Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Quiet Day

It had been a very short night.  

My sleep was full of dreams.  At least these ones were somewhat funny. I dreamed that I got a new job, at some kind of ice cream shop, running a cash register which worked without money.  I love dream physics.  My new boss called me away from my task to make me stir a goopy ice cream concoction.  I had to stir it with the lid from a tupperware container.  Really substandard.  I turned to her and announced that I was not hired to do that, and I wouldn't be doing jobs that I wasn't being paid to do.  This is when I realized that the part of "boss" was being played in my dream by the woman who, in real life, was my supervisor at my last "real" job a few years back.  She was the one who gasped in horror when I told her I wasn't being paid enough to load the dishwasher when I was supposed to be on cash.  Like, dishwasher or cash.  Not both.  Uniform or scrubs, what's it gonna be?  There's only one of me.  I developed a real minimum wage attitude problem.  So in my dream I just let her have it, only because it was a dream. I was incredibly witty and clever about the whole thing.  

Darn I wish I could remember what I said.  In my dream, I got into my car, which was a bright yellow VW NewBeetle, and escaped from the wet grey pavement strip mall world.  The clutch was so hard to push in that I had to take a deep breath before I shoved my left foot down on it.  Also the gear shift was like a crazy Rat Fink shifter; I had to reach up over my head to get it.  Man, it was exhausting. I was so tired by the time I got to my dream-home (which may have been a trailer, I mean there's no logic to dream-physics) to see dream-Jethro.  I told him I quit my job. He said, "Right on!  Was it a good quit?"

"It was an awesome quit!"  I sank down into my dream-couch and told him, word for word, about the triumphant quit.  And now I can't remember my victory speech.  

All that backtalk and sass took a lot out of me.  To make matters even worse, it all morphed into that recurring dream that the horses opened the gate and were wandering around in the barn yard and down the laneway.  I had to walk down all of those dream-horses and chase them back into the corral, and then get a chain and clasp to close the gate, but the chain kept unwinding and the clasp kept unclasping, so I had to do it over and over.  I woke up feeling like I'd been working all night.  

Truth is, I put in a long day at the studio the day before.  By the time we got to bed it was Stupid o' Clock.  This morning I got up, made sure everybody else was up, fed the critters, ate my breakfast at the dining room table with my giant light box shining several thousand megawatts of simulated sunshine into my eyes (I'll tell you about that too, later) after which I slunk back into bed.  It was around 9 am. I flaked out on everybody.  I checked out.  My neighbour came to the door looking for her walking buddy, meaning me, and ended up taking just my dog instead.  I know, my neighbours are awesome.  

I woke up around 11 but it took me another... hour?  to actually get out of bed.  It was like magnets were holding me there, but in reality it was just the critters.  They breathe sleep on me.  Some day I will get my son, the 12 yr old scientist, to prove that cats and dogs actually do have a special chemical in their exhalations that lulls humans to sleep.

And they were soooo warm.  Nigel, the ancient little-old-man-cat, can still generate a good amount of body heat, despite his shrinking body.  He was curled up at my shoulder, almost under my chin.  I used to be so grossed out by the thought of having a cat on my pillow.  That's what growing up on a farm will do to you.  Never let the outdoor dirt end up in your bed!!!  But none of those barn cats ever lived to be nineteen years old.  I only personally know of one cat who made it to that age, and he was also a black cat.  They are lucky; don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.  Nigel's sleep inducing powers have increased over the years.  He's perfected it and loves to show off his superior sleep skills.  

Just for making it to age 19 he's allowed to sleep on my pillow.  He's allowed to do pretty much anything he wants now.  I don't know how much time I've got with him anymore, so he can sleep on my forehead if he wants to.  

The pug somehow ended up on my bed, even though he can't jump high enough to get there on his own.  Oh he is good at sleeping...  and he is warm... he curled up behind my knees and got busy with the snoring.  

How could I resist?

There are a lot of things I SHOULD be doing.  I feel guilty almost daily for not having a "real job."  I have to be reminded regularly by my husband that we talked about this.  Working at real job means less time for the training needed to pass my riding tests and get my Instructor's certificate.  It also means less time with the kids.  They still need one parent who does not put in 15 hour work days.  Jethro repeats what he said years ago when I quit: "If you keep working there, you're never going to get that book finished, and I really want you to be able to finish it."

I know.  My husband is awesome.

I feel guilty for not earning a much-needed income.  We talk it out and it keeps coming back to doing what we're doing: live cheap, do without luxuries, and buy everything used, or pick it up off the side of the road when someone else is done with it.  

But I still feel guilty for going back to bed while he's out there working for a living.  You know, I might feel guilty because it's raining today.  Maybe that's just my problem.  

