Today has been a hard day. Nothing particularly wrong other than a busy week, and apparently I didn’t sleep well last night.

I half remember disturbing dreams and couldn’t shake them off this morning. And Sean asked if I was ok, that’d I’d been nearly thrashing through the night.

All in all, not terribly restful.

Tomorrow I have yet another big meeting in a whole month of meetings, and I still don’t know if my baby project will be welcomed, or if I need to do yet more gentle adjustments to make this fly.

So, today has been a jittery, agitated, tummy uncomfortable sort of day, and I need for it not to be. There’s still plenty of work to be done, even if I’d rather just go back to sleep.

Thank goodness for having left myself instructions for what to do in case of days like that.

I’ve had water. Lots and lots and lots of water. I had extra calories at lunch, but made sure that they were still nominally healthy. I resisted the temptation to go out and let someone else deal with the cooking, because I know I’m extra sensitive to being in public places with noise when I’m overtired.

I put on my Bach Fugue CD. Thank goodness mp3 albums don’t wear through like the tapes of my high-school days. I need this CD every time I’m stressed. Have writing to do and can’t pull it together? Put on the CD. Car just spun out in the snowstorm and nearly went over the edge? Put on the CD. I suspect the super mathematical rhythm is what soothes me, but I don’t really care. It works.

Still, after everything, I felt agitated, fussy, and unable to focus. I didn’t even want to write about what was bothering me.

And finally remembered the trick that always works.

I ran away to another place and time altogether.

I read a book.

  • Read a chapter, made a list of everything that needed to happen today.
  • Read a chapter, broke everything down into the smallest possible parts.
  • Read a chapter, do ten minutes of stuff from the list.
  • Repeat.

Realized I was done with the list before I was done with the book. There wasn’t really that much that just had to be done, but I couldn’t get a grip on it.

Reading gave me enough distance from just feeling generally crappy to be able to analyze what was on my plate, do the basics and a little more.

I’m still tired, and looking forward to a more restful night, but at least I’m not worried that the day was a complete waste and that I’ll be unprepared for tomorrow.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much I need writing. How the act of story telling, of plotting and planning is a part of me. I should put just as much weight on how much I need stories to feel whole as well.

What works for you when you’re run down and a nap just isn’t in the cards?

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