What If We Only Fell Back?

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I’m so mad. I completely slept through my favorite holiday “Fall Back”. This is terrible! I honestly don’t know what is going on this last year but something has got to change. I mean who the heck SLEEPS for eight hours a night? What is WRONG with me that I would be so lazy and miss getting up at 5:30 am on Fall Back Day, go for a run, have a cup of coffee, a shower and STILL have it only be 5:30 am? It’s the only day of the year I get to stop time (my chosen super power if I could have one)  and I missed it by sleeping in until NINE THIRTY. It’s no fun to wake up at 9:30 and say “Oh yippy. It’s only 8:30.” Lame. There are no giddy feelings about that. The day is pretty much OVER at 8:30. There’s no getting a jump on my life at that time of the day. Not even on a Sunday. I’ve got shit to do!

I have heard that it is possible that this could be the last year the state of Washington (and six other states) fall back an hour and I’m super worried. In fact, I think I have finally found something I feel strongly enough about that I might bombard social media, make t-shirts, signs, file a petition, and chain myself across a building somewhere all in protest  to SAVE FALL BACK. 

It’s not about the daylight saving, or energy saving that I’m concerned about (the original reason for the world renowned ‘daylight saving’ idea of springing forward an hour and back again in the fall). It’s about the TIME. And I have an idea. What if the state of Washington was the only state to only fall back an hour every year and NOT spring forward and we changed it to just “Day Saving Time”. In twenty four years, Washington would be one whole DAY ahead of all the other states. Think about what that could mean for productivity AND tourism. People would visit Washington just so they could say they time traveled! 

But I am kind of digressing. I really want to talk about all this sleep I have been getting. I think that this is the first year of my life that I am sleeping a good eight to nine hours a night for most of the days of the week. And I’m not talking light sleep. I’m talking dead to the world sleep. So deep that I’m dreaming full movies in color with theme songs playing that stick in my head all day until my head hits the pillow the next night to start all over again. It’s exhausting! And to answer your question, NO. I’m not taking drugs of any kind. My husband even told me I kept him awake the other night snoring. WTF! I don’t snore. It had to be one of the dogs. The nerve of some people. 

What does this mean? Have I lost my will to live that I would sleep past my favorite holiday? Am I no longer motivated, inspired or excited  enough about my life to meet the day like a WINNER at 5 am? 

I’m thinking about calling a sleep clinic to be assessed: “Yes. I’m really struggling with sleep. I’m just getting too much of it and it’s ruining my life. I’m wondering if I have a problem. I just feel way too rested.”

Anyhow. This is probably just a weird phase of happiness, peace and contentedness I’m going through. I will try to push through it as best as I can. Don’t lose any sleep over me. I’ll be okay. 

Running in Circles

I’m sitting on a bench at the park across the street from my house trying something new with the writing. I just finished a short run and want to capture the words that always come when I am running but never seem to hit paper. This will maybe be an unedited post. But we shall see. No matter how hard I try on my editing there is always improper grammar and at least one or two misspelled words. So really? Why bother.

Except that  when I read someone’s writing and see misspelled words before I fall in love with their beautiful mind I sometimes feel judgy enough to stop reading. Which is terrible and  explains why my blog site is not very well read. Karma. It serves me right. But really this blog site is not about being well read. The muse reminds me of this from time to time when he gifts me with his presence. The words in this blog site are about facing my fears and finding a piece of peace and having empathy for others who also have fear. And desire peace. Which is pretty much EVERYONE. So a misspelled word ain’t but one more means to come together in our imperfections. I just worked that one out. Empathy for poor spelling is now in my heart. More peace. Already! In the second paragraph!

I’m in terrible shape right now. I’m no longer running marathons. Not sure why doing that was so important. But it was. Probably just another way for me to run away from shit I needed to be dealing with.  I write this post right now to avoid putting together a presentation on COLOR and its impacts on the learning and work environment. I teach this in 11 days. I’ve known about it for eight months. I’m not an expert on this, but I’m interested in the subject so I opted to teach it to a group of school facility managers at their convention in October. I’ve read fourteen books and feel no closer to knowing how I will present this very subjective topic. But in my defense I work better under pressure. And the run helps things noodle. I’m at the al dente stage. But I like my noodles more soft and easier to chew.

It feels nice to not push so hard like I did when I felt the need to run long distance. Currently I’m happy doing chubby yoga in the mornings and zombie running for a half hour or so when I feel like it.  Looking across at my house where most of my people are right now I wonder how long I could sit on this bench before they notice I am gone. It’s a different phase now for me.  I can go and it makes little difference. Generally I’m needed for cash and pep talks and occasional hugs. I’m not essential life support anymore. I’m frosting. But OH how I love frosting. It’s almost as important as clean diapers and carpool. And funner. Years ago I ran around this park so that I would be close to the house in case someone needed me. Stealing runs while the baby slept and the oldest watched or the husband. Miles and miles around: one lap is .60 miles. One time I ran 34 times around.  Now I run around it because I’m still recovering from ankle surgery and don’t want to have to limp too far to get home if I re-injure myself. Also I may have to pee.

