Saturday, February 25

hot and bothered

“Summer is my favourite season.” 
I used to say that, whenever such topics arose in conversation. We had a pool in the backyard for the scorching days, we were free to do as we liked for weeks on end, my birthday and Christmas fell during this period, water melon was regularly served, dresses and shorts could be worn....and I could live a goose-bump, chilblain free life. Nice.
Now I shudder when I hear people say how much they love the hot weather. I look at them blankly. Usually I am capable of making at least some small talk, and surely ‘the weather’ is the most elementary of topics - but their statement fills me with strong emotions. I told the lady in the shop yesterday that I didn’t like hot weather, and she gave me an odd look because she can’t think of anything better. Another lady asked me if I was going to beach. Not the beach, but feet in a bucket at home, if that counts. I went on Facebook, and saw that an acquaintance had written, “37 degrees today, bring it on summer.” And that status update had been liked by numerous personages. But all I can think is, what is to love about lying in a dark room beneath a fan?
I used to practice my 3 hour quota on a 38 degree day, taking dips in the pool between sessions...before CFS moved in. Today, I picked up my flute, determined to play. My flute felt a lot heaver than pure silver – I blew one wispy low G, felt my head sway and leaned back on the couch. I put it away in its case, marked with my sweaty finger prints. Still light headed, I get up thinking that I should just clear some things away in the kitchen. I wonder what my feet have been filled with. They are bulging, veins exploding – in shades of alien green, purple, and cherry red. I walk slowly towards the kitchen (a very short stroll in a one bedroom flat), as though I am 3x my weight and feel sorry for the contestants on Biggest Loser. Once there, I feel like I need to rest – my body is lethargic, swaying and weak. I want to lie on the cold tiles and cry. Sob, because I am feeling so ill, and there is no relief. There is no air conditioner. We can’t drive anywhere because the car is always 10 degrees hotter than the house. There is no ice cream – sugar gives me an enflamed throat. There is nothing to fill the hours with, because I’m too sick to stick at anything for more than a few minutes. I watch some Anne of Green Gables, but have to stop because my headache is blurring up my vision. I check the weather, for the 11th time today. The cool change has not been brought forward, and tomorrow is forecast to be 37 degrees. It will be precisely 6 hours until the sun sets and there comes some minor relief in temperature.  I could fit in the fridge if we took the shelves out. I could have a cold bath if I could be bothered running it. But I’ve lost my motivation, and I’m too tired to search for it.
 I wish I’d kept my eye on the weather forecast this week. I had no idea we were headed for a hot spell. I had planned to go to an MSO concert with Ben, practice my flute and clean the house. It’s so odd that the weather can cause me to go from reasonably well, to reasonably ill within a few hours – and completely curtail my plans. I think it shakes me up because it comes down to the core issue I struggle with:
I’m not in control.
I don’t get to decide the weather for Melbourne. I don’t even get to vote for when the hot days fall. It’s totally out of my hands.
 So it’s really the perfect opportunity for me to practice letting go of my plans and making the most of what has actually happened. Three years of would imagine that I would have learnt to let go of my agenda, and embrace the life I do have. But I seem to need a regular crash course. I forget so quickly. So here we go for the hundredth time: today has not gone to plan, but it’s a day so I’m going to value it.  

 Picture curtesy of

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