I am in a fairly crappy mood this evening. No particular obvious reason stands out. Nothing really seems to be wrong. The work day wasn’t bad. The commute wasn’t bad. Just my mood. The headache isn’t helping, but I’ve taken something for it, had a big glass of water, and made a healthy evening meal of left over acorn squash stuffed with kale and quinoa. Pretty yummy. I’m okay. The house is secure and warm and quiet… so… what’s this bullshit about? That’s not really a rhetorical question – and I do know the answer. Perhaps you’ve heard the old adage “you’ve gotta pay for your thrills”?

I’m managing a smile in spite of my crappy mood, and feeling sort of… accomplished? I broke all my routines celebrating the new year with friends and loved ones. Late nights hanging out, listening to music, celebrating or grieving change, all of us together, enjoying irregular meals that didn’t conform well to specific dietary needs (sugar!!!!) – and all the over stimulation a great house party can provide have finally taken a real toll. I’m not just tired. I’ve gotten some good rest, and my sleep cycle already seems pretty well restored to the usual sleeping/waking timing, so no, it isn’t that – or, that’s only part of it. It was a damned good time, and I’m finding it hard to “come back to real life”, in the sense that merry-makers making merry don’t find much cause to have to “manage their time” – and I was really enjoying that. lol Now it’s back to planning, managing, and dealing with a steady grind that – however pleasant – is not built on my agenda, and over which I have very limited power to influence the course of events, or decision-making. Honestly, I’m just an analyst. A cog. A worker. A human being converting precious limited life-force into cash money for later use elsewhere.

Sure, beautiful…but… it isn’t “home”.

I sigh aloud in the empty still room. This too shall pass. I’m feeling a bit moody, but not particularly broken; this seems a positive change. I’m not angrily protesting the status quo, or furiously ranting about the unfairness of it all (the status quo kinda sucks, for a lot of people, and worse than for me – and frankly, we’re all pretty fucking familiar with unfairness, too). I’m calm and quiet, just sort of irritable – and I guess I’m even okay with that, sitting here quietly, after a nutritious meal, thinking of “home” – is it? Out there in the quiet countryside… among friends… out in the trees… Is it “home”? It could be. God damn it, I very much want it to be.

More than a beautiful view. A life.

What if I don’t live that long?

Okay, that goes too far, Brain – what’s with the vicious attack in the middle of a quiet evening? I catch myself tearing at my cuticles. So human. Shit. My mood wobbles toward frustration, fear, despair. I’m still okay right now. There is nothing going in this immediate moment that puts me at any greater risk of imminent death than I’m in at any other moment. We will all die at some point, and it is the rare circumstance when the end comes at a planned time. I sneer angrily at the lame attack on my emotional balance by my irritable brain. I seethe over my own bullshit. I’m not having it tonight. Another sigh punctuates the quiet, and I switch up my approach; I decide to “be here” for me – because I am literally the only person here right now. lol Maybe I can cut myself some slack? I really did throw self-care into the waste bin for 4 days, in the sense that my effort was half-assed at best (it’s still a lot of ass, just less than usual). 🙂

I take a minute, remind myself “this too shall pass”, and think back on other disruptions to routines, other trips away with challenging emotional outcomes. That trip to Vegas? The meltdown after that must be legendary – I haven’t had to face anything like that, this time. I’m just a little moody – and not even a lot. Just headache-y, a bit irritable – and still totally okay right now. I smile, noticing how heavily I am reinforcing that awareness. Practices take practice.

Sometimes it isn’t even obvious if there’s a path to be on.

One step at a time, we each walk our own hard mile. Tomorrow, I’ll begin again.