What time is it?

My husband has a predictable morning routine.

The alarm goes off at six. It’s a gentle sound, but it wakes me up briefly. He gets up – no snooze button! – and heads to the kitchen to make breakfast, closing the bedroom door behind him. He often feeds the cats – they join him as he meanders through his morning – and pours himself a glass of bubbly water while his coffee is dripping from the Keurig. He might make eggs and toast, or toast and granola cereal, or peanut butter on toast. “Yeah, toast,” he probably says to himself.

Sometimes, he’ll eat his breakfast at the kitchen counter. He used to eat at the table, but I’ve noticed the bar stool pulled back many mornings lately.

If the house is really cold, he might take his breakfast with him as he heads to the bathroom. There, he likes to sit on the floor with a towel around his shoulders – catching the heat from the vent and funneling it to his upper body. (He’s done this for years!) He’ll read headlines and news articles from his phone until it’s time to hop in the shower. After that, he gets dressed, pours himself a bottle of bubbly water for the road, and comes back into the bedroom to kiss me goodbye. By now, it’s around 7:10am. Then off to work he goes.

On the Monday after daylight savings time, the plan changed slightly.

The alarm went off, and I heard myself groan aloud, “No!” He sat up and silenced the sound, and then remained on the edge of the bed for a moment, like he was trying to clear the sound-sleeping from his head. Then he and the cats left the bedroom, with him quietly closing the door behind him.

For whatever reason, I woke up a little later. The sky was still pitch-black, and I wondered why there wasn’t at least a glint of sun in the clouds. I pulled my phone off the nightstand to check the time, then bolted upright. That can’t be!

I left the bedroom. The kitchen was dark. I walked toward the bathroom, and could see the sliver of light from under the door. But I didn’t hear the shower running, so I knew to look for him on the floor. I opened the door and stepped into the bathroom, and sat on the edge of the jacuzzi tub in front of him.

“Do you know what time it is?” I asked. “Have you looked at your clock?”

He clicked the button to check the time. “Uh, whaat?” He was confused, as I knew he would be.

“It’s 12:53,” I said. Repeat: “It’s only 12:53.”

“Huh?” he asked incrediously. “What the heck?” He kept staring at his phone, then looked up at the round wooden clock on the bathroom wall.

“It’s 12:53,” I said again.

“But my alarm went off!”

“I know. But it’s only just past midnight!”

He followed me back to bed, and we crawled under the covers. And began to giggle, then laugh ’til our sides hurt.

“Why did my alarm go off?” Giggle.

“I have no idea!” I’m laughing hard now.

“But I’ve had my coffee! I’ve eaten my breakfast!”

Laugh again.

“Why did my alarm go off?” He laughs some more. “I was surprised that I’d slept so soundly! I don’t think I’d even moved!”

“You probably didn’t. We’ve only been in bed a couple of hours.” Now I’m crying from the laughter.

As we begin to settle back into bed, one or the other of us chortles, which sends off another round of laughter. But slowly, the giggles subside. And soon I hear his deepening-sleep breathing. I smile and close my eyes.

The alarm goes off at six, and we both wake up and smile.

“Are you having more coffee?” I ask. He says yes, then takes the cats out as he closes the door behind him to let me sleep until 7:10am.

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Syllable Poem

Awake, 2 a.m.

Toss, then pray; move cat

Toss, then turn; pray more

Look at the clock – 3

Move cat; pray again

Get up; put sweats on

Read; eat cereal

Lay down; move the cat

Sit up; check the clock

4:50 a.m.

Write it on the blog. 

Pet the cat; lights out. 

Kitty Bliss

Bliss can be many things for me – sleeping in, a beautiful path, a private personal retreat, a picturesque sunset, wine and cheese on the beach with my husband.

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Hermitage personal retreat

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But Kitty Bliss, that’s complete!

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Today, I Chose Not To

Today, I chose not to get up early. Lately, I’ve been sleeping in. If I have nothing going on, then I can take my time in getting out of bed. There’s no rush to be anywhere.

Today, I chose not to attend Bible Study. I didn’t feel like putting myself out there, with the smiling face that says everything’s ok, that pretends to be interested in – well – anything. I like the study a lot, but am not connecting with folks. Of course, I have to attend to connect – I know. But some days that takes more energy than I want to expend.

Today, I chose not to go anywhere. I stayed home. This means that most of the day has gone by without me speaking to anyone. I didn’t go to the pool, nor to the workout room. I sat on the lanai this afternoon, and in my spot on the couch most of the rest of the day.

I realize that making these choices could lead me into self-pity and isolation, even down the path toward depression. But instead, today I simply enjoyed the slow pace of the day, the relaxation of studying my Bible on my own, completing a few small projects that needed attention and time, petting the kitty, watching TV.

I’m in a holding pattern, waiting for whatever the next thing is that God has for me. I think I am supposed to be writing, but I keep procrastinating, am feeling intimidated by the project. Then again, if this is what God has given me to do, I know He will equip me completely with what I need to get it done.

I just need to choose to do it.

 

 

It’s a blah day, not a relapse.

For many mornings in a row, when the alarm goes off I think, “Why bother?” I get up because that’s what I do, not because I want to. I have nothing to get up for. And then I remember that I intentionally planned something into my day so that I will get up. Otherwise, I think I’d stay in bed all morning.

I’ve had several days of feeling “in a funk” – not really happy but not really sad either. A blah mood.

A year ago, I would have blamed all of this on the weather – the gray clouds of the upper Midwest that cover the sun for days and often bring snow and cold. But I’m in Florida now, and while it’s been unseasonably rainy, there was sunshine and even warmer temperatures today. So what’s my problem?

I think it’s because it is February. And traditionally, February has been a tough month for me. According to my old psych doc, even though it’s the shortest month of the year, it’s often the hardest emotionally. Not sure why. But perhaps I’m feeling the way I do because I’ve felt this way for the past nine Februarys. Emotional muscle memory.

It took me a few hours today to figure this out – this thing about February. I should have seen it sooner – I knew I was feeling less than good. I kept arguing with myself that the mood would simply go away, and I suspect it will, now that I’ve identified it and called it by name.

A blah day, or even a blah week, doesn’t mean relapse. It doesn’t mean depression again. It means I’m in a blah mood, and I’ll be in a blah mood for a few days, and then it will get better. To keep it from descending into depression, I’ll keep doing what I know to do – eat well, get enough sleep, exercise some, take my meds, reach out. Get up and do the day.

And if I need to take a day to stay in bed all morning, that’s ok too.