Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Can't Put My Finger On It...

I can't put my finger on why, but I'm feeling off tonight.  Restless.  A little agitated.  Ever so slightly irritated.

I don't quite know what to do with myself.  I've flipped through a few pages of More magazine, but I didn't want to be reminded that I was an over-40 woman on the verge of incontinence, even though, according to their marvelous articles, I can be wrinkled and incontinent and have type B diabetes but still have a massively successful start-up in Silicone Valley well into my 50s.  

I downloaded a book from Kindle (for the first time ever!), but I feel tepid about actually picking up the iPad to read it.  It will be my first time ever reading a digital book, so as excited as I am to read the book (The Journal of Best Practices), I can't bring myself to start yet.  What is it going to feel like in my hands?  And reading from a glowing screen?  Don't I do enough of that already, all day every day?  
Then there's the guilt of possibly shutting down all the independent book sellers around the globe. Didn't I always aspire to run my own used book store and bakery (or maybe that was my sister or a character from a novel I once read - in a real, paper book)!

I've got a bowl of Shreddies cereal in front of me over which I've sprinkled sugar (but no milk) which is comforting me slightly; the half a tumbler of red wine is also easing the agitation.  I just got off the phone with my friend Carry whom we will be going to visit in Australia in two weeks time.  I'm ever so excited about seeing her and going to Oz, but Carry's cadence of speech, combined with her loveliest of accents and the shaky telephone connection may have had me laughing in the wrong places and agreeing with the wrong things. I know she said something about Stalin, and I still can't figure out why or what it was about.  I'll ask her when I see her in a few weeks.  Stalin or not, talking to Carry always makes me happier.

I'll admit that food almost always cheers me up!

But what is it that is casting a pallor on my admittedly rather charmed life and causing this malaise?

  • Could it be that Don and I just finished the last episode of Downton Abbey last night and who knows how long we'll have to wait before production finishes on season three?  What is going to happen to Bates and Anna, not to mention Cousin Matthew and Mary?  (I need another period piece drama pronto so please send your recommendations my way!)

  • I'm teaching puberty in class right now so my students might suggest I am "hormonally charged."  Alas, this is not the case, either.

  • Could it be the dismal weather?  For more than two months now we've had nary a ray of sunshine in Hong Kong until this glorious weekend; after basking in its glory for a brief 24 hours we are back to misty, humid wetness.  It's like getting the smallest lick of a passion fruit sorbet, only to have it whisked away before you can taste it's sweetness on your tongue once more.  

  • Or maybe it's my list of a million and one things to do.  At work and at home.  So two million and two things!  It seems cavernous or Everest-like or whatever image best conveys the enormity of it (maybe both ways at the same time!) and my teaspoon hands can only slowly dig me out, one miniscule task at a time.

  • Then again, perhaps it's the other way around: for all my can't-wait-another-day-to-get-them-done tasks, they really don't matter a whit in the scheme of life.  Am I dispensable?  Absolutely and then some!  I could fall off the side of the planet and plummet into Pluto and the world would proceed quite happily without me.  Oh, a few people might miss me once in a while, but they'd get over it.  They always do.
Some of the people who will miss me when I'm gone.
(Not the mahout or the elephant, though.)

  • The inevitability of death.  That could well be it.  For all the work we create for ourselves to make our lives meaningful (and put food on the table and roofs over our heads), ultimately we're all on that slippery slope of one-day-closer-to-death.

This is sounding more and more morose, but, surprisingly, it's cheered ME up a bit.  I don't know about you.  Sorry, if you started off cheerful enough and I've sent you into a nose dive.  There are about seven billion of us hanging out here on this planet and I'd hazard a guess that pretty much every one (except the Dalai Lama) feels this way one time or another.

Today I'm grateful that I only feel this way once in a while.  My new start for today is to remember gratitude again.  To remember that there is nothing wrong with feeling a little out of sorts.  To be with it.  To feel it.  To write about it.  To give a little smile.  To brush and floss and wash and pajama-up and go to bed.  

I may not be able to put my finger on it, but I have a feeling that sleep is the answer.  I'll stop fighting it and let sleep work its magic.  Tomorrow is a new day.

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