Revitalized

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m feeling much better, thank you. Last week was just, well, dramatic.  I’ve never had a Friday night where I felt so utterly exhausted before, so rung out.  I know work shake-ups are bound to happen, but I felt very unprepared for this one.  I’m not quite sure what to expect now. While I had occasional differences with my boss, for the most part she was a wonderful mentor, a hard worker, consistently encouraging and optimistic, and very understanding regarding vacation, sick-leave, family emergencies, etc.  This is how a conversation with our new Vice President went on Friday:

VP: I don’t believe in sick days. I am NEVER sick, and I don’t expect my employees to be either.  Unless you need hospitalization, you come to work.

Old Boss (who was in this meeting): Well, we work in a hospital, around children and cancer patients.  Which means we are exposed to a lot of germs from the children, and also that we are required to stay home if we are sick, so as not to expose those with compromised immune systems to our germs.

VP: Well, not anymore.  I guess you’ll all just have to not get sick.

First of all, no one in our department takes much sick time, maybe a day here or there, occasionally more if the virus is particularly nasty. But despite the most diligent hand-washing and vitamin-C taking, when you work in a hospital with sick people (we share wards with the general hospital, so everything from gunshot wounds to pnemonia come through our doors) you are bound to occasionally catch something. Our intern has strep throat right now, as a matter of fact.  What’s more, it’s morally irresponsible to expose others to the infectious periods of illness. So, this is just one example of our new administration, but so far I don’t have a good feeling, not at all.  We are losing a gifted, wonderful leader. I still intend to keep my mind open (I won’t tell you how much peanut butter toast and sleep it took to get me to this point), but warily so.

Of course, with resignations and new administrations, work is pushed to the wayside and I attended meetings galore last week and now I am further behind than ever, and I leave for vacation on Thursday.   At first I felt trepidatious about taking vacation during all of the upheaval but now I am incredibly thankful. I’m no longer even nervous that I don’t know the language or my way around the country, in fact, that seems delightful – no one can talk to me in any way that I could understand. I’ll be eating entirely new food, seeing new sights, and blissfully ignorant of the chatter around me.  Thrilling! Before I was simply excited about my trip – now I feel like I innately NEED it.

It’s 11:05 on Sunday morning, and I am still in my pajamas.  This weekend I slept a total of 19 hours already, not including naps.  I ate four pieces of toast with peanut butter in jelly, leftover pizza, a hamburger, a sweet potatoe, cauliflower, and wine. I cleaned our downstairs and did all of the laundry.  I tend to tape a lot of television during the week, and watch whatever suits me on the weekend. I watched: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Men in Trees, and Jericho. I erased without watching Heroes, Ugly Betty, My Name is Earl and Six Degrees.  S. brought home three c.d.’s from the library – we listened to an old Rolling Stones, James Blunt (which we took out on song three) and Warren Zevon’s final album.  Oh, I also watched to episodes of the Sopranos. I’m somewhere in season four.  I finished The Cell  by Stephen King (that was the ending, really? Really? I’ll blog about this at a later date). I did not exercise.

Today I must: pay bills, clean the upstairs, have dinner with A., run (if I do I’ll still be on track with my marathon training), continue to pack, and make food to take to work for lunch this week.  The difference between yesterday and today? Today the sun is out.  Today I am well-rested. Today is a new week, and today is Sunday, my very favorite day of the week. And today I begin the week in Michigan, and end it in Tuscany, which is all kinds of great.

Oh, so far for my vacation reading I’m taking The Crimson Petal and the White, bikeprof’s novel, and the new addition of Narrative magazine. Any other suggestions? I’ve never been to Europe…can anyone recommend a great book about, or taking place, in Italy?

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15 Responses to Revitalized

  1. litlove says:

    oooh I love recommending holiday reading. I adored Somerset Maugham’s Up At The Villa, a short novella set on the Italian Riviera that is a masterpiece of plotting and exquisitely lucid writing. I also really enjoyed Amanda Craig’s Foreign Bodies, about running away to Italy as a wild adolescent. Have a wonderful holiday – sounds like you need it. And for heaven’s sake boost your (mental) immune system. The new boss is crazy.

  2. yogamum says:

    Italy??? You lucky dog!! Here’s a great book, a memoir, not only about Italy but it starts out there: “Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s very very funny, a light and easy read. My book club loved it.

