When Down is Up


EscalatorI signed out of my home office at 4:30 Friday and haven’t looked back. Not that that is huge, because it was only 26 hours ago. But I often “check in” to see whether anything is going tipsy with one of the employees, something I can sort out by paying attention to recent emails. Not this time.

I finished rereading A Song Flung Up to Heaven, by Maya Angelou, before I even caught up on the last week’s small town newspapers. I practiced the second lesson in an email drawing class I signed up for. Pulled some weeds. Raked up the weeds I pulled from the shoulder of the street last week.

Dug rocks away from a pink Butterfly Guara that came up in the drainage ditch in the spring. Put it in a pot where it will get watered regularly. (I hope it lives. Digging up a shrub in bloom at noon is not the best for the plant, but it was good for me to get to something I'd wanted to do for months.)

Diced, chopped and made a wholesome sandwich spread for lunch. Then fell asleep on the sofa with the remaining newspaper section. I felt drugged. (Too much mayo?)

Rousing my morbid body, I went outside to snip pods off the desert willow (first time I’d seen four pods on one stem!). Wandered about pulling the tallest weeds until 3:00, the time I told Ellen I would play Quirkle with her.

The job—the one in the home office—has been amazing. The ‘empire’ has almost doubled in the last few months. My work has more than doubled. I don’t mind having ‘more than I can do’ because I'm brilliant with focus, priorities and meeting the first deadline first. I even reached out to another staffer for help with a few hours’ end-of-the-month task.

But today felt like the first time in months I hadn’t been checking every few hours whether something had gone amiss, or whether I’d overlooked a deadline.

I sorted several dresser drawers with things to pack away and to give away. Even sanded and waxed the drawers to work better. When I needed allergy spray, it was exactly where I expected it to be though I hadn't seen it for months.

Order uplifts me. Cleanliness more so.

I feel boosted, rested, empowered, back into my own life rather than my bosses’ lives, however nice they are. I can go-go-go-go with the best of them, or perhaps the second best at this point in my life. I've practiced to do by will what I could not do if left to my innate view of self.  (The downside to that, if you're wondering, is injuries that would not have occurred had I not attempted feats beyond my body's capacity—but look what I've accomplished!)

It’s been a long time, months, since I devoted a day or more to myself and self-interests. I don't know whether straightening up my office will become part of this three-day weekend. It might not—too mental. I want to get rid of stuff, including the weeds that covered the ground during this monsoon season.

But whether all the weeds get sorted, or half the clothes on hangers get donated, books will be read, games played, soaks taken and rolling over the rail to get to the side of the escalator going up is a given.

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