We’re doing all the things you are NOT supposed to do before the end of daylight savings time – that blessed day once a year when you spin the clock hands forward an hour and the cruelty of that early morning alarm becomes even more painful. M and E are out late together, and F and I stayed up to watch a movie – a long movie at that. And now it’s almost eleven, and I finally have a few free moments at the computer, but in my head the clock is tick-tick-ticking away. So much pressure.
It’s actually funny that the movie we chose to watch was Hugo. I’m not really a movie fan – they’re okay, but I get antsy sitting still for too long, especially at home. Which, if I might head off in a bit of a tangent, I’m starting to have real data to back up. I’m now in the possession of a tool that tracks my movement, and it’s very interesting to me. I have some days where I sit a lot at work, but for most of the rest of the day I move a lot. I find this curious, as I think of myself as someone who finds focusing in on a task really easy. Maybe those tasks just aren’t as sedentary as I thought they were. I mentioned last week that I spent the majority of my childhood with my nose in a book, so surely I sat a lot then. Not so much anymore, I guess.
When F proposed this evening’s entertainment I hesitated. I started to counter-offer with a game – we’ve been on a roll lately with family games, and F’s getting old enough to hang with us on most of them, which is much more fun. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself of the intention that I set for myself this year, and I said ‘yes’ – yes to opportunities presented to me that might not be my first choice, but then again, maybe they would be if I gave them half a chance.
I did have a caveat – I warned her that if she selected some inane cartoon then I would likely balk at it, or sit through a few minutes, and then get up to finish the vacuuming or work on the travel itinerary some more. I suggested she look for a movie that began as a book first to ensure my attention. She was skeptical, but then settled for Hugo, and we loved it.
And if I can bring this tangent back to the beginning, the movie has so much about clocks and is set within a clock, so maybe it’s added an extra layer of thinking about time, and losing time, and gaining time, and more and less and younger and older time. I have time on the brain.
First, F was demonstrably ill last Saturday night – well, Sunday morning to be precise – from 2:23 am until 6:05 am. She threw up precisely ten times, each occurrence happening approximately twenty minutes after the last one. Just long enough to wipe her face, take a sip of water, moan a couple of times, crack a faint joke about the absurdity of repeated puking, and collapse into a fitful sleep again (all of us) before she was retching again. I had slept for at least five hours prior to waking up, and for another three hours after her stomach finally threw in the towel. But I was EXHAUSTED all week long following this interruption to our normal sleep schedule – so much so that I would go-go-go-go-go (see above reference to the movement tracker on my wrist), and then I could literally feel my body shutting down in protest every night around nine-thirty or ten. Like I was trying to walk through the thickest maple syrup. It was miserable.
How old am I? I texted M one afternoon, mid-yawn. Why am I still SO tired?
Second, there’s the impending birthday a few weeks away, and it never fails to send me into thoughts about aging and an assessment (and shifting) of methods to fight/embrace/accept/discourage/welcome it. All of the above – I’ve entered it. It sneaked up on me some time recently, and stuck this time. That’s probably worthy of some more reflection, and another post entirely.
Third, this winter. It’s endless. I feel as if I’m counting down the days to something that has no official start time. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, and one I don’t really enjoy. I love the seasons, and I honestly love winter – the quiet and the coolness and the unpredictability and the anticipation. But it feels as if we’ll never see spring again, and I’ve now logged over 300 laps at the gym in less than two weeks, and I was really zen about it at the start, but not this morning. I cursed under my breath the whole time, while the 39 degree rain beat down outside the windows around the track. The cursing made me tense, and the tension made me sore, and I know that I am pushing and pushing and pushing myself to fight time, or move time, or speed up time, or stop it? I’m not even sure.
Because, fourth, the girls. They are so big and so busy and need both so much and so little at the same time that it’s starting to feel like time is my enemy. I feel like I’m trying to cram so many things into them – but I can always think of more. There is so much they need to know. There is so little time. In two weeks we’ll be on our first college tour and I am so excited for this stage of planning and dreaming, but I feel the presence of time so acutely at the moment that its tautness is an irritant I can’t brush off or ignore.
It’s like this little clock in the lower right hand corner of my screen that says 11:24pm, but my mind has already translated it to read 12:24am, because the loss of that hour has already made me feel tired, and old, and tense, and hyper-aware. I must fill the hours because I want to feel them, and know them, and hold on to them just a little bit longer if I can.