Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When 12:15 in the a.m., during a massive snowstorm, is the only time I get to write about ME

I'm not complaining, really. I love my children dearly. Given that I've traveled halfway around the world to find them, I'd say I pretty much wanted kids.

It's just that, at the end of the day, I'm usually so friggin' exhausted, I hardly remember what it feels like for my head to hit the pillow. I'm not exaggerating, either. I went from having difficulty with getting more than 6 hours a night of sleep to being damn near narcoleptic.

So, what happens is that my free time is compressed and I have to make concessions, and unfortunately, writing has been the one getting axed every day, unless you count the stupid, mindless shit I'm putting together for the PTSA at Mr. Na's school. Rah!

Tonight is one of those rare moments where I'm actually awake while the rest of the house is asleep. Maybe it was the afternoon coffee, or the fact that there's not a damn thing I can do since we're snowed in here, so sleeping in is actually an option and I don't have to worry about rising at the crack of dawn.

I don't remember being "this" scatterbrained when Mr. Na first came home, maybe it's just so long ago it had been conveniently forgotten. But now it's like I can't even organize my thoughts or finish a sentence. I can see how easy it is for people to lose themselves when they raise a family.

Thankfully, running is my anchor--though lately, it's been tough to get outside when there's a foot of snow on the ground. I've resisted joining a gym because I really prefer running outside rather than inside, stuck on a treadmill. And since our winters here are relatively mild, except, say, once every 12 years when we get a major dumping, there's really no need. But I've definitely noticed that I get into these terrible funks if I don't exercise. It doesn't give me time to decompress and take a break from all the noise around me.

Oddly enough, for the longest time, I absolutely HAD to run with music in my ears. I felt like it was the only motivation and the only way to tune out. But ever since we brought Audri home, I prefer running without any music. Even if I do my long runs alone, I don't want anything (else) inside my head.

It's nice, too, because I can actually hear myself when I run, which reminds me of what this talented young lady wrote in her latest blog entry. (Which, by the way, I look forward to reading Murakami's book, curse you, Geoff Dyer!) It doesn't matter if my thoughts are cohesive while I'm running, at least I can hear them. At home it's like, "Wait, did I say this?" or "Did I finish that?" I'm seriously thinking of turning on the voice recorder from the moment I get out of bed to the moment I pass out at night, just to be sure.

So, I traded my early-morning run tomorrow for a late-night session of writing tonight. I don't mind the occasional trade off, though I have to say that writing has become less therapeutic than running. I wish I didn't have to choose, but as long as my little girl is awake, clinging to my leg, going "meh? meh? meh?" (she's not talking quite yet), or having a tantrum because mommy's at the computer trying to type a 6-word e-mail, the choice is clear.