Lucky Day

Dana has to be at Wi-Phi’s house around 6:45, and I don’t have to be at work until 9. I’ve started waking up with her, though, so that I’m ready and dressed with a couple of hours to kill. That way, when I get to work, I’ve already had time to drink coffee and really wake up. Perhaps write a bit to you. It’s perfect, and I’m glad I insisted on setting up my day this way.

It really took being moved to graveyard shift to clearly see how badly life needs structure to function. Rubbing against the grain of your circadian rhythm destroys homeostasis. I am so grateful for our global economy, because in my own case, when the UK office opens, no one in our office will have to work graveyard anymore. It is a relief to my mind to know that the probability of ever having to go on nights again is dwindling sharply.

Since I didn’t take a vacation after my night shift was over, I’m working today and then off until Tuesday just for the hell of it. I really want to go to some fun Houston things, like Space Center Houston, the Butterfly Center, and all the museums. The choir is off for the summer, so we may or may not go to church. For this week, I want to shake up my routine so that I’m thankful for when it returns.

Labor laws aside, as well as my own sanity, sometimes I wish I didn’t have days off. As an ADD person, routine is critical to my survival. Interrupting it for two days sometimes creates more problems than it solves. I try to be diligent about waking up at the same time, taking my medicine at the same time, etc. but still there are times when I feel a quiet unrest because something is missing.

It also says a lot about the work I do that I like the routine so much. I look forward to getting up every morning, and I like how the metrics from the day before come in my e-mail so I have a constant running tally of how I’m doing and upward trends get me verklempt. It’s like getting your report card every morning with a star on it if you do it right. 🙂

Remember that feeling? Remember that feeling of getting back a paper with an A on it? Remember when you got back that paper with an A on it and you didn’t know how in the hell you got it? To me, those were the most fun, because it usually meant that I’d made up a bunch of educated bullshit at 3 AM and they’d bought it.

In the case of my job, though, that kind of trick wouldn’t work, because numbers don’t lie. Numbers put progress (or not) right up in my face- 8×10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back. Some people wouldn’t like it, but I do. I’ve always been the type person who takes the emotional temperature of a relationship every five minutes, and now I can do it without stalking people for information. Thanks, fourth grade graph-reading skills!

As I’m thinking about this topic, it reminds me of something my dad and my sister used to do every morning as she was getting out of the car. This story takes a little setup.

When I was in sixth grade, our parsonage burned to the ground and we lost everything. Some jackass fireman said in front of my sister that the fire started in the attic above her room, and that if she’d been sleeping she’d have been killed… so she didn’t sleep soundly through the night for like, two years after that. She also went through such anxiety that she didn’t want to go to school, so my dad came up with a solution. He came up with a ritual when he dropped her off that they’d say, “lucky day. Gonna getta E today. Wave to me.” At Lindsay’s school, E was the highest you could get (in conduct, anyway). He also gave her a slap bracelet (tight) that she used as a talisman to remember dad was with her in spirit that day.

I get that feeling every morning when I wake up. I’m gonna getta E today.

As an aside, last Christmas I got my sister a silver and pink beaded bracelet at our church bazaar. When she put it on, she said, “this is my new slap bracelet.”

I didn’t know that many tears and that much snot could come out at once, but it was the happiest cry I’ve ever had.


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