a day of rest

On Thursday I rented a giant SUV, despite my moral misgivings, and I spent the day driving all across kingdom come, running all the errands I never have a chance to run, shopping for all the organizational stuff I need to unpack my apartment, grocery shopping, dropping things off, picking stuff up, being tempted to have a McDonald’s breakfast and virtuously driving on by, hauling shit upstairs and hauling shit downstairs and trying to meet deadlines and trying not to freak out because there is not enough time in the day.

I ate really poorly (Wendy’s: not an improvement over McDonald’s), and not enough, and I forgot to take both my vitamins and my crazy pills, and I ran up and down the stairs here at my house too many times, carried too many millions of pounds worth of ready-to-assemble furniture and wire storage and cat litter and all the miscellaneous junk that was all on my list. I stayed up until wee-hours-thirty working, then couldn’t sleep and finished off the book I was reading, and then couldn’t sleep and unpacked a box, and then finally fell asleep. And then I was up so early, eating an unhealthy breakfast of a big damn muffin and running a few more errands before I had to return the car and in the middle of the parking lot at Target, I realized that it was all catching up to me, and I was going to die.

I held it together, raced to the car rental place to return the big
damn SUV, raced home and spent a hundred years in the bathroom, feeling
sorry for myself and nauseous and dizzy. And then I crawled into bed
and pulled the covers up and the cat came and laid on top of me, and I
slept, hard. I slept most of the day away. Then I wandered around for
awhile, looked at the Internet, and went right the hell back to bed,
filled with regret and anger that I wasted a day, while my house is
still a wreck and my deadlines still exist.
E. stays up until ridiculous hours all the time. “But why,” I ask, when
he is exhausted again the next morning, and all he did the previous
night was watch Gone in Sixty Seconds for the fifteenth time. “I’m
afraid I’ll miss something,” he says, and I understand the feeling
completely. This time, I know I missed lots of things–an entire day,
things to look at and think about and do and see. I know I needed to
collapse and sleep, but I hate that I had to.

I can think about it as cognitive conditioning, I think; this is what
happens when you sleep too little for a few weeks, eat too much crap, run around like a
nutter and do not take care of yourself. This is what happens, this is
how you feel, these are the regrets you have. This is what you should
think about, the next time you think about blowing off keeping
yourself, your health and your well-being as your first priority. Here
I am, an object lesson, hello.

One Reply to “a day of rest”

  1. I am having this exact fight with myself right now. I am (always) ill and striking the balance between getting shit done and not feeling like shit is difficult and frustrating at best. Today I started (okay, restarted) a big project and had to quell the urge to dedicate my entire life to it. I caught myself making estimates in my head – how many reports can I do today? how many reports should I aim to do tomorrow? (and lastly) how the hell am I going to stay not-sick enough to do all that?
    I finally came to this conclusion: Feeling good is more important than getting things done. I know that sounds dangerous, but really, the former leads to the latter quite naturally, and if I feel bad? Nothing gets done. Simple.
    So, basically, my plan for world domination involves lots of napping, and I’m cool with that (or trying to be). I’ll get there.

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