bunt sign

Sunday, December 23, 2001

It was another rollercoaster day, only this time I never even left the house.

Honestly, I thought I'd left the grinchiness behind and could sail through Christmas with a smile on my face and a melody in my heart. The first part of the day was just fine. The sun was shining between the clouds, and there was nowhere I had to be. That means I didn't have to shave and I could spend the whole day in sweats. That's usually the recipe for a wondrously peaceful experience.

Since I'd slept so late this morning, and so soundly, I didn't think I'd have That Problem today. I didn't think I'd have to deal with That Problem. That Problem that makes me lose patience until I find I want to put a fist through a wall or a chair through a window. I was okay most of the day, but I was wrong to try to get so much work done. By tonight I was hurtling over the cliff, screaming down the hill with no brakes.

Little things. I spent so much time getting a billing ready for seven customers in a housing development. Three pages, with slight variations tailored to each individual. This is my specialty, finely tuned work involving spreadsheets and word processing documents, all integrated and collated. Lots of attachments, plus a self-addressed stamped envelope. It took half the day, but I did it, all sealed and ready to mail.

Then I noticed I'd left out the attachments. I tore open the envelopes, as carefully as possible considering how irritated I was all of a sudden. I made enough copies of the sheets that had to go inside, and then did my best to reseal. As I said, little things, but enough to derail the holiday express. I was a mass of wasted energy, huffing and puffing and throwing elbows at invisible enemies.

You don't want to be around me when I'm like that. I don't want to be around me, either.

These little things don't get to me like this if I've had enough sleep. When I'm rested, I don't knock over a can of soda on the end table and drown my Spanish-English dictionary and two TV Guides (one for cable, one for satellite). After a good night's sleep, I'm a different person.

One of these days I'll prove that theory. It's been so long since I've gone through a whole day feeling rested and relaxed that I can't remember the last time it happened. It hasn't been within the last week, or the last month. That much I'm sure of.

I'm all right, though. I had to find a stopping point, a place where I was comfortable leaving the rest of the work for tomorrow. If I could ever learn to let things slide while I'm in the middle of a project, I'd be better off, but I've never been able to do that. If there's a little more left to do, I have to do it.

So it took longer than it should have before I could walk away from it and try to decompress. This wasn't one of those situations where I could lie on the couch and watch TV, or even sit and read, to get my head clear. I was too edgy for anything like that, and all I could do was wait it out and try not to get in my own way for a while. I'm still a little edgy, but I think I'm all right.

potted plant

I have temporary custody of this plant from the service yesterday.

Today it was either a very good thing or a very bad thing that I live alone. On the one hand, I could express my rage with no danger of offending (or injuring) anyone. On the other hand, there was no one to talk it out with, or to lean on, or to calm me down. Mom and I are having dinner tomorrow, and on Tuesday the whole family will be together, so I won't have to face my own bleak self for a while.

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One year ago: Still Afloat

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