This morning, like most mornings, my eyelids fluttered and my body tossed this way and that, and my neck felt a bit sore, and my chest a bit heavy. I was leaving the world of dreams to enter this one. Things here are more-or-less real.
I had breakfast. I had a shower. I answered the varied calls of Nature. All in some kind of order. It involved putting on clothes and gathering things.
I found myself at the wheel of my father’s red truck, having said good morning and see you later to my Mum (often though not always the first one to rise in her household), and with my Dad still asleep and healing soundly.
The truck brought me down the road, while I rebooted my thoughts, dispelled again my inward concerns, and heard the ear worm I had created over the last several weeks playing in a quiet and steady loop at the back of my mind.
Then I was at the gas station. According to a new little sign on the pump, I was supposed to wear a mask even while outdoors now (in “public spaces”). I had rebelled, accidentally. The world for me at 50 is officially changing faster than my habits can keep up with. I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to breathe outdoors the way I had once done, a week ago, and all of my life before that. Now I know. I’ll try and adjust.
I got some coffee, after driving myself in a different direction than I had in the previous week. This, for variety – and to delay the inevitable start of my one-more-day-till-the-curtains-close.
I don’t mean to be morbid, in mentioning my mortality.
It’s Friday, and I’ve survived another arbitrarily strung-together sequence of weekdays. My mood and thoughts are shifted slightly now, knowing the underlying tone of my next two days will be slightly different: I’ll feel more vaguely free – though nothing at all will have changed, and by Monday the cycle will start again. I know this from great experience.
I left out the thousand little details that got me from my leaving last night’s dreamland to sitting here, writing to you, from the passenger seat of a borrowed truck. These unmentioned details are all iterations of what has come to and from me, twenty-thousand times before (or thereabouts). You can fill in the details: towels for showering, opening and closing various doors, tying shoelaces, scarfing down an unmentioned muffin, and so on.
I wish I had never seen the movie Groundhog Day – I would be feeling (I think) a little less stuck in some kind of puzzle right now, had I not. But then again, maybe that movie was a clue to solving something. I’ve had this thought before as well, unsurprisingly.
I am a biological machine, and (thankfully) I don’t run a completely randomized set of instructions every day. Can you imagine? Without any routines at all, we would be utterly inconsistent and incoherent. We might be happy, but we would be alone in that happiness. My routines keep me tied to people and to causes and to places that I care about, for whatever reason. Maybe my reasons for caring are themselves just matters of habit – though I think there’s quite a bit more to it than that. That is what I refer to loosely as Faith.
Writing should have been a better routine for me these last few years, but it has been hard to stick with it, in the face of so many other things to graft onto (or remove from) the routines that make up the person that is me. Regular exercise and better nutrition should have been [could still be] a part of those routines as well. And other things. I’ve still got time, but I never know how much. That’s part of the puzzle.
All those red herrings and paths not-yet traveled. How does a person live well through a mine field like that? Like this? Too many metaphors to mix… so little time to untangle it all.
I enjoy the challenge of life, more days and moments than not. I won’t lie: I can’t take much credit for it, as I was given a good hand of cards from the outset. I had somewhere solid to start from, and return to. I still do. I think I write too much about the guilt I feel about this, though I’d like to believe that this too is a routine I can work my way through, and on to the other side. Maybe through writing, maybe through doing nothing at all except what I’m doing now.
Bill Murray worked though the puzzle, somehow. I don’t remember the details of that story, just that it had some sort of good resolution. He learned something. I forget what… but I remember that he did. I guess it was a good movie after all. Maybe I’m glad I remembered that much.
The clock closes in on what we have come to call 9:30 (at least in this narrow band of our world). This signals some part of my brain to think about wrapping this up, finishing my caffeine drink, and getting back home, where a collection of new and old routines awaits. Side-quests to complete, on the road to somewhere else, slightly different than where I am now.
May you have a surprisingly excellent Friday! I want you to experience something wonderful and new, out of nowhere. It is out there waiting – I know it.
Thank God For Fridays (TGFF?) 🙂