I woke with a headache this morning.
I hate waking with headaches, starting my day off in pain. My migraines begin as I sleep, weaving their way into increasingly disturbing dreams, until I jolt into consciousness at the bleating of my alarm clock. I slap it off, drink some water to clear out the cotton mouth, and fall back onto the mattress, praying for the headache to just go, muttering profanity under my breath. Thankfully, today’s skullcap of pain doesn’t appear to be a migraine, just your standard bad headache, and so far it’s responding to the ibuprofen I sent down there to find out just what the hell, man? But still. It put a dagger into the day before I was even awake.
It’s mid-September, a beautiful time of year. The weather is glorious, cool with a warm sun, the landscape giving us one last hurrah of color before fading into beige and grey. We’re all settling into a routine of sorts, and I think it’s going to be a good school year.
With the change in seasons comes a change in the light. The days are getting shorter and the sunlight is more golden, more poignant. It holds memories of long summer days, and then disappears far too quickly. With autumn falling on Chicago with little warning, I wasn’t ready for this. I hadn’t mentally prepared for the change in seasons and so I feel unsettled and disturbed. The weekend forecast looks to be much warmer, for which I’m thankful, but I’m fairly confident that will be the end of the summer warmth until next May. I can feel the SAD cracking its knuckles, anxious to jump into the ring with me; telling me to be positive, to not invite in the SAD is unproductive. It’s real and that’s that.
So I’m feeling “off” today. Headache, vaguely blue, a muscle in my arm has been twitching non-stop for two days now, my kid has a sudden “back to school” head cold and is downstairs snerking every eight seconds, I’m overwhelmed by the news cycle, overwhelmed by trying to set up household systems and routines for the year, overwhelmed by the food sensitivities and pickiness that makes meal planning damned near impossible. I feel guilty if I take time to rest or engage in self-care, resentful and tired if I don’t. I see projects and things that need to be done around the house everywhere I look, and I can only manage blinders for so long. The world is descending into dangerous levels of madness, and with the lack of a social safety net, the DIYness of life will soon range from difficult to impossible.
I just want to snuggle with a kitten and make the world go away for awhile. Sadly, I’m allergic to cats and I’m pretty sure my elderly dog would not appreciate feline company.
Sometimes it’s just hard, folks. There are times when your day is set for you before you’re even awake, and no amount of positive thinking or mantras or fake it till you make it is going to save it. So you tug the big girl panties over the hips that aren’t getting any smaller and do the best you can. You keep yourself calm and and live moment to moment. And then suddenly, the kids are in bed and it’s quiet and you take a deep breath and give thanks you made it through the day. You crawl into bed early, turn off the lights, and breathe.
And hopefully wake the next morning pain-free, refreshed, and ready to face the world once again.