Like countless people in the Great Plains of the United States, I am praying for rain. ‘Cause I’ve gotten myself into a situation I really want to get out of, but can’t – unless it rains. I agreed to go out with some friends after work to an outdoor event, but I am bushed. I’m just wiped out from this week, and I sorely need some downtime, starting after work. My spouse is going to be out of town for the weekend, so I have the house to myself and I have only one obligation on my plate — and that takes all of an hour to dispatch.
But I promised my friends I’d go out with them, and I’m on the hook.
Now, some might say, “Take care of yourself, put yourself first – don’t worry about what they think or say.” But these are my friends, and they’ve been there for me, so I really feel obligated to the relationship(s) to go out. I’m sure I’ll feel great when things get going, but then there’s the risk of me staying out too late — which usually happens when I do stuff with this crowd.
The annoying thing is, these are not my “Tier 1” friends — the ones who know about my TBIs, the deaths in my family, my marriage issues, my money issues. They are my “Tier 2” friends, whom I turn to for logistics help — like covering for me when I run short on cash, or helping me out with errands I need to run, or giving me a lift to the gas station when my car is being serviced. One or two of them might actually morph into “Tier 1” friends over time… but that won’t happen if I don’t spend time with them.
So, I have to spend some time — and tonight is the one night that everything has come together perfectly to spend a few hours. My spouse will be out of town, so there’s no pressure to be home for dinner… it’s Friday, so whatever sleep I miss tonight I can make up for on Saturday and Sunday… and this event is free and in a part of the nearest city that I love to visit. So, it’s not all bad. It’s not bad at all.
But I really hope it rains.
Because I’m behind on my sleep. I got about 6-1/2 hours last night, and I need to make up the balance. I also need to buckle down and study this weekend. I need to get into my own groove and just chill — starting tonight. I need to not do anything — just repair the damage of the past three weeks. I’m still not over my meltdown from a couple of weeks ago. I’m still foggy and out of whack. I need some convalescence time.
But then the voice in my head says, I can rest some other time. The time to live is now! And here’s the perfect chance.
Yeah, but I want it to rain. I want to go to bed at 9:30 and go to sleep with the sound of the rain on the roof. I want to empty the dehumidifier a bunch of times and clean out my garage. I want to put my home office in order and make room for myself in the midst of all the paperwork. I want to make a list of things I’m going to do, and then just do them.
These friends of mine are “good timers” — that is, they’re all about living for today, having as much fun as possible right here, right now. They foray into relationships with people they know socially, they have messy, awkward affairs, they refuse to commit, and then they move on… wondering why they have bad reputations amongst the pool of potential dates. They have nice cars, nice condos, nice jobs. They have nice clothes, they go to the right clubs, they are seen in the right places. But their lives are hollow and desperately seeking, and each time they tell me about how they want to settle down and have kids someday, they sound a little less sure that it will ever happen. Because they’re not making the effort to help it to happen.
They’re too busy having fun.
Maybe that’s why I really don’t want to go out with them tonight. Because my life and my priorities are so very different from theirs. To my knowledge, they’ve never lost everything or come within a hair’s breadth of total disaster. They’ve had their hardships, as we all have, but in their adult lives most of them have never had to completely rebuild from scratch — and the ones that have… well, they don’t seem to give much serious thought to the real reason for their difficulties, so they keep doing the same things over and over again. They seem so serious about the trivial stuff, and they treat the important stuff like it’s trivial.
I guess that’s the real reason I hope it rains. Yes, we need the rain. The reservoirs are down, there are water bans in effect in towns all around the city. And the farm-picked produce has been small and sparse. Corn is intermittent and miniature. Peppers are smallish and intense. Everything growing is smallish and intense. But my reasons for wanting to not hang out with people tonight are purely selfish. I just want to take care of myself, and not be bothered with people who make a career out of getting all riled over stupid sh*t and holding grudges. Big whoop. Who cares? You’re alive and you have all your senses about you. You aren’t sensitive to light and sound and crowds don’t disorient you. You can understand what people say to you the first time without cupping your ear and saying “Pardon?” like a friggin’ 85-year-old (no offense to 85-year-olds). You don’t jump like you’ve been shot when someone makes contact with your shoulder, and you can remember what someone said to you 2 minutes ago. Life is good. You have no idea. But instead, you sit around feeling sorry for yourself and going off over the most trivial things imaginable and flirting with everyone in sight like it’s the best use of your time and energy. Please.
Well, enough of the rant. I’m just feeling tired and sorta raw today.
I just want to get some rest and take care of myself and not have people give me sh*t about it, like I’m just ducking out ’cause I’m a party pooper or I don’t like them. My life is not about making your life seem okay. My energy is not 100% at your oblivious disposal. Please. Give me a break.
But then again, these are my go-to folks, when things get rough and I need some help. So, yeah, if it doesn’t rain, I’ll go out with them for a while. I’ll hang out. I’ll probably stay out too late, too. I’ll spend a lot of energy, but it’s an investment, really — not a waste. Lest I forget, this is how some relationships are sustained. You go out of your way for each other, even when it doesn’t “suit”. So, I’ll do that tonight.
Unless it rains.
Either way, really, it’s good.