I was visited by an unfamiliar, almost bewildering sensation yesterday: contentment.
I wasn't expecting it. I'd gone to visit my mother for the weekend, never an unpleasant experience in itself, but one which tends to be dusted with a residue of poignancy for a number of reasons.
Adding to the surprise was that, when I arrived there on Friday evening, I felt exhausted, and imagined that the tone of the weekend was going to be set accordingly. By Saturday, I was still heavy-lidded and limbed, but my mood became paradoxically light. I was able to switch off and relax, something I never felt fully able to do when I visited over Christmas.
I embraced this contentment. I had an awareness of the reasons for its presence, which gave me a sense of quiet satisfaction - but I didn't wish to analyse too deeply in that respect, nor to indulge the temptation to view such contentment with sheer suspicion.
That it was there, was enough: it might not last, after all.
On a separate note, the month of January seems to have passed remarkably quickly. Most years I take a complete break from alcohol for the whole of the month: not so this time, but these days I generally drink at weekends only. I wonder if my lack of complete abstinence has served to make the time pass more speedily.