Already? I am having a hard time focusing; a hard time not wanting to wish the days away. I've been trying to figure out what is making me feel so out of sorts and I realized last night it is a stultifying sense of impending loss.
It started with my computer. My beloved MacBook Pro is dying a long, slow, death. It is almost seven years old, way past its estimated life of three years. (Laptops have much shorter lives than desktops.) The screen is slowly fading, the battery (its second) won't hold a charge so I am tethered to my desk, which totally defeats the purpose of having a laptop. If I accidentally knock the power cord I lose whatever I am working on. It is slow as molasses in January (which sounds great to me right now, as I fight the urge to turn on the air conditioner yet again). My friend and computer guru Seth has been urging me to get a new computer for almost a year. So tonight he and his son Kai, an almost nine-year-old computer whiz, are coming over for the grand un-boxing of the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I was thinking of naming it Tilly (why? I have no idea), then realized that it is a machine with a very short lifespan and I had better not get too attached . . .
Next in line: Poor Cairo, my million dollar mutt, is not doing well. Although he will always look like a puppy, he will turn ten in February. That's not so old for a little dog, but his health issues keep growing and there's not much to be done about them. I found a lump on his chest last month, which, thankfully, is a fatty growth and not cancerous. The real trouble is his cough. The vet thought he might have a collapsed trachea, but that's not the case. Turns out that his allergies are making the spot where his windpipe meets his lungs swell and he is not getting enough air. His lungs don't look good. He's been on steroids for two weeks now, but as soon as I started weening him off them, the cough came back. We've tried and tried to find a treatment for the allergies, which make his nose produce gobs and gobs of mucous, to no avail. He's had x-rays and cat scans, inhalers and steroids, expensive hypoallergenic food, a rhinoscopy, allergy testing -- I even put him on a BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) diet for several months. Nothing helps.
I thought my wool might be an allergen, even though the allergy testing said not, so I spent two weeks moving my studio from the attic, which has wall-to-wall carpeting and holds the wool dust, to the basement in the addition we put on a few years ago. The floor down here is cement, with radiant heating, and much easier to keep dust free. I have a vacuum with a HEPA filter and am planning on getting an air purifier. The vet says Cairo could be allergic to me . . . I am worried that the stress on his system will shorten his life span and the thought of that is heartbreaking.
Lastly, and most importantly, my lovely daughter Clara has decided to move to the west coast to study Biological Oceanography. I am, intellectually, proud of her for deciding to follow her dream, but, emotionally, I am a wreck. She has chosen a difficult path: she must take many undergraduate math and science classes and get a post-baccalaureate degree in Marine Biology before she can get the graduate degree she wants. It will be years of hard work and thousands of dollars and it will happen on the other side of the country. We are exceptionally close and I don't know how either of us will deal with the change. I know it will be good for her, but it is just so very hard to not be distressed about her upcoming move . . . I know from past experience (sending her off to college and on trips all over the world) that once she leaves, I will be fine. It's just getting through the next few weeks . . .