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A peaceful day

Today was mostly a quiet day. Not a lot of talking, and we mostly talked about the food we were cooking. I cleaned house because it was bugging me, and I enjoyed the work. We cooked. I made bread. Xander made pudding. Yesterday he made butternut squash soup, very simple and perfect. I read a lot, played Plants vs. Zombies, played with the dogs (we have an extra dog in the house for a couple of weeks), and relaxed.

I don’t have very many quiet days. Work is not very noisy, but there is always the sound of people doing their jobs, so there is a constant background of sound. We went to a party this weekend. The reason for the party was great – the engagement of two dear friends. I’m not very good at groups of people, though. I’m an aerobatic pilot, I used to do technical diving, I’ve worked with kids, I like playing with computers, I work in housing, we have a Great Dane, we both sing – it isn’t that I have nothing to talk about. I’m happy just existing, people watching, and I am not good at jumping into conversations. It was very loud there, too. Maybe I’m getting old. I don’t know. I never really liked loud parties or big groups of people, though, so maybe that tendency is coming out more now.

Today was very peaceful. I needed that. There are days that we are both busy with our own things and we don’t need to talk much. It’s a good kind of silence. If there’s something to say, we say it, but days like today there wasn’t much reason to talk. Just enjoying each others’ company was a very good, fulfilling thing.

We’re going to watch The Simpsons now and then I’m going to go to bed. It’s a little early, but I am happily weary, and tomorrow I will wake up to a clean kitchen, food ready to take for lunches, and a good day ahead of me. I guess I just need these quiet, useful days to recharge, to feel at home in my skin again.

What gives you peace? I’m guessing that cleaning the kitchen doesn’t do it for everyone.

Insomnia

Every once in a while I have a bad night. Lately I mostly just wake up and can’t go back to sleep rather than waking up terrified or upset, but it takes its toll. This morning I woke up about 4 AM. I was planning to wake up around 6 to get some things done, so two hours before was not the best time to wake up. I don’t get all the way back to sleep. I decided to rest, in any case, so that the remainder of the day wouldn’t end up being a complete loss.

As I lay curled up, trying to sleep by counting backwards from 100 (I can tell I’m getting tired when I have to start over, and it tends to keep my brain from going on the usual hamster wheel of what I ought to be doing instead), Nyx got up, shook herself, grumbled a little, and settled down with her head on the bed next to me. I stopped counting and started petting her head, and she fell asleep. My husband was sound asleep on the other side of the bed. Between the two of them breathing peacefully and the relative quiet of the world outside, it wasn’t a particularly bad thing to be awake and not doing anything.

I drifted in and out of half asleep, I think, never quite getting all the way back, but when I finally got up this morning I didn’t feel like I had lost rest time. I don’t feel completely exhausted. Weary, yes, but not badly so. Maybe sometimes I just need to be awake when there isn’t anything going on so I can let myself just be. So much of my life is moving and thinking and organizing and trying to get things done that I forget that there is silence and quiet and a complete lack of stress if I can only let myself find it.

I’ve been pushing hard just to try to get back to normal (normal for me!) for a few months. I think I am almost there, and I think it is perhaps time to admit that I am pushing a little too hard. I would like to be able to feel like I am moving to the rhythm of my life instead of running desperately on a treadmill that is set just a bit faster than I can go. Some of the stress is easing, most days, and sometimes I can move into a space and time where there is nothing wrong with simply existing, but I have to get through this month before everything really lets up and I can relax.

I think it’s time to start making bread again. It is one of those activities that I can only do when there is extra time, and it is important to me to be able to do it well. Perhaps I will block out time this weekend to do that and end up with the house smelling like fresh bread, which always makes me happy.

Maybe, if I find more peace during my waking hours, I won’t wake up looking for it.