If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

05 June 2005

SPLAT: that's the sound of me hitting the wall.

I knew it would happen. As The Mom reminded me pointedly today via phone, I have a typical pattern: run flat out for as long as I can, then collapse in a heap. You know the saying, sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug?

Yesterday, I was a giant squishy bug. Oooooooohhhh, it was *so* not pretty. Fever. Sore throat. Aching skin, hair, neck. An emotional mess for absolutely no reason. The trigger was a letter in the mail from my shipping company (requesting a stack of docs in order to release my stuff from the Naples port - some they should already have, others not yet in existence - more bureaucracy ...), which I received upon my return from a much-too-long lunch at the overprotective mother and son's house, with other neighbors former Ambassador to-or-from-somewhere and his wife in attendance. A lovely affair, really. Just *much* too hot (who eats steaming pasta, roast beef, spinach frittata, and red wine smack in the middle of a hot day?!!), and much too much Italian. I didn't mean that to sound as bitchy as I'm sure it does from afar (I know, I know - be careful what you wish for!) -- it's just that my defenses were definitely down - I was at the point of sheer exhaustion by two weeks of constant learning. I hadn't considered the toll that takes on one's psyche.

Came home and melted into a puddle, dosed up with an airborne tablet, a nyquil, and a bottle of water, shut all the windows to keep out the light and crawled into bed at 4:30 in the afternoon. Woke up this morning feeling somewhat more human, but still feverish and definitely not right enough to try to be the charming and witty expat at the lunch with a group of Guido's friends (1 1/2 hours drive away), so cancelled that (he, bless his sweet heart, said in reply that he would drive down if I needed him to. Saintly, really. He's like a bit of a goofy big brother without having to endure being beat up throughout my childhood.) Crawled back onto the couch with a pillow and watched brainless Italian television until 3pm. Understood about 1/5th of it. Talked with The Mom and reassured her I hadn't died, and went out to water the garden (a gargantuan task that I don't yet have the hang of -- pressure valves, drip irrigation, hoses that don't seem to reach where I need them to ...) A low-key afternoon is a VERY good idea; I can tackle the rest: getting the Capanna set up so I can somehow live there for the next two months, figuring out where to go in town to get the copies I need, and sending the shipping company the docs that I do have -- domani (tomorrow).

For tonight, I will be curling up yet again on the sofa, and treating myself to a bowl of gelato and the watching of a DVD in english. I myself don't OWN a DVD player - so this is all new technology to me, but apparently I can choose my language for audio and language for subtitles: how clever! However, I nose through the collection of The Diplomat & RA to find that my options seem to be limited to pre-1975 releases: a host of westerns (The Painted Desert, My Pal Trigger, a few John Waynes...), Daniel Boone, A Star is Born, Love Affair, Annie Hall, some of Jack Lemmon's early work, Fellini: Satryicon - which may be interesting, but I'm not in the mood tonight. As I'm heading into Rome this coming week, I select the Gregory Peck / Audrey Hepburn 'Vacanza Romane' (Roman Holiday?), and wonder what the rest of the world is up to ...


Blogger Danza Sorellina said...

K- remember you don't always have to be the cruise director. Glad you took some much needed rest. ok and me not having TIVO is nothing compared to you not having a DVD player...if I had only known. DS

3:21 AM  
Anonymous beatrice said...

Buon giorno Valentina,

Ricordi - non prioccupi - tutto va bene quando sai nel momento. Uno momento male forse uno bene dopo. Ricordi - ti amano tante persone dappertutto! Anche io!

Ci vediamo prestissimo - a casa mia.

Tanti abbracioni,

5:10 AM  
Blogger green gazelle said...

Ah, the Dash followed by the Crash & Burn....how well I recognize that pattern *for myself* - This phenom has sometimes been a total pain yet ironically I've learned the Mind can Soar Far Beyond while the Body insists upon regular breaks or else Falls Flat in the dust. Dang, how fair is that?

How about giving yourself permission to take a Soul Break every______: day? Week? Weekend? (you fill in that blank with what will truly work for you: push it too far, the body will start to disintegrate; give in too much, one stops accomplishing much at all)

Thing is? We push beyond the gentle yet persistent warnings from our soul & what happens? Our Soul Voice goes directly to our temperature gauge; our respiratory system; our tummy...and bam! System Overload, bells & whistles are going off & we don't get to chose WHEN to take a Soul Break - the body breaks down in some way (can be as unassuming as a cold, unexplained fever, body aches) and Crash!...we're down for the count. Gotta think about getting physically well, who has time for the soul now? This isn't working out very well, is it?

Feeding the Soul isn't quite as easy as eating fresh fruit to feed the body. Yet it can be. Something as simple as: take the time to sit silently in nature to listen to the breeze, the birds, the grass grow, take a midday snooze....Light a candle, fix a cup of tea, sit in front of a favored work of art, listen to music - maybe blogging or reaching out in some other manner for the comfort of friendship...any or all of these (or something else entirely) may be your Recipe to Feed the Soul, thus giving both Body & Soul some time off for good behavior.

I know...sounds corny, huh? It's ok, I had to learn this lesson for myself too.

hugs to ya!

ps-check your movie shelves for Fellini's Roma(1972): A virtually plotless, gaudy, impressionistic portrait of Rome through the eyes of one of its most famous citizens. This flick is amazing: italians actually poking a bit of fun at themselves. And you'll never view a Roman Catholic priest, bishop, archbishop or pope in the same light after it's unforgettable ecclesiastical fashion show. *giggles at the memories*

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little pampering is what you need too...back rub, medi and pedi, a good italian haircut? Even country girls deserve a little luxury. Whether you are half way to Italy or all the way to Italy.
Love you,

4:47 PM  
Blogger Uncle Bob said...

Hi Kel,
This stuff you have posted is amazing. I haven't had time to look at it before this. Sorry you are not feeling "up to par", but you self diagnosed pretty well. You have to be smart enough to "re-charge" your batteries once in a while. This venture of yours is a marathon and not a sprint.
The blisters on your hands from tending to the gardens denote honest work and is good for your soul. Take care of yourself and I will keep reading your postings.
Love ya, UB

5:12 PM  
Blogger The Mom said...

The best part for ;me is that I KNOW how much better you sounded after 20+ hours of sleep. Remember all those things that I've been telling you for ___ years.
Hugs and love and Uncle Bob and Carol thanks for telling her the same thing

3:25 AM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

Danza Sorellina: alright, you got me on my pathetic technology use! I know, I know. And I finally got rid of all my old 'audio cassettes' when I moved (you know, the ones where I held the tape recorder up to the radio speakers to record songs when we were kids?! SAD.) Tho my TiVo did find a new adopted home with Chickie when I left, so that's good, I hope it's getting lots of love there. And for those of you who were wondering, Roman Holiday was actually kinda cute. Though at the end, I realized that the final scene from 'Notting Hill' (HughGrant/Julia Roberts chick flick) is a TOTAL ripoff of the final scene from this Hepburn/Peck classic! I'm sure the directors/writers would say it was just 'inspired by it,' but geez...! Classic American interpretation: what was 'real royalty' from the old film has been converted into nasty nouveau riche Hollywood.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

Hey, GG... thanks for the words of encouragement. Clearly, our overachiever patterns are genetic! And, yes -- it so happens I DO have Fellini's Roma! Thanks for the recommendation -- it's on the list for the next viewing! xoxo, V.

8:54 AM  

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