Dreams Delayed (Night Owl, Early Bird)

I’ve noticed a few external hits on this blog in the last couple of weeks. In some ways, I like it. In other ways, it makes me nervous that I will stop writing here. Mainly because if I make the mental shift from writing for myself to writing for others, I will feel pressured to not write what I want, unrepentantly. And if I feel like I must self-censor, I will stop writing here all together.

What does that mean? It means I musn’t look at the stats page of my blog. Carry on.

It’s bitterly cold where I am right now. Not nearly as cold for people further north, of course. But in the negative digits, with wind like knives. I wear about three layers of clothes on a daily basis, and it still doesn’t feel like enough. Even with the gas heating on in my home, I lurk under three blankets at my desk. The cat sleeps on the vent by the bed and every morning I wake to a cold room, which doesn’t help my resolve to leave the warm cave of my down comforter.

This winter has been a blur of the same old, same old. Wake up. Force myself from the bed. Work clothes. Drive to work. Smoke. Stare at my monitor for ten hours. Smoke. Come home, put on PJs, surround myself in blankets. Stare at my home office monitor until the wee hours, then crawl into bed. Rinse and repeat.

I can’t stand the cold. I hope that once spring comes, I can break the cycle. I blame my paralysis at least partially on the cold weather. When I come home at midnight, nothing feels better than donning the warms (as I call them) and settling in for a few hours of unrestricted browsing.

It’s not the best use of my time. I could be writing and drawing during that time. But when you work ten hour days, coming home after midnight, nothing is all I feel like doing.
There’s an obvious argument for going to bed immediately when I get home and getting up in the morning, but I thoroughly dislike that. It’s not the pattern everyone else follows, where they have some time to unwind after getting home from work. Instead, my hours to unwind would be in the morning before work. That is not tolerable.

Luckily for myself, my current schedule will return to first shift near the end of March. As good as late nights have been for my work productivity and natural tendency to stay up late, it messes everything else up quite efficiently.

This might mean waiting out the lack of productivity I have at home, late at night. I could experiment with blasting my office with heat to see if it makes me more productive. But given there are two electric heaters running in the house at any one time in addition to three constantly running PCs, TVs, and a kitchen and clothes washer/dryer used frequently by three people, I’m pretty sure the circuit breaker wouldn’t handle it.

Oh, me. Why not cut the crap?

It comes down to this – I don’t want to do anything late at night after work. I don’t. If I make things easier for myself currently, such as heating my office more, it probably wouldn’t help. I tell myself I want to draw and write, to make my house clean. And maybe I do. Maybe I actually don’t – maybe I’ve committed to slowly decaying as a person.
I rationalize it all. I tell myself I can’t do these things I supposedly want to do because of the obstacles in my way, such as: It’s cold. It’s super late. My husband’s around and he’ll mess up my immersion in what I’m working on.

But that’s all bullshit that I feed myself to make me feel better. The sad, bad truth is that I don’t want to do the things that made my heart soar. Not enough to actually push the obstacles aside. I have always thought that if I remove these obstacles I’ll be able to write and draw. But since I tell myself these obstacles can’t be removed, I don’t have to feel bad about the real truth: I don’t want to draw or write. Not enough. I want to waste my time. Because hey, I’m still young and I can always write or draw some time in the future when I’ve fixed everything.

Ha. Hahaha.

It’s painful to realize I’m capable of pushing my dreams away indefinitely. And are these dreams even alive anymore? Have they atrophied to near nothing? The stories are certainly still alive inside me – but that is where they will stay, imprisoned forever, unless I actually do something about it. And part of me is horrifyingly okay with them staying inside forever. They’re mine, and no one else should see them, is the feeling.

If I don’t actually do something about it, I will blink and wake up in my fifties with nothing to show for it.

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