Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Taking a breath.

I think, in hindsight, this is going to be a time in my life that I reflect on with crazy curiosity. I think, in the future, I'll look at this time and think to myself, "how did you DO that?"

It's happened before. When I moved to San Francisco when I was in my 20s - no job, no place to live; nothing but my friend, my dog and my car full of crap. That was a time that I reflect on now, and wonder how I did that. I certainly didn't do it elegantly. But I did it.

There are other examples that have stretched out on my mental couch and settled in as Defining Periods in my life. These times can be defined as insurmountably surmountable, in hindsight. My mom's death. The decision to get a divorce. There are more.

Like now.

I think that when I look back on this period in my life when I'm older, I'll see this time as another "how did I DO that?" episode.

I'm probably seeing it that way, tossing this time into the Salient Period basket, because I'm exhausted.

A rundown of today, which is typical:

Up at 4.45 am.


Made breakfast and lunch for myself and the kids while watching the previous night's Jon Stewart and Colbert. Took a shower, got my crap together for work.

First kid up at 6, out the door by 6.40.

Second kid up at 6.30, we're both out the door by 7.10 am.

Across town by 8 to my regular job. Done at 5 pm.

Tonight is was dinner at my sister's.

Home by 8 pm.

I have the next two days off. Tomorrow's basically a catch-up day - post office, doctor's appointment, blah blah blah.

And in the midst of trying to keep all the ends from unraveling, I need diversion from my obligations. Which is where the disconnection and escape and fascination of dropping by a thrift store comes in.

I can disengage from all the other stuff that awaits me, hop off the wheel and attempt to find a treasure.

I really don't enjoy playing the Whose Life is Harder game. Everyone's just doing what they need to do to keep their boat floating, and I really don't have anything to complain about.

But nights like this, when I'm completely exhausted, and I try to weigh the scales with what I want to do and what I have to do, I realize this is one of those periods that I'll look back on with amazement at what I've been capable of doing and creating and juggling all by myself.

And tonight, I'll disengage. Not with thoughts of thrift or my freakishly long To Do list. Not the grades I need to check on-line or piles of paperwork littering my desk. No bill-paying thoughts. No thoughts, tonight, of what I Should Be Doing.

I bought Season One of This American Life's Showtime series on itunes the other day. I've been watching it in spurts this past few days while walking briskly on my treadmill.

Tonight I'm getting off my treadmill. The one that's in my basement, the one that's in my head, the one I hop on every morning at 4.45. It's jammie time.

I'm giving myself permission to relax, thinking of nothing but other people's stories, disengaging with Ira Glass.

Two days off, lots to do. But I'm not going to think about that now.

As soon as I push the 'publish post' button on this blog, it's time to relax.

I'd like to think I do this crazy dance that is my life with just a touch of grace, but the mosh pit needs to turn into a tango.

Two days off.


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