Surprising Saturday . . . Sleep and Goals

Somehow I missed yesterday altogether.  Though I woke up and dressed and pulled the covers up on my bed, I then lay down to read.  I was expecting a text from the guy who works on my house, but didn’t get any messages.  I did get one from a friend who was coming over to work on jewelry.  She wasn’t able to come.

Other than that, my day was spent sleeping.  I mean all day.  At noon, I made a peanut butter sandwich.  I remember lying back down afterwards, reading a bit.  Periodically I’d awaken, check email and FB, and then simply blink back down to sleep.

And then it was 11 at night.  I woke up, checked the time, put on my nightgown, and settled down for more sleep.  I’d been drowsy all week, not able to sleep well, and without energy.

Thus the necessary day after — the day when my body simply shut down to recover.

At no time did I even get up to work on the blog.  I have no real memory of even thinking about it.

Once in a while, one of these days hits me.  Only on Wednesday night did I realize that my chronic sinusitis had clicked in and that the histamine build-up was overwhelming me.  Since my doctor is out on Thursdays, I had to wait until Friday to see his P.A.  That visit, complete with cortocosteroid shot, made my day complete in that I knew I would soon have the boost of energy I needed, the medicines for combating the infection and cough, and would thus be back on my feet.  I forgot, though, what usually follows such a shot — the inability to sleep, the consequent sleepless night.    By Saturday, I guess, my body was just reacting to the jolt of sleeplessness that always accompanies those shots.  I didn’t even get out of bed when the pharmacy called yesterday to tell me that my medicines were ready.  I slept.

So today, reluctantly, I have finally awakened to the world again.  Reading the newspapers in bed — always one of my daily enjoyments — is mostly over.  I haven’t finished reading The Sunday Times, but that will be my treat for later.

Despite my disappointment over failing to post a blog post yesterday, I guess it was bound to happen.  I’d miss a post.  My goal is to write and post daily, yet I have already broken that goal.  I’ll live, but I’m not letting myself get away with this.  I am more determined than ever to keep my goal as much as possible.

Why?  Well, there’s no real “need,” is there?  No paycheck depending upon it.  No being written up for failing to meet class.

There’s just the desire — perhaps even the need — to establish a routine of sorts for myself in retirement.  I don’t want to be one of those lost pensioners who simply sit and do nothing.  For many years I’ve planned on an active retirement — traveling and writing and visiting friends, puttering around my house more.  Having freedom to set my own schedule and projects rather than having them set for me.

So my failure isn’t something others have defined — it’s something I perceive and regret.

At the same time, it makes me remember the realities of life — those times when illness or something else interrupts our schedules.  While goals are fine, I have to accept that they are self-imposed.  And that there will occasionally be hiccups.  As in yesterday.

Today, then, I awoke to realize my Saturday lost to sleep and recovery, while enjoyable and necessary, also left a hole in my life.  I’ve come to enjoy the daily writing routine, and I missed it yesterday.

A new discovery in the ongoing adventures of post-retirement life, certainly.  While I certainly have more freedom in setting my schedule and projects now, I am still dependent on others’ schedules — as with my friend who had problems and couldn’t get here, and with the guy working on my house.  I no longer have to set an alarm clock and be out of the house every day to meet classes and office hours and committee meetings, but I do have appointments and coffee-shop visits, shopping and errands, and out-of-town responsibilities.  The alarm clock is still necessary.

Those appointments and meetings and visits are just spread out and no longer confined to hurried weekends and afternoons after work.  They’re interspersed with my own daily routines.

How to balance it all now in this new time of life — and that I’m still exploring and discovering just what my life is to be — that is my continuing challenge.  Yesterday just made me conscious that “the routine” is flexible, constantly in flux, that once “discovered” won’t be set in stone either.

Discovery, recognition, goals made and goals not met — balance.  Shaking off disappointment and getting on with my life.

Saturday was surprising, but necessary.  Not just in terms of needed sleep and recovery from the sinus infection and shot, but also in time for me to face a reality about post-retirement, about goal-setting and failure to meet goals.

With some goals, you can’t necessary make up what’s not met.  With writing, though, I can figure out ways to cope.  I’m sure I’ll face more challenges about meeting the daily writing goals as I start to work on other projects — the short writing project I have a meeting for tomorrow, the planning of a syllabus for a three-week library program I’ll be conducting in November, and writing in other on-going pieces and poems.

But regarding the blog, I’ve got it figured out already — I’ll write a couple of posts at a time, simply creating a small bank.  For now though –I’ll just write a second post tonight!

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