I’m resting today, again. The holiday and the shopping were too much and not only am I dealing with the usual ulcerative colitis pain and exhaustion but my legs are also sore from all the walking too. I’m preparing myself physically and emotionally for a family brunch tomorrow, a busy work week after, and a bland diet for the foreseeable future.

I’m hanging out in the “creativity room” at least and doing my best to get a few blog post up. It feels good to have the space and the time to put on a couple of podcasts and to try again and again to WORK DON’T THINK RELAX as Ray Bradbury says. I’m not good at it but that’s ok. All I ask from myself right now is to practice.

Happy Black Friday! We’re braving the madness this year to get a jump on holiday shopping this year but opted to go out later to avoid the crowds. The stores are still packed though and the deals hardly seem worth it. I almost wish we had stayed home but the promise of peace of mind, of knowing that there is less I will have to buy later is keeping me going.

We figured the best use of our time was to start at the mall. There are more stores and options per square foot and less need to be in traffic or hunting for parking spaces. The stores are packed of course and though there is still plenty left to buy the lines are too long in many places to warrant the purchase. We left many stores empty handed because we didn’t want to wait. There will be more sales, and more days to shop in the weeks to come. It doesn’t all have to get done today.

I’m still in pain and still feeling miserable but my wife treated me to a fancy lunch at a new fancy place which made all the difference and gave me a few more hours of high spirits and optimism but It’s getting dark now and we’re still out shopping but even her energy is waning. It’s time to head home, heat up those leftovers, and make a few drinks. We did good. I’m proud of us.

Happy Thanksgiving! We’re up early making breakfast and mimosas together and listening to the parade in the background. I’m still not feeling well but my excitement dims my pain and exhaustion. We have so much good food and plenty of delicious drinks to last us all day and a whole lot more. We opted to have lamb for dinner instead of turkey. I wanted duck but the store was all out.

I’m still sad that I’m not with my family this year but it feels good not to have to go anywhere or deal with a huge mess or any flaring tempers too. I’m even entertaining the idea of spending Christmas—maybe every holiday!—this way too. No, that would get old, and my wife and I would probably start to feel too disconnected, too lonely to sustain that. We need more than just each other in the long run and the holidays are for expressing all kinds of love and gratitude after all.

Besides eating and drinking copious amounts of food and alcohol I have blog post drafts to work on and the last of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx to get through. We also have six more Star Wars movies to rewatch in preparation for The Rise of Skywalker mid-December. So much for less T.V. time right?

But what else can I do while I’m feeling so sickly and pushing myself to worse with overeating such delicious and hard to digest food? I imagine after this week is all said and done my gut will need a nice long rest consisting of bone broth, Jell-O, and Gatorade morning, noon, and night until I heal up again.

It’s the first day of Thanksgiving break but I’m already dreading the end. I was supposed to go into work this morning but I’m in too tired and in too much pain for the money to be worth the rest and peace of mind. I didn’t really have to be in anyway and with the snow still piled up everywhere and the roads still slick I’m sure that hardly anyone else made it in either.

So, I’m spending the day on my own while my wife visits her mother. I’m planning our Thanksgiving dinner and hoping that by the time she gets home and we go back out to shop for ingredients that that there will be enough left on shelves to make a good holiday out of. I wish we had big plans with family. I wish all of my siblings were here again like they were for my wedding but flights are so expensive and there has been no time to plan.

Still, I have so much to be grateful for and so much to celebrate. I can’t lose sight of that this week.

As of 7:00 AM this morning 10.5 inches of snow has fallen outside. It’s 10:00 AM now and I know a few more inches have fallen since. I’m grateful for my neighbors snow blower and his generosity. I only have to shovel from my door to the car today. Not that we are going anywhere. With over 500 closing alerts across the city there is nowhere to go even if we wanted to.

Those of us working for the school districts were gifted with an even longer Thanksgiving break. I have nothing planned for the day but there shouldn’t really be plans or expectation on a snow day. They should just be enjoyed, savored.

I’m in our “creativity room” this morning cleaning up and making room for writing and making art again. My desk was covered in notes, books, trash from my backpack, and even a dead plant. It’s about 75% clear now with dedicated spaces for my laptop, my books, and my collage work. I have fresh notepads, new X-Acto blades, and a renewed sense of purpose.

There is a nervous excitement all around me today. A snow storm is forecasted to move in tonight and there is a real possibility it will at least be significant if not record-breaking. We hope with each storm for a snow day, but this time, in a week where we’re only scheduled to work for two days anyway, we are daring to allow the certainty of it.

I’ve still got Ray Bradbury in my head telling me to WORK RELAX DON’T THINK. I’m up to the task of writing 1000 words or more a day but I’m not sure what those words should be about or what form they should take? Should I write in a stream of conscious? Should I simply begin in my preferred genre, the essay? Should I start with an idea, a quote, a point in mind? I have the time but too much self-consciousness to begin.

That sounds as sad as Bradbury said it would.

I finished Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury tonight and I’m convinced that it’s the greatest book on writing I have ever read (except perhaps for On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King but that may only be because I read it first).

It has been a long time since I felt so enthusiastic about writing and so willing to try again, to fail, and to have some damned fun with it. I remembered how it felt when I first started to write and how I felt when a few publications accepted my work. It has been a long time since I wanted to feel exactly that again.

I’m picking up The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx next. It’s another short one. I won’t reach my reading goal by far this year but I’d like to be well of halfway there come December 31st. I’ll probably read Ethics by Baruch Spinoza. It’s less than 200 pages long.