It’s Not Quite 8:30

And I am about to brush my teeth and go to bed. What am I, nine?

Although I suppose that’s one of the perks of being an adult. You feel perfectly free to go to bed before the hour that was your bedtime when you were ten; you can happily drink milk since you could choose wine; that sort of thing.

I felt very slow and as if my sinuses were stuffy today, but there was no real stuffiness. I could breathe; my sinuses just felt heavy. I got my required amount of work done but I felt like having a nap most of the day. I came home and had a snacky, crappy, not-really-dinner dinner. I need to figure out a game plan for quick, yet actual, meals for weekdays. It might have helped with the sleepiness.

However, since I didn’t, I think I’m taking the Kindle and going to bed. (Called Kindle customer suport; we did a srs bsns reboot and it works now.) I don’t even think I can knit on the last homeless scarf; the repetition will zone me out, I’ll screw up the simplest thing, and fall asleep anyway.

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But Not This Post

The why-I-was-at-an-Episcopal-Church post will be for later.

Right now I am sitting at the kitchen table fighting a headache and despair, as well as lethargy. I should get up off my butt and do something, but it’s a) Sunday (argh); b) 5:30; c) cold. I could go tantalize the cats with our new laser pointer, but that only lasts so long. I had gone up to the cemetery to knit, but I think I’m taking a hiatus from there. I’m not finding it as beautiful and peaceful as I once did.

I know I have to go to bed early tonight; I had a hard time sleeping last night and Monday mornings are the worst. It’s a full week (but each of the following three will be short), and I am hoping it goes well. I hate when I screw something up at work. Since I’m past probation it doesn’t terrify me anymore but it does slingshot a projectile against my self-esteem.

And on top of the Sunday crap, I think about things I have to do, like buy Christmas presents, all in the next paycheck. Eek.

What do other people do on Sundays? I know a lot of people get the Sunday night blues, after dinner or before bed, but I find myself really down from the moment I get up. I suppose some of it is loneliness, but I hated Sundays when I was married, too.

I’ve pretty much had it with this feeling, but I’m not sure what to do. No one is available on Sundays, for the most part, so whatever it is will have to be solo. But what?

 

Advent I

I got my Advent wreath out last night; a few years ago my sister got me a ceramic one. I know I should probably get some greens to put around the base for more authenticity, but at least the cats don’t chew on ceramic. I’ll light the first candle and say Evening Prayer tonight. It’s funny how I really could use candles whenever, but tend not to except in Advent.

Church today was Morning Prayer from the 1928 prayerbook (more on why I was at an Episcopal, not RC, church later).  I’d actually never been to a ’28 service before and it’s right up my alley, so to speak. Also — sad but true — Morning Prayer not having a Peace cuts out the one thing about church that has made me slightly anxious since I started attending liturgical churches. It’s not that I don’t wish everyone peace, but the exchange has always made me feel awkward. At least in this church, when it isn’t MP, the Peace is very understated. I always hated going places where it became a five-minute mini-social where, if you’re shy like me, you’re standing there shifting from foot to foot after you’ve shaken the hands of the four people around you.

I like the quiet, dark, quasi-somberness of Advent; I’m not sure what I would do if I were experiencing Advent in the Southern Hemisphere, but as that’s unlikely to ever happen, I settle into the early dark and the candles quite happily.

So this morning was good.

Not-good is that my Kindle is playing up (email off to Amazon — worse comes to worst, I pop it back in the mail to them, since I have a 2-yr warranty) and that it is again freeeeezing in my apartment. Someday I will live somewhere that is possible to heat and has no upstairs neighbors!

Ah, so the Episcopal church. I think that will take another post.

Sad Realization

After a particularly upsetting familial interaction yesterday, I laid in bed and pondered. It was hard to sleep and I woke up at 5 and had to take a sleeping pill to get back to sleep — I am not getting up at 5 on a Saturday, when I don’t even do that during the week.

I realized one of the main reasons why I feel so isolated when the family is together à la Christmas. (There are others, but this one has grown larger as time has gone on.) Everyone else has a primary and/or secondary relationship there — everyone has a parent or two, a spouse, and/or a kid. I have none of those and I am tertiary to everyone. I’m sort of this unanchored satellite. This realization made me wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep. I know sometimes I cry about “being all alone,” but in some ways I really am and frankly it scares me a bit. OK, it scares me a lot sometimes.

No, my relatives would not allow me to be homeless and in a crisis they would be there for me.  I think most of my relatives like me okay, some of them find me funny, they all know I’m as generous as I can be under my own circumstances. But I’m not primary, or even secondary, to anyone in the world. This is not just sad, it’s scary.

The upside vis-à-vis Christmas, is that no one is counting on me to give their big gotta-have-it present. I give my sisters and my niece the “best” presents — by which I mean the most time, thought, and expense — and then just do my best with everyone else. My brothers-in-law get the same gifts every year from me but they like them and that’s fine. Everyone else gets something not quite token, but not spectacular. Had I all the money in the world, I would love to blanket everyone with gifts no matter how tertiary, but given my own financial limitations, being that satellite has its advantages. They’re expecting their exciting stuff  from their partners or parents, not from me.

Silver lining, eh?

Hey, e-reader

I was sitting outside the closest Starbucks to work today (there are two… of course there are). I’d gotten hot chocolate and  a croissant and was reading on my Kindle. I like to buy something when I use their wifi to download Kindle books. I’d gotten some .89 – 1.99 books; between them and the freebies it’s such a joy.

A young man — maybe 30ish — came up and said, “Excuse me, sister,” and began to explain that he was trying to get BART fare to Pittsburg, so he could go home to his mother. She said he could come home as long as he got on his psych meds.

Normally, I don’t give money to folks on the street. There are just too many of them, and some of them (young and intelligent-looking) make me irritated. However, I was reading Evelyn Underhill’s Practical Mysticism, and it seemed an unpleasant contrast to brush off this guy and go back to reading my religious book. My religious book on my Kindle. I had four ones and I gave them to him. He thanked me, said he’d talked to about twenty people and I was the first nice person, and asked how I liked my Kindle. He said, “I’m not a bum!” and indeed he seemed neat and clean.

He walked by a few minutes later and called out, “Hey, e-reader!” I looked up and smiled and he said, “If only more people were nice!” I said I’d looked to see if I had an old BART ticket, but I didn’t. I did give him another dollar in quarters; he had my four ones and an old card with not much on it. It’s about six bucks to get from San Francisco to Pittsburg. He told me he’d come to SF to kill himself and ended up in the psych ward, and that he was bipolar. He rattled off all the drugs they’d prescribed him.

I don’t know if his story was true, although I think that one probably would have had to have the experience to know all those drugs — none of them were the common Prozac or Xanax type. He didn’t seem like a street person but he did seem sort of embarrassed and uncomfortable and anxious — which is how I spend a lot of my time, even though I am a “respectable” member of society with a full-time fairly-well-paying job, an apartment, a car, cats and food and on and on.

So I parted with five bucks, and if he was lying, well, I make more than five times that in an hour — I am fortunate. I felt happy as he walked away, and I didn’t feel hypocritical going back to my book on mysticism. For even a nominal Christian, both “do unto others” and “as you did to the least of these, you have done to me,” should at least occasionally pass through one’s consciousness. I know I fail in that a lot — especially with people whom I know well, who drive me nuts, and who aren’t asking for money but for my attention — but at least today I didn’t. And if he was really a bipolar, suicidal guy who wanted to get to his mom’s, then I am triply happy, and I hope he’s there having dinner now.