So, really, why did I bother getting out of bed today? I’m on the verge of something. I just know it. I’ve had the telltale pangs of fierce flashes of pain sporadically dashing through my head for about a week. Until today, I attributed it to the extreme heat of last week. And, yes, while heat can certainly trigger an attack, so can inadequate sleep, as well as, well–anything, really. The slightest bit of stress–whether it seems like real stress or not–is what gets me.
I’ve had a summer free of pretty much any outside stressers at all. We went on an amazing eight port European cruise on the very first day of the season, and there was the typical stress my kids can create which has not been a big deal at all, especially since the youngest has been on ADHD meds. For me, I define “outside stress” as anything that requires urgent action. For example, getting a child to school before the first bell rings, or having any type of appointment on my calendar. Yep, those things stress me out like you would not believe. And it may not even feel like stress at all to me. In fact, I’m cool with all of it. Kids are back in school now–just began their third week. If you followed my driving patterns from Point A to Point B, back to Point A and then of course, back to Point B, and then another round of Point A to Point B, etc., you would quickly detect a zigzag pattern spanning too many miles. It’s ridiculous, but I guess probably typical for a “stay-at-home-mom” who has 2 kids each in a different, remotely located private school. We could have sent them to public schools and have them commute by the big yellow school bus, and my life would be free from all of that commuting stress, but we want our kids to get a classical education (the kind where cursive handwriting and proper grammar and sentence structure is critical). So, while aggressive, road-rage, red-faced driver types are what most would consider key elements of a stressed individual, I am not at all any of that. My brain and body tire easily just by deep thinking, moving, temperature change and decision making. Decision Making. How ridiculous. Even deciding what to write about here is a strain.
Today began at 4:30am by dragging myself out of my warm bed, which is covered with 800 count/100% Egyptian cotton sheets, bordered by four posters and lots of luscious fluffy pillows… Into a teenage daughter’s room–enter if you dare–seriously, she has crap strewn everywhere in that room. Somehow clothes seem to jump off of her body and on to the floor. During the night, some even jump off of the hangers and out of the dresser drawers as well. It’s always an obstacle course in there. I constantly hear my voice telling her, “…if there were ever a house fire…you’d be tripping over stuff to find the door…” Anyway, waking her is always a pleasure. On my way back home from driving her to the bus stop, I found myself at red lights and not being sure if I stopped when they were green rather than red–like: did I let them turn red while my car was already at a standstill? That was clue number one that I should get back in bed after my next kid drop off but, no I did not listen.
At 6:45am by dragging myself upstairs, I put medicine in the mouth of my soon-to-be an actual teenager and coaxed her out of bed–this too is always a pleasure–not. Waking my kids up is like waking the dead. I got her to school by 7:50am and then a quick trip to the grocery story, where it took me too long to make the decision on what cut of meat to purchase for dinner. That was clue number two that I should get back in bed when I get home but, no I did not listen.
At 9:30 I tried to put the groceries away, but got sidetracked after I took the dogs out, went to the bathroom and read 3 different daily news sites–it was all horrific news anyway. An alarm went off on my phone to remind me to leave the house at 12:30 to go back to the almost teenager’s school to volunteer in the library. So, I dragged my sorry self to the kitchen to finish putting groceries away and boom! The glass bowl I had previously washed which was ready to return to my neighbor–she had brought us some gorgeous tomatoes from her garden 2 nights ago–yeah, that bowl was nudged with my knuckles when I moved some food items on the counter and it skipped across the counter and on to the floor. It broke in about 500 little slivers and pebbles of glass. Out came the vacuum. It took a long time–glass was everywhere–the kitchen, the laundry room, the dining room and near the back door. I almost tripped on the vacuum. I was clumsy with the cord and draped it over the back of my neck to quit stepping on it. Then, I almost strangled myself in it as it caught the hose attachment I was using when the darn machine actually fell on my back when I was down on the floor under and around the refrigerator. It was time to dump the canister as the filter was all gunked up with glass AND dog hair. As I poured the canister in the kitchen garbage can, my hand slipped and most of it was poured onto my feet (I had flip-flops on) and back on the floor. All very evident third, fourth and fifth signs I should go back to bed. Before I left, I made this sign and taped it to our back door–the door we all use to get in and out of here.
I arrive in the school library. Head over to the cart where about 40 books were waiting to be reshelved. They were Fiction. Easy peasy, alphabeticals. I worked on that for forty minutes before I realized I fucked that up. A simple task. A numb-nut volunteer I am; they are going to ask me never to step foot in the library again, I just know it. These books were not just Fiction, oh no they have a tiny “F1” above the call letters on the spine. Who knew. I did not even notice they differed in any way from the books that have the tiny “F” on the spine above the call letters. Yeah, you guessed it. The “F1” books have their very own section and that stack is clearly labeled ‘F1” in big, bold characters. So, I hunted and pecked around to find most of the wrongly shelved forty or so books and then reshelved in the proper section. By the way, or BTW, “F1” is comprised of fiction books just for the First Graders. Duh me. Was this the sixth or seventh sign that I should go back to bed?
I finish my volunteer stint, my kid and I leave and go straight home. Believe me, she tried and tried to get me to stop at Starbuck’s, but I refused. Our car almost got hit by an oncoming taxi cab who swayed over the double yellow line, but my catlike reflexes and adrenaline took the wheel to avoid it. Definitely need my bed now.
Ahhhh, we are home, and I get a big cup of ice water and carry it upstairs–to bed! As I am slinking under the covers and between my luxurious sheets, the almost teenager Facetimes me!!! Really? She knew I was on the verge of tears I was so tired. Tells me she would like to ride her bike to the Shoppette (it’s like 7-11, but it’s not), and I ask her to stay home because I can’t stay awake another minute and I’m too tired to fight with her (the meds wear off just around 4:45pm and she turns belligerent–I know you don’t believe me, but its true). I’m there, I’ve dozed and I’m enjoying the drowsy–I’ve got boring 5 o’clock news on the bedroom television and it has lulled me to…the phone ringing!!!! It’s her!!! Oh, yes, she hit a curb and her bicycle tire popped and it scared her real bad cause she thought it was a gunshot, and I could tell she’s got a lump in her throat making it hard to talk and I could hear the tears welling up in her eyes. Yep, I have to pick her and her bike up. I so wish that I had taken a photo of the back of my car–we shoved as much of the bike in the trunk as possible and let the rest hang out, put the hazard lights on and drove soooo slow home that I almost fell asleep–go figure.
Ahhh, home again. The sign remains on the door. My husband arrives home from work and I could cry I’m so happy to see him. Soon after, the teenager arrives home–looks (but does not read) sign on door–kicks shoes off and walks in the kitchen. I give up! I get in bed for one full hour of uninterrupted rest, and it was good.