Bleary and blurry

At 9:00 my reminder tells me to wind down for bed. At 9:30 I should be settling in for sleep. At 10:11 I give myself a mental shake: I might not feel tired, exactly, but the morning will be terrible if I don’t, in fact, get to bed. 

So I do. But then, it’s hours of slow time. Tossing, turning. My mind is loud, churning. White noise, or Pandora, devices off, devices on, devices off again, periodically alert to small noises that mean nothing, just because I am restless and wakeful. 

11:00 12:00 1:00 2:00

All. Night. 

At 2:30 I am still awake, trying to decide whether to just scrap the whole thing. Technically 3:30ish is the cutoff, the point after which I can’t get a full sleep cycle before the alarm. 

But somewhere in that final window, I do sleep. One cycle, and perhaps a piece into the next because when the alarm goes off I am briefly confused, as if I’ve just been testing the alarm and not that it’s time, as if I could just turn it off and wait for it to alert me later when I need to get up…

Oh. That’s now. 

So I’m up; in short order readied, out the door and on the road. It’s rainy and dark – even when I arrive – and halfway there I am awake but vaguely wondering if I’d know if I was only dreaming the drive, then switching to music because having that thought probably means I’m up but who can be sure. 

Morning emails

morning meetings 

morning coffee. 

G’morning. 

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This crazy life

I’ve been tracking my steps diligently (pending replacement of my failed @Fitbit device notwithstanding). 

There are those who might say I obsess about it a bit, and I really can’t say I’m in a position to argue. But that’s not the crazy part (I don’t think).

On a lot of days, weather and schedule permitting, I round out my daily steps with a walk. Three+ round trip miles to and from my parents’ place (the “plus” depending on whether/which/how many little side streets I wander down en route). 3.2 if I loop around the other way, again depending on side streets. I have a short playlist of tunes for walking, steady beats to keep me on pace. Or I listen to podcasts…

Among them I’ve been listening to This American Life. I enjoy them; thought provoking, but also often touching. One weekend I listened on the way over to my folks’ to a chapter on last words, and I found myself tearing up – cue the waterworks – so much that I arrived slightly tearstreaked. 

Last night I listened to the episode entitled “The Perils of Intimacy” and I enjoyed it, thoughtful as always, each chapter touching on a different aspect, each worth a listen in their own right…

On my way home it got to be third chapter and the comedienne relaying her story got to the culmination of the story and oh Lord I laughed. Even while I cringed with her (that so totally could be me, and oh God, I’d want to die) I laughed. I laughed long and hard and out loud, in public. On the street. Like a crazy person. 

Totally worth it. 

Off night / off morning

It’s early, as it should be, but I fall asleep on the couch, even as I tell myself I’ll go to bed. Like a cartoon bubble still hanging over my head. But it’s only a short doze, just minutes, not enough to disrupt my night. 

When I do get in bed, I’m hot. Steaming from the inside out. I throw the covers aside, knowing I’ll want them again later, and fall asleep…

Shivering. It’s so cold. I’m covered, hunkered down in the comforter, but still I’m freezing. It penetrates my sleep; I’m damp. The hot flash didn’t wake me, and they usually do, but I must have had one – I’ve been sweating in my sleep, and now I’m cold. 

The clock says it’s not yet 3am. I make myself go back to sleep while I can. Sheets can get washed tomorrow. 

Up with the alarm, stiff and awkward on the stairs. One day I’ll tumble, I suppose, but mercifully not today. Showered, dried, dressed, packed. I pull on my shoes and head to the car. 

Halfway down I realize there is something wrong. I can see my shoes in the silver starlight. I should not see my shoes. I should see the dark silhouette of my work shoes on the stairs. 

I can see them because these are white. I have pulled on my sneakers. Sigh

I need my coffee sooner than usual en route, not surprising. It’s dark all the way to Delaware, not quite to the office. Daylight savings will do something about that, but it’s too early for me to math out what. 

Lord, I’m tired

So dies another @Fitbit

I go through Fitbit devices at an alarming rate.  I think I’ve owned something like 4-5 Flexes (always the original, shower-proof version) since December of 2014. 

I loved the Flex. Simple, showerable. Easy to clean, easy to charge.  

Well, mostly. 

I know people who start complaining after a while lol that their Fitbit starts holding their charge for fewer days over time – down from 4-5 days to 3-4, and so on. Usually it happens over a few years. If not, I’ve been through it, I can give advice: turn off all day sync, delete any silent alarms. 

Technology fails over time, that’s just the way of things. 

For me, though… I keep replacing my Flex, over and over, because the battery dies, catastrophically and suddenly, and not after very long either. They start vibrating or start throwing errors, and they stop gaining or holding a charge for more than a few hours. I might get a year, but sometimes it’s just a few months before it happens. In this case I’m on my second replacement since March. 

