Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Senior Citizen In Training ...

Monday, I got up at 3:54 a.m.

I didn't plan it that way. I had set my alarm for 5:40. Well, not set my alarm so much as moved the switch to "On." The time was already set. I didn't bother to change it.

But whenever I know that I have to get up earlier than usual – if I'm traveling, say – I always wake up early. My brain must worry that I'm going to oversleep, so it overcompensates and wakes me at absurd hours instead.

I had looked at the clock (I keep it covered because even the dim setting is too bright) and said, "Beth, you don't have to get up yet," and then I proceeded to lie there and think about all the stuff I wanted to get done, which wasn't doing much to lull me back to sleep. So instead of lying there and thinking about it, I just got up and did it.

Good thing, too, as I got out of the house just about the time I had hoped to, so if I had stayed in bed for another hour and a half? The morning would have been much more stressful.

And so I went about my day, finishing a project, loading up the car, delivering said project, and then having lunch with friends who, conveniently, live very near where the delivery was made. I hadn't seen them in far too long. I brought cookies. They served chicken salad. It was delicious. It was also from Costco. I had no idea Costco sold small vats of chicken salad. But they do. So now I shall buy some. Because I make fantastic chicken salad but sometimes, I am lazy.

I drove home with all good intentions of accomplishing lots of things. I had a lot of things to accomplish, but I made the very big mistake of sitting down when I got home. In my comfy chair. I stared at the tape gun that I had, for some reason, set on my trunk-cum-coffee table in the living room. I pondered whether I had enough energy to put it away.

Turned out, I did. I put away several things, all related to tape: packing tape, painters' tape, a tape measure.

But my good intentions were fading fast, as was I. I went to the store and picked up a few things for dinner. I came home, I ate, and in relatively short order fell asleep on the couch. I woke up and told myself to go to bed.

It was 9 p.m.

So I crawled into bed at 9 p.m., having already been asleep, and fell asleep rather quickly.

And then I woke up at 4:30 a.m.

Because I had gone to bed at 9 p.m. and had already been asleep before that, so I had gotten more than seven and a half hours of sleep, which is perfectly normal.

Except that I was now awake at 4:30 a.m., which is not.

Not for me, anyway.

But I got up and made coffee and clacked around on the computer and waited for, you know, the sun.

And thought about what I needed to accomplish, a list that still contained most of the good intentions from the day before.

So I headed into the kitchen to make an omelette. And toast.

I really must remember that I don't really like eggs. Even when filled with cheese.

Fueled, though not entirely satisfied, I set about reclaiming my dining room and kitchen. The project, which I'd completed the day before, had been in the works for a few weeks and I had many boxes piled up and many things to put away. Boxes were broken down, dishes were done, counters were cleaned. My house looked like my house again. Errands were run. A phone call was returned which resulted in compiling clips and links and sending them off with my resumé.

But outside, the grass loomed.

March was ridiculously warm this year, mid-80s some days. My grass was happy. I was not. I like seasons. I'd prefer to experience all four, not just two. But the project took precedence. The grass was not going away. It would still be there for me, waiting.

I told myself that I would cut it tomorrow. Tomorrow being today. The mowing and the bagging and the schlepping. Who had the energy? Not me.

I looked at the boxes, waiting to go out to recycling. I took them outside.

It was cool. Breezy. Windy, even. Overcast. My long-sleeve T-shirt wasn't enough to keep me warm. But I decided to mow. At least the front yard. At least where people could see. My neighbors on either side had tended to their lawns, so I was now officially the slacker neighbor with the unseemly grass.


I wondered if I had any gas. Crap. Any inclination to follow through with this chore would be sapped by having to run to the gas station. And P.S., have you seen the price of gas these days?

I shook the gas can. Just enough, maybe?

I filled the mower. Yup, just enough for one little tank. I'd see how far that'd get me.

I mowed the front yard, picking up twigs as I went. My back was not pleased.

I mowed the back yard, which took longer than the front. The grass was higher back there. Why, I have no idea.

I uncovered the air conditioner. I stashed things in the garage.

I came inside and changed out of my gasoline-smelling clothes.

And realized that I had nothing for dinner.

So I headed out to my car to go to the store.

And laughed as I practically staggered to the garage.

You know you're tired when you can't really walk in a straight line.

I wandered around the store and grabbed a ridiculous assortment of crap.

I should not shop when I am tired.

Barbecue potato chips and gummi Life Savers? Sure.

Ketchup? Gotta have that. I almost never eat ketchup, but what if a ketchup-eating guest stops by?

A 20-oz. Pepsi from the checkout lane? Yup. I just felt like some Pepsi.

I did get some chicken, so as to have something to consume that represented actual food.

Of course, it was fried.

I came home and ate and talked on the phone, which I don't do very much anymore.

And fell asleep on the couch later. And then headed to bed.

But at 1 a.m. this time.

And I woke up at 6, because the garbage man likes to come down my street at that hour.

Perhaps tonight, I'll eat a proper meal and go to bed at a proper time.

It could happen.


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