It’s 3:30 in the morning. I’ve been awake for over an hour and finally decided to quit chasing elusive sleep. Sometimes it’s better simply to get up than toss, turn and fret for another minute. I can always tell. I wake up around 2-ish nearly every night, but usually (mostly thanks to better living through chemistry) I manage to go back to sleep fairly quickly. Last few days I haven’t been taking anything. I think when it completely gets out of my system, I revert back to the old ways of sleeping really deeply for about 3 hours after I fall asleep, then that’s it. Done. I know the minute my eyes open in the dark if I’m going to be able to drift off again. If I can keep the thoughts at bay, I’m all right. But if the hamster wheel in my head starts turning, it’s all over.
And what do I think about? Mostly the roads not taken. I think about people who’ve touched my life. I wonder where they are, wonder if they’re still alive, what they’re doing. I think about my various crossroads, I think about where I might be if I had made more conventional decisions in my past. I think about what I want to do when the daylight comes, the last batch of pesto I need to make, the peppers on the patio table that need to be roasted, how I’m going to water the yard and mow the grass.
G left yesterday to drive to CA with our friend who’s moving out there to be near her daughter. The movers came in the morning to load up the rental truck and they got on the road before noon, heading west into potentially bad weather. I’m home alone for a week and that always gives me more choices than I can possibly make. I’m off tomorrow and an entire day currently unscheduled is something I’m not accustomed to. I already turned down a freelance project because for once I didn’t want to spend my off time working.
I also think about how my life would be if I were not in a relationship–the things I would do, the schedule I’d keep if I weren’t constantly arranging my life around another person. Relationships of any kind are difficult for me. I’m a very happy introvert. I like my own company and I like quiet. Most of the time, I could go for days and be perfectly content not to talk to another person. Part of the reason I haven’t been blogging as much lately is that I don’t even want that much contact with the “outside”.
It’s hard to feel like I’m the only one who makes the compromises. G has more “issues”–her sometimes compulsive need to clean and organize, her PTSD stuff, her physical state, etc. Sometimes I feel like I’ve molded myself around these things, reshaped and re-configured my life more to suit her or to suit “us” more than to suit myself. It’s not a complaint, merely an observation. I know how good my life is, and I am grateful. But I’m also a contrary human being. No matter how good things are, there’s always a niggling little thought about how things might have been if I’d zigged instead of zagged all those years ago.
I haven’t swum since we got back from SF. In fact, almost immediately upon returning, I had my first period in seven months. That was a welcome gift–NOT. I spent the next week and a half doing basically nothing. I know that’s part of the reason for the erratic sleep. It’s amazing how large amounts of physical exertion make things so much better. I’ve gone back to walking more now, but I’m having some serious trouble with my shoes. A couple months ago, I spend over $200.00 on two different pairs of shoes, some Merrell boots and some Keen walking shoes. My beloved New Balance were over four years old (even though they didn’t seem all that worn to me) and “everyone” said I should retire them. That’ll teach me to listen to “everyone”. I let G’s clutter phobia influence me and allowed the shoes be given away. NB doesn’t make that particular number any more, so I’m screwed. The new shoes are not working. The Merrells are plain too narrow, even though they’re men’s shoes. After a few miles, my feet are in agony. I’m supposed to be in training again, this time for a 26-mile walk in late March and there’s no way I can use those shoes. If anyone is interested, I’ll let them go at a really good price. I’m serious.
The Keens are better, but still not quite there. My legs hurt quite a bit after I walk 4 or 5 miles in them. They’re wider but don’t have quite the instep or heel cup support I either need or got used to with the NBs. I’ll keep walking in them, though, until I can find (and afford) some NBs. I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of varieties, but for some reason, none of the stores I’ve been to recently carry those particular models. It’s hard to order shoes online. I’d like to get them at REI if I could because they allow you to return shoes even after you’ve worn them quite a bit. After all, how can you really tell if shoes are going to work for you until you’ve worn them for at least 10 or 20 miles?
Anyway. All that just to say I’m not exercising much right now and I can really tell that is affecting my mental state. Writing is stalled. Still working on editing the novel I dashed off last year for NANO and the one I wrote the year before that is hopelessly mired in details. Maybe I’ll go to the library later and do some plotting and planning. Maybe a session of longhand writing/sketching is what I need. Once I couldn’t compose at the computer to save myself. Now, writing on paper seems hopelessly slow. And illegible. But I’m stuck on a particular scene in a particular location and maybe drawing it out will help.
It’s now 4:10 and I’m starting to feel a little sleepy. I’m going back upstairs to see if I can’t try this again. Maybe blathering here for a while helped. Maybe the ghosts are ready to go back to bed, too. Maybe I’ll sip a cup of chamomile tea. Wish me luck.