Where does the time go when it’s not around here?

(Yes, that’s a Barenaked Ladies reference circa 1994.)

Here’s what I did today, in an attempt to figure out where my day went.

  • 7:00 am – Suddenly woke up to rain pounding on the windows outside, and somebody pounding on the roof of the building hard enough that my apartment shook.
  • 7:12 am – Somehow back to sleep despite the noise.
  • 8:00 – I wish I know what I was doing here, because I certainly wasn’t waking up to the alarm I set.
  • 8:23-9:28 – “Oh shit” moment when I woke up and realized I should get this party started, seeing as it would take forever to get to work with the rain apocalypse outside. When I took the dog out I was puzzled to find no more rain.
  • 10-2:04 pm – Work, fighting into my rain boots, then peeling them off because it was sunny out there.
  • 2:30-3:47 – Changed, ate yogurt, walked the dog for an hour, messaged Hubs, made miso soup, got ready for other work.
  • 5-9 – Other work.
  • 9:30-10:20 – Making and eating supper (was going to be tuna-meatball noodle spinach soup, but I was too lazy to add egg to the tuna balls and make them properly, so I just let it flake apart in the water and made like a tuna and Japanese noodle casserole-soup-thing that hit the spot when I added some cheese and half-and-half)
  • 10:21-11:58 – Washing dishes, assembling lunches, throwing out a bunch of sauces (including two I was gonna use for lunches), then cleaning up dishes from assembling lunches / fridge cleanup.
  • 11:59 – Well, fuck. Where did my day go?

It’s not like I spent that much time messing around on Wikipedia or the internet (until the last half hour or so). What bothers me is the amount of other quotidian stuff I’m putting on my schedule that just isn’t getting done, like squeezing in 30 minutes of exercise DVDs or taking the chipped paint off my nails. Or the slightly bigger stuff – getting a gym membership, taking shoes to the cobbler, running errands for my husband. Or the really big stuff, like applying to full-time jobs and improving my skills to make myself a viable candidate for those jobs.

Maybe the solution is not sleeping.

I think one solution is not listening to Mac Maron podcasts, because he’s inevitably going to touch on something really depressing. I listened to his recent podcast with Allie Brosh, who I adore, but it was some heavy shit, man. And now that it’s midnight and I’m feeling a little down, there isn’t anyone to help balance me out. The dog is here and she does help with companionship, but right now she’s sitting around and looking at me sadly as if I’m intentionally hiding Hubs from her. Dear dog, how do I explain that you’re not going to see your buddy for months and months and you should pretend to be always happy so it’s easier for me to pretend I’m always happy?

See, I sometimes have this ability to just bury negative feelings. It’s something I honed when I started running and embracing swagger rap as a way to cope with the soul-crushing job search when I first moved to Connecticut. The rumor that Yale helped out their grad students’ significant others with employment turned out to be total bullshit, and I found out the hard way when a stream of auto-generated rejection letters from Yale domains kept landing in my inbox. I had no connections whatsoever, and no car to even get me to places to make those connections. There are only so many evenings you can spend feeling sorry for yourself, you know? Once I started running, I found that streaking past Beinecke while blasting Wayne and flipping the bird was a more therapeutic option. It also was a fun way to pump up for interviews when they started to trickle in.

But inevitably, that front cracks. I get a rejection from a place where I’d interviewed well and I really thought I had the job, and I’m catapulted into a bout of self-loathing and worthlessness. On a day when I’m feeling fat and useless, I channel Jay-Z and wear patent heels and a gold chain, then spill my entire mug of coffee in my purse and drench its contents, and as I try to rinse my planner out in a basement break room, I’m back to being fat and useless.

What gets me back to feeling good about myself is Hubs. He balances me in a way that I can’t balance myself. For the most part, I can hold up at work okay, when it’s day and I’m around other people. But left to my own devices late at night, like tonight, that’s when I start wavering. When I wonder where the fuck my night went and how I’m ever going to prepare for this job I really want. I don’t know how I’m going to calm down if I don’t get the job and I’m launched into another cycle of self-loathing. If I do get it, who do I celebrate with? Would it be celebratory for me to go out to dinner alone, or drink alone?

It’s not like I haven’t had to deal on my own though – when he was gone over the summer I had a minor car accident and there was the fire next door, and I had to navigate both of those without being able to come home and have somebody hug me while I talk to them. (Hubs totally didn’t understand the severity of the fire at first, and as I tried explaining the eerie quiet what with 12 neighbors displaced, he sent me photos of churros and chocolate he was enjoying on vacation in Spain.) So it’s not that I’m not resilient, because I know I am. But I’d rather be sharing more of my life with him than can be conveyed in Skype and Facebook Messenger, and I’d rather be more involved in his. It’s not like I can do anything about it, though, aside from just survive it.

For now, though, no more sad podcasts, and now that I’ve at least done some writing, it’s time to collapse for the night and hope I can make some headway on the job front tomorrow. If not, hopefully I can just keep things together until my day off on Thanksgiving.


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