Tired is catching up. Tired is running me down, passing me on the track. Tired just beat me to that primo parking space. Tired just cut me off on the freeway. Tired grabbed the last box of mac and cheese (actually, in my house, it’s probably couscous) before I could reach up and put my hand on it.
The problem with tired winning is that I don’t feel good about sleep the next day. It’s never enough to make me wake up and feel rested, because even when I go to bed early, I don’t sleep through. It’s interrupted by restlessness, by dreams that pop me terrified out of whatever REM sleep I might get, adrenaline pumping as my brain tries to catch up with reality after sinking itself in whatever weird dream or nightmare it was inhabiting previously. I woke one time to the sound of the cat’s scratchy tongue cleaning herself. Oh my God! What’s that NOISE? My sleep app claims I was awake twice more for significant periods of time that I don’t remember. Either I was flailing mightily in my sleep, or I’m so tired, I don’t remember the difference between awake and asleep.
So although I had a nice time at my stitching meeting and got all the binding done and talked to friends…
I meant to come home and finish the sleeve and do a little embroidery over on the “good house” side. But I ate and exercised and meditated, and realized after meditation that sleep was the next step. That I could push it and stay awake and do stuff, but my brain really was a giant ball of not-good fuzz and sleep would be the logical thing to do. Unfortunately, my brain doesn’t really give a shit about the logical. It realizes that I’ve seen the girlchild each day this week for about 20 minutes a day, and most of those 20 minutes, she’s been yelling at me (she’s stressed about school and apparently I am asking all the stupid questions…you know, like we do), and because there’s a lot going on at the beginning of school, and because I took on this additional quilt finishing, I am not where I need to be in the next major project and I’m stressing about that and telling myself that I should scale back on stuff like hikes, except I need the exercise and the outside time and I think perhaps I am spending way too many hours just with myself, and my SELF is not in a good mood because she is tired and not getting enough good minutes with anyone and that stupid fucking church song keeps popping up.
Those two bird quilts are sold, though. That’s good. I think I need to go stare at the check for a moment to remind me of that. Thanks to all of those who helped me buy groceries in the last month.
And. I feel like if I keep saying it, it will sink in. I need to make art every night to stay mentally healthy. Notice I didn’t use the word ‘sane’, because I don’t know what it means any more. Or ‘happy’. Every fucking night. Seriously. Do it. Thirty minutes. That’s it. No matter how tired you are. You will feel better in the morning.
It’s been a rough week. Not enough connections. Not enough art. Too many moments of realizing how dysfunctional my brain still is. Too many “what was I thinking?” moments. I’m sure that Alzheimers’ patients get flashes of this, or dementia patients. Moments of clarity when you think, holy crap? What the hell is my brain doing? It must be really depressing.
It didn’t help that my school department had a clusterfuck brewing yesterday. I went and kicked it around a bit. Some people need to be brought down to Earth occasionally. I don’t like being the one who has to do that. Honestly, I just want to teach my kids, who are pretty good this year, and meet with my team, and ignore the rest of it. I don’t want to have to smooth feathers or manage discord or knit together a team that has never worked properly. I want my old co-teacher back, not that the new one is bad. She’s just new and I have to figure our relationship out and that’s hard and takes a long time and I don’t have the energy. That’s probably true across the board. I don’t have the energy to go out there and remake shit so that I can function in this new existence. The one where the kids go to college and I don’t see them for months on end. Or in the girlchild’s case at the moment, barely seeing her because she has a social life and only lives here half-time. Apparently I’m not invited to ice skating tonight…which is OK. I get it. No seriously. I didn’t expect to go ice skating with high-school kids. I did hope for a quiet dinner with the girlchild and some bad TV time on the couch. But she will be home late. Like she should be. And some part of my brain, the part that is semi-OK and wants to make art and doesn’t give a shit about people much…it’s looking forward to a few hours of quiet contemplation with Game of Thrones on and a pen in my hand, trying to get past the LEGS, those damn legs are done and now I need to draw the next section while persuading myself NOT to add too much detail.
The art brain has communicated its demands. I need to listen to it. I’m not sure how normal people function, those that don’t have this separate part of their brain that seems to live apart from the rest of us. To be off doing its own thing and then come in and say, “HEY! I’m taking over tonight. Y’all need to get out of the kitchen, go to your rooms, don’t come out and bug me. This is MY space for right now.” And the rest of my brain is like, “But wait a minute. Don’t I live here too? Don’t I get a say in this?” And art brain is like, “Fuck you. Just get out. You had your time and you messed up. I’m in charge now. I’ll bring you a cup of tea later. But I need you out of here right now. No complaining, just go. And take all that grading with you. I don’t wanna see that. I don’t even wanna know it exists. I’ve got stuff to do.” The rest of the brain shuffles out of there, picks up the school bag, looks sadly back at art brain and then moves down the dark hallway into her room and shuts the door as art brain turns up the music and starts making something with curry.
Yeah. OK. I sense a ton of progress in the next three days. Yes, there’s three soccer games, a hike, a discussion thing that I might not go to, and a Shakespeare play. But I think my art brain needs some time and will demand it. As well it should.