R.I.P. Snooze Button

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This morning, I found myself Google searching for tips on how to make it through the day with practically no sleep. I woke up at 2am and could not fall back asleep and was pretty calm about it all — until after I took a shower and felt the wave of fogginess and panic about completing a long day at work set in. Disappointing, I found it to be, to learn that one of the main tips provided was to “Take a nap, if possible.”

I have been striving to become some semblance of a Morning Person, since moving home to Georgia. My years in New York City left me thinking that people who start their days early were of a different breed and that I could not possibly be one. I, of course, had mornings in NY when I had to be up early, but not on a regular basis. I primarily worked and socialized evenings (sometimes later than intended). Some mornings are harder than others these days; today was certainly one of them!

One reason I despise being in a foul mood and/or sleep deprived is that I often find others around me to have a hard time just letting it be. During my first cup of coffee, I contemplated ways to act happy — involving fake smiles, keeping to myself as much as possible, immediately asking how others are doing first, etc… — but, it seemed pointless today. I headed out the door for work and saw myself as an apathetic farmer, prodding the sweet cow inside me into a slaughterhouse. I believe we just have to ride these thoughts and feelings out sometimes. Asking myself to quickly get rid of the fogginess and to be happy felt like asking someone with a stomach ache to eat a tray of oysters.

Two hours, two cups of coffee, two sodas, a plethora of stretches, and about a dozen splashes of cold water to the face later finally left me feeling somewhat like myself again. I even picked up my cell phone and found something particularly funny and laughed. Feeling normal always feels so special after a period of feeling strange.

One thing I am discovering as an MPIT (Morning Person in Training) is that we have to fight through, even when the day feels so drawn out and unending and the minute hand even seems to wiggle back and forth like a hostile jerk. Hopefully, tomorrow, I will be the star of the morning at the office. Or maybe just a little less whiny about it all. I have a journey ahead of me before I will be able to say that I love mornings, but I am finding tricks and drinking tons of caffeine for now. Maybe that’s what it’s all about.

Z

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I only want to see you laughing

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A sense of yearning painted my morning. I woke up knowing I had dreamed many dreams to warrant the feeling and even remembered some key parts and definitely a couple characters involved. Sometimes dreams can disrupt a day’s flow, in the sense that the line between reality versus dream world seems fuzzy. And maybe part of me wished the dream world could be real. People appear in dreams that can never really appear. Hands can be filled with gold in dreams and then, suddenly, are completely empty when eyes are open.

During my lunch break, I received a text from my friend Jodi that Prince, the legend, had passed away at the age of 57. “Purple Rain” began playing on repeat in my head. My memories associated with the song also began to appear. The thing about memories is that even the good ones can come with sadness. Especially when the feeling evoked from a memory is the same as the dreams did that particular morning.

With songs on repeat and memories on replay, I went through the motions of the day. Later, I decided to think of a good memory and write a poem about the experience.


That Grin

The way you looked
One happy day
Whites of your teeth
Were on full display
Birds flew for miles
To dive right in
Oh, the power
Of that grin!
Beauty beamed
Through all of you
Even the sun came out
To catch a view

Getting Lost

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My bike has been in Atlanta for a few months. I recently had the opportunity to go up and retrieve my old pal. Yesterday, I set out for a ride in the neighborhood across from ours. The neighborhood is one I used to know very well. Come to find out, it is also a neighborhood that has changed.

Not long after I started pedaling around and seeing a golf course, lake, and many surroundings I have seen many times before, I remembered how much fun I used to have on those very streets, many years ago. Two of my best friends at the time and I used to carry walkie-talkies when we went on our explorations and, for a moment, I could almost see one of them riding ahead of me. Memories can cause hallucinations at times.

It must have been about an hour later when I realized that I had no idea where I was. The streets were no longer familiar. The neighborhood had clearly grown in size since I grew up. Patiently, I kept on pedaling and tried to find the entrance. But, I found myself going in circles.

A back entrance to the neighborhood appeared. Despite its leading to a highway and forcing me to go “around my elbow to get to my thumb,” I took a breath and just went with it. Cars sped past and probably looked at me as if I were insane; you sort of don’t see a lot of bikers on this particular road. With a bit of effort, I made it home.

Since yesterday’s ride, I have been thinking about how great it can feel to be “lost,” if only for a brief amount of time. It is not exactly an easy feat to get lost in the tiny town in which I currently reside, so I take it pretty seriously when it happens. I went into that neighborhood assuming everything would be the same as I left it. I was wrong. But, I still know I was there before. And the new there that is there has its own adventures, I’m sure. My only mistake was not wearing a helmet for this one in particular!

Sometimes, I think we need to let our interpretations of people we have known for a while and even ourselves get lost. I believe we, as human beings, are capable of and often do change. One of my biggest annoyances in life is to be pigeonholed. A quick way to make me feel like a person doesn’t really know me is when he or she acts like I must be the person I used to be. It simply is not true.

Then, there are also times when, I think, we all have to tell a part of ourselves to “Get lost.” Some things and some people need to be allowed to go ahead and peacefully ride off into the sunset. Or just Thelma and Louise that BS! — Strap that sucker into the seat and just push the convertible off the cliff. It’s not always so easy, but we need to let it happen when the time comes.

Maybe I just needed a ride or maybe I’m afraid of getting too set in my ways or maybe even both and more. All I know is, I hope I never forget to allow myself to get Lost from time to time.


Forget North, South, East, and West!
Today, my compass is inside my chest.

 

 

 

Somewhere in France

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While going through some old books earlier, I came across my Great-Grandmother Elsie’s college yearbook from 1918. It was just the book I was searching for, because I remembered how endearing I found the following line to be: “She is rather inclined to be silent, but it is at these times that her mind is traveling with an ambulance driver ‘somewhere in France.'”

These days, I often think my mind is “somewhere in France.” Maybe even with an ambulance driver. Maybe it’s hereditary. Who knows?

Sometimes I keep to myself. Not forever, but I do. For me, it is always important to balance a life full of being a mouth with being an ear. Both a speaker and a listener. Sometimes I go out, too.

Words are very powerful. Balancing speaking and listening, I believe, is a step in the right direction for discovering the appropriate words. I also think it’s something to work on often. Unless being an ass is the goal!

Over the past couple days, I have twice been reminded how easy it is to speak before thinking and I am so glad I stopped myself before jumping off the cliff both times. I suppose it is wisdom that reminds me to take the high road during times of intense pressure and stress, stops me from blowing up, and leads me to take a deep breath instead. I can be rather impulsive at times, so it can be tough. But, it’s definitely worth the effort.

There is beauty in being quiet and I am glad to know that it is in my blood. There is a loudness in me, too. But, I think finding balance is key.

Anyway, I have somewhere I need to be.

Au revoir. Z