Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Son of a Witch; Why Am I Up So Early?

I woke up this morning, way early even though the FFM wasn't even here, but that's a good thing because I fell asleep reading my homework last night... anyway, thinking about aging. I don't know quite how it happened, but I think it started with my realization that I just really don't, apparently, require 8 hours of sleep to feel decent any more, as one change in my own life recently. But that I definitely need TIME to get around in the morning. I used to be able to jump out of bed at 5AM and shower and do little household things and be at work by 6. This week I'm having trouble getting used to the fact again that I have to be in a classroom AT 9AM or I'm being a jerk walking in late and interrupting other people's education, including my own. At first, when I started to become resentful of having to be in a classroom to teach at 8:30, I thought it was a growing natural urge to not do what people want me to do. Now I think really my body doesn't want me to do it, too.

Then I thought about how Greg was in a lot of pain yesterday with rheumatoid arthritis, using a cane to walk, and how I called him "old man" even though he's not that much older than I am, and in fact should be healthier now that he's quit smoking and has kept his weight down, and that you just never know.

And that made me think about how I've put on an extra few pounds over the past several months and would like to lose about 5 of it, but there is no way I'm going to get to the gym to start running again this week. But that's OK because I am aware and have a plan and have started to work on it, being more careful about what- and how much- I eat (except last night at potluck because there was a giant amazing feast laid out before me and colorful Fiestaware plates on which to put it.)

And then I had this moment of realization: We extroverts receive our connection to the world mostly through the environment outside ourselves, and that input and feedback is really meaningful in how we establish who we are in the wider milieu. So, it makes a big difference whether someone says, "Well, remember you are getting older so your metabolism is slowing down" (as the FFM did, graciously, when I brought up the extra pounds, or, "Wow, you're getting pretty chubby," similar words I have heard in reference to myself and which are not helpful, frankly.)

I used to think there was something wrong with me that I am so sensitive to and affected by the things people do and say around and to me, but really that's just the way I process the world, and it's fine. Just like you people who pretend shite doesn't bug you because other people's words and actions don't matter- because you're tough and independent. (Maybe you're just introverts, and that's fine, too.)

I've been told I am "too sensitive." I've also been told I am "highly sensitive" and an "ESP" (Extra Sensitive Person; yeah, that's a label you can find in some of those new age self-development books.) While that's a matter of perspective, you can see who says what is going to either turn me off or piss me off, or make me feel like the other person actually understands me. Big difference.

So, why did I just blab all that? I don't know; maybe I didn't get enough sleep after all, and maybe getting up earlier isn't going to suit me, now that I'm older.

Anyway, thanks, FFM, for not being a dick about those few extra pounds I'm carrying, and for all of you out there, I'm letting you know it's still going to drive me nuts that people don't behave the way I, um, would like them to, by being what I consider kinder to each other. I have yet to learn the lesson of disappointment.

On that note, I'll follow this up with a quote from Gregory MaGuire's Son of a Witch tomorrow, that I read to Barry and the FFM this weekend. If you have not read any of this man's books, check them out. I love him! But now, off to school.

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