Two observations

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday was nothing too spectacular on the outside. Nothing very unusual to report. I worked on writing, I did some basic household tasks and some personal-business tasks, I worked more on writing. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I walked on my treadmill and practiced taiji, I spent some time spinning and knitting and watching TV. Eventually I fell asleep on my recliner. Nothing especially interesting in the details.

The thing that is really interesting to me is all internal, because yesterday felt so very different than any day I’ve spent for a long time. For nearly the first time since I lost my job I set my alarm at my old wake-up time, as for a day of work. I got out of bed and on the treadmill right away (well, almost right away, it still takes me some time to actually wake up in the morning). I actually took some time to work on taiji, that’s been slipping lately. And then I sat down to work, and stayed at my computer for pretty much a full work-day, if not on the computer then making phone calls or writing notes or doing specific non-computer tasks. I took a couple of brief spinning breaks and stopped to eat lunch and watch a little TV to distract my mind, but I was pretty successful at working on things all day. I can do better, I did spend some time on social sites rather than in my WordPress account or in my text editor, but still. I got stuff done.

As a result of this, at the end of the day I really felt like I had lived a full day — that I got up and used the time and enjoyed it, that I really lived it instead of marking time and watching the clock. Too many days at my old job went that way, and it made me feel blank, dull, unhappy. A little bit transparent around the edges. Not worthy of the space I occupy in the world. That was a really terrible feeling, and in contrast, yesterday felt really, really good.

Who wants to pace out the minutes of their life in dullness, in transparent futility and fecklessness? Terrible, tragic thing, to so waste life and time and talent. I’ve wasted so much time. I want to feel like I’m alive now and working on things that matter, to me and to someone else. I want there to be joy and life in the work I do and the time I’m given. The world is so grim sometimes; there can never be too much joy to set against the grayness of it. I want to create my share of joy. Joy to live out of, and to share as widely as I can.

—————————

When I reported this morning that I was voluntarily awake at 5:30, my older brother reported back that I’m crazy. He has reason to be skeptical about my sanity; he knows better than most my natural inclination to sleep in. But this night owl has delusions of early-bird-ism; I actually like to be awake and active early, when I manage to do it. I’ve just never been very successful at actually doing it. I also really enjoy sleeping in.

The extra-crazy part about getting up early is that I didn’t actually sleep well. I dozed off while watching TV and so I didn’t actually go to bed until after midnight. And then my brain just didn’t want to be quiet, too busy with thinking about all of the work issues and life issues that I’m wrestling with, trying to find answers that weren’t going to come at that hour, while I was tucked under flannel sheets and crocheted afghans. It took a long while to get my thoughts to sit still enough to fall asleep.

Regardless, my alarm went off at 5:30, and I got out of bed. I didn’t even hit the snooze button once. I still sat up in bed for a while, letting my body get used to the idea of being upright, but then it was off to the treadmill and into my day. Tiredness and all.

This is so uncharacteristic of me, my brother will probably think I’m past crazy and on to whatever comes after crazy when he reads it. I hate being tired, having to deal with the world when I’m sleep-deprived. It makes me crabby and makes me feel like I’m stupid and slow and can’t do anything right. That’s part of the reason I like sleeping in, because that’s the best way for me to catch up on my sleep. Trying to go to bed early never actually works out well for me, no matter how good my intentions are.

So I’m sitting at my laptop again today, writing again, posting to this blog, sending messages and comments to my friends around the internet. Starting to look for “real” writing work, meaning the kind that someone will pay me for. The feeling of tiredness is present, but it feels like it’s sitting off to the side today, not needling me like it usually does. Not dragging quite as many distractions around in my vicinity, trying to pull me off task. I’m bemused. That’s an enormous change for me, and I don’t entirely know what to make of it. Except I’m counting it as another tiny spark of hope that maybe I can make writing my livelihood and lifestyle after all — even though I’m tired, when this is my work, I’m still working.

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