Plus I just like the familiarity of a single, well known path. With everything else in my life so uncertain and unsteady, a closed, consistent loop is comforting.

Yet. It’s never really the same. Neither outside nor inside my brain. Because nothing is still. Not ever.

Today I saw a frisky three legged lab taking his child for walk. The dog was pure joy, hobbling along with ease, which encouraged me to believe that two legs were enough to keep my round squooshy goddess bod moving.

The sunshine was on my shoulders and I thought of the first record given to me “John Denver’s Greatest Hits”. I must have been ten? Maybe twelve? I can still remember the words to every single song on that album. I loved his music so much. And my record player with headphones that allowed me to mask from my parents the insomnia that’s been with me off and on my whole life: in my room, in the dark, with John and others to help me with through the awake.

Chris Cornell’s song “I Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” came up on my playlist and for the first time since his death I didn’t push the right arrow to get him out of my earsight.  Maybe I’m finally forgiving him for leaving the world. It’s really not my right to be angry at him. I didn’t know his heart. But his words seem to know mine. Especially that particular song. And so maybe I have some right to feel sad and to not be able to face the loss of someone who sang to my heart, merged his sadness with mine making it feel okay to accept that hearts can break and we still go on living. But he didn’t. So what does that say? Except his music lives: energy from beyond the grave. And he is still making music. We just can’t hear it. Yet.  

The fresh cut grass smelled strong today, it always seems to in the fall. Is it because the air is colder? Does smell hang heavier in cold air? Is there science in this? I will probably research this later.

I saw a squirrel carrying something rather large up a tree and though my glasses were not on, I realized it was another squirrel, maybe her baby. I’m not going to have closure on what was going on there because she darted way up out of my blurry vision. But I’m going to assume that the baby was simply in trouble for playing too far away from home. Though the baby seemed big and was not putting up a struggle. Maybe a teenage squirrel party was broken up and he or she was drunk from too many nuts and passed out in the grip of mama’s mouth. It’s upsetting that I will never know if the baby (or teenager) is okay. But no one ever really  knows this: that things will be okay. We just have to perhaps enjoy that we get to experience the things. This maybe needs to be the ‘okay’ that we seek. And so I shake off my semi-autistic need for closure, for a finish, for knowing the full story, for having all the answers, because it’s time for me to get off the bench and go be frosting.  Empathetic, peace seeking frosting who runs in marvelous never ending, eclectic circles. 

Thunder isn’t the Scary Part

There was a storm at about three thirty this morning. I was awake before it started. Three o’clock is my wake up and think things to death time. Here’s a little glimpse of what was going on in my head before the storm started. I have left out a few things because I don’t want you all to think I am weird:

Am I ever going to get the kids to pick up after themselves? I’m always so mad at them for that! Its so hard to not let it get in the way of all the good stuff: their sloppiness. Why are they so inconsiderate when it comes to the house? They are such great kids otherwise. I’m tired of feeling like Hitler all the time…

…if the world had been a little bit nicer to the Germans after World War I would Hitler have made as much “sense” to so many of the angry Germans? I would imagine it’s easier to start an uprising filled with complete insanity when people are hungry and hostile. Did the Germans get a bad rap? If Hitler never existed would things on the Pacific front have changed any? I can’t remember if there were two different issues going on or if they were tied together. I should do some reading tomorrow. It’s Memorial Day after all. Maybe there will be something on tv that will give me a quick synopsis…

…Wow! I used to be so much smarter. I have a political science degree! Why can’t I remember if the Japanese and the Germans were buddies in World War II or if they both just happened to be pissed off at the same time. What has happened to me? I hope I’m not losing my mind. It IS hereditary…

…Mom’s grandma was German. I always think of German women as being cranky and big busted. Is this because of how I feel about Hitler?  Maybe war stems from cranky women in general, big boobs or not…

…I don’t think I got my big boobs from my mom’s side of the family though. We called her Tiny Grandma after all. But she did have a very wide and serious mouth. I don’t know if she was cranky: she died when I was little, but she looks cranky in this picture.

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I think it was my dad’s side that had the stacked women….

Crap. I really need to get in for my mammogram. I’m like two years past due. Maybe three…no wait…it’s only two…but still…

…Those machines are just awful. I bet a cranky German woman invented it…

…I wonder how they ever got my mom’s boobs to actually squeeze in between the vice grip plates? You would think there would be an easier way for flat breasted women. It’s bad enough when you actually have something to pick up and flop down on that cold plate…

…will my life be better now that I have purchased two new bras that do indeed (as claimed) not allow armpit flab to hang out? My girls felt so happy and didn’t once fall out yesterday no matter how hard I tried to get them to in the dressing room. Will taking away the double boob action truly be as important to my self esteem as Oprah said it would be? Flat breasted women are so lucky. But I am too now that I have good bras…

…Maria is really the luckiest: she’s right in between me and my mom in cup size. Gosh she’s so perfect! I wish she would figure this out. I wonder if she will let me in the delivery room when she has babies? I didn’t want my mom in there. I feel kind of bad for that now. But I don’t think she wanted to be in there anyway. She said she’d rather be burned to death than have another baby. I mean who wants someone with that attitude in the delivery room with you? It’s hard enough giving birth without negative thinkers in the room…I probably need to let go of that guilt…

…If there is a fire will all of us be able to get out of the house safe? Should I grab the turtle?  Gosh we have spent so much money on that damn thing…

…I really need to get Duke’s ears looked at. I wonder why he always has ear infections? He never swims. Who has ever heard of a lab that doesn’t like the water?

