Yesterday I participated in a Zoom. I find them exhausting as I try to focus on the speaker, yet cannot help but analyze my own face during conversation. Am I always so animated? Is it annoying? Does it seem insincere? Just what is going on with my forehead? Remembering the purpose of the meeting, I return focus to where it belongs. No one should be able to hover in front of their own face during a conversation, meta-analyzing themselves. It must affect the quality of these virtual interactions.
There is a deepening line between my eyebrows. Not an eleven. A one. It’s there sometimes, and other times it goes on vacation, probably somewhere close to my mouth. It tells me I’m worrying a lot these days, or maybe I’m deep in thought. Perhaps I’m just thinking about worry. It’s hard to keep track of such things, but I see the line and I massage it out when I remember to. Occasionally this leads to an unsightly pimple. Age gets me one way or another.
Time has always been a prankster and often cruel. It is now also now weird and wonky. I am on the children’s schedule as they distance learn, trying to mash it with achieving my own dreams, which I’ve tried to neatly fit into nice chunks in my Franklin Planner. I end up looking at the clock saying “It’s already 10:15?” and also simultaneously saying, “It’s only 10:15?” Am I dismayed that so much of the day flows by or that so much of it is left? In either case it doesn’t seem like my work is getting done.
I overhear my kids’ Zoom classes, where grit and perseverance are hot topics of conversation this past week. I’m trying! I think, as though they are talking to me. I want to. I have plans and steps ! The world is getting in the way a little too much, asking me to bend and curve around so much right now. But may I direct your attention to my inter-eyebrow wrinkle? That little dude has grit in abundance.
My alarm panic set in at the beginning the school year, as it always does. If I have to get up at a certain time, regardless of if I’ve set an alarm, I will wake up two hours before I need to and never really settle back into sleep again. The next two hours are a watery nether-world of sleep and wake.
It’s loud during eLearning, the classrooms are wonderfully boisterous, which I hear when my kids aren’t wearing headphones, and my kids participate as often as possible, which I hear even when they are wearing headphones.
I told myself to just make it to the evenings. I used to trawl through my brain for words and stories in dark hours, but now I’m too tired to work after dinner. Saturday, perhaps? I woke today excited, arranged for children to seek out their father in the event of emergency, real or imagined, and closed my office door. As my tush hit the chair, a neighbor’s tree trimming-wood chipping service arrived. The bubble of silence I believe I need to create is popped. I shift to working on shorter pieces, wondering if I’m going to be one of those authors who take twenty years to write a novel.
I surrender to the prankster god, Time. I wish I were done working — will I ever be? I wish I were able to engage in lazy, non-stressful conversation with my beloved, him making me laugh as he does, but him also knowing the great value of silence.
Until then, I push against the noise, against the tick-tock of the battle between mortality and dreams, and hope my glasses cover this zit between my eyebrows.