Today, I met with three people, one at a time, in rapid succession.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of my grandfather’s passing.
My aunt continues on her intractable downhill slide. Except that the word “slide” makes it sound easy, effortless, and terminal cancer is anything but. We try not to plan too far out into the future, because we know that a 1,200-mile trip will soon have to be made; the only question is when.
I have a long list of long-term projects going on at work. All of them desperately need my attention…yesterday. No wait–scratch that. Last year.
The humidity and Heat are in cahoots, leapfrogging and mounting, wearing us all down.
What does one do when the pressures and pain accumulate, but the resources necessary to meet their demands dwindle down to fumes and essences?
If there’s one thing I’ve always been competent at, it’s pulling energy resources from places I didn’t know existed. Nooks and crannies that remain otherwise hidden from view.
Sometimes I want to hide, too. From the swarms of mosquitos. From the hordes of to-do list items. From the plumes of grief.
Asperger’s/autism moulds and shapes my mind like a Play-Doh Fun Factory, sometimes sans the “fun”, compelling me to see What Is, in the black and white in front of me, while simultaneously egging me on to examine the connections between the shades of gray that stretch out toward an infinite horizon.
Irony these days.
My brain is a hypocrite. “Black and white!” “No! Alternative view!” “Maybe it’s both! Maybe it’s neither!”
And sometimes it gets to be too much, the grand old Autistic Overwhelm, and my brain threatens to pull an equally-Autistic Shutdown.
I’m such a contrarian. Or so goes the chronic accusation. Never mind that it’s not even true.
I’m just here, muddling through it, putting one foot in front of the other, trying to make heads or tails of this head-game of life.
Boosting my brain artificially in order to meet the demands, to satisfy the demons, to placate the muses, to withstand past and present (and probably future) pain. To win out against all odds. To write a semicolon where otherwise a period might insert itself.
That “period” being what happens if I would admit fatigue and withdraw into a Shutdown of All Shutdowns, a longer-term hibernation, to go off and grab a tub of Legos (how Aspergian/autistic stereotypical is that??), and Just Play.
To block out the world and just play.
It’s all the Legos’ fault, of course. They prove just too tempting.
Because it can’t be the fault of my hopeless to-do list, my needier clientele, my incessantly-meowing cats, my handicapped husband, or my dying aunt.
Nobody asked for their predicament.
And I know that I’m not Atlas, being tasked with the responsibility of holding up the world by my shoulders. It’s not my job to solve all that ails.
But sometimes I feel like it is.
And sometimes I crush under the weight of it all.
And sometimes I forget to say no or set limits or budget my energy.
And sometimes it threatens to give out completely for a while.
Sometimes my body and brain make threats of passing out.
But ever the stubborn warrior, I keep standing, because as long as I can stand, I can fight. As long as I can stand, I can do something. As long as I can stand, I can keep writing semicolons.
Semicolons rock. They’re so much better than periods.
I won’t lie down. I won’t give up. I may wonder what I’m doing it all for, and I may not even always do it right.
But I’m doing it.
That’s what counts, isn’t it? Please say yes. Please tell me that life is much more forgiving than school, where if you didn’t get the answer correct, you failed. Please tell me that life gives us points for effort.
Lots of points. I need lots of points.
I try not to be so needy. I try to stand on my own. I try to see the beauty in the gray, the silver lining in the storm clouds, the sun rays on the horizon.
The horizon is far away, but maybe someday I can reach it.
It’s a far distance to travel.
But I can get there.
I just have to remember to put one foot in front of the other. And never lie down. Keep standing. Keep walking. Keep writing semicolons.