We made it to fall

Last month was pretty eventful, hence the silence. A quick recap:

I withdrew Kai from kindergarten.
Even with all our homeschooling, school was wearing us down. Homework took 12+ hours each day — even Kai’s kindergarten homework! — and required much more hands-on parental involvement than I’d anticipated. (Right as my morning job changed my whole work lineup, complete with a two-week overlap between the old and the new briefs. That was fun.) Neither kid’s classes involved any remote instruction, synchronous or otherwise. Anya was floundering without a teacher, and Kai was becoming belligerent and telling me he hated school. Hated school. At 5. So I withdrew him. I’m using this extra year to help prepare him for school — giving him small yet steadily increasing amounts of work each day, and looking for alternative ways (camp, online classes, play dates) to socialize him. And I’m hoping that next year will be better so he can go to camp and attend school in person.

I’m hoping next year will be better, full stop.

Anya is finally being tested for dyslexia.
Now that I’m Anya’s teacher, I’m getting the full picture of her learning disabilities — they’re a force to be reckoned with. She’s so smart, but that intelligence does not always come out in worksheets; you have to talk to her to see what she really knows. And virtual learning for us has been all worksheets. So I reached out to the speech and learning center at the university, and we’re in the process of getting her evaluated for dyslexia and other language processing disorders. My hope is that the results will mean the school has to accommodate her needs, and that further therapy through the center will help her learn to work past her challenges.

I tested negative for RA.
I’ve developed what may be another symptom of food sensitivities, or it may just mean I’m getting old: I’m having random but increasingly incapacitating joint pains. Wrist, finger, elbow, and hip pain make sense, considering how many hours I spend sitting and typing. However, my feet have no reason to hurt. Given my family history, I had the doctor rule out rheumatoid arthritis. I didn’t have any of the markers for RA, or markers for any other autoimmune disorder, so that’s a relief. But it also leaves me once more without answers. I seem to hurt worst when I’m also swelling, so I am testing foods to see if there is a dietary link beyond soy (which I already know causes me joint pain). I’m also trying out turmeric and giving the probiotics another go. The probiotics do seem to be helping, so let’s hope the turmeric follows suit.

R has been in quarantine for the past two weeks.
R’s niece, who lives in another state, turned 21 a couple of weeks ago, so he drove out there to go to her party. As a precaution, we have had him quarantined upstairs since he got back. We eat separately, sleep separately, use separate bathrooms, and wear masks whenever we are together. Happily, he has had no fever and no symptoms, so he should be rejoining us soon. I’m not sure if that’s such a great thing for him — he’s got a sweet setup up there, with an air mattress, snacks, a beer fridge, all of his DVDs and video games, and mandated alone time — but we’ve sure missed him.

We left the house!
The (slightly) cooler weather has allowed us to go outside a bit more often, so we have resumed visits to the botanic garden. They finally reopened the kids’ section, too, so while not all features are available for play, they can at least play in the playhouses and climb on things. As the weather improves, I’m planning on bringing picnic lunches so we can enjoy some extra time there. We love our yard, but it sure is nice to leave it once in a while.

Summer has finally passed (chronologically, at least). My kids are super psyched for fall. School’s going a bit smoother this week. Work is, for the moment, not awful. I am hopeful that October will go more smoothly than September. At the very least, we may be able to venture outside again.

Soylent celery

My celery juice powder comes in a tall zipper bag with a small scoop. It looks like the powder I used to feed my sea monkeys. The scoop even looks like a larger version of the sea monkey food scoop. It smells better than sea monkey powder, though — smells like celery. I like celery quite a lot.

I read somewhere that celery juice is supposed to be really good for you. Full of vitamins. Helps regulate appetite. I’m noticing that my morning almonds upset my stomach; for 30 minutes or so after I eat, my stomach roils and grumbles like I’ve just eaten car parts. So I have been searching for a replacement breakfast. Celery juice seemed to fit the bill. I don’t have a juicer, but I have a blender. That’ll work, right?

Please: If you make celery juice in a blender, strain it first. Otherwise it’s like drinking moist cotton batting. I thought the kids were going to barf, and they weren’t even drinking it. However, you can squeeze a shocking amount of juice from the foamy pulp. It’s a pain in the butt, though, and messy if you’re not quite awake yet. Hence the powder.

