I should really try to remember that I am capable of breaking myself.

I am, sad to say, a creature of intense routine. I don’t mind traveling and doing Other Stuff, but then I want to come home and have everything be exactly like it should be and do normal things that don’t change for a stretch of time. I thrive on novelty, provided it occurs when I want it to and that I don’t have to do it all the time.

Between Kevin traveling, Brandon passing, a week trip (a good trip!) two bouts of illness and dog auditions, I’ve managed to pretty much knock myself out of my home routine, though, (some of which was my fault and some of which was just life) and now I am wandering around in an anxious haze, going “This is not my beautiful house…this is not my beautiful beagle…”

I suppose if we were getting technical, it’s something like a mild transient dissociative episode in response to stress. Which basically just means that everything’s a little off. The house seems weird and small and lit wrong. I know where everything IS, it’s not like I don’t live there, but it seems like I’m about a half-step back from where I ought to be, and, most unsettling, days are passing too quickly and I am in imminent danger of lose track of my schedule.

This isn’t that unusual–about thirty percent of the population reports that this happens to them now and again, so I’m not running off to a psychiatrist or try to get a CAT scan for the brain tumor that I could convince myself it lurking–but it’s not all that fun. I know it’s a stress response. I just need to get back in the routine for a week or two and things will gradually smooth back into normal and the world will cease to be weird and out of order. (I am not actually that far behind, truth be told–I have like one project that I need to finish, but everything else is on track. Except for weeding the garden. The weeding is dismal. I am mostly hoping that our bitter cold snap this weekend will take care of some of it for me.)

(Actually, if the garden wasn’t all dead brown leaves and chickweed, I’d probably feel better, come to that. Winter’s always off.)

Anyway, Kevin says that I am not acting weird, and he’d be the first one to notice. I am a more anxious person than I generally let on, but the occasional spike won’t kill me.

Now, I’m older and wiser than I used to be (har) and so I will actually try to DO the correct thing instead of going “An emotionally healthy person could deal with this! ONWARD!” It’s sort of the mental equivalent of feeling my back twinge–if I keep going, I’m gonna throw my brain out, but presumably if I am sensible and take it easy, it will settle. (Have thrown brain out once or twice. Ends badly every time.)

So I am going to stick to my Normal Schedule Of Normal Things That I Do Normally and hope I relax a bit. Woo! Normalcy.

I used to think it was overrated, but the older I get, the more I think there’s something to be said for it…

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