    I was kind of wandering around being hungry and not knowing what I wanted for breakfast, but now I know: peanut butter toast!! Yum.

  3. Dorothy W. says:

    Sorry about the evil boss! I can’t stand it when people are stupidly short-sighted like that — make the patients sick, but don’t miss a day of work! Anyway — have a fabulous time on your trip!!

  4. Kerryn says:

    Lucky you! A holiday, just when you most need it, and in Italy. My pick for holiday reading would be “Without Reservations” by Alice Steinbach, who took a year off to travel. It’s more memoir than travelogue and at the end I was left wanting to pack my bags and jump on the first plane to Europe.

    I’ll echo litlove — boost your mental immune system! I’ve experienced bosses like that and it’s never fun (document everything and surround yourself with small things that remind you of what you love– physical protection can’t hurt, either. It’s the only way to cope with the crazy.)

    Have a wonderful, wonderful time in Italy.

  5. litlove says:

    I’ve actually thought of another book (sorry – told you holiday reading was an obsession). E.M. Forster’s A Room with A View – best Italian-based classic novel ever – Forster in light, cheery, witty mode.

  6. bloglily says:

    Have a wonderful time Courtney! It’s such a terrific time of year to be there — 15 years ago October 12, that’s where we honeymooned (in Rome then Tuscany). I don’t know about reading, I just spent a ton of time eating, eating, eating. And buying stationery supplies. But I do second A Room With A View! Lovely. And it all turns out well.

  7. Courtney says:

    Litlove – I love ALL of those recommendations – the Maugham’s and A Room with a View Sound Particularly lovely. Thankfully I am going to Barnes and Noble today!

    Yogamum – I am a firm believer in the therapeutic effects of peanut butter toast – it’s my biggest comfort food. Accomanied with a sweet cup of tea and it’s all perfection!

    Dorothy – thanks for the empathy – I’m going to have to see how this whole situation lays out. I don’t, as they say, feel good about it.

    Kerryn – LOL – coping with the crazy – what a PERFECT way to put it!

    Bloglily – that’s what we are doing – Rome and then Tuscany, only mother and daughter, LOL. I am very much looking forward to the eating. I wish I could say I scaled back before hand but with the craziness of last week, I’m ashamed to say I didn’t!

  8. LK says:

    I second Room with a View. and Frances Maye’s Under the Tuscan Sun or Bella Tuscany. How do you say Bon Voyage in Italian?

  9. LK – well, I bought Room with a View yesterday – I’m so excited to begin it. Have another novel to finish before I do, though! By the way, have I yet encouraged you to dust your novel off and get moving? If not, dust your novel off and get moving!

  10. Oooh, your new boss sounds like a monster, but wow – Italy!! Have a wonderful time. I strongly second Room with a View as great Italian-set reading matter and also Under The Tuscan Sun. Looking forward to hearing about it on your return.

  11. Emily says:

    Quick! Can you resurrect Typhoid Mary to prepare some delicious ice cream for that new VP?

  12. May says:

    1. LK: “bon voyage” is “buon viaggio” in Italian.
    2. I would recommend “La chartreuse de Parme” by Stendhal.
    3. Apart from the usual cities, I would recommend visiting the Cinque Terre, Chianti, Sardegna and the Lake of Como.

  13. LK says:

    Buon Viaggio, it is! Thanks, May. (OK, the feather duster is out and I’m gingerly swiping at the cobwebs. Thanks, C!)

  14. May says:

    LK: I am Italian living in Italy, that’s why I know. Should you ever want other sentences, I am here. [But keep it a secret]

  15. Hidden Leaf says:

    1. everythinginbetween – September 11, 2006
    I am a huge fan of mediterasian. com – I’ve lost 3 lbs in two weeks since I discovered it – I never lose that quickly. Quick question – do you know of any possible substitute for soy sauce? i am, unfortunately, allergic to soy, and so many of their recipes call for it and I dont’ make them because I imagine soy is an essential part of the flavorings in the asian dishes. I tried a pad thai without soy sauce and that was okay, but only because pad thai doesn’t traditionally use it.

    I’m sad the site is down. I hope they put it back up quickly, with message boards this time.

    Do you mean: http://www.mediterrasian.com ?

    I happend to stumble upon it a few days ago and trying to find it with google brought me to your comment as well.

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