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

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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

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. 

Good Monday to you 

I wake up with 90 minutes until my alarm, from dreams that so occupy my mind that I’m not sure whether I really want to go back to sleep. Unclear whether I really do or don’t; I’m still engaged in that thread when the alarm goes off. 

Up, then, to do all the things of an office day.  

Then out; Waze somewhat less smart than Google about reevaluating where I am to start, though generally better at avoiding traffic. Not that there is any, at this hour. 

The sky is various shades of blue, brush strokes visible in the clouds. I’ve all but missed the sunrise, only a single glimpse, a bit later– near the horizon, a single residual patch of neon pink. 

I didn’t know last week I would have seen my last sunrise drive, at least for a while, perhaps a month or even two, until the days shorten again. 

It’s hard to say how long; the days will go on lengthening for a few weeks, anyway…. in the winter there’s quite a stretch when I miss the sunrise at the other end, when the entire drive occurs at night and I am already at work by the time it comes. 

As I leave 40, up 222 and back to 95, I pass a bobtail headed toward 40.  Straight on I can’t be sure, but as we pass I see the familiar markings… as always, good thoughts and glad tidings to dear friends now afar. 

And on that note… have a good day!

Sunrise: June 1

Today’s sunrise was amazingly beautiful. The mass of deep purple clouds ridges with pink underneath looked like an inverted mountain range overhead as the morning was red-tinged for those few minutes. Great is Thy Faithfulness rings in my head.  Read more of this post

Train of thought

I do this just often enough now that it’s lost its foreign quality. 

Coming back there will be a bit of a scramble to ensure I get on the right train, but going in, I know the deal now. Enough, at least, that I can be troubled whether the lady meant to get off at Newark Penn vs New York Penn. Only because, like me, she was on a day ticket, not a commuter pass. 

She’ll be fine. If she’d needed help she’d have asked. I need to worry less. 

Somewhere farther down the car, someone is playing music. Something familiar. It takes me a minute to place, to pull the right name. Tape Hiss, I think. Maybe. Without earbuds I won’t check my music on the train to verify … but if that’s not it, it’s something very like it, anyway. Stuyvesant. Wait, is that right? It must be, because it’s definitely not Cuppa Joe. 

Fifteen more than 25.

Hey, Al. 

Forty to almost-50. I am slightly more almost, though. . My almost-50 is someone else’s almost-60… Don’t. Just don’t. It doesn’t serve. 

Closed eyes, and the realization that I’m tired; I could sleep on the train. Also don’t. 

Arrive NYC, the bottleneck of the staircase, then the steady upward press, follow signs to the 7th Ave exit. I could cut through the LIRR section and come out where Bill always takes me in, but I don’t trust my bearings.

Rote now: out on 7th. Straight down to 6th. Enough changes between visits that I feel lost even though I haven’t made any turnings, until I see Greeley Square signs. They are visible before the smaller, higher sign for 6th. 

Cross the street, cut thru Greeley, disrupt pigeons and hope to arrive at work unpooped upon, then down to the corner and cross halfway back. 

Lynn would say I was just trying to get extra steps but really, it’s a physical buffer for a mental reminder: the first time I turned on 6th and simply headed up toward the office, unaware that 6th and Broadway would do a grapevine step, crisscrossing under my feet. I didn’t notice, I was starting to watch the street numbers go up. Then arriving at the right address number but the wrong place, hating New York that much more for how stupid and lost I was. 

Safely directioned, I am back to prior thought, friendship as math problem. I am 1 more than that one, and 10 less than another, while 13 less than still another. 

Prayers, then, because they are back in a hard season and need them. Direction, guidance, wisdom, clarity, strength. 

Just 1 block after my feet start to hurt, I’m at the office. Shared elevators without greeting or acknowledgement. The city; I don’t expect otherwise. I whisper good day wishes when they exit anyway, knowing it marks me as from out of town. My floor then… Keycard doesn’t let me in. Settled at last in the cubicle between the restroom and the kitchen. Noisy. 

Here we go. 

Happy Monday evening

Surprisingly easy trek from the office that is an otherwise wasted drive to the home that is like home. Home to the north. Where a part (though not all) of my other family lives, and makes me welcome. 

Cool gray drizzly day, but such warm hearts. 

Happy. 

Sharing the highway

Grace abounds; the extra hours Saturday night are like a credit to my account for the too-late of Sunday night and the too-early of Monday morning. 

Read more of this post

Back to work

A funny thing happened while I was away.

The earth moved around the sun. The seasons started to change.  The 5:30 am commute kickoff happens in the early morning now, not in the final throes of night. 

There’s light on my drive. Before I reach the second half of the drive, there’s a massive blinding ball of it, actually. 

The big yellow one is the sun. (Brian Regan)

Apparently the rest of the world has some kind of solar alarm, because the roads are busier even though it’s still so early. 

It’s a shock to the system to revisit these early mornings, but I think I’ve needed that, to get back to normal again.