My job and I are going through a (another) difficult stage. As I drag myself out of bed in the dark of morning I’m saying inside my head “I’m soooo tired”. But, although it would be nice to continue sleeping, I don’t really think I’m tired. Most nights I try to get at least seven hours sleep, sometimes more. But my own tired thoughts keep working on me as I progress through the closet, the kitchen and into the car, past all the things I’d rather be doing. I think of my friends who are already retired – that certainly doesn’t help.
Today I thought I might look for a different thing to tell myself and came up with “I’m bored”. I’m not sure that’s a lot better but rings truer than a bell. Being bored masquerades as being tired, but now that I recognize it, I’m encouraged. There’s a whole range of things I can do about being bored, from finding a new job (way too extreme) to doing something unexpected but simple like wearing a dress and heels to work (bad example and not likely to happen.) I am closing in on my third year working for Scottie and have repeated the same five hour routine a bazillion times. There are a few variations but I’ve also gotten those memorized, painfully memorized. I can actually tell you every word that we will speak during our regular procedures.
Scottie is dangerously addicted to routine. It’s not that I don’t understand how this happens – I do. When you are a quadriplegic you are vulnerable to so many things that “routine” means safety and security. Even when it’s a bad routine that is inefficient or awkward, at least you know what is going to happen, so the routine lives on. I am even required to teach the routines to new nurses. When they ask for the sense of them, I just have to remind them that in this job they are not necessarily paid to think creatively, but to do what reassures the employer.
It’s not all about boredom. I am a little tired of doing things that hurt and being in pain does make me more tired than usual. But I think mixing things up and being a little “out of the box” might help that too. It’s called distraction.
Fortunately, my birthday is coming up. I try to make my birthday a remedy for boredom by planning something new, adventurous, interesting, something to look forward to for weeks prior. I am getting excited just thinking about figuring out what to do. I have some thoughts already but would like to hear what other people suggest if anyone has ideas for me. Last year I took a kayak trip in alligatorville and got a little excited. It was good. This year it needs to be something that doesn’t involve using my arms much. Help me out here, we have about three weeks…