Writer’s block is real.
My current life is uneventful. The Carpenter hasn’t provided any fodder for a column. The teenagers only come out of their rooms long enough to see their shadows and go back inside. There has been no drama or humorous moments to record.
So here I sit on deadline and I have nothing to say.
This stagnant creativity turns up the volume on the voices inside my head that are just plain cranky. Surely this is a sign of cabin fever. The February blahs have set in. I love a Canadian winter as much as the next person, which means I marvel at the beauty of freshly fallen snow while I curse the driveway full of freshly fallen snow. How cliché. How Canadian.
There has been too much grey and not enough sun. I hug my Vitamin D bottle each morning in hopes it conjures sunshine, the real kind. It doesn’t. That’s what Instagram is for. That’s where all my friends share their tropical vacation photos. Blue ocean. White sand. Hot sun. Lounge chairs.
Am I bitter? You bet your flip-flops I am. These friends are sadists. They are purposefully rubbing salt and a squeeze of lime into my dry, chapped skin. Their news feeds are like a photo gallery of paradise. Cuba. Jamaica. Bahamas. Florida. Mexico. I can sum these images up in two words: umbrella drinks; romantic retreat; tan lines; palm trees; fine cuisine. I have two of my own words for these cruel friends, but the editor won’t publish them.
You know the worst part about those vacation posts on social media? The bragging. The flagrant flaunting of joy. The happy hashtags. And worse still, the fact that I cannot be mad about any of it, because what kind of a friend would I be if I weren’t happy that my friends are living good lives?
I know my friends work hard. They deserve to play hard too. We all need a break. We all deserve an umbrella drink. I can overlook the fact they left me at home in the frozen tundra. Who am I to blame them for taking the opportunity to eat fresh fruit harvested right there in the country of origin? Ugh, it’s exhausting to be nice.
Every time I scrapped my windshield in the midst of our last two ice storms, I practiced gratitude. Meditation via windshield clearing.
Scrape. Chisel. Scrape. Thank you for this car. Thank you for the defroster. Winter is beautiful. Good, it’s working. Scrape. Chisel. Sweep. Scrape. Shard of ice to the eye ball. Snap windshield scraper. Use bad words. Curse my vacationing friends with a bout of traveller’s diarrhea (how is that fresh native fruit working for you now?). Evil laugh with steam coming from my mouth. Self-correct. Thank you for friends who share good news. Thank you for social media perfection. Thank you for reminding me I am broke and late for work, again. Scrape. Chisel. Slip on black ice in your own driveway. Quick scan to see if any neighbours witnessed it. Kick car like it’s the car’s fault.
Until my ship comes in, I’ll just be here chipping away at the windshield of life, knowing that soon, very soon, I will be angry that you all have cottages, trailers and road trip plans.
Just kidding. (Not kidding).