Instead of visiting my nephew (current subject of New York Magazine’s cover story, btw), I’m tucked in bed on a sunny Sunday afternoon. A ceramic mug emblazoned with a surf riff on the “I Love You California” logo sits on the nightstand. (Is a nightstand still a nightstand in the daytime?) It’s my fourth cup of hot, honeyed tea. I thought my throat’s soreness stemmed from breathing in SoCal wildfire smoke while surfing SanO, but the cough has only worsened and the only silver lining to having to blow my nose every five minutes is that it gives me a reason to repeat a joke my six-year-old housemate enjoys:

Don’t kiss your honey
When your nose is runny
You may think it’s funny
But it’s not

(Repeat the last line till you get it.)

Being sick didn’t stop me from paddling out today – my first surf expedition since my SF housemates and I moved from Noriega to Wawona. I needed to scope the new scene and I figure the ocean is like a big neti pot anyway and, in any case, my mood would’ve only darkened knowing I was missing clean, head-high swell, offshore winds grooming the waves picture-perfect. Off I went. The usual smashing about trying to get outside (I must learn to properly duck dive some day), but soon enough I found myself sitting on my board with the Golden Gate peeking above the hills to the north and consistent sets rolling in from the west. Buoyed by the sunshine and salty air, I caught enough waves to check the box and rode a little insider to the beach.

I meant to do my post-surf yoga routine. Instead an unbroken sand dollar caught my eye and so I ended up collecting several because my son loves them and maybe I can do something clever for Christmas. I might not be able to stop the Republicans from ruining what health care we do have, but hey, holiday beach crafts? That I can manage.

All the big things to think about have crowded my head lately. It strikes me again, the dual nature of the life I lead. My recent days filled with coworkers and friends, fun surf and righteous actions. And smoke and proximity to horror. My recent nights in cozy beds with good books interrupted by alarms warning me of my son’s low blood sugars, insomnia providing me a chance to despair over all I’ve left undone.

I have no perfect days in which I’ve checked off all the tasks I’ve told my latest habit app I want to do.

(not me)

I consider writing a post about #MeToo, a movement I’ve waited years for and yet – I consider writing a post about all the various ways in which I’m an asshole, but – I do neither. Instead I sit here tucked under a heavy blanket of stripes, blues and green, pink and orange, my mug of tea nearby, hair still ocean-wet, the light no longer slanting through the window because now it is late afternoon in winter and the sun prepares to set.