“Celery juice powder?!” R said when he stumbled across it in the pantry. He didn’t say much more, because he’s used to finding weird things in the pantry now. Such is life with someone whose digestive system has gone off the rails.

I add the powder to smoothies, which I believe was the intent. Easy-peasy, and the flavor even blends nicely with the other flavors. Or maybe it doesn’t, but I happen to like celery. Anyway, I tried it on its own the other day. Just cool water and sea monkeyesque celery juice powder. It blended to a lovely shade of green, and didn’t taste awful. So I have been drinking it in place of breakfast because it’s fast/easy/quiet and I’m trying to see if my morning belly burbles are to be blamed on the almonds or if that’s just the sound I make in the morning, like my old Bunn coffee maker.

I still think intermittent fasting would help my digestive woes, but after 5 years of breakfast-on-demand, my stomach complains when I skip the morning meal. I’m hoping the celery juice will help ease that transition. And if not, maybe I could make a lifetime supply of cream of celery soup.

I can do hard things

Since my “This is hard; I need help” campaign went so well, I decided to add another. The other day, I printed up a handful of motivational posters from Canva for the kids’ study, including this one:

Yellow and Pink Motivational Poster

(Not my work; I printed up existing designs because free time is nonexistent these days. I’ll make my own later.)

The kids loved the new artwork, and have proudly showed them off to whoever will listen. I took the opportunity to point to this one every time Kai got a case of the can’ts. To which he rolled his eyes and told me that NO, he CAN’T.

A few days later, though, he stopped himself mid-rant. “I can do hard things?” he asked.

“Yes, you can,” I assured him.

And he did.

My morning job abruptly swapped out all of my assignments with brand-new ones. On the third week of distance learning. In the midst of a slew of doctor visits. Just when I was getting the hang of the ones I had. I’ve been assuring myself I can do hard things, and I can — but man, do they suck sometimes. I’ve been on edge, and crabby, and prone to blow up at the slightest provocation.

“Shh…it’s okay. You’ve got this,” Anya told me, after one such outburst.

“Belly breaths,” Kai added.

It’s always so shocking when I hear my words — the good ones, not the profanities — come out of their mouths. Proof positive that they listen, understand, and remember.

We can do hard things.

If you’re a bird, be an early bird

I remember the first time I encountered a rundown of Ben Franklin’s day. I was in college, and I thought he was insane. I could probably go to bed by 10 if I had to, but get up at 4? On purpose? Who does that?

I recently revisited his schedule when I stumbled across this article about it, and realized with a start that it’s actually really laid back. A schedule I’d enjoy following. Easing into the day. Taking two hours for lunch — reading, not working. Dedicating two small but energetic windows of time to the day’s work. I hope to someday be able to scale back to this model.

It made me think, though. I used to be such a night owl. Part of what appealed to me about editing was the ability to do the work any time, anywhere. I envisioned myself sleeping til late morning, then working in the afternoon and evening and having my nights to myself. Until I had a child that woke at 5 a.m. without fail. Now she sleeps in (til 7 or so — she’s still an early riser), and I get up at 4:30. I can count on one hand the nights in the past two years I stayed up past 10 p.m. The times, they changed.

What was so great about being up all night? You can’t do anything. Nothing’s open, no one’s awake, and you have to be quiet so you don’t wake them. Then I realized that was the point. Nighttime was my own, to spend as I wished. I couldn’t cook or clean or do anything productive without disturbing housemates and neighbors. I didn’t have to share my time with anyone. I could read, play games, binge-watch a show only I like, maybe work on a creative project. Nothing productive, though. There are no to-do lists at 2 a.m.

An hour of free time is a luxury these days, so I can’t even wrap my mind around having that kind of freedom. But I now understand why I don’t mind getting up before dawn. Sure, I’m working, but the setup remains the same: hours of cool, quiet solitude, in which I can take things at my own speed. It’s such a welcome contrast to the rest of my day.


Trust the process

I have come, somewhat belatedly, to the conclusion that I’m not a machine. I know, I know — I was shocked, too. For the better part of 40 years, I have frustrated myself. I know what I need to do. I want to do it. I provide myself all the tools to do it. And then…well, I do it, but never as quickly or as well as I’d intended to.

