Life in thirds.

In life, we encounter many threes. We talk about our “third act” – retirement (if you’re lucky enough to live for a while into retirement and have the money to actually retire). We talk about things (like deaths) coming in threes. We spent a third of our life working, a third sleeping, and a third doing what? Leisure activities? Volunteering? Sometimes the lines get blurred, though. And sometimes those thirds aren’t accurate or neatly divided. How many of us actually get to do all the things we wish we could do? For example, if I had things my way in life, I’d spend time actually going on vacation, but I feel I can’t do that this year because I had to use so many days going to doctors and treatments, or recovering from those treatments. It’s probably not the year to take vacation, either, because people who are going on vacation are either acting like jerks or are getting other people sick. That’s something I definitely don’t need, and neither do you. Still. I’m feeling a little burned out.

Lately, I’m not sleeping well. That third of my life is being invaded by another third of my life. Given that the other third is not going well, I will likely spend some time this weekend catching up, despite the fact that I’ve been running a fever and feeling like crap. Autoimmune disease tends to kick up when your life is out of balance.

I wrote the first part of this post early on Saturday. Now it’s Sunday. I slept most of yesterdat away, trying to catch up on the rest I’ve been missing. I’m still coughing and sneezing. My eyes are watery. I was supposed to enjoy an afternoon of games with friends today, but given that it seems like I have a cold, I had to pass on that. I definitely don’t want to get them sick. So my leisure time has amounted to sleeping, re-watching The Sopranos, and pushing fluids. Even my dog is tired of this crap.

Yesterday my neighbor’s daughter and her boyfriend came over and cut my grass. They even hauled away the dead branches we had piled up in the backyard. I was going to bag those up for the yard waste pickup, but I haven’t felt well enough to do it. They won’t let me pay them. My neighbor is a breast cancer survivor, too, and her daughter shared with me how much the neighbors helped their family while she was sick. It’s a real blessing to live near such good people. I will pay it forward. Every time I think about moving away from here, I think about the good friends and neighbors I have, and I stay.

As for the blurred lines in the thirds of my life, as I said – one third isn’t going well…at all. I’m on thin ice. I feel that no matter what I do, it blows up in my face. It’s funny that those corporate values we all hear about are seemingly nothing more than lip service. Overall, it’s a good company, but I’m not happy with the way things are going for me. When it all begins to wreck other parts of my life and stress me out so much that I can’t sleep, I have to think about what to do. I already know my body can’t take this level of stress. I don’t want to end up with a recurrence.

Eating has been a real challenge, too. When I was cooking for my son and I (when I felt up to cooking after work), I made some pretty delicious meals. When you’re cooking for one, it seems like overkill. Too many leftovers. Too much food. Too much clean up. I don’t need to put the weight back on, because that can play a role in recurrence, too. But last night I made a nice mushroom sauce with garlic and onions, and made some gluten-free spaghetti to go with it. I know I should have accompanied that with a salad, but the sauce was chock full of vegetables, so I didn’t push it. I even had a second helping. Some of the produce I had bought right after my son moved out has gone bad. I wasn’t able to eat it all. I hate that. I’m taking Juice Plus to supplement my nutrition, but I know I should actually push myself to eat the food. I need to start taking lunch breaks to eat a salad and some fruit. I know all these things, but sometimes, if I do take a break, I spend the time either stretched out on the couch trying to close my eyes for a few minutes or I spend the time thinking I need to get back to work.

I could sit here and say that I’m going to do better, that I’ll set some goals. But today it just feels like I need to get through the day without coughing my head off. I need to play with my dog. And yes, I’ll nap some more, because I know what my week is going to be like.

Burned out doesn’t begin to describe how I’m feeling. I need to take better care of myself. There’s only one of me, but I know I’m replaceable in a certain third of my life. I’m grateful to be able to work and keep a roof over my head, truly I am. I just have to wonder…

Have a good Sunday, Jude

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