Tomorrow, it'll all be different.  

It'll be big round hay bale, barn chores, housecleaning, and an afternoon with the piano tuner.  Then it's bank, library, dinner, piano lessons.  Somewhere in there I need to write.  Then Friday, it's back to the studio, where I'll be filling the truck box with another load for the dump. I can guarantee it'll be a long day at the studio.  There's no such thing as a short day.

I really relished that quiet morning nap with my doggencat.   


pseudosu said...

First of all, you must have needed the rest. There is nothing at all wrong with taking care of yourself, it helps your whole family in the long run. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Nada.
Second-- This is sick but I once had a dream about my old boss where I beat the ever livin' HELL out of her, and loved every minute of it. See? Sick.
Third-- Kitty lived to be twenty. She was awesome and basically ran the place by the end too. She was kind of a cat bobble-head my then.

And one more thing-- I just luv you hon. Hang in there. You're awesome.

Patches said...

Ohhh...I could soooo go for a mid-morning nap with the animals! That sounds glorious!

My parents had an all black cat that lived to be 27! I've never seen another cat even come close to that. She totally ruled the house too. None of their other cats or dogs that she outlived ever messed with her twice!

Heidi said...

Great post!!

The dream part.. hilarious!! I wake up exhausted too, a lot! And I think dreams are where I work out all my anger. I am so controlled and mild-mannered during the day... it's gotta escape somehow, right?

The rest of it - the sleeping, the feeling guilty... I totally relate to that too. Lately, especially, what with not writing or querying hardly at all, I think, "What in the world am I doing to earn my keep here??" Then I realize that I am carpooling, chauffeuring, cooking, cleaning (house, dishes, laundry), organizing birthday parties, overseeing homework, coordinating science fair projects, giving teachers hell when they need it given...

Almost none of that would get done if I worked outside the home. And my whole family - husband included - is better off for me being home.

I still feel guilty for checking blogs in the middle of the day, though. I'm trying to justify that doing dishes and folding laundry at ten at night makes up for it.

Heidi the Hick said...

Sue... thank you, thank you, thank you.

And uh, don't feel bad... I've had dreams like that too. better than to work it out in real life!

Nigel is a little bobble-headed too. But he still jumps up onto the table.

Patches- TWENTY SEVEN!!! Wow!

Heidi, y'know, this conversation could go on forever, but all I can say is...yes, yes, yes and yes. All of the above.

Biddie said...

You have more than one 'real' job! Seriously! You do so much! Who wahses the clothes? Makes the meals? Who walks the dog, feeds the cat and supervises homework?
Not enough 'real' jobs?
I know what you mean about bringing money into the house, I totally get that. You are Jethro's cheerleader and rock. He would not be able to do what he does without you.
Think about that:)
Hugs xx

Heidi the Hick said...

Bridget you are my cheerleader and rock!

right back at ya, babe.

Kerri said...

Guilt? Being a mom, not working, dreams of writing all induce it in me. I think everyone around you would say how hard you work, how much you love and don't need to feel guilty; it's the believing that's hard. You're doing your part. Look at how awesome your kids are and how much in love you both are. That says more than a brimming bank account.

I can't believe how much you remember from your dreams. I only remember my nightmares.

Heidi the Hick said...

Ah, but this whole thing was mild compared to what I usually dream. I've developed a habit of remembering everything because it's just sooo nutty. It either makes me laugh or scares me.

Kerri, you nailed it: it's the believing that's hard. Also, reminding ourselves to look at what we have gotten done, and that it's kids and family general life happiness that matters.

Well I'm just glad we're all having this little discussion...

marsh to the fore said...

This is an awesome post.I loved that dream. You are an amazing writer!

Someone else said it but it begs repeating. You do a lot! I couldn't get over the pictures of you painting the studio. There are a lot of gals that wouldn't even get up on a ladder! When you sleep it's because you need to. That body of yours just says "Hey, girl, I need to rest." You have to listen!

Heidi the Hick said...

Marsh, you are right. I need a lot of sleep, and ironically I'm not very good at sleeping. You'd think practice would improve it eh?

But you have just reminded me... I guess I have been working triple shifts lately. Although we all had a good laugh that I'm up on a 10 ft ladder, totally cool, but going to the grocery store sets me into panic mode. Yep, that's me. No wonder I'm tired.

And thank you for the compliment. Appreciate it!

mugwump said...

I'm late. But appreciative. I woke up this morning with a cockney accent. I edited in my head before it came out of my mouth, but there it was.
My dreams were with Dickens last night. Nancy didn't die, she kicked Jim's butt instead.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.