Friday

It's Time for a Change in Direction

 
We were sitting in the pharmacy drive-thru. My head was half hanging out the window of the van, my eyes closed. I could hear the soft bing bongs and bleep bloops of the boys' video games.
 
I was tired. I felt myself drifting off, and then, "Can I help you?"
 
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Driving off with prescription in hand my fog continued. We were stopped at a red light when it dawned on me: I can't remember what clothes Joey was buried in.
 
I know they must have been green - his favorite color was green - but I can't remember exactly which ones. I know we didn't put shoes on him. The only shoes that fit his swollen feet were his tennis shoes, and I didn't think it was appropriate to bury him in tennis shoes. Besides, no one would see his feet anyway.
 
I searched my brain for the visual of Joey, but all I could remember was touching him in his coffin and feeling his cold, waxy face. I couldn't see what the shirt looked like, but I remember hearing crinkling when I touched it, like Joey had been wrapped in Press 'n Seal before he was dressed.
 
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I'm so tired I can't remember what I buried my son in.
 
I'm so tired I can't complete a task without getting distracted.
 
I'm so tired that my brain is having trouble thinking of the words my mouth wants to say.
 
I'm so tired I can't even be patient with my children.
 
I'm so tired I don't want to spend time with my husband.
 
I'm snapping and negative and yelling. And then I wonder why they talk to each other that way. I'm not too tired to realize they are learning it from me.
 
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I'm tired because my house is a mess. Papers are everywhere. Toys and clothes and junk we don't use anymore have piled up and a house that once seemed big is shrinking from too much stuff.
 
I had a baby a year ago. A year's worth of no time to organize, clean out, start fresh.
 
Now, I have made lists and planned my time and I know what I want to accomplish.
 
But it's not happening and I feel like I am chasing my tail.
 
Chasing it into the wee hours of the night.
 
Falling asleep in a chair.
 
School lunches unmade.
 
Dishes in the sink.
 
The pile of photographs from summer 2011 still sitting unlabeled on the dining room table.
 
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I'm heavier than I have ever been in my life. There is a least fifteen pounds of extra weight around my middle that has no business being there.
 
But I'm too tired to do anything about it.
 
And my treadmill broke and my gym membership expired.
 
My husband asked me if we were still married.
 
I need a girls' night out.
 
He wants a date.
 
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It's all swirling in my head along with the fact that I am doing nothing that I should be doing.
 
Sleeping.
 
Cardio.
 
Yoga.
 
Nourishing my body with healthy food.
 
Starting my novel.
 
Seeking out paid opportunities to write.
 
Spending time with my family before they are all grown up and gone.
 
What I am doing is getting lost. I'm getting lost along a path that I thought I knew. A path I didn't need a map for. A path that came out in a clearing.
 
But somewhere along the way I got distracted by the scenery, led off course to somewhere I thought I should be going.
 
I'm stumbling. I'm drained. I'm flailing. I'm failing.
 
I'm losing myself.
 
And now I need to find my way back.
 
 
 
 
 


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