Sometimes when I’m feeling a little low, I spin stories of what my next free evening/day off will be like. I’ve been doing this for years. Sometimes luxuriating in the idea of free time is an aspirin to the headache of stress. What a lousy metaphor. I’m keeping it, though.
But work’s been awful, and I’m not feeling great (a dehydration caused headache yesterday, I think, and just exhaustion today). I wake up at 3 am and fight against 3 am thoughts. I barely could drag myself from my bed this morning, dawdling till past 7.
So I’m day dreaming about tonight. About going home and giving baxter a treat, his dinner, a new toy. About crawling into bed with a cup of tea and my Scarlett Thomas book and maybe some Black Books on my iPad. About falling asleep before 10. About not waking up to hate the world at 3 am. About music playing. About delicious food. About a candle burning. About the dark falling slowly, cozy.
I don’t have internet at the new place. It’s weird how untethered I feel, despite the cellular iPad and phone. I feel a little like I don’t know what to do with myself, and I don’t know how much of that is just …Well, look. Even if you put aside the past few months where I felt like every second not spent cleaning was a theft (and felt hugely guilty as a result), I spent every second for the past few years feeling guilt, worry and horror over various situations. It wears you DOWN. I worried, ALL THE TIME. And then I worried about finding affordable housing on Cape Cod. And then Baxter was ill. And then I won some sort of cosmic lottery and found affordable housing, whereupon I started worrying about MOVING. And now I’m moved and Baxter is feeling better and … what do I do? Who am I now?
It’s a good feeling, mostly. I still have some REALLY serious worries. Every one does, there’s no off switch for bad news and struggling. But for once, my day to day responsibilities have narrowed to me, and Baxter. And I have a space that will get a good scrubbing this weekend but which doesn’t need a lot. And so I have time where I don’t feel like I should be doing something else every second of the day.
What do I do with that. Who do I want to be.
That’s why I wake up constantly, every night, to face the 3am demons.