…and I should be in bed. I should usually be in bed at almost midnight, but in the past week, what with dress rehearsals and opening nights, and two shows on Saturday, I cannot sleep the second I get home at 11PM. So, some where around 2AM or so, I have been heading to sleep. Now, given that work does not start for me until the end of August, this should be an issue. Except that I wake up each morning at 6:30 anyway.
Now, in days past, I could have just rolled over and gone back to sleep. But with the brutal heat, if I don’t get up and take care of the chickens, and the donkeys, and the horse, and the garden, and all of the various waterings of flowers before it gets too brutal out, I literally melt. (Seriously, things drip in places where things ought not to drip!). Now, if I were one of those people who can get by on four or so hours of sleep and still be super cheerful, get things done, and not be a total grumposauraus rex, there would not be much of an issue with this schedule. I, however, am not one of those people. While I can get by on six hours in a pinch, seven hours is really ideal. I’m not opposed to seven and a half hours either, but that’s not mandatory. Going days in a row without enough sleep causes my head to ache, my stomach to tie into knots, and my general aura of grumpy to become downright mean and nasty. Really, it’s better for all involved in my reality if I get enough sleep.
Usually, I can put off some of the garden work until around 7 PM when the sun is off the garden finally. What with the play schedule the past two weeks (including weekends), that just hasn’t been possible since every night from 6-9 or 6-11, we have been in rehearsal. Now, I am so glad (and grateful) that I got cast in a musical for the first time since I was twelve. Community theatre can be a hard thing to get involved in for a female–there are always too many women and not enough men for the scripts that are the most popular. So, being a new woman in the mix can be a challenge. Since I haven’t been on stage in any capacity for fourteen years, I was darn glad to do well enough at my auditions to get the part I wanted. However, with the temperature in the high 90s to 100s recently, even waking up at 6:30 and jumping into the garden as soon as the animals were taken care of meant that gardening in the full sun of 7AM was still enough to make me more than melt. But, without any time at night to finish up, the four hours in the garden and the rest of the farm work each morning just about fried me like a pan of new potatoes. (Speaking of new potatoes fried in butter…YUM. There’s something to be grateful for.)
Now, it may well be that you are not at all interested in my melting, the garden, fried potatoes, or a musical, if so, you have stopped reading by now and are out looking for a real self help book which sells a clear step by step guide to getting grateful and having a good life. I fully support you in this since I am so not delivering any clear guide and am instead talking about sweat dripping into places in which it is just indecent to discuss. That said, one thing I have been grateful for, is the time and ability to take a nap in the heat of the afternoon before heading to rehearsal. I get how lucky I am to be able to pause life for a moment or two so that I do not turn into a fire breathing dragon of despair when I do not get enough sleep and it is hotter than Hades out. (Good thing there’s no such thing as climate change, right? ahem.). So, despite the fact that my bank account is highly unhappy with this whole being unemployed thing, it’s working out rather well for me right now what with the heat, and the garden, and the farm, and the musical. So, I suppose one thing I could add to a guide to being grateful, would be to take things which are negatives (being unemployed) and finding ways to look at those negatives to find the positive side. (Being able to nap in the heat of brutal summer afternoons…a huge plus.) Sure, my savings are pretty much gone, but work begins again in a few weeks…no need to worry too much, right? (Being able to maintain denial to avoid serious stress may also be something to be grateful for, but I am pretty sure that’s not a tactic I should really recommend to anyone!)
Anyway, I hope that you are not melting away. I hope you have found moments in the semi-cool evenings to plant your fall gardens, and I hope you have taken a risk and done something you used to love to do just to see if that something still makes you feel as if it is worth giving this whole living thing a shot.