And it goes on and on like this, almost every morning at three a.m. It’s been this way since I was a little kid. My brain, filled with IMPORTANT thoughts such as I have described, wakes my body up so that there is someone to listen. Unless I have taken Nyquil. Then my brain just worries about getting addicted to Nyquil and ruining my liver while my body happily sleeps.

So silly.

But this morning, when the wind started blowing the thunder and lightening toward our neighborhood, all of my trivial worries were cast aside. At first there were just bright flashes that lit up the darkness.

It’s funny how so often you hear storms called thunderstorms or as I said at the beginning “a thunder and lightening storm”. I never hear anyone say “lightning and thunder storm” do you?  We all know that the scary part is the lightening right? Yet it’s the thunder that makes us scamper to our parents room in fear. By the time the sound of the lightning arrives to our startled ears and pounding hearts we’re safe from getting struck down. Until the next flash.

When I was a little girl, my dad told me that if you put your hand on the Holy Bible and told a lie, God would strike you dead with lightning. This was the only thing I remember my dad telling me about God. I have had many many nightmares, waking up in the dead of night just before the lightning hits me. I hesitate to this day when faced with telling a fib versus telling the truth, even when there isn’t a bible anywhere near. Truth doesn’t ALWAYS win though.

Mom was an ex-catholic, Buddhist, agnostic, new age, searching soul who scared the shit out of me once (I was a teenager) when she stood outside in the wind and rain, a glass of wine in one hand and the other one hanging on to our rod iron fence in a triple dog dare pose, her face looking up into the sky with ferocity equal to the raging storm. “Bring it on buddy! Prove yourself!”

So naturally I find myself lacking any logic whenever there is a storm. I laid there this morning, paralyzed and waiting. I could feel a buzz in my fillings (this for sure dates me) and started thinking about the movie Poltergeist where the dad explains to the kids how to tell how far away the storm is by counting right after the lightning flash “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand” BOOM! the storm was three miles away.

How do we KNOW our house isn’t sitting on top of the angry bones of an ancient witch doctor who is conjuring the storm to take our house off of him? It could be true.

But no. I can’t ever seem to shake the idea that it’s God making all that racket. And of course it’s because He is mad at ME. At three thirty in the morning the earth DOES revolve around me and sometimes I am the cause of all the anger. I hear a whisper in my head telling me to put a pillow over my eyes so that I won’t see the lightning. I argue “but then I won’t be prepared when I am struck”. But then I do it. There are just some things you can’t prepare for.

My nose and mouth are not covered by the pillow and I inhale the yummy smelling rain through the open window about two feet from my face. I like it open all the time. It feels like I can’t breathe when it’s shut.  I freeze my poor husband out in the winter. He claims to have woken up one winter morning with icicles hanging from his nose. He’s such an exaggerator! Fresh air is good for you. But this morning I wonder if the lightning will come through the screen. Perhaps I should shut it but then think “will glass make any difference if it’s my time to go?”

God and I chat a bit in between His thunderous yelling:

“You know H. It’s not me making all that noise. I am not the bad guy here.”

“Yeah, well I know you could STOP it if you wanted to. Just like you could stop a lot of other upsetting things. It’s hard not to blame you.”

“Well at least you’re thinking about me. Bummer it takes all of THIS to get you to pay attention.”

“Ah-ha! See? I’m no fool, it IS you. You know how I feel about lightning.”

“What is it you’ve done that you think is so bad that I’m going to strike you dead? Do you really think I work that way? Dork.”

I start naming all my recent stuff to Him. “See?”

“Jeez. You suck! Sinner!”

“That’s it? That’s all you’re going to say?” My fillings tingle for a second followed by the loudest boom of the morning. I jump and stifle a scream. “Seriously? STOP!!!”

God gives me His best monster cackle. You know, like Count Dracula? Only it comes out like the Sesame Street puppet guy, ‘The Count’. “Okay, I admit that was a little show offy. But really, you should probably relax on yourself a little. I’m not saying you should keep doing that stuff. Especially that one thing. I mean yikes, it’s clearly not good for you or you wouldn’t be thinking it’s worthy of me striking you dead. Am I right?”

I nod my head under my pillow. I’m starting to get sleepy as the storm moves away.

He whispers one last thing to me as I drift off:

“Soul aching: it’s cause is so relative and unique to each of you, yes? Thank God I’m God or I’d never be able to keep track of you all and help. You can take the pillow off your face now H. I’m done talking you through the lightning.”

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