November 10, 2005

A Different Kind of Dental Pain

Well, it took most of the week, but now 90% of my newfound workload is caught up. I haven’t had any time to eat, let alone post, so I am sorry for that. Although the stress has made me a little (more) neurotic, I noticed that my mood improves when I get busy. No, not “get busy”; that’s something else. When I AM busy. When I have a ton of work to do, I don’t go home exhausted and sit down; I’m more alert than usual. I can work out without it being an enormous drain. I’m even fairly cheerful; I might gripe about all the work I have to do, but I’m not really hassled by it. What would I do if I weren’t busy? Probably play on the internet. Which reminds me...

I am afraid of my free time.

I realized this today, as I have my bag all packed to go running after work, and since my aunt works late tonight, I was thinking of all the free time I would have after I went to the gym. I’d be alone for about four hours with nothing to do, and that really doesn’t happen very often. Should I go grocery shopping? Should I call my brothers and see if they want to hang out? I don’t really want to go anywhere after I get home, though; ever since daylight savings, I seem to get a bit weary the second it gets dark outside. I must be solar-powered, because on sunny days I could go home, work out, shower, put on heels and be ready to hit the town for the remainder of the night. Now, by the time I get home, shower, and grab food for dinner, it’s only 7:30 and I feel like it’s midnight. It’s like somebody put the blanket over my cage, and I feel like I should go to bed, even if I’m not tired. Plus, it’s freezing cold outside, so I don’t want to leave my apartment. And I am not spending another damn night watching anymore damn TV. I don’t even like half the crap that comes on, so I really don’t know why I watch it. Just because it’s something to do, I guess.

That makes me sound pathetic. I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV, really—I also get books out of the library twice a month or so, but sitting around a silent house, reading, is a good way to creep yourself out. Maybe it’s because I was raised in a ginormous family, but total silence gives me the willies. I need it to be completely quiet so I can concentrate enough to read, but when I get that silence all by myself, I keep looking over my shoulder every five minutes like someone’s staring at me. It’s weird, but there ya go. Maybe I could put on classical music and read—then I wouldn’t be distracted. But I would also feel like I should be watching Masterpiece Theatre or some crap, and how all I need is a brandy snifter and smoking jacket to make my elitist evening complete. I shouldn’t be reading, anyway, because it’s escapism, just like TV is—I should be getting some shit done. I have to finish transcribing some audio tapes. I have to put pictures in my scrapbook. I have to cut my toenails and empty the dishwasher. Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way: I need to focus on what needs to get done, not just shoot all of it down so I can watch TV by default. TV kills brain cells. Books are better for you, but it’s like the difference between cookies and rice cakes, when you’re not even supposed to be eating in the first place. Does that make sense?

Ugh. I think I’m just annoyed at myself. The hygienist brought me down the other day by inquiring after my schooling, and when I told her I’d graduated, she asked the inevitable “So, are you going to grad school?” Why, why, why do people have to ask that? I did four years at school—isn’t that good enough? How ‘bout a ‘well done’ on the fact that I got the first degree, huh? I feel like I had four kids in as many years, and all people can ask is when I’m having more. Dude, let me breathe, will ya? Damn. I know she didn’t mean anything by it; it was just I’m-staring-into-your-mouth-let’s try-to-make-it-not-weird conversation, but it rattled me. What in the hell am I doing? Am I really a writer if all I write is a blog? Probably not. Now that I’ve got a good job and I can finally pay my bills—does that mean I don’t want to be a writer anymore? No. No, it doesn’t, because I shook my head as I wrote that sentence. I still want it.

Shit. I’ve stagnated. I have to go back to school. And I have a cavity.

It’s not enough that she cleaned my teeth—my hygienist kicked me in the balls.

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