Saturday, September 1, 2012


September is here. There are leaves on the deck from the tree at the NW corner of the house. The last two days of August went out hot and sweaty and today is delightfully cool.

I finally took two days off just for me. Thursday, I spent getting caught up with bills and other paperwork-type things. Yesterday was spent running the errands I've been too tired to run and boy have I been tired.

As much as I enjoyed, at first, the goings and comings of being in the Jeep and needing to be someplace that generated a mileage check, it wore me down. I started having sleeping problems, particularly on weekends. My right hip, knee and shoulder started aching. My eyes felt like I had sand in them, making driving in the bright sunlight a challenge. And, with the not sleeping came the terrifying times that I dozed off while barreling down the Interstate at 70 miles an hour. A 2 and a half hour drive became a 3 hour and 15 minute drive because I would stop every hour, get out and walk around the Jeep. I came close to buying one of those energy drinks that probably is really not good for me, simply to stay awake.

When I was told, 10 days ago, that I would be spending another day in the town 2.5 hours away and that I had to be there by 9 a.m., I came home that night and cried. What was wrong with me? I had felt wonderful at the beginning of the month. Now, I felt horrible and the prospect of a drive reduced me to tears. That was changed and I did't have to go anywhere. My RA doctor, after listening to my symptoms, said I'd had a full flare up of the RA. I needed to learn self-care and how to unwind as well as develop better sleep habits. I had requested these days off at the beginning of the month and was scared, with all the work we have to do, that I'd need to give them up. Fortunately, I wasn't asked to.

It felt odd, on Thursday, to roll over and see the clock at 7:35 and I was still in bed. A vacation is time to get out and see the country; go somewhere; do something. In July 1971, my dad packed us into the van and we spent a week in northern Minnesota, near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Off to the right, off the photo, you can walk across the Mississippi. Lake Itasca is the source of the Mississippi's waters. I remember it being cold and clear that day.

We stayed at a campground about 15 miles south of the lake. Here, the Mississippi was about 10 feet deep and about 10 feet wide. It was quite the novelty to be able to look across the main channel of the river; throw a stone over it, in fact, when where I grew up, barges plied the channel and sandbars, backwaters and marsh were plentiful.

When I think of a vacation, I think of this with fondness. I don't think of running to the pharmacy, getting the oil changed, changing my car and homeowner's insurance and saving money in the process, or grocery shopping as being a "vacation". In reality, whether you walk across the headwaters of the Mississippi or walk across the yard to get the mail, as long as it's time for you to sit back and relax, it's a matter of semantics. I've been too tired to blog. This weekend is about centering myself, caring for me and finding the headwaters of who I am.

Beverage:  Darjeeling tea


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