I'm not sure if this has come through in my blog posts recently, but I've been feeling a bit whiny & overwhelmed lately.
It all sorta came to a head last night when I was trying to go to bed, but everywhere I turned there were half-finished piles of whatever (dishes, laundry, winter bedding, ancient cans of half-eaten cat food in the fridge, tools from various plumbing disasters, notes from some work I'm trying to get done, bathroom stuff bought on sale but never put away, and God-knows-what other stuff that just got dumped into boxes so I could clear the table to serve dinner.)
I have a pretty high tolerance for clutter and disorder, but I sorta reached my breaking point last night and found myself throwing things into closets & cupboards shouting to myself "Please, just make it all go AWAY!"
I even resorted to using the drier because I was so behind on laundry that I didn't have any clean bike clothes and I knew CatMan would want to ride today... of course, when I opened the drier I discovered another load of stuff that had been sitting in there for who knows how long (dry, thankfully.)
OK... deep breath.
I'm not quite sure why everything feels so crazy lately... I guess it's just a bunch of little things piling up on me. The crazy weather & trying to get the "hail house" built, the plumbing disasters, trying to ramp up some actual "work" on my websites (gasp), my parents eyes (between my dad & stepmom they've had about 5 eye surgeries in the past few months... thankfully all is well and we went out to dinner yesterday to celebrate). Then there's all the extra bike maintenance caused by all the wet weather, and, of course Princess being sick.
I think Princess is at the heart of the issue. She's doing great, but she requires a LOT of care. She needs medication 3 times a day... twice on an empty stomach and once on a full one - plus she still gets fluids twice a week. She's fussy and won't eat more than about an ounce of food at a time, so she needs to eat 6 small meals a day (making it difficult to time the medication that needs to be given on an empty stomach.) Plus, you can't just put food down for her, you have to hold the bowl about 4 inches off the ground (and no, putting it up on a book or something doesn't work, she needs coaxing). I often have to offer several different foods to get her to eat and/or put various enticing treats on top - so I have to be sure to have a huge variety of food on hand, and her "favorites" change rapidly and without warning. Did I mention she is the most appropriately named creature EVER!
But the hardest part is that she wakes me up 2-3 times every night crying because she's hungry. I'm still getting about 8 hours of sleep each night, but it's all broken into small chunks and it takes a good 10-11 hours of time between retiring and rising to eek out that much sleep. Net result is that I. AM. JUST. SO. TIRED. ALL. OF. THE. TIME! Whine, whine, whine, whine...
Anyhow, when I finally got enough sleep last night to have a complete REM cycle, I had the most interesting dream.
I dreamt that I was speeding down a big highway when all of a sudden I got caught in a horrific traffic jam. Everybody got out of their cars and then we heard machine guns. One woman said "Oh good, the Marines are coming" but I was pretty sure it was terrorists coming to get us. So I went and hid in the cabinet under the bathroom sink (because, you know, all highways come equipped with bathroom sinks, don't they?) Then when it all was over I came out from under the sink and discovered that only me and a few other people had survived.
At this point we were on a big boat of some sort (it made sense in the dream.) Then out of nowhere a Navy Seal commando appeared and said he was there to rescue us.
...but first I had to change socks, because the pair I was wearing had my ID printed on the bottom (like so many socks do, don't you know) and we couldn't have anything that would identify us. Anyhow, this all made complete sense at the time, so I changed socks and then he looked at me with a stern face and said that I couldn't whine about anything, and that I had to disavow all knowledge of my previous life. Then we started to chimney up a big shaft to make our escape through the ventilation system. At that point I woke up.
I don't know if any of you are familiar with Gestalt dream analysis, but the idea is that everything in your dream is actually you. The parts that don't seem to be you are just aspects of your personality that you aren't comfortable enough with to fully own. (Which sorta begs the question - what do people who are at one with themselves dream about? Are they just alone in an open space or something? But I digress...)
Anyhow, it occurred to me that if I had a Navy Seal commando rescuing me in my dream, then that commando must be inside me somewhere, or he couldn't have appeared in my dream. (Or course, there are also machine gun toting terrorists in there somewhere, but I'll leave that for another day.)
And the part about banishing one's identity is also very interesting. Don't know if any of you are familiar with Carlos Castaneda and the Teachings of Don Juan, but in that book there's a reference to erasing one's personal history. There are different interpretations of this idea, but I sort of take it to mean letting go of one's personal baggage so one can fully experience the moment.
So today I decided that what I needed to do was to let go of my personal history of whininess and overwhelmedness and to get in touch with my Inner Commando!
And CatMan provided me with the perfect opportunity to test this strategy out by deciding he wanted to ride on my least favorite bike trip... the one that's about 50 miles round trip, with absolutely NO shade, along a major highway, that goes uphill for about an 8 mile stretch with virtually no place to slow down enough to catch your breath. Generally, this route leads to a great deal of whimpering on my part, but today I decided that since I knew I was perfectly capable of handling it, I was gonna use my Inner Commando and NO WHINING would be allowed!!!!
The results were rather amazing actually. I kept up with CatMan much better than I usually do, and somehow, the fact that I didn't let myself descend into "poor pitiful me land" meant that I was free to enjoy the experience much more than a generally would have.
I'm not entirely sure how to apply this principle to the rest of my life, but I think it has something to do with focusing on actually solving problems rather than avoiding or complaining about them. It's not like holding your breath and powering through things to avoid your feelings (which is one of my usual approaches) it's more like taking responsibility for the fact that I am capable and can choose a path that will make life easier rather than harder.
On that note, I'm going to go give Princess her final medication of the day, pump as much cat food into her as she will eat, and then I'm going to bed! I figure if I at least start with an earlier bedtime, there's a better chance of getting a meaningful amount of sleep!
So tell me what you think of all this. Am I just kidding myself here, or do you think I'm on to something? Do you have an Inner Commando?