Tuesday, May 09, 2017

In Which I Learn That I'm Not Like Everyone Else

Let's start with the premise that life's a journey. We can quibble over underlying assumptions later. I've always imagined it as a road trip on America's roads. You start at a small town going slowly but the roads are in pretty good shape with occasional potholes and obstacles, but safe and routine for the most part. At some point you get on an interstate. Things moves quickly and easily for the most part. You can coast through it. There's maybe an accident or flat tire here or there, but this part is glorious. The windows are open, the music is blaring and life is good. But occasionally you hit a major metropolitan area during rush hour.  No matter what you do, you're stuck.  You might even get up to speed for a minute or two just to be slowed down by the newest construction zone or poorly designed entrance ramp.You'll get around this area and get to coasting soon enough, but for now you're stuck.

That's where I am right now. I KNOW that there are good times ahead. I can hear Bruce Springsteen off in the distance. But right now I'm stuck and it's frustrating and it's making me a little road rage-y.
So this is a meme that a friend recently posted on Facebook. I just stared at it for an extended period of time before I commented that, essentially, this is my actual goal in life. I pack my daily life with activity so that I fall into bed in utter exhaustion. I sleep the sleep of the dead, am woken up by occasional nightmares, but I'm so physically exhausted, I go right back to sleep until I'm awoken by the alarm clock. There are many insomniacs who ask me what my secret it to sleep and I honestly tell them I'm just exhausted. (The average American adult sleeps 6.8 hours a night, 7 is recommended, and I bet I get on average close to 9.)

I woke up this morning, took a shower, spent a stressful hour and a half filling out paperwork to get homeowner's insurance quotes (which...is another post), worked out, and now I'm holding office hours. I'll go for a walk between office hours and when I'll proctor an exam. Then I'll go to the pet store to get cat food, go home, go for another walk, make dinner, go to a community lecture this evening, come home and watch either an episode of Star Trek or House Hunters depending on time, and possibly go for another walk depending on whether it's raining or not. Then I will do the cat chores of feeding her, scooping her litter and taking it out to the trash, playing with her, brushing her teeth, and attempting to brush her fur. And then I will get ready for bed and collapse. Maybe I'll read a chapter or two of a trashy romance novel, but maybe not. I will be utterly mentally and physically exhausted.

And I do this so that I don't lie in my bed at night and ruminate about the current state of the world. I don't have the brain capacity to do it. It's all I can do to keep the balls in the air when I'm working and mentally present. I'm physically spent. My muscles ache most nights.  If I stop to think about anything important in my life, I don't think I'd be able to get to sleep at night or get out of bed in the morning. So I just jam pack my days with physical and mental activity, and I go and go and go.

But that going is definitely the equivalent of me changing lanes repeatedly so that I can get exactly one car length ahead of another car that is patiently staying in its lane. It's keeping me busy, but not exactly getting me anywhere.

But isn't this what adulting is about really?  Can you tell me there's another way?

1 comment:

  1. I hope that there is room in your schedule for the things that you really enjoy doing (brushing Zelda?), because those are the things that make life worth living.


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