Sunday, December 02, 2012

Back from the Brink

Friday was another frenzied day of accomplishment, doing my current job, addressing some details related to the new job (which I’m more and more excited about), and ordering more shirts from Lands’ End and Eddie Bauer. At lunch, I rushed out and mailed a package, visited the hardware store for sandpaper for my new 2x4s, bought some cheap earrings at Walgreens for a girly touch on my first day of work, and celebrated my re-employment by picking up the four main gossip magazines. The last I saw, Rob was refusing to take Kristen back, but now they’re having a baby! Then I went to Community Thrift and dropped off Barbara Sher’s I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, and the most recent What Color Is Your Parachute? Both are brand new, I don’t need to read them now (thank god), and someone else can undoubtedly use them. It was a good feeling to hand those books over.

Now that I’m getting emails about what printer to map to and how to get my card key and what do I want to eat at the holiday luncheon, it’s sinking in more and more that I really have a job. I was never in danger financially, but I still feel as relieved as if I’d been pulled back from the very brink of an abyss. I’m cured of taking employment for granted and plan to do every possible thing to retain this job.

After work, I did laundry and C. came over to have a salmon burger on toast for dinner. I hadn’t seen him since last Saturday evening, and I was moving at such a fast and stressed-out pace, it was all but guaranteed that we’d have a conflict, and we certainly did, though this time, when he announced he was going to go home, that sounded all right to me. I said, “OK,” and walked toward the door to open it for him.

Then he said something along the lines of, “Oh, all right, I’ll stay,” as if I’d begged him to do so, which was kind of cute. By the way, I can address this here with relative freedom because C., in keeping with his disavowal of computers, doesn’t visit here. Of course, only the merest fraction of the details of this highly volatile friendship are posted here.

Friday night was my fifth night in a row of poor sleep, nicely timed to coincide with my exploding to-do list. I recalled someone once asking Eugene Cash what he would recommend for periods of insomnia. He said that reading the Buddha’s sutras (sermons or aphorisms) might help, which got a laugh, though Eugene hastened to add, no doubt somewhat tongue in cheek, “They can be very soothing.”

I’ve read that you shouldn’t use your bed as a place to read or watch TV, but I’ve also heard that you shouldn’t lie there staring at the inside of your eyelids indefinitely, either. If it were a case of not being able to fall asleep in the first place, I’d get up and have a squirt of valerian, which almost always helps, but this is a case of waking up in the wee hours unable to fall asleep again. Taking valerian at 4 or 5 a.m. would produce grogginess during the day, so I tried Eugene’s advice, except with Wiegers’ second book, which worked like a charm.

Accordingly, I’ve installed Bhikkhu Bodhi’s In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon by the side of the bed for when I’m done with Wiegers, which will be very soon. I was on the verge of taking the Bhikkhu Bodhi book to the thrift store as something I’d never get around to reading, and it should be perfect for this purpose. (The Pali Canon, according to the Internet, is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pali language. Vipassana or mindfulness meditation is associated with the Theravada tradition. Your eyelids are growing heavy … )

On Saturday I installed a replacement water filter and went to pick up my three shirts from Sunny Launderette. I thought she’d quoted me $5.25 per shirt, and was prepared to pay $15.75 for the three, but it turned out that the $5.25 was for washing and ironing all three shirts. In the late afternoon, Lisa M. came to visit from Berkeley and we had a great chat and a good dinner at Café Ethiopia. When I got home, I installed my new printer. The top of the former printer was not a place a cat would want to sit, but the top of the new one very much is, so I need to think of some way to discourage that.
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