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Week 2: The week that was Christmas — ’Tis the season to talk about Premenstrual Syndrome, board games, and the prairies

This past week was Christmas with a lot of food and family and board games. It was also the end of my menstrual cycle. It is really quite a scary thing, realizing what a faulty bag of meat I am. A few days before my endometrium slowly comes sloughing out, my thoughts are dark and insecure. It happens every month like clockwork but knowing this does not change anything. The only thing I have some control over (and sometimes do not exercise) are my actions. I feel like a mutant on the verge of having new powers with no way to control them. Except these powers are an orchestra of hormones and neurotransmitters and the fact that I cannot control it means I can be a meanie.

What I should do is curl into a ball and become catatonic while I wait for this feeling to pass. Anyhoo, I am now bled out and it is all grand. It is interesting, however, that these symptoms do not arise when I am attending a Vipassana course, though the reprieve from the hormonal changes could be because-for all intents and purposes-I am curled up in a ball and in a catatonic state.

It is hard mixing family and conversations when you are in this state. It is mostly a case of fake-it-till-you-make-it and I am glad to say I made it for one more month.

Christmas day and every day since was full of food (making and eating). We had roast turkey, carrot rings with peas, mashed potato, gravy, cranberry sauce, and veggies. There was enough food to last many grown adults for many meals after. We did a little gift exchange after supper.

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We played a couple games of Go before family from out of town arrived. It is a very abstract game and very frustrating but immensely gratifying when you do get something right.

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We have also been playing board games on a daily basis since everyone came home for Christmas. We played Scythe, The Farming Game, Mysterium, Power Grid, Quartz, and Takenoko. I got to be from the Polania faction, a farmer, a clairvoyant, a coal baron, a dwarf, and a bamboo farmer all in the course of a week. I realize my board game strategy is not to win but to make the game as long as possible.

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I went for a run yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon in -4 °C on an old highway in Saskatchewan. The topography of Canadian Prairies is something you study as a child but to actually see it is quite magical. It was undulating land peppered with snow. It stretched forever and looked like a Plains Card from Magic: The Gathering. There were some grain terminals spotting the landscape and a few neighborhood cows who had come around to investigate us. Next week, we travel back to India with a combination of a cross-country drive, three flights, and a train journey. After a very comfortable stationary month in rural Saskatchewan, part of me is dreading the travel. I have gotten quite used to this place.

Happy New Year to everyone, I hope this new year brings you happiness.

Books read in the past week

The nightingale — Kristin Hannah

Ringworld — Larry Niven

Movies watched in the past week

Venom (Dir: Ruben Fleisher)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (Dir: Ron Howard)

Bandersnatch (Dir: David Slade)

Siggu

Writing about a deep dive into Vipassana meditation

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