catching up on everything in the world

My intentions were good–I was going to stay on track, when I was away. I had a bunch of balls up in the air, and was feeling pretty confident about every one of them. Exercising nearly every weekday, up so early and out the door and down the street on my bike, into the pool with the chatty old ladies who were busier gossiping than water aerobicizing (it is sad to take satisfaction in working harder than chatty old ladies, but you take your motivation where you can get it, right? Your sad, sad motivation). Every morning, a protein shake with calcium-enriched soy milk and a little frozen fruit, washing down a handful of supplements. Every morning, posts finished asap, freelance work lined up and shot down, an afternoon of writing. 100 words of short fiction, 1000 words of the memoir. Toying with adding a few thousand words of fiction, even, but then when would I inhale episodes of Gossip Girl? Let’s not go crazy.

It was only a short few weeks of feeling like everything was on track and I was a goddess, an angel of organization, fulfilled and happy and busy with the right amounts of work and pleasure, spiritual enlightenment and total awesomeness. I was even cooking for myself, decimating the long-unexcavated contents of my freezer, actually preparing the food I had optimistically bought, instead of giving up eating at home as soon as all my convenience food was gone and everything else actually needed more attention and effort than hitting a button on the microwave. I was doing well and doing good for myself, and I sailed out of my apartment on Tuesday morning, confident that so much hard work and happiness and feelings of contentment would absolutely carry through, and I would be as awesome on the road as I ever was, in my house, at my desk, ten feet from my stocked fridge and five minutes from the gym.


The first day, the fiction fell to the wayside. I craned around and
said “I’ll be back! I swear!” I thought, well, that’s not a priority. I
have other priorities! The next day, I did not, in fact, go to the gym
with my host as I thought I would. But we were walking so much!
Everywhere, with the walking! The gym is unnecessary. After a few
nights of staying up late and tipsy to pound out a bunch of words that
didn’t make much sense, there went my 1000-words-a-day commitment, and
my freelance stuff was hard to concentrate on, and I couldn’t find my
vitamins, and pretty soon it was full-fledged bacchanalia, hanging from
curtain rods and wondering where all the tequila went. Whoops, there it
is! I’m going to go lie down now.

And you know what, it was fine. A wedding week, celebration and
happiness and love and socializing and merrymaking, and I had a little
twinge–I really did want to hang onto the habits I was forming, because
don’t they only form if you are consistent and persistent?–but I was
okay with being on vacation. I like vacation! They are nice.

So I gave myself a pass and I still have no regrets, but now I am back
at home, with my life around me, and I am forgetting how everything
went. I am still fighting through that post-trip haze of exhaustion and
feeling a little unwell and unbalanced in my body, foggy in my head and
a little fragile. Pretty standard for me, pretty frustrating. I wanted
to stride back in and start training for a quadathalon, which includes
a marathon, a game of full-contact football, a hot-dog eating slash
push-up contest and then saving a baby from a burning building. I
wanted to start writing immediately and be half-way done with all my
projects and then entirely done and then the sun was supposed to start
shining right out of my ass.

Instead, I slept away the entire day yesterday, and still managed to
sleep through an alarm, to stagger around the apartment half-aware and
pour an entire bag of coffee down the sink instead of into a filter.
The idea of writing something sounds monstrous and impossible, the idea
of freelance work fills me with the shudders and the idea of going back
to bed for all time instead of hitting the gym and working it out makes
me cry, a little, with longing.

It all snaps back into focus, eventually. In the meantime, I’ll work my way slowly through creating an impressively comprehensive to-do list that will make me a little sad, while at the same thing I’ll act
really stupid and forget things and try to wait it out and take it slow and hope I don’t
do something terrible that will haunt me for the rest of time, woe, which is
entirely a possibility.

  2 comments for “catching up on everything in the world

  1. anon
    October 1, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Sigh, there goes my girl again, being uber hard on herself.

    First of all, good for you for having a great vacation—you were going to write and work out and do freelance work and and and…where was your vacation supposed to be???

    You put it all on hold, you went and had a fab time. Great! That is exactly what you were supposed to do. That is what vacation is!!!!

    So now you’re home and you’re tired–you ate, you drank, you walked to Timbuktu (or the Wharf) and back….in other words, you took a break, you did things you don’t normally do, you were probably operating on very little sleep and lots of adrenaline….and now you need to take a breather before jumping back into your life.

    IT’S OKAY. If you beat yourself up over it, it sort of defeats the whole purpose of taking a breather! I told you yesterday that you needed to repair to the couch stat with a kitty and a laptop and a drink and just….CHILL.

    Look, if I thought a day or two would turn into a month, I wouldn’t encourage it. But you (and me too, oh lordy, yes, me too) have been here before, we’ve talked about this before. You know yourself. We feel fragile sometimes. In a day or two you will be fine. Promise.

    In a day or two you will actually be dying to get to the gym! To start crossing things off your to-do list! To start being productive and awesome with the sun out of your ass and so on. In. A. Few. Days. Sheesh, girl, relax. You’ll be fine. Just take a deep breath and enjoy memories of your time away and write your to-do list and watch Gossip Girl and….chill.

  2. nolafwug
    October 1, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I agree! This summer I went on vacation for 4 weeks and the next month had to evacuate for a week. Each time I returned, I felt like a bit of a square peg trying to fit back into the round hole of my routine – very out of sorts. But after about a week I was back to my chipper, productive self like nothing had happened.

    So don’t worry about it! Good job dropping balls while on vacation – that’s what you’re supposed to do, sit back and enjoy and let things slide for a while. Now you’re home you’ll be back doing the juggling act like an old pro in no time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *