Balancing Act

It was lovely to have a day off yesterday—I had completed the most pressing of my basic upkeep chores over the weekend (house-cleaning, bill-paying, week-planning), so on that beautifully free Monday morning, I slept until it was almost afternoon and woke up with a delicious brunch of scrambled eggs with feta and mushrooms. And coffee. Of course.  I then spent an hour or so at at my kitchen table, taking stock. Sounds ominous, eh? Honestly, it felt ominous too. It’s a bit frightening when you can feel something wrong in your life, but aren’t quite sure what it is… like a weird pop when you twist your wrist a certain way, it might get better if you just stop messing with it… but then again, fixing it might require something more drastic.

I’ve been feeling, well, sort of off lately. I’ve been blaming a million various things: it’s the beginning of the semester, so I’m just too busy. The boyfriend just left, so I’m sad. I’m having trouble scheduling time with friends, so I’m a bit lonely. Nothing too dramatic, nothing terribly new, nothing unexpected, just the niggling things that aren’t fun but everyone just has to muddle through.


I feel like I’m doing all of these ‘self-care’ things, just to keep myself moving. Bubble baths and candles and music and books—all of which work wonderfully, for a bit, but make me wonder why exactly I’m needing so much help just to stay sane right now.

You know how it is… everything is fine, then all of a sudden, it isn’t. And then you fear  Chicken Little was right: the sky really is falling.

All of the niggling things have been piling up. And I’ve (sort of) caught up on the semester. And I talk to my boyfriend all of the time, so being sad is silly. And I’ve done stuff with all of my best friends, so being lonely is not really a good excuse. So I’ve fixed what needed to be fixed. But still. Something’s off.And I think it’s my health. I live like I’ve got a split personality: at night I’m about fourteen, staying up as late as possible, reading until the book is done or the series is done, midnight, 2 AM, 4… But then in the morning I’m back to faking it as the grownup that I am supposed to be, with responsibilities and goals and plans—coffee at 8, more at 12, and why-oh-why am I so sleepy and why is there so much to do?

So as much as I love reading all night (and that’s not a throw away statement… I’ve been doing this—loving this—since I was about eight years old. There’s something about the absolute stillness of a dark house, cocooned in blankets, completely entranced in what’s going on somewhere far, far away…) I have to stop. I must stop.

Enter: balance. An attempt at balance. I don’t really know how to do this, so it’ll be a process. Melatonin and limited caffeine until my body remembers how to be sleepy at night. Bedtime at eleven. Coffee set for seven.

I’m dreaming of a day when I’ll enjoy these rituals as much as I love starting a book at 2 AM.

(And one more elephant picture… just because they’re cute.)

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