So I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I’ve been having weird dreams involving vampires and Nazis and I even dreamed about having sex with an ex coworker whom I haven’t worked with in over 15 years. As a result, I’ve been very tired lately. But I don’t contribute all the tiredness to my recent sleep deprivation.
I also think my new blood pressure medicine is making me tired or perhaps, the combination of taking two different blood pressure medicines may be the culprit. Or it may be the stress.
Yes, there’s lots of stress-the stress of the death of my stepfather, the stress of worrying about my mother being lonely, the stress of trying to learn my lines for my upcoming play (and being very far behind in that endeavor), and of course, the stress of worrying about my job as my company has cut down considerably on trade shows and traveling.
In addition to all that stress, I worry about my weight. I’ve hit the 200 mark and I am not happy about it. I realize that I weigh 32 lbs. less that what I was at my heaviest but it is also 25 lbs. more than where I want to be and have been. I got rid of most of my fat clothes so now I have tons of clothes in my closet and drawers that do not fit me. At all…
And yet, besides feeling tired I am also feeling apathetic. I believe the two often walk hand-in-hand producing a viscous cycle where one feeds the other without destroying either. This apathy has an ugly affect on my life. I eat more when I don’t want to. I sit at my desk and try to “create” work and instead surf the net and get yelled at. I force myself to practice my lines yet I find it hard to focus and concentrate for even short periods of time.
And let’s not talk about what my bedroom looks like. I’ve got dust bunnies under my bed the size of tumbleweeds and I could stuff a mattress with all the dog hair on the floor, if I had the energy to sweep it up. The clothes that do fit me sit on top of my dresser because I’ve been too lazy to get rid of some of the clothes in my drawers that will never ever fit me again unless I was to go through another super depression where I stopped eating for months.
Now you may be wondering what all of this has to do with tragedy? Well, I’ve been wallowing face down in the self-pity pool so much that I was beginning to believe I was taking up permanent residency there. As I glumly dragged myself from the car towards the employee entrance this morning, I noticed my co-worker Paul walking towards me. I slowed down because my lazy butt had misplaced my employee card that allows me entry into the building and I figured I would just come in with Paul.
Paul stopped for a moment to go through his briefcase. As I watched him, I became aware that he had lost a little weight. Not a lot but enough that he was looking leaner. The slight weight loss looked good on him. Always the caring friend and coworker, I was immediately envious. But as I watched him searching through his bag, I remembered that Paul had his own recent personal tragedy, one that certainly could be attributed to his weight loss.
Paul’s 19 year old daughter was killed in a car accident over the 4th of July weekend. She was a lovely girl and not just physically. A talented singer with a beautiful voice, she had just finished her first year at Rowan College. Extremely likable and well-liked, she was the kind of girl everyone wanted to be friends with.
I remember when she was younger and first exhibited an interest in singing and acting. Paul had asked me to recommend some local theatres for her to try out at. I remember how proud he was of her. I also remember the devastating news that a simple, careless gesture and an overcompensating reaction caused her to swerve her car off the road and into a bank of trees. I remember the funeral and the lines and lines of people, many waiting over 2 ½ hours before passing by the casket. I kept thinking how I would have felt if it was my daughter. It is unthinkable that a child should die before a parent.
Suddenly, some of my own tragedies seemed slightly not so tragic. While I was thinking all this, Paul looked up and walked towards me. “I’m not doing well, ” he said in a trembling voice, his eyes all puffy and red. A wave of sadness and affection swept over me for this man who had suffered so much so quickly. “Some days are tougher than others, eh buddy,” I weakly said. I put my arm around him as we walked together through the doors.
It’s all about perspective, people.