I woke up this morning, Wednesday, the day after cleaning out my office, with a rush of anxiety thinking I had overslept. I did. But it didn't matter because I didn't need to be anywhere on time, for a change. I was surprised my dog, Marlowe, hadn't woken me up, but then he was probably relieved not to be rousted so early in the morning and grateful for the chance to chase more rabbits in his sleep. I had the overwhelming sense I was playing hooky from work and that I would be found out. The realization that I was no longer part of the working class took a bit to filter through to my slowing wakening brain.
I got up and dressed in my usual walking the dog clothes, basically whatever I find handy because Marlowe while house trained is understandably impatient to get outside to get on with the business at hand, namely relieving himself and checking out the newest smells left by others overnight. On our morning walk I was thinking of all the things I could finally get done, now that I had the time. I could organize all the photos from my recent trips to Kauai and Zion National Park. I could do laundry and organize my closets. I could clean out the garage and turn in the recyclables. I could practice my newest Native American and Anasazi Flutes. I could finish the knitting projects I've started. I could finish one of the 17 books I'm reading. I could put the bookcase together that I bought over a year ago. I could go to the bank, the dry cleaners, the post office...
And then I remembered an episode from the TV show Friends. Ross was saying that he was bored because he had already gone to the bank, the post office and the dry cleaners. Joey told him that was a week's worth of stuff and that he had to spread it out. He asked Ross if he'd ever been unemployed. Ross replied that he wasn't unemployed, he was on sabbatical.
I thought to myself I could look at the "letting go" in a new light. I am not unemployed, I am on sabbatical. I had been working so hard that I had only seen my nephew who had been home from college for 3 weeks once. This was a chance to slow down and reevaluate how I want to live my life. Is my life working out the way I wanted it to? Am I running my life, or is my life running me? I did have some projects that I wanted to accomplish, I did want to take some time to travel. I wanted to take some time to breathe-- I want to find some room to breathe. My life as it was would not allow me any space in which to take those life sustaining breaths. I was surviving, and only just. I needed the break. Perhaps this was an opportunity to find another path, another way of living. Or maybe I could take this time to get caught up.
The choices are limitless, the possibilities are almost too many. Will I get bogged down and end up not choosing anything? Without the impetus of the alarm clock and the motivation of a job and paycheck will I be able to keep going everyday? I will have to come to terms with this I am sure. I will have to set goals for myself. I will have set up a system for myself.
I know that morning rush of anxiety will need to be tamed. And I know it will not go away quietly.