I think I may have spoken too soon about having the days to myself again. Last week, the kids' first full week of school, was long. There was no "easing" our way back into a schedule, we plunged right into it. There were also medical and dental appointments that I had to take each of the children to, and one early morning meeting with a guidance counselor. This is all good, I suppose, this busyness that feels a lot like a sense of purpose.

Anyway, it's another week. Yesterday was laundry day. I had to go to the laundromat because our building's washing machine has been staining our clothes with a waxy grey substance and it's been giving me major stress. I know it sounds ridiculous to fret over such a small thing, but it would drive you nuts too if your laundry kept ending up dirtier after you had washed it. So off to the laundromat I went, as early as I possibly could just to get it over with. I dreaded having to do it, but I did it. And now our clothes are clean. I've reported the apartment washing machine to the landlord and she said it just needs to be cleaned with vinegar or bleach, but I am skeptical about that completely solving the problem. It appears to me that the machine doesn't properly go into a rinse cycle and just regurgitates dirty water. I don't know if I can stand having to haul a ton of laundry each week by myself to the laundromat and back if this problem persists. But of course I will do it. Who am I kidding. These past several years have all been a test in soldiering on.

Depression creeps up on me, but I try really hard to keep myself busy to overcome it, or at least to distract myself from it. I get out of bed and do my chores and make sure that home is always comfortable. I keep up with my kids' lives and activities and listen to their stories. I lavish attention on my plants and cat. I make things to amuse myself (most recently, matcha cookies and cloth bowl covers). I force myself to go to the Y (I swam 95 laps last week, I'm not so sure about this week). I read. I take pictures. I try to write -- always try to write, even if it's mostly in my head while washing the dishes or taking a shower. I maybe need more human interaction, though humans tend to be disappointing (lol). I also know I need to get out of the house more, except I don't really have anywhere to go (LOL).

There was a time a few months ago when I felt effortlessly content. I stopped eating meat for a while -- I was always hungry but I felt virtuous -- and went swimming nearly every day. It felt good to be cradled by the water and to think of nothing and hear nothing but the rhythm of my own breathing, and that was its own reward. Summer break disrupted that, and now it's harder than I thought to get back to it. I was just reading something recently about the concept of tapas, in yoga, which is from a Sanskrit word that means "heat." Heat is associated with pain and so we meet it with resistance, even though heat is also transformative and creative. Tapas is the story of my life.

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