If motherhood intensified this issue, the pandemic has put it under a microscope.

I thought you were going to do the thing? my kids say to me. Usually when I am on deadline, on the phone, on the toilet.

I’m just following up on that project you were working on, my emails say. Need anything from me?

Don’t forget the thing, says the calendar.

And these, say my push notifications.

Bing, says the microwave, the oven timer, the doorbell. Bzz, say my text messages. Blocked call, says my phone. (Most of my calls are telemarketers.)

Remember that one pop song? says my brain. I forget the title and almost all of the lyrics, but that one line ended in a trite yet catchy turn of phrase. Who wrote that, and what have they been up to for the past 17 years?

I bounce from demand to demand all day, every day. But — and here’s the kicker — even when I have a blank stretch of time to work on one thing at a time, I never do. I lay out my exquisitely organized agenda, which accounts for every possible snag and obligation, planning to do X, Y, Z, A, B, C, D. And my days invariably look more like XAYE8FZBPCQ#morecaffeineplz. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted, frustrated, and disappointed in myself. Why can’t I just do the thing I want to do when I want to do it and be done with it?

I’ve tried productivity apps. Accountability journaling. Productivity and goal-setting social media sites. Paper journals and online journals and apps and calendars. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I really am doing the best I can with what I have to work with.

The reason I can’t finish tasks one at a time is because that’s just not my life. It’s nobody’s life. I can think of no person for whom responsibilities line up in an orderly fashion. Not me, not my coworkers, my friends, my husband, my parents, my kids. Life is not baseball; it’s dodgeball.

Even when I block out time for completing work in an orderly fashion (which these days entails getting up long before dawn), my brain struggles with settling down for long stretches. I’ll get an idea, have a breakthrough on an existing project, or remember something I’d planned to do. And boom — I’m back on the multitasking train.

This isn’t ideal, I admit, but…I don’t take breaks. I sit down in front of the computer at 4:30 in the morning and I don’t leave (other than, y’know, bio breaks) until at least 4:30 in the afternoon. I don’t take meal breaks. I don’t go for walks. I’m here, at this desk, doing the things. It’s part of the reason I’ve required physical therapy for repetitive motion-related injuries twice in two years. I know this is bad for me, and I’m trying to get to a point where I can stop, but for now? It’s just the way things are.

So when I take a small detour from my gotta-dos to Google song lyrics or jot down a paragraph in a blog article (hi), rather than feeling guilty, I tell myself it’s my process. I’m not slacking off from this big project: This is my process. I will take a 5-minute brain break, then get back to the things.

And they all get done. Maybe not before someone asks after them, but they all get done.

So from here on out, I’m going to do my best to trust the process.

But I digress

My Gen X heart really wanted to give this post a pithy pop culture title, but none of them really fit. We can’t all be self-aware and clever.

My kids cannot imagine this, but there was a point in my life at which it was not at all uncommon for me to pass entire days, maybe even weeks, without speaking a single word aloud.

I lived alone. I worked alone. If I encountered a coworker (which happened pretty infrequently considering the size of the office), we’d perhaps smile and nod. Any conversations I had were via email and instant messenger. My voice grew so disused that I’d creak if I tried to increase my volume above a murmur.

With my kids, I creak for a different reason: I have become a wall of words. I monologue some days from the time they open their eyes until they finally lay still long enough to sleep. For the hours in between, I am asking and answering questions, giving orders and parrying rebuffs, offering 20 solutions to boredom, yelling at them not to kill each other before dinner and to please for the love of Pete stop jumping on the recliner because it can and will tip over and we’ll all be sorry.

On one level, I’m unapologetic for the word wall. There is much I want to share with them. Much I want them to know. And I like to loop them in on things that they might not otherwise think to ask, so they know what to expect. I frequently see adults forging ahead with their own lives and just assuming that the kids will trail along like a string of ducklings. Which almost never happens unless the ducklings live in mortal terror of the head duck, and I am not that kind of mom.

