Right now, both of my children are away from home, and instead of using the time productively*, I've been worrying over my life. I come home, I take the dog out, I wash the dishes, I watch TV. Tons of TV. Flip, flip, flip the remote.

I tried to shake myself out of this yesterday by going to the bookstore, thumbing through some memoirs of other peoples lives. I was struck by the fact that no matter how upsetting or crazy parts of my life have been, there will always be someone who's had it much worse. Ordinarily, this would make me feel grateful, but yesterday, it made me feel like an underachiever - instead of embracing the chaos, I worked to get out of it. Is this some kind of survivor's ennui?

I've been trying to go swimming because if I can't think my way out of a period of angst, I find that a repetitive physical activity will jog me out of it. But I've been stymied every day this week: on Monday, my bus broke down, so I had to take another bus home that dropped me about a mile away, so I had to walk, and my hip was killing me by the time I got home, so I couldn't even think about riding my bike to the pool. Tuesday, I had to pick Sio up for her day off from camp, and do the grocery shopping, so no time for swimming. Today, there are thunderstorms, so the pools are closed.

How can I be 35 years old and not know what to do when I'm alone? I mean, there are lots of things I could do - I could clean, I could read, I could practice the piano, I could go for a walk, I could take a nap...but there is nothing that I could do that I want to do. I don't know what I want to do.

*When asked by my friend Leslie what Loki and I were going to do with no children in the house, I said "we're going to have sex in the living room."

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