Early October


Photo on Sunday morning, doing errands with Grace and Whit in Boston.  We also stopped by one of my favorite buildings, the Boston Public Library. 

I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon.  Whit is doing homework in his room, down the short hall from my office.  Matt is reading on the first floor.  Grace is at a cross-country meet and I’m leaving soon to go watch her.  It’s rainy and gray outside, a gloomy day through and through.

I’m feeling gloomy too.  Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe it’s the relentless needs that everybody seems to have of me right now (this fall is particularly busy with stuff going on and it’s all exacerbated by Matt’s injury; I feel like I’m walking through life with one hand tied behind my back).  Maybe it’s that I have been sleeping poorly and therefore I feel absolutely exhausted.

Maybe it’s all three.

I can hear Whit down the hall, and he just said under his breath, “oh my gosh, it’s October first!”  Which made me smile because that’s what I sat down to write about too.  It’s such a cliche but it’s just so true: time is whipping by faster and faster, and I can hear the months whistle as they sail by my ears.

Perhaps because of the particular family situation this fall, or perhaps because the children are getting older and their needs seem more complicated, this fall feels like even more of a blur than usual.  Time’s flying by, full of both bumps and beauty.  Each day feels full, from when I wake up in the pre-dawn darkness to when I collapse into bed as early as possible (but, these days, right after Grace goes to bed).  There are challenges and celebrations, races and games and tests and exams and school tours.  Each day feels small but significant, tinted with a sepia awareness of how short grow our days as a foursome at home.

Everything is poignant to the point of pain right now.  I’m tired and (even) more porous than usual and I know that’s contributing, but daily I find myself on the verge of tears. What I need to do, I know, is return to the gifts I talked about just two days ago.  They are still there.  There’s silver shimmering in the sand that fills my hands.  I just need to see it.

21 thoughts on “Early October”

  1. Oh I hear you! And really, you ARE walking through life with a hand tied behind your back!
    There are always gifts, you were so right when you talked about that. But sometimes there are moments when those are hard to see. That’s okay, too. I suppose you don’t always have to feel grateful for hidden treasures. Sometimes it’s just fine to think that everything sucks. And that feeling, too, passes.
    I hope sleep will find you. And thank you for showing us, once again and in such a beautiful, eloquent way, that we’re not alone.

  2. Thank you. This comment brings tears to my eyes – thank you. I don’t ever want to whine or complain, but it does feel good to have permission to maybe just say wow this really is not awesome right now. xox

  3. I can relate to the not sleeping well and exhaustion. It can really mess with all aspects of life. October surprised me as well, rattled me really. Ever since I’ve been back to work, time feels like a speeding train. It is overwhelming at times, how fast it goes.

  4. Although I am one of your older readers, I have been concerned about you.
    I am a caregiver to my husband and your eloquence described so well how I feel down to my being so porous and on the verge of tears. I pray your husband will recover well and your life will return to the normalcy you so treasure and appreciate.
    Please remember to take care of yourself as much as you can and please know how treasured your honest words are.
    Your family is so lucky to have you as its nucleus.

  5. I don’t know that I have anything especially poignant or insightful to offer. I just wanted you to know that I checked in here tonight to see how you were doing. I continue to think of you as you chart these choppy waters. (How did I do on my sailing metaphor?) Xoxo.

  6. No wonder you’re exhausted and grumpy! Is there a way you can take a few hours off duty or just take a walk on your own in this gold october light? I promise you will see the silver shimmering better afterwards.

  7. Oh, yes, porous to the point of painful. I had that feeling last week quite acutely. But I also think it’s okay to just feel low, to take one day at a time (one hour at a time) and get through. Some days the gifts are hiding, and it’s okay not to notice their brightness. You still know they’re out there. xoxo

  8. Sometimes when things are hard I feel like I’m holding my breath, waiting for the pendulum to swing back the other way. It always does, and I always breathe out, but then hold my breath again, knowing it always comes back. When things are hard, it’s ok to sink into slow and comforting things, you know?

    As for the porous part, I’ve cried 4 times today about the silliest things, that portend the end of my kids’ childhood. They are 4 and 7. 🙂

  9. I appreciate hearing that. I think you’re right. Sometimes the pressure to appreciate is overwhelming. xox

  10. Smiling at the end of childhood signs with kids 4 and 7. Been there! And yes to the holding-breath feeling. I relate to that. xox

  11. I hope I haven’t harped too much on these tips already (am a sleep evangelist), but some methods I’ve found great success with are:
    1. melatonin supplements
    2. Nighty night tea by Traditional Medicinals (with valerian root and passionflower)
    3. Magnesium glycinate (not “oxide,” since it can cause GI issues)

    Sleep begets sleep! When you’re tired, your body engages the sympathetic survival response, when what you need is the opposite. The things above can help that. Also, when it gets this gloomy out, I take one drop of “liquid sunshine” every day (vitamin D), and it seems to help. Even if it’s placebo, who cares! Good luck, sweetie. Thinking of you. xoxo

  12. Sorry I meant “overtired,” as in when you’ve got a sleep deficit. Here’s a good blog from Harvard about the stress response: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response

    I completely 100% identify with your post, by the way. I’m working on my own sleep deficit this week, which led me to have my first truly debilitating migraine in 15 years. So that’s to say I haven’t got it all figured out. Do what works for you, love. Want to try out this place together? (in all our spare time, ha) https://www.bodynbrain.com/getstarted/starterspackage/cambridge

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