Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Grinding On

Came back from vacation in Ottawa yesterday. We had a pretty good time, but I couldn't sleep in the hotel. It was too dry, too hot or cold, the pillows were wrong, my diet was off, and it was a strange place. Coming home I was dreaming of our bed and my perfect pillow. I went up to bed last night same time as the kids, did five minutes of pretty bad meditation, then tried to sleep.

My feet turned to ice. This happens. I needed socks, but I was under covers where it was supposed to be warm. I went back and forth for hours. How ridiculous? The gravitational pull of bed and my inertia were so strong.

Having planned to be asleep before ten, I got up after midnight for socks then stayed awake another half an hour. Why hadn’t I gotten socks ages ago? That thought kept me up and disrupted the sleep I finally fell into.

When my alarm went off, I turned it off in shock. I had had four hours of tortured sleep. My jaw ached from grinding my teeth, something I've done enough that a dentist tried to sell me $12,000 worth of surgery and braces.

I fell back into a shallow sleep and dreamed I was supposed to be teaching a class, reading a story. I couldn't do it. I kept talking about it, feeling like there were lessons I had to teach. Then, I began reading on the second line and flubbed that. My mouth was dry, my teeth and jaw hurt. I needed to go back to the first line, but instead I choked on the second line again, apologized, and tried to go back to the first.

That's when I dropped the book.

Picking it up I tried to talk through panic. I couldn’t find the story. It wasn't in the table of contents, there was no index, and I wasn't sure of the title. I told them to take a break for five minutes.

They left and I moved to the back of the room which turned out to be a lawn in mild sunlight. A lovely place. I stood with the book, breathed, and tried to find the story. A couple kids came back. I told one girl that I couldn't find the page. I was shaking about it, almost crying. She nodded, as did a couple of other kids. The rest of the class came in and I found the story in an index, but it wasn’t the same story. Everything was different. What could I do?

I woke myself. It was seven in the morning and I got up into the cold bedroom. It hurt to move. My head ached. I walked downstairs, emptied the dishwasher, and made coffee. I poured a cup, carried it and my computer down to my nook, and sat to write.

Nothing came. I wandered the web. Moved money into our savings account. Read the news. Avoided the blank page until there was nothing left to do but type.

I'm supposed to run with friends soon. I'm tired, cranky, and in a mood to lie on a couch under a blanket and have a second cup of coffee. I should probably run. I might sleep better tonight, might find a rhythm and a way forward.

I'm kind of glad that I wrote this morning. These aren't great words. Rambling about readjusting to life and wondering how to move forward. Same thing I've been writing and thinking about for years.

There was a time when I didn't worry through sleep or grind my teeth. I felt no obligations. I was just me and the world simply happened. I didn't plan. I slept when I was tired, let thoughts come, and ran when my legs wanted to. In a bad mood, I cried or maybe even screamed until the mood passed or someone helped me through.

Those were the days.

I don't know what to do with days like this. Do something, I suppose. Anything. Writing,  running, drinking coffee. I better not put much thought into it. Better to just do. Better to let the day happen. Better, almost always, to keep moving and write on.