Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Slogging through to the other side (and, a dramatic look at shopping at the grocery store)

Today was one of those days where I was so tired there was essentially no point of return. I could tell right away when my alarm went off, and when the cat got snuggly I knew I was in for a long day. The pull to the fuzz ball as opposed to getting on my two feet and moving toward the office was winning, by far. It was a sporting event with the score so uneven it was boring to watch.

Office Max the cat: 1,000,000
Office itself: 0

Amazingly I got out of bed.

I almost felt drunk during the morning, and I didn't bother with a second cup of coffee because I knew it was futile.

Finally I began to come out of it around lunchtime, and a chance to slowly eat a delicious salad was welcomed by my fibers. Vitamins in the veggies, protein in the marinated chicken, a little zing in the balsamic vinaigrette, they brought me a trifle back from the edge. The deadly edge of sleepiness.

Man, I hate being tired when I'm in a situation where productivity should be the focus. Hate it.

This year I in fact feel motivated to keep my surroundings (including, what's that? The car???) clean, to eat well, to cook, to sleep, to exercise, but so far six days into my motivational year I feel like I am all good vibes and no action. So when I woke up in a near-coma with a cat unwittingly pulling me further into the somnambulance, the irritation at my circumstances was already in place. Fatigue was certainly not going to move anything toward fruition. I calculated the beauty of staying in bed, but got up anyway.

Though it was rough this morning, I'm glad I did.

I did miss Office Max at the office today, though.

I received nuggets of wisdom from several friends and coworkers throughout the day. My nerves were a little high about something, and one friend even suggested that my fatigue could be a direct result of that. Another mentioned that the nerves would work themselves out. A third said that my normal functions were still intact, just buried underneath the nerves.

I welcomed all the words from my sages, and took a nap in my car during my morning break. I went for a walk during the afternoon.

I made a plan to make dinner. The grocery store often seems like a most undesirable place for me (unless I'm well caffeinated, well fed, and feeling chipper but not rushed -- a rarely realized chemical equation), but I resolved to dig my feet in.

The day seemed awash in many ways, and I cursed my lagging with bitter annoyance. When something small-ish went "wrong" at work, I compared myself to the long line of, well, everyone else, who wouldn't have let that thing slip. But I resolved to make a square meal, to get the items needed to do so, and to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

The nice thing about the grocery store is that it kind of kidnaps me. Despite my often not-perfectly-caffeinated and what have you state, often when I get to aisle number three I have forgotten my annoyance. I think of other things I need. I concede to the fact that I will lift heavy jugs of cat litter into my cart, that I will visit all the aisles, or, worst of all, go back to an aisle I'd already visited and forgot something in.

Before going to the grocery store, I aggressively remind myself of items on my bare minimum shopping list, so as to not forget anything and get out of there as quickly as possible.

Once inside, the avocado topping for the curry lentil rice bowl becomes less of the enemy and more of the cooling, calming piece of the dish that is worth an extra lap, worth pushing a heavy metal cart to gather a handful of wrinkled fruit. Once arrived, again beyond belief, I agree to squish the fruits, to see which one is ready for slicing that night.

I'm not sure how the grocery store does it, but it's a crafty little sneaker. Proven by my kindness toward the cashier at the end of my visit, my good citizenship of walking the cart back to its corralled home.

I'm not always this peaceful and nice about it, of course. Proven by the toilet paper in my trunk, that comes upstairs to my apartment a few rolls at a time, due to my impatience with carrying too many loads. The necessities, the refrigeration-required items go upstairs, leave everything else behind!


Sometimes we wake up really tired, and we stay really tired, and we get mad about it, and we stay mad about it. But then sometimes in that same day we manage to get a little work done, to make it until 5, to write a list of things we're grateful for. To walk through the grocery store until the job is done, continuing to breathe.

During my lunch hour I read in my book by Ann Patchett the importance of forgiving oneself as a writer. The importance of continuing to stack up the pages. To keep working to chip away at the coal in the mountainside in order to someday reveal the diamond, and meanwhile to forgive yourself. Forgive forgive forgive. Forgive my fatigue. Forgive my laziness. Forgive my bitter attitude, my tightly bound and pulsing nerves. To make a meal, squeeze the avocado, and move into tomorrow. Where I'll hopefully be better rested.

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