignoring a sore finger can become one, if one doesn’t take care.
I needed the reminder, because around me all kinds of people have moved back into normal life… and I can’t do anything like that until I’m vaccinated. I receive my first shot on 21 May.
I’ll be very busy the next few days, for I have until Friday to catch up on everything delayed due to the hand-that-would-not work. I can’t put any of it off, for the edits of a novel are about to come through. The novel was delayed by pandemic ramifications (it affects our lives in so many ways) and I’m really looking forward to seeing what a US editor makes of my Australian voice. So I’m going from bad to wonderful, via a busy path.
Today was an in-between day. I was well enough to do an hour’s work and three hours of meetings. The rest of the time I complained at people, obtained more medication, and told everyone “May the Fourth Be With You.” I watched a bit of Star Wars, for it seemed the right thing to do.
I started writing this after midnight. This post, then is my first step towards much writing of various kinds. In fact, you are the first readers of anything more than two painful sentences in nine days.
I’ll report back in a fortnight and let you know how everything went. In the meantime, don’t do what I did! If something hurts and you have no idea why, take it to the doctor as quickly as possible.
Because of the pandemic, I planned to celebrate my birthday for as long as it takes. I’ll start again when I stop hurting. Soon. Very soon.
Our prime minister complained for the rest of his life that we’d all missed the critical second part of his quote. Malcolm Fraser had paraphrased George Bernard Shaw and was trying to tell us all that life could, nevertheless, be delightful. Like my birthday. Like seeing friends through Zoom. Fraser made a tactical error in assuming that the press cared about communicating the second half of his quote but right now… his idea wasn’t far removed from my everyday.