… yeah, I did. But I had no idea how tired I was until I finally had a chance to really rest!
After this last year-plus, I’ve needed nothing more than a good long vacation. Even though things have stabilized greatly (I haven’t had any more moms die lately), there was still this residual backlog of fatigue, so to speak. I was trying to chop it down to size as best I could, and more recently applying the “no competitions – no challenges – no cereals” credo I mentioned a few weeks ago. (Not perfectly, of course — I’ve fallen back into more than a few games of Risk at Pogo, albeit playing against the computer, which is a lot easier. And pizza is still my kryptonite when it comes to keeping the carbs down.) Slowly, my energy tank was getting filled back up again.
And then along came an unexpected blessing: the local school district’s screwball sked.
See, Stockton Unified School District uses what they call a “modified traditional” schedule. In practice, that means a much-shorter-than-normal summer break (less than two months) in exchange for two-week breaks in the fall and spring. The fall break ended today, which is significant at Chez Anselmeau because not only is my daughter Charlotte out of school, my wife Nina (aka the Supermodel, and a substitute Special Ed. aide) is out of school as well.
Over last summer, Nina and I learned that perhaps the worst thing that can happen in our marriage is to spend too much time together — we end up working each other’s last nerve. And she likes to use time off to re-connect with Sean, who usually has only me most weekdays. So I, taking advantage of the sitchie, used an inordinate amount of the last two weeks doing what could be referred to, in modern psychological parlance, as “goofing off.”
I still handled the things that no one else could — mixing Sean’s medicines, giving him his exercise, washing dishes, doing chauffeur service. I still cooked dinner, because I find cooking relaxing. I still took out the garbage. I even did a little bit of writing (chapter 5 of my increasingly controversial Iron Man fanfic “Hearts and Souls” is now up — check it out here). But otherwise, anything that was not really necessary … I set it aside and did some resting. The floors remained unmopped. Certain other projects were allowed to stay on my to-do list. And this blog … well, maybe I shouldn’t have let it go as long as I did. I wouldn’t have if there had been something urgent I needed to tackle. But there wasn’t, so I didn’t.
Instead, I played games on the computer. I listened to some baseball games (GO GIANTS!), including the Roy Halladay playoff no-hitter. I worked on our Christmas shopping list. And most of all, I read. I read a ton of stuff, largely science fiction but also op-ed pieces on the ‘Net, some baseball books and even Jim Collins’ study of successful corporate turnarounds, Good to Great (recommended by a friend). I read and read and read. I even took most of a Saturday, drove to Pleasanton, took BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to Oakland and spent several hours in the Oakland Main Library, reading about a dozen SF stories I couldn’t find anywhere else.
For as much of the last two weeks as I could, I ate my meat and veg, stayed away from stressful situations, and buried my nose in either a book or a computer screen. And I feel … well, better than I have in quite some time.
Not, of course, that it’s ideal just yet. One of the byproducts of getting my energy closer to previous norms is that I started staying up later … which has thrown off my sleep schedule something fierce. Beginning tomorrow, I’m going to have to wrench it back into place and peel myself out of bed at 5:30 instead of 7:30. (Just as a precaution, I popped a couple of sleeping pills as I began writing this. It’s worked before.) But I was able to get a lot of good relaxing done at 1 a.m. — even if I couldn’t get to sleep. There was, in short, a silver lining even to that.
And tomorrow, Nina goes back to work, Charlotte goes back to school, and I go back to getting my rear in a higher gear — cleaning floors, maintaining the house, and generally getting stuff done. Not to mention writing more goodies for you, dear reader — and I’ve got plenty I can write about. I’ll probably do another update on the Seanster Monster later this week; we’ve got a meeting with Stockton Unified regarding his future schooling on Tuesday, so I’ll wait until after. Jars of Clay released a new album a few days a go — I may check it out and write up a review. I’m tempted to go into detail on all that science-fiction reading I’m doing: why I’m doing it, and what I’m learning from it. Things at Chez Anselmeau have gotten very interesting on Sunday mornings. And did you know that Jesus is returning next May? (Well, as a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure He isn’t … but there’s a very highly-placed weirdo who says He is. Seems worth a few hundred words to debunk it.)
Should be fun. Because what’s the point of having more energy if you don’t use it, right?