Just as I’m growing tired of my own voice and wondering if those magic mom hacks I keep reading about actually work for anyone (“Don’t say ‘Put your shoes on, please, because it’s time for us to leave’ — say ‘Shoes’ and watch the magic happen,” they say –except my kids see that as an invitation to argue for 20 minutes about the purpose of shoes and why they have to wear them), my daughter will ask a question that has a long, complicated answer and once more I become my Shakespeare professor, who went off on tangents so frequently that the class syllabus included a recipe for spiced tea. I’m not sure he was even aware of his digressions. I am aware, often painfully so (yes, I do see how very paragraphlike that last sentence turned out to be), but some days I just cannot shut up. It’s like all the words I didn’t say for all those years are pouring out of me so fast that all I can do is grab a paddle and try to keep up.

I’m working on it, though.

The other day, my daughter looked distinctly uncomfortable while I was talking. Shifting, eyes darting, wincing a little. I wasn’t talking about anything untoward — no puberty, kissing, bodily functions, or the lack of visible floor in her room — and I was responding to a question she’d asked, so her reaction puzzled me. I paused and asked her if I’d somehow upset her.

“No,” she said, “I just really have to pee. But I want to hear what you’re saying! Come with me to the potty — I want to keep talking.”

I assured her that my words could wait through a two-minute bathroom break. And felt somewhat validated in my ramblings; this marked the second time in as many days that she’d asked me to talk more. We are approaching the teen years here, and I’ve been doing my best to earn her trust so that she will come to me when she needs to. I now have a small shred of hope that she will, in fact, feel that she can.

Stuck at Home

The other day, Anya told me that though there is a lot she misses about normality, this Stuck at Home (Safer at Home, I corrected her, but she’s not wrong) thing isn’t so bad. Generally I agree. I maintain that things could be much, much worse: One or both of her parents could be unemployed or underemployed. We could be living in a too-small house with no backyard to speak of, leaving me with hyper, restless kids in a crowded room full of injuries waiting to happen. I could be spending my days physically barricading the doors so they don’t sneak out and go see their Mimi, risking infecting her and killing her. I could be doing juggling acts to keep us stocked up on food and necessities while also being the sole caretaker of the kids 80% of the time.

These are not exaggerations, or projections. We’ve lived each and every one of these scenarios in Anya’s lifetime. Just, thankfully, not during a global pandemic.

So in terms of timing, this shutdown could not have come at a better time. The kids are just the right age; the loss of in-person school is a bummer, but not devastating. We’re employed, and employed in the exact right fields; while some people are struggling to make ends meet, we’re making more money than ever, and I do not have to choose between my job and my children’s safety this fall. It sucks that we have to worry so much about Mom’s health, but we can video chat and socially distance and have masked visits. The heat and the dust levels have kept us inside most of the time, but I’m not sure how much more time we’d spend outside in a normal year, and the hot, dusty summer was balanced by a long and amazingly beautiful spring.

I have become increasingly aware of these blessings, big and small, over the past year. For every down side, an up side. For every dark moment, there’s been one of joy.

Yesterday, on the drive home from the doctor (my fall last week resulted in no broken bones — a not-so-small blessing — but I did strain my back and hip), I was overcome with a wave of grief for…everything. Usually I can keep myself too busy to think about such things, but when I am alone they overwhelm me. I took the long way back, so I could have time to compose myself again.

When I returned home, I found my husband and daughter hard at work baking cookies. Gluten-free vegan cookies. Cookies just for me. And they gave me a little space to watch an episode of Dark while they baked, because they know my me time is basically nonexistent these days and I am nearly through the final season.

Truth: This post, as I’d written it in my head, was going to be about how unseen and unheard I feel much of the time — anyone with small kids knows exactly what I mean. The pandemic has only amplified this feeling. But last night I received tangible, tasty evidence that I’m seen and heard and loved.

I’m doing my best to hold on tight to these gestures. I know they will be what I will remember most when I look back at this year, but I am making a concerted effort to recognize and appreciate them as they happen, as well. We’ve lost so much, are continuing to lose so much, but not all is lost. We’re gaining, too.

The cookies are delicious.

Also way more photogenic than my cookies tend to be.

Bumps and bruises

Anya and I have not been having a great week.

