survivingmiddleage

the ups and downs of life

Elizabeth 8-30-11

Elizabeth walked in the back door and immediately put her keys in the bowl on the counter and everything else on the kitchen table. She was tired. She had listened to people talk for 6 hours about problems and she had a slight headache. She loved helping people but today she didn’t feel like she helped. Basically she listened as they droned on and on. When she tried to give input about their situations they were resistant and often angry. She knew it was part of the process but today it had worn her out.

Looking in the fridge she realized she was going to have to place an order to some place. She really wasn’t in the mood for pizza. She told herself she was going to have to go to the grocery store. Ordering out was not healthy and was not really appealing either. But she was too tired to truly cook. She did have the ingredients to make a full-fledged cooked meal but it was already 7 o’clock and she was tired. No. She was ordering. She decided on a new place that you could place an order through for various restaurants in town and they would deliver for a fee. It was worth the fee to not have to cook.

After placing her order Elizabeth jumped in the shower. It was going to take her order at least an hour to get there and she wanted to relax. A bubble bath would feel better but she also hadn’t cleaned the tub yet and she would likely fall asleep in it anyway. Warm snuggly sweats and socks and she felt much better.

Her food arrived within the specified time frame and she was quite pleased. She was not looking forward to pizza again so having a real meal of chicken and rice and vegetables seemed like a luxury. Again, she reminded herself that she definitely needed to go to the grocery store. She loved the meal she purchased, but she could have honestly made it for herself for half the price and she felt a little guilty.

She didn’t know why she felt guilty. It wasn’t as if her purchase was taking away from anyone else. That was the beauty and curse of being single and 40. You could buy whatever you wanted without answering to anyone else. She felt frivolous, though. It was as if she should have spent that money on something else. As a therapist she would have told a client that those feelings were a way of dealing with disapproval from some point in her life and that at this point in her life she didn’t have to justify how she lived to anyone as long as she lived above the law. And while that made sense to her at a logical level, it didn’t quite hit home at a deeper level. She shook her head and tried to make the therapist portion of herself shut down. She just wanted to be. That meant she wanted to be in the moment as a human and not analyze life. She wanted to just breathe in and out and allow herself to shut the brain switch to barely functioning. She had to be on all day and be ready with a response on the fly. She wanted to just be.

After putting away her dishes and leftovers Elizabeth decided that watching TV in bed might turn that switch to off. Lying in a comfortable, warm cocoon was always relaxing. She brushed her teeth and hopped in the large king size bed. Her bed was another one of those things that she used to have guilt over, but after the first week of comfortable sleep she got over that. She had trouble sleeping all her life and she felt so good to finally really rest. Her bed was not a guilty pleasure; it was a medical necessity.

She arranged the pillows in just the right way and lay back. She wanted something interesting but not too entertaining or else she would never go to sleep. It was early yet but tomorrow was Friday and that was her short day in the office. She needed to be there by 9am and would finish by 1:30. Looking over at the clock she chuckled. It wasn’t even 11. Actually it was just 10. But it had been a long day. She decided the History Channel would be a good choice. It had some good shows and the narrator’s voices were usually pretty soothing. She made sure to set the sleep timer on the TV so it would shut off after a while. Closing her eyes she listened to the tale of the American Revolution.

 

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