One characteristic I’ve had since kidhood is that when something happens during the day and I can’t process it then, it runs as an endless tape when I try and go to sleep. This happened yesterday/today.
DH and I were out and about. I’m in the car, he’s on the moto. I’d gone to the storage; he was going to be going down that same piece of road to get to his favorite gas station on the way home. I left the storage and then decided that I didn’t want to go into town, I’d just go straight home. This required a U-turn. I pulled over and peering down the road (due west) I could barely see anything because of the glare. I squinted and debated: Should I go?
There appeared to be something circular in the middle of the glare, where a vehicle would be. I hesitated.
My husband rode by and waved!
Eventually, I made the U-turn and got home first.
The “what-ifs” hit me every time I tried to sleep. Blame it on being really susceptible to my visuals, or a writer’s imagination, or the PTSD, or whatever. The tape loop was NOT fun, it kept pumping adrenaline into my system so I couldn’t sleep. I’d doze, then I’d start awake.
At 3 am, 1.5 hours ago, I gave up. I got up and threw on my navy blue house dress.
So what does Twyla Tharp have to do with this?
I have her book on creativity. She says, and it makes sense to me, that if you want to have a creative life, you need to make time for the creative habit, daily. Many of my friends who write say this isn’t hard, they love writing more than almost anything. (An opinion I’m afraid I do NOT share.) One good friend proofreads just as she goes to sleep. [ I think that would make the tape thing worse. ]
I decided I would design my life the way I wanted it and just do it, brute force. For a long time I’ve known that I wanted to wake up at 4:30 or so, this would give me time to write and do other things. Two days last week I managed it. I got up, I made batter bread, did laundry, wrote, and functioned during the day.
I set up the bread the night before, because frankly folks I have no business doing anything with anything powdered before about 9:00 a.m. Also, because I know this about myself, I was making batter bread, which requires no kneading — I can just imagine what kind of a disaster kneading dough at 4:30 could be!
What I didn’t manage those days was going to bed at 8:30-9:30 p.m., because my honey was up, and this is usually our time to be close. After two days, my body/PTSD went wonky. I was up until 1-2? Thursday night and didn’t wake up til around 9 Friday morning.
At 3 am this morning I said, “I give up!” and got out of bed. I wanted enough time for the instant coffee to hit, and I had assorted other kitchen chores I could do: start laundry, do the dishes, etc.
One of those chores was putting away the long-term storage foods I’d bought Saturday. I found a bargain on powdered garlic. I got a pound of it for < $6. Cool!
Being half awake at 3 a.m., I made the brilliant decision that I should take it out of its foil packet and put it into a quart jar. Except . . .
By the time I finally got it into 2 pint jars, I had garlic powder up my nose, on the cutting board and the floor. I had managed to dirty 3 pint jars, 2 quart jars, 1 half gallon jar, the funnel and 3 sponges.. (Don’t ask.) My kitchen drain was due to be destinkified, that is no longer a problem: it smells of garlic.
My navy blue dress has white, stinky powdery places; it needs cleaning too.
The batter bread is set up in the fridge, so I might be able to get that to work. But just in case that’s too easy? I have the ingredients out to make a triple corn casserole for breakfast (corn muffin mix, canned corn, creamed corn, etc.) NO garlic. If I manage to get the casserole and bread into the oven without completely destroying my kitchen or covering myself in bread dough and corn? I’ll take a shower and put my decorated, splotchy /pungent dress in the laundry. I may be able to smell something other than garlic afterward?
On the other hand, the baking may be another disaster. If so, I suppose I’ll just have to laugh through the garlic/corn/wheat mess and hope something edible comes of it?
I’m incredibly grateful for my hesitation and my husband’s well being. Knowing him, he’ll laugh with me about the garlic disaster (and others, if needed), and I’ll also be thankful again for his sense of humor.
P.S. The batter bread and the casserole are both cooking as I type this. No major disasters and the shower was lovely!