It’s always the same model, so it could be a tech issue. But then again… It may be me.  In the same way that MP3 players freeze up, brand agnostically, in my hands, Fitbit Flex batteries die. In fact I hesitate to switch to a different, more advanced model, because I think the new heart rate reader capability, where a sensor will put it directly on my skin, is only going to exacerbate the issue. 

So now I’m in the limbo that happens when yet another device dies; having to send the unit back before Fitbit will start the replacement process.

I’ve been through this. It’s slow. They won’t start the process until I return the unit to them. (Probably I’m on a list; they die so often on me.)

And in the meantime, I feel lost without my device. 

Ugh!

Too tired for this drive

I wake up, not sure what time it is. 

Commuting days are tricky this way. It could be after 4:30AM, too late to go back to sleep, and it would look pretty much the same as if it was (peeking, sandy-eyed, at the clock) a little after 1:00AM. Read more of this post

Monday commute, after a brief absence. 

I had late night calls with out teams in Asia last week, so I worked from home the extra days. 

This matters because it’s been a while since I commuted. It also matters because I had turned off my office-day alarms. No one wants to work until nearly 11pm and then get up before 5am.  Read more of this post

First morning home

It’s quiet when I wake up. My eyes are still closed and my first thought is that it must be small hours, because there is no sound – no gurgle of coffee or the hushes of morning conversation. 

This wouldn’t be unusual: Most mornings I have awakened in small hours and put myself back to sleep, usually resulting in being among the last up and about.  Read more of this post

A week in Myrtle Beach

It isn’t a new destination for any of us, not by a longshot. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been, but it’s enough times that there was a pattern emerging of major career upheavals after every fourth visit.

(My company got bought while I was touring the Grand Canyon two years ago. I’m going to say that Myrtle Beach passed the torch.) 😉

The weather was fine and sunny for the first few days, then overcast, then stormy, and then sunny and warm again.

And it all worked out pretty much perfectly.

There were fun and silly car games and beach days and arcade days and dinners at the places we traditionally try to fit in. (Chances are good that one of those is coming off the short list in future, the prices having stayed ridiculously low but the food quality seeming to have been reduced to match.) Read more of this post

Mental block: Spanish

In seventh grade, we had the option to take a language: French or German.

Spanish, which would have been more useful, was not offered until 8th grade. Opportunity missed.

What teen girl, given the choice, wants to learn German when French is an option? (Actually some did, but cmon.) plus we lived in New England where the proximity to Canada made it almost sort of seem potentially useful. 

I don’t live in New England any more. My first job was at a company that was owned by Cuban exiles and more than half the company, by the time we were acquired by the larger firm, spoke Spanish.

By that time, I had picked up a little Spanish… mostly greetings and food.

I wanted to learn Spanish. By that time, there was the boy and though his English was fantastic it seemed problematic that I couldn’t say anything of substance to him in his native language, his heart language.

I tried Rocket Spanish. (Puedo sacar su foto?) 

I tried Rosetta Stone (it was very precise about getting the accent right, so much so that the boy, sitting next to me, would tell me, “You’re saying that perfectly,” while RS would insist I had it wrong and make me repeat it. Again. And again. Ad nauseum.)

But always I would get just so far and hit a wall. I have some kind of mental block, it seems.

Now, Duolingo doesn’t care how bad my accent is. And 26 days into it, I’m mostly enjoying it and occasionally amused and/or troubled by the sentences it tries to teach me.  Read more of this post

So begins a Monday

Sleepy on Sunday but restless and intermittently wakeful through the night, and genuinely confused by the alarm Monday morning. What is that sound, it’s my phone, why is my phone making sounds in the middle of the night, isn’t it the middle of the night, oh, wait, could that be my alarm really?

It was, of course. 

Forcing myself up against my screamingly tired body, start the coffee first, carefully down the stairs to go press the button that makes caffeine happen, thank You Lord for this day and all You have planned for it, thank You that You are sufficient to all my needs, thank You that You will be my rest if rest is what I need. 

Coffee begins to brew as I go up to prepare for the day, keeping to schedule, 5:20ish when I return to put coffee into travel cup, water and yogurt into lunch bag, jacket on, shoes on, out the door, Waze programmed and I am out and on the road before 5:30 as planned. 

Not raining today but my first impression is of gray skies. Not accurate, it’s just a solid and nondescript blue at first. Nuances and patches of clear sky will be apparent only as I start North. 

In the breaks when I can see beyond the tree line, I get glimpses of pink, thankful for the reminder to be thankful, and then sunlight streaming through clouds like a benediction, like a sunshower pouring into and dispelling darkness. 

Tunes on the radio to brighten, to waken, and then – if they make me maudlin – snapped off that I might not dwell on what does not serve.  What is it in a heart that wants to savor heartbreak, to long for what is lost to the past rather than appreciate what is good in the present, or the might have been over the currently is?

We fall short. 

Relatively smooth travels North, where the office and the work awaits. 

So begins a Monday.