Four days without work flash by at a different rate of speed. It’s like weekend speed, but on steroids.
Four days wasn’t long enough.
Do you ever feel so anxious you schedule time off from work to find your center? Then, the last day happens and your anxiety peaks?
Yeah, me too.
At this moment, I am afraid that my anxieties are all valid. All of my self-recriminations are deserved and time is slipping away. No, not slipping. Rushing, like water over Niagara Falls, and I’m experiencing nothing more than the mist.
I am afraid that when I am looking through life through my anxiety lenses, then that is when I am seeing reality with clarity.
I honestly don’t know if I’m seeing life more clearly now or not. I am terrified that I am.
Four days off did not cure my anxiety issues.
I did, however, accomplish some things over the past four days. I got to experience a few things that made me smile.
For instance, last Thursday, the first night of my days of relaxation included drama, fireworks, and dryer lint cake.
Randy and I had a few drinks on Thursday. I decided I wanted something sweet. I never remember to do those things in the right order. Joey was at work, so I couldn’t send him to the store. Here is where I lead by example: Don’t drink and drive, kids.
While I won’t operate a vehicle under the influence, I will bake the shit out of something while enjoying cocktails. By ‘cocktails’, I mean I was drinking shots of tequila.
The only sweet thing we had was a box of tie-dye cake mix we bought for baking with our grandkids, and one envelope of Dream Whip.
I read the directions for the tie-dye cake and disregarded most of them. Do you know how much effort goes into making those tie-dye cakes? Really, do you? Because I just read a few lines before giving up. I decided that we would have a purple cake instead. I mixed together blue and red dye in with the batter.
Do you know what purple batter looks like after it bakes? Well, after baking, taking it out of the pan to cool on a wire rack too soon, and breaks into pieces? It looks like dryer lint.
So, I decided, fuck it. We’ll have dryer lint cake with minion colored Dream Whip topping on top.
Honestly? It wasn’t good. Cake needs a flavor other than purple. I still ate it because cake.
Randy fell asleep early because that’s what he does. I was not ready to let go of my first night off and stayed up for a while.
Some neighbors behind us were having a celebration one would expect on the Fourth of July out in a field somewhere. I have no idea what they were celebrating on a Thursday night but they were partying like it was 1999.
They live on the street behind mine, so I sat on my deck and watched massive fireworks detonate directly above me. A few times I worried if the ash would burn out before it reached my house or my deck. Or me. But I didn’t need to worry, nothing burned. Not at my house at least.
At one point they lit off a series of firecrackers, only these weren’t little black cat firecrackers, these sounded like dynamite as they exploded for at least 2 or 3 minutes. They were awesome, I could feel each one explode in my chest and the feeling actually made me laugh out loud.
Their neighbor lady, however, was not as enchanted with the show.
I couldn’t see any of them. I only heard disembodied voices in the night.
Pissed Neighbor: Some people have to work in the morning. Jesus Christ!
Fireworks Neighbors: HAHAHAHAH. BOOM!
Pissed Neighbor: What is wrong with you?
Fireworks Neighbors: HAHAHAHA. BOOM! BOOM!
Pissed Neighbor: That hit my car!
Fireworks Neighbors: No it didn’t. BOOM!
Pissed Neighbor: This is ridiculous.
Fireworks Neighbors: We’re sorry.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Pissed Neighbor: I’m calling the police.
Fireworks Neighbor: HAHAHAH! BOOM!
Then, the show ended. I don’t know if the cops came or if the neighbor ran out of fireworks.
My four days wasn’t supposed to only be for finding my center.
I have writing projects to complete.
I have an outline and a proposal to rewrite. I also entered a fiction contest, which isn’t like me. I really don’t write fiction. I mean, I wrote scores of horrible fiction years ago, but haven’t tried again since. This contest dictates a 1000 word limit, so I gave it a shot. My genre was ‘ghost story’.
Randy and I worked on the story for two days. That is honestly the most effort I’ve ever put into 1000 words. I don’t care what happens with the contest, I’m happy with my story.
My older son, Zach, turned 28 last week, so we had lunch with him on Saturday. I always feel a little melancholy on my kid’s birthday. I just want five minutes with them as kids again. Just five minutes.
I set some unrealistic writing goals that I still haven’t come close to meeting, but I’m not unhappy with my progress.
It’s mid Monday afternoon. I’m watching the clock tick away the last of my four days off.
I was not unproductive.
I am still anxious.
Wish me luck at work tomorrow. I’m going to need it.