Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Transportation, freedom, and staying at home

Yesterday I spent several hours looking forward to and preparing for a writer's group meeting, then was stuck at home when my car wouldn't start. After a few fruitless attempts to start the car, and then some fruitless attempts to reach David (to see if he might, by chance, already be on his way home and able to drive me there), I came back inside our house, returned to the couch I'd spent most of the day on, and felt immensely depressed.

This whole pregnancy has been a struggle for me, because I'm not physically able to keep the kind of busy work/art/social life schedule I'm accustomed to. That, and now I'm no longer in NOLA. When my car wouldn't start in NOLA (not an entirely rare occurrence), I could call a cab. Here, I knew I was too far out in the 'burbs for a cab to arrive in time. Most of my friends live in NOLA, so I already find myself feeling isolated here. Sad as it may sound, the writer's group was my only planned social activity for the week.

I've found that it is very beneficial to my mental health to get out of the house at least once every day, even if it's only to go to the grocery store. Even though, at 8 months pregnant, my energy level is low, I can't stand sitting around the house all day. I began to picture life without a working vehicle, and I started to panic.

I lived in NOLA for years without a car, but I had lots of interesting places to get to by walking, biking, or public transportation. Here, the roads are narrow, with no sidewalks and ditches beside them. Not that there's anything within walking distance, anyway.

When David came home from work, he was wonderfully comforting and sympathetic, which helped. Then, he eventually managed to get my car to start. It seems to be having some sort of fuel line issue, which was probably not helped when it sat in the heat for a couple of days without being driven. This actually happened last summer, too, and I put some injector cleaner in the gas tank and it seemed to solve the problem. So I'm very glad the car is not dead for good quite yet.

But I have to say, I am worried about the postpartum period. From what I hear, women and their newborns rarely leave the house for a few weeks. I'm really looking forward to interacting with the baby, but I still think being cooped up in the house might depress me. Maybe I'll be so exhausted that I won't even notice, I don't know. But I really don't think I'm cut out for this housewife business.

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