Last week, her elbow — the one she broke in pre-K — was bugging her. Waking her from a sound sleep. After a few days, I consulted her orthopedist, who x-rayed it (no new break, thankfully, and no damage to the growth plate, which was my concern), said it was likely irritation in the synovial sheath, and put her in a cast for two weeks. She was all for that…at first. But the shine wore off quickly, and she has been miserable for days. The cast is itchy and hot. She can’t do anything: can’t draw, can’t cook, can’t clean, can’t even wash herself. She keeps scratching and bumping herself and others with the cast. She’s over it. And she has another week to go.

Two days ago, I injured myself in a way that is just so me. I was taking Kai a laundry basket so he could empty the clothes dryer (he’s declared that his job) when I miscalculated the doorway and rammed into the wall with the basket. Overbalanced, slammed into the pantry door with my back hard enough to send everything not secure in the rack crashing down, then crashed butt first on the tile floor. It’d have been funny had it not hurt so bad. I kid you not, I felt the two sides of my pelvis shift outward from the impact. So I have bruises on my back, my butt bones, and my tailbone, and I appear to have strained the muscle that goes from my lower spine to the top of my thigh. Sitting is agony. And my job involves sitting for 12 hours a day.

This has been a long week.

It’s also revealed one of the nice things about having a bigger girl, though: While she is still very much my baby, we’re becoming friends. I took care of her when her arm was hurt, so she’s been taking care of me, bringing me pillows and ice packs and cups of tea. I’ve been in no position to work overtime, cook, or do anything productive, so we ate tater tots in front of the TV while binge-watching Supernatural. (She is Team Sam. I tell her I was also Team Sam in S2, but that Dean comes into his own later on.) We have a lot of Supernatural to go through, and it’s so much fun seeing it through her eyes. I’m already thinking ahead to what we’ll watch next.

I don’t have any grand plans for the next few days. Working, doing what housework absolutely must be done, then Netflix all day. I’ve not watched this much TV in years. I wouldn’t want to make a lifestyle of it, but it’s not a bad way to pass a miserably hot summer afternoon.


Today is Robin Williams’ birthday, and I am honoring the occasion by watching Dead Poets’ Society, rethinking my whole life, and ugly crying.

I did not like this movie that much the first time I watched it. Don’t stone me. I was looking for something lighthearted and irreverent, and DPS is not irreverent. The next few times I watched it, I liked it more, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. I was looking for something with a message and a happy ending. I needed a happy ending. I needed to hold on to the hope that there was some happy at the end of the ish I was slogging through. But this time…this time I think I was ready for it. Maybe it’s my age, or my situation, or just the state of the world right now, but it clicked in a way it never has before.

I’m overall much happier without Facebook. I peek in on Twitter and a handful of local news sites each day (my job keeps me up to date on the big headlines), and that’s really all I need to feel informed. The world’s sucking. I don’t need to read a timeline full of politically charged links to get that. There are good people, and not so good people, and some change is occurring but not enough, and a whole lot of people are dying. Got it.

The ache in my core has lessened since I stopped visiting FB every day. I miss the people. Some of the people. I will eventually figure out a happy medium that allows me to interact with my people without having to deal with the full blast from the wastewater valve, which will likely involve blocking/unfollowing/unfriending some people. I’m in a position of emotional exhaustion, though, so I need to focus on fixing that first.

This time and space and quiet is welcome.

I have been indulging myself a bit in this space. Looking beyond purpose, beyond practicality. Fragrance is my indulgence of choice these days. After so long away from scents and perfumes, I am loving my pretty smells from Sucreabeille. Fragrance is more meaningful to me these days; it’s how I pump myself up, calm and comfort myself, even connect with the kids — they like to match smells with me. We’ve spent so much of the past few months indoors, away from the scents of nature, so it’s nice to revel in a beautiful smell.

I don’t remember the exact wording of the goal, but someone on 43t had a goal about wanting more colors, more scents, more flavors. Yes. Enough austerity. I want music. I want color. I want taste and scent and texture. Every day. What else are senses for?

I also want to create again. There is a great emptiness in me that creativity used to fill. I work and I eat and I clean and I sleep and I need more than that. I haven’t decided what, exactly, I want to create — or, more to the point, which creative thing I want to do first. I’m narrowing the options.

