Especially when I am shopping after a long day at work.
The thought that someone is asking why I was crying… and wants to fix what’s wrong.
Those days when I am so worn out and confused and just going on auto-pilot, hoping I don’t get hurt or hurt somebody else… blundering and stumbling and feeling foolish… and not knowing if the cashier’s sudden laugh was at my expense…
Just having someone sing those lines, as I’m putting boxes of instant rice into my shopping basket…
It was raining outside. And this song brought tears to my eyes.
I started off this weekend, last night, planning how many things I would do today. The parts of my projects I would undertake and finally complete — so I can move on to other things… the tasks from work that I didn’t get around to — so I can get them off my mind… breaking down the hours I’d spend in my head, so I would free up some time to do other things.
Now it’s Saturday morning, and all I want to do is go about my life in a continuous flow, not blocking off time to do anything specific, not allocating hours for one definite undertaking or another. I just want to flow. See where the day, the weekend, takes me.
It’s raining today. Gray and a little dreary. It’s chilly, too. Not the best weather for running errands, as everyone will be out and about in their fast and powerful cars (think about how much more powerful and speedy our cars are, compared to just 20 years ago), running their errands, on a mission, taking care of business, after the business work week has ended.
That’s not where I want to spend my time. Not in the least. I want to steer clear of that whole big, busy mess, and just have some peace. Just have some peace and quiet.
That’s what I want most. My spouse has been on a rampage for the past month, getting ready for this business trip. It’s been very trying, to tell the truth. Every spare moment has been caught up in them spinning their mental wheels about things that don’t actually exist. And dealing with business associates who are even more delusional than they are. What a strange thing, to see people who are so capable of living well, getting caught up in lives that don’t actually exist.
Other sad things — a friend of a friend died suddenly last weekend. Another friend of a friend passed away from cancer that went undiagnosed for two years. A friend of a friend was raped. And a good friend of mine is struggling with health issues. Actually, a number of friends are dealing with health issues — among them, mental health. And that’s a particularly tough one, because it’s hard to know how to help.
But to get too caught up in that sadness, is a trap I can’t afford to dwell in. It’s been like a martial arts exercise, day in and day out, dealing with the depression and dementia and delusions and the plain old craziness that goes along with one human error leading to another… to another… to another… each one snowballing into a rolling batch of crazy.
Lord, yes, I do just need to take a break this weekend. I need a break from everybody else’s stuff that has nothing to do with me, really. I need to not get bogged down in the sadness that others feel… not stay caught up in others’ drama, rehashing it in my own head… not staying stuck in the whirlpool of others’ imaginary crises, spending a lot of time thinking about it. In my own life, there is no such thing, and if I weren’t living with someone who brought that to me each day, like a weird-ass soap opera, I wouldn’t even know it existed.
So, this weekend, I’m going to live as though it never did exist. Because it didn’t, outside of the imaginations of everyone involved.
I’m going to read the published personal notebooks of famous writers. I’m going to catch up on some of my own reading. I’m going to work on some of my own writing. And I’m going to live my life… let it just go, without trying to control it or slow it down or stop it. Just let it flow.
And leave it at that.
If I’m tired, I’ll lie down and sleep. If I’m thirsty, I’ll drink water or hot tea. If I’m hungry, I’ll … stop and ask myself if I’m reallyhungry, or if I’m just low on energy (in which case, I need to sleep), or I’m just bored (in which case, I need to do something that piques my interest). I may do some cleaning. I may clear out my bedroom and get rid of the dust bunnies. I may run out and get an air filter for my bedroom, which has a bizarre amount of dust in it. The main thing is that I’m moving at my own pace, without the intrusion of others’ delusions.
I’ve got enough delusions of my own to deal with, thank you very much.
My job went well today. I have good days, and I have not-so-good days. But there is always another day to come. I was quite rested from the long weekend, and because I don’t have a short 4-day week, this week, I can work regular hours and not have to “bulk up” on my hours, so I can come close to breaking even.
I also canceled an evening appointment tonight, too, which turned out good, because we had heavy rain storms this evening, and I would have been caught in a nearby city in the pouring rain, if I had gone in. But I didn’t. I took my time getting home, and I saw some very impressive downpours and washouts.
Anyway, now I am on hold with the insurance company, because I messed up my coverage election, and I am currently without health coverage. This could be a real problem, but I’m not letting it get to me. I just need to jump through some hoops and deal with it. I can’t get all anxious about what *might* happen. I need to focus on what is and is not happening, and just stick with the details.
I noticed at work today that there are a lot of people in my same boat — we’re new, and we’re figuring things out. Some of my coworkers are ultra-helpful and bend over backwards… while others are more cliquish and don’t want to extend themself to the “newbies”.
At least there are a bunch of us who are in the same boat.
And I think about how many people there are in the same situation as me, hassling with paperwork they do not understand, trying to get help from people who aren’t very interested in helping them on the phone, hassling with devices and whatnot. I hate talking on the phone, because it is hard for me to hear and process things quickly, without seeing the person I’m talking to. It’s very stressful for me, but I have learned how to keep the person on the line until they have answered all my questions at least 2-3 times.
I make them repeat what they said, then I repeat it back to them, and ask them to confirm what I understand.
It’s awkward and difficult, but I get the answers I need that way.
You do what you have to do.
And if I let it get to me, it would make me NUTS at how convoluted and confused everything is. If you don’t have 100% clarity of thought, or if you’re distracted or you have some other cognitive issues, the system is pretty much stacked against you. That means a ton of people aren’t served very well by much of anything we have in place in this country.
I am definitely not alone.
But instead of getting all tweaked about it, I’m going to write up my notes from my call, gather my wits about me, and warm up my supper… and have a nice evening relaxing and reading.
It’s all good. It’s just a real pain in the a$$ sometimes.
But I’m actually fine with it. I know, it sounds bizarre – this should be over. We should all get a break from the cold, the snow/rain/wintry mix, and be able to get on with our lives.
And yet, this is our life. All of it. The seasons. The weather. The delays. The difficulties.
It’s just how it is, sometimes.
I’m fine with it.
Because I’ve come to expect it. By now, I’ve become a bit acclimated to these weather extremes… the teasers of warmer weather, followed by arctic blasts. And it’s to the point now where rather than resist and revile it, I’m actually enjoying myself as I clean the slop out of my garage and pull my coat closer around me as I go from the house to the car.
For me, I never quite know when my faculties are going to come through, and when they’re going to fail me. My energy levels yo-yo all over the place, leaving me feeling energized one minute and exhausted the next. My balance can turn out just plain wrong at any given point, leaving me staggering around for something to hold onto. And I’m never quite certain how tolerant I’m going to be of light and sound and touch.
I just roll with it. I don’t have many other options.
Speaking of being wiped out, I just had a wave of weariness hit me. I keep mistyping the words, so I think it’s time to stop. I’m making chicken stew this evening. My spouse is out of town, and I’m on my own. So, it’s stew on the stove, and maybe a little nap to get my strength up enough to eat.
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.