The Sri Lankan cultural new year falls on the 13th or 14th of April, with the exact day depending on the new moon and at an auspicious time that is determined by astrologers. This year, it starts on April 14. Unlike the calendar new year, which starts immediately after the old year ends, there is a period of time (usually several hours) between the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year. This in-between time is called "nonagathe" (sometimes spelled "nonegathe", although there is only one way to spell it when it is written in Sinhalese). During this in-between time, one is not supposed to engage in any type of work! It is time devoted to religious activities and getting together with family and friends. The cultural new year is a public holiday in Sri Lanka and most schools are closed during this time; many people take vacation time off, as well. So, it is easy to spend the in-between time doing things other than work.
There are lots of rituals and special food associated with the new year activities, which are hard to duplicate when one is living in another country! For my first new year spent in the States, I prepared the traditional milk rice and had a pot luck dinner to which I invited my professors, university staff I had made friends with, other friends, and my roommates, of course. Fast forward 40+ years, and my cultural new year is just another regular day. Almost. One of the rituals is to bathe for the old year that is passing (a symbolic cleansing, I suppose) and I was reminded of it when I showered this morning. Another ritual I will be able to do this year is make the milkrice, tomorrow morning, as I had arranged to work from home, tomorrow.
Today, I went to get my blood tests done in the morning. They drew about five or six vials of blood this time, for the various tests! Afterwards, even though it was the in-between time when one is not supposed to work, I went to the office for a few hours. My supervisor was very happy to see me, as I had told her I wasn't sure if I'd come in or take the whole day off. She also paid me a compliment on the outfit I was wearing (one of the skirts that still fit and a short sleeved top I had knitted several years ago).
Later in the afternoon, I went for my appointment with the Physician Assistant. She was pleased with my blood pressure and sugar monitoring reports; I am to continue the medications at the current dosage. I discussed the antibiotics and the diuretic prescribed by the radiation oncologist with her and she said to be sure to check my blood pressure as those medications can cause the pressure to go up.
When I came home, there were two messages on my answering machine. One was from my supervisor with a status update on a project I had been working on; I will call her back tomorrow, as she had already left the office by the time I came home. The other was from my oncologist's office. I had an appointment for tomorrow morning, but they called to say that it had to be cancelled and rescheduled and could I call them back to confirm. Again, they were closed by the time I came home, so I'll call them tomorrow. I need to also call the pharmacy, tomorrow, because I haven't received my antibiotics yet and I want to find out the status of that!
Daughter went to her office, today, saying she felt a little better and it was less stressful to go to work than stay at home and fret about the roaches!
One of my friends called me in the evening and I had a nice chat with her. Later, I watered the back garden.
Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter is feeling a little better today
- Friendly staff at the lab where I went for my blood tests
- The doctor's appointment went well
- Safe commutes to the clinics and the office and back
- Discovering a new radio station that plays the "oldies" I like!
Thursday's To Do List:
- Lab test in the morning - DONE
- Go to the office afterwards - DONE
- Dr's appt. in the afternoon - DONE
- Water the back garden - DONE
- More paperwork - DONE
- Put away laundry - DONE
- Put away washed dishes - DONE
Friday's To Do List:
- Call supervisor
- Call the oncology clinic
- Call the pharmacy
- Work from home
- More paperwork
- Tidy the house a bit
How was your Thursday? What have you planned for Friday?