I’m also contemplating shifting my career to something more creative. Much as my persnickety heart loves the minutiae of my job, it’s severely lacking in color and texture and scent and music. When I am working on a creative project, the hours fly and I feel energized by challenges. I don’t really get that same buzz from editing anymore.

Back to DPS again. This quote:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

I thought my verse was motherhood. And it was, and is, and will be. My children will forever be my greatest creations. Parenthood was a calling, and while individual moments are…challenging, it is my purpose, my driving force.

But behind that force is a quiet voice that has not yet had her say. I’m seeking out moments of stillness so I can hear her better.

Caught in a breakdown

I’ve deleted my Facebook app from my phone, and have challenged myself to go a month without checking it on my computer. Every time I’m tempted to open the site, I remember some of the gut-churning crap I’ve seen on there recently and the temptation evaporates. Twitter was looking to see a reprieve (and how bad is FB that Twitter looks good?!) until I noticed that some conspiracy-theorist MAGAhead recently followed me. Not sure what I did to catch her eye (I am almost never on Twitter these days), but it’s even more inspiration to stay away. So if you’re looking for me on social, Instagram’s the way to go. My Instagram feed is full of food and nature and babies. After spending the weekend in tears, I think I need to shut down for a while and focus on nature and babies. (Not so excited about the food. I’ve lost my appetite.)

Sensing that I’d had a hard week, Anya got up early on Saturday and started cleaning while I worked on a freelance project. Not to appease me, but because she wanted to lighten my load. (We still need to work on what will actually lighten my load — dusting the ceiling fans and scrubbing the inside of the stove isn’t exactly it. But bless her little heart for trying.) “You rest,” she told me after I sent off the draft layout. “You do so much. You need a break.” So I spent an hour or so trying to make the most of my Kohl’s cash without having to pay shipping. Like ya do.

Later on, I heard her admonish her brother for the racist treatment of certain characters in the cartoon he was watching. “All the black people are bad guys!” she told him. “Don’t support that. That’s garbage!” I’ve been teaching her about systemic and societal racism, and I knew it registered because she put a Black Lives Matter sign on my tea cup the other day to make me smile. But hearing her say this made me realize she’s internalized the lessons.

She gives me hope for the future, at a time when I most need it.

I eventually joined her in scrubbing the stove. I’m a stress cleaner: I may or may not feel better afterwards, but it’s always nicer to feel bad in a clean house. Anya asked me who my favorite musical artist was; I told her I couldn’t pick just one, but I’ve always been partial to Goo Goo Dolls. So she fired up her Spotify, put on Goo Goo Dolls, and pulled me into a discussion about our favorite GGD songs.

Side note: While I fell away from music — from the world in general — after she was born, the Goo Goo Dolls was for most of my adult life one of my top 3 bands. I’ve seen them in concert several times, and know all of the words to all of their albums from Hold Me Up to Gutterflower. (The title of this post is a reference to one of their songs, one that many people likely have never heard of.)

I don’t think anyone, not even my Rob Gordon-esque music nerd wasband, has ever asked me about my favorite GGD songs. It’s always just been understood that my musical taste is trash and a topic best not talked about. And while I know Anya doesn’t really like my music, the fact that she likes some of it and has given it enough thought to be able to discuss those songs with me validated me in a way I hadn’t realized I needed.

So we talked about their songs for a bit, and it was so nice. I mean, I was still queasy and sniffling and struggling under a feeling of impending doom, but for a moment I felt like a person again.

And that’s when I decided I need a social media fast. Because this is what I go to social media for. Even before the pandemic, I didn’t have friends that I interact with face to face on anything resembling a regular basis. Once or twice a year, I have lunch with a former coworker. The only thing we have in common these days is that I used to work for the company she still works for. And that’s it, really. R and I basically lost all our local friends when we had kids, and life’s been so hectic that we’ve not had a chance to make new ones. So I go to Facebook looking for human connection, and Facebook slathers me in snark and contempt and politics and paranoia and ultimatums and manipulations. I told myself I had to put up with it so I could still keep in touch with people. Then my kid shows me in an afternoon what I’ve been missing, and I deleted the app.

I still don’t really feel any better. Even though I’m not looking at it, I know all that garbage is still out there. But tomorrow’s another day, I suppose. Maybe it’ll even be a better one.