Days 25-31: Waiting for the Bell to Stop Ringing

Days 25-31: Waiting for the Bell to Stop Ringing


Note: I’m chronicling my experiment to get up at 5(ish) every weekday in February.

It’s the last week of my get-up-at-5 experiment, campers. In fact, today is the last day. (I started this post on Thursday, Feb. 28, but I’m publishing it on Friday, March 1.)

The last time I wrote was last Thursday. My get-up-early record between then and now is spotty … let me try to remember. I think I got up last Friday and used the time to work. Bleh.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t die

Then I did not get up at 5AM on Monday because I slept horribly on Sunday night because I thought I might be dying. There was a recurring, sharp, shooting pain that kept erupting up the back of my head.

It hit me for the first time on Sunday afternoon. I was sitting there laughing and smiling with old friends at a baby shower and then WOMP! “What the hell is that?” I thought. But then it went away.

Later that night I was getting it on the regular. And then overnight. But I couldn’t go to the doctor because I had an unmissable appointment on Monday morning: custody court. In any case, I figured I was probably just having a phantom aneurysm from stress. (That was probably true. I haven’t had the pain once since early Monday morning.)

The unpoked bear

I know custody court is a big thing to plop in the middle of a blog post and then just tra-la-la about the rest of the week. Forgive me. It’s a grizzly bear of a topic and I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time writing about it this week, including Tuesday morning. That stuff isn’t ready for public consumption.

So yes, I got up early Tuesday morning but not Wednesday. I needed the sleep. I stayed up too late on Tuesday because that was when I finally started decompressing from court. It took that long.

From the time I drove out of the courthouse on Monday, I had been telling myself that I could exhale. Yet, my body wasn’t getting the message.

It’s crazy. You spend countless hours preparing to go to court. There’s paperwork to gather and lawyer prep and all that … but there’s also a huge amount of mental work. You’re sad and scared and angry … and you’re so worried about your kids, which amplifies everything … and then you have to get yourself psyched to take the stand in a courthouse to talk about your life and your kids, which is all completely Twilight Zone … and then it’s over. This thing that has consumed your life is done. In my case, my ex, who would not budge for something like two years now, finally offered to settle at the last minute.

I should have felt relieved. Mentally, I could comprehend that. The problem was that I had to find something to do with the two tons of rebar I’d swallowed to reinforce myself for the whole mess.

Afterwards, it felt like I had been inside a giant clanging bell that someone had finally decided to stop whacking. But it took a while for things to stop reverberating.

So now I’m back to breathing again, which is nice. I recommend it.

Back to the experiment

And today, on March 1st, I got up early. Not because I’m still running the experiment, but because I’ve decided this is no longer an experiment. I’m adopting it as part of my life.

Side note: What’s going on today? Well, campers, it’s anothermutherfarking two-hour delay. Better than anothermutherfarking snow day, sure. But today there was no coffee. NO COFFEE. I got up at 5:10, took a pee, read the text that school was starting late, decided to just stay up anyway AND THEN THERE WAS NO COFFEE. (Joe is in charge of shopping. I am trying to love him through this marital transgression. But NO COFFEE.)

But here’s the thing: Getting up to write feels so much better than not getting up to write. I get so cranky when I’m not writing regularly. Like NO-COFFEE cranky. (Just kidding. Not that cranky.) But if I can just sit the hell down and type away for a bit, everything is better.

Getting up early has been the only strategy that has allowed this to work recently. So, there it is.

See you next week.

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