Up Early on a Saturday

I got up at 5am today. Now I’m sitting here, shower-fresh and dressed with my light box, coffee, water and soda because I woke up crazy thirsty.

Saturday is my day to get up with the kids, anyway. I just didn’t expect to be up this early.

I sleep in on Sundays until it’s time to go to my workshop. So “sleeping in” for me is until about 8:45.

Derek called his doctor about the snoring on Tuesday I think, and has yet to hear back. And, yes, I realize it’s non-urgent, that the entire medical workforce is understaffed, but it’s still frustrating.

So right now I’m just trying to be grateful for some quiet alone time before the kids are up.

I’ve decided that one of my post-Christmas, 2022 projects will be to clean out that upstairs walk-in closet and make it my little happy place again: one of my rewards to myself for losing nearly 60 pounds.

It will be easier to do in a few weeks, too, since the sea of gifts in there right now will soon be flooding the living room. I’ve done way too much this year. I should’ve known working in a department store was a no-no for me.

TJ’s has much more stuff now than they did when I was a college kid working there. More toys, books, gifty things, housewares, etc. I used to spend most of my paycheck working at the Swampscott store, buying belly shirts, mini skirts and clunky-heeled shoes.

Jean, the fitting room lady, when I first started there in 1997, asked me, “And what tiny size are you, you pain in the neck?” She was just good-naturedly teasing, but she was actually right. I was a pain in the neck. I was the kind of stuck-up little snot I can’t stand now, as a grownup.

I hope Aislyn is not like me when she’s older. So far, so good. I know it’s a negative thing to say about myself, I wouldn’t say it in front of her.

I mean, I hope maybe she has a few of my best qualities, like being smart and high-achieving (most of the time). But I hope she is a better person than I am. I hope they both are.

I hope they aren’t riddled with self-doubt. Or suffer from an unending, self-imposed stream of guilt.

Part of the guilt, I think, is my Catholic upbringing with a fanatical mom. Lots of people with schizophrenia turn to God or religion. But they often go all-in.

At Sacred Heart School in the second grade, we were taught (I’ll never forget this) that Madonna was going to hell because she wore rosary beads in her music videos. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, echoed the exact same sentiments to me and my younger brother. But I think I was the one listening.

That was tame, 1980s, “Lucky Star” Madonna. I wonder what those nuns and lay-teachers made of her ten years later, when she wrote that book Sex, and writhed on a bed, groping and diddling herself in concert while singing “Like a Virgin.”

Or 20 years later, when she sucked face with Britney Spears on live television.

When I was a little girl, I thought my mom’s fanaticism was the only weird thing about her. She was just slightly eccentric, but otherwise like other moms. I didn’t know any different. Not until I was 12, and she went off her meds and had a nervous breakdown.

When I was a teenager, my mother pleaded with me never to do drugs, and not to have sex until I was at least 18. Which made fitting in and finding a longterm boyfriend, respectively, all but impossible until much later.

But about those things, at least, she was probably right. Most boys were only ever interested in my body, anyway.

Well, it’s almost 7:30, and both kids are up, now. Got to start wrapping, soon.

My Messy Happy Place

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