This December felt like a complete blur. Even today, on my twelfth day away from work, production and my inbox. I haven’t taken very much time off this year, but I’ve been able to enjoy a good break from work after an intensely busy holiday production season. Time off (and the weeks leading up to it) have included a few colds in our household, and a lingering cough for one of us. Because of my somewhat susceptible and germ-fearing neuroses, I was quietly convinced I had whooping cough. I got tested though, and it came back negative. Turns out, I was just exhausted and sick, nothing more.
In case anyone out there is curious, the pertussis test feels like a wasabi-coated q-tip is slowly being threaded up your nose and down your throat, then slowly removed. All while you breathe deeply and your eyes water intensely. If you’re anything like me though, that news probably won’t dissuade you from following your germaphobic emotional journey to the doctor to soothe your middle of the night fears.
Christmas! This year we flew to Seattle to spend a few soggy, but soothing days in the woods with my family, before spending the rest of the week with Saif’s family in the suburbs, just north of Seattle by about 20 achingly long miles. It rained, but never got frosty which was a welcome surprise. We did some care-taking in Washington, of our families and each other. Saif came down with a cold right as we left San Francisco, and right as my cough started clearing up. We slept until 10 almost every morning, which in itself was a glorious feat in self-care.
Too much this year we’ve stayed up too late, checked our emails “one last time” before bed, and stared into our screens for just another “5 more minutes”. Mornings, pre-coffee saw us reacting to work emails, scrolling through Instagram before wiping the sleep out of our eyes or saying good morning. A few months ago I started leaving my phone in the office in the evenings after I wrapped up work, as a way to shut down and actually check out from all my digital time sucking vices. I’d gotten so used to sleeping with my phone next to me on the bedside table, it actually felt liberating to have it plugged in behind a closed door, on the other side of the house every night. Over the past week or two, our phones have crept back to the dinner table, and back into our hands at the weirdest moments between conversations, between words and pauses. I want to take the pauses back. All those wasted minutes could be put to better use, thinking, talking, making with my hands instead of just scrolling, swiping and tapping.