Like many of you, I have a fairly stressful job at work. I’ve adapted quite well through the years, but until the retirement gong sounds over my head, I’m in it for the long haul.
I have a wonderfully relaxing ride to and from work. I’ve talked about it before — a wonderfully windey road that passes churches and fields and cows. It’s my saving grace.
But I have to laugh — it’s like there’s two different people driving my car.
In the morning the ride is bright and sweet and (depending on how awake I am) cheery. I call my morning ride my “Church Ride.” I make peace with the world; I plan wardrobe changes and meals I want to cook and visits with the grandkids and writing on my novel when I get home. I don’t listen to the news or music on my way in — just the open window and the birds and the magic of the future.
Driving home, there’s a different person behind the wheel. This drive is what I call the “Crypt Ride.” Usually I’m fairly grumpy and non-communicative, accompanied by a headache, I’m defusing from the day while try not to zone out at the now-blah scenery on both sides of the road. I keep thinking about all the things I didn’t get done that day and that since my hubby is working nights I won’t see him and the dogs will drive me crazy and gone are the aspirations of sewing beads on a blouse and writing — what’s that? All I can think about is going home and plopping on the sofa and turning the mindless TV on.
Once I get home and settled I often walk out the door with my commuting hubby and continue on my evening walk. That helps clear what crummy debris is still left in the crevices of my brain. When I get back inside I manage to do one project before sitting down and kicking back.
But that doesn’t justify the complete meltdown an hour before.
I tend to blame my out-of-sync circadian rhythm for most of my highs and grumps. I have a terrible time falling asleep early — I can stay up until 1 or 2 am. So I tend to love the night. I love the coolness and the quiet and my creative Muse eventually drops by. The problem is I have to get up at 5:45 am, and 4-1/2 hours sleep is no way to live your life.
But being crabby during your free time is not way to live your life, either.
I know the best remedy is to not let work get to you. But sometimes circumstances are beyond your control. At least from 7:30-4:00. But at 4:01 there needs to be a cosmic, miraculous yet natural transition back to “Me Time.” A totally wrapped around inside-out transformation.
Or at least a light mood swing.
I think part of me is unconsciously thinking about that big “R” in a couple of years, and all the things I can and will do once I don’t have to punch a time clock. But until then, I need to find a way to trade “Crypt Time” to “Church Time.”
After all, life’s too short to let the day’s drudgery creep into my favorite activity of the day….errr…evening.
Power watching Game of Thrones.