maudlin |ˈmôdlin|


self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness: the drink made her maudlin | a maudlin ballad.

ORIGIN late Middle English (as a noun denoting Mary Magdalen): from Old French Madeleine, from ecclesiastical Latin Magdalena (see magdalene). The sense of the adjective derives from allusion to pictures of Mary Magdalen weeping.


Not quite what I had in mind when I thought of  myself as maudlin. I thought I was wallowing in self-pity (close to it). I certainly haven’t been drinking.  I didn’t remember that the word derived from Magdalen/Madeleine.  And you won’t find me weeping.  Nevertheless.  Even although.  Notwithstanding….


The fact is I have been wallowing and I have to get a grip. I have a wonderful neighbour (two of them, actually, married to each other) and Marlene came over when they realized I was on the brink of wallowing .  Did you know that wallow is also a noun indicating the place/rut/hole (usually mud) in which one (usually an animal) has been wallowing?  The good thing about my ups and downs and meanderings is that I learn something every time, perhaps not useful for self-discipline but great for increasing one’s vocabulary.


Marlene is a List-Maker. Aren’t we all?  But I never realized how useful and comforting it is to make a list together, MY list, that is.


I remember years ago in my Other Life, I met a List-Maker who had just finished a comprehensive list of everything that had to be done in the home she and her family had just moved into. It was several pages long and she was on the verge of a breakdown. Now there, if ever, was a list to be shared. I remembered a similar list I had made on an earlier similar occasion.  The big three-story house we had just taken possession ofhad seventeen windows, mostly small panes, that needed replacing.  It turned out that the boy next door had a bee-bee gun and had been taking practice shots out of his bedroom window at the walls and windows ofhis favourite target: our house. It also turned out that we didn’t live there long and I never did get around to the windows . That’s one way to solve a list: leave town.


I digress. My current list remains undone.  But it feels more comfortable now and Marlene, bless her, took on some of the list; she is going to send in troops (one – her husband) and reinforcements (experts that she knows of) and ease some of my pressures.


To say I am helplessly grateful is to put it mildly.  I am wallowing in gratitude.