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…

Talk (write) to me.

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