The pink sunrise reflects in the glass of my end table as I reach instinctively for my tea, the black surface brightened by coral tufts. I am aware of my own awakeness this morning and every morning, relishing the ability to write a simple to-do list for the hours before work.
Read book. Pack bag. Pick out necklace. Pour tea. Pack lunch. They are, of course, tasks I would have remembered to do anyway. Once routine, they hold new significance and reverence, maybe, quietly reminding me to relish the sustained energy and the awakeness of it all. To worship it, even, taking extra care to monitor the minutes my tea steeps, to line up the corners of my favorite blanket, to awaken without instantly wanting to sleep and sleep and sleep.
I’m a bad millennial and don’t have Snapchat, but look at me and my cute friends at Drake!
I shed the memory of chronic fatigue with almost rebellious abandon this past week. I danced and sang and drank wine at (and before) The Wombats and Drake in concert. I saw the U.S.A. gymnastics team (Simone Biles!) in a live showcase. I ran miles and played tennis and stayed up too late and read books. I wasn’t living nap to nap anymore, but I needed to convince myself of it, still.
At the height of my exhaustion, I did all of those things, too, I suppose, assuming that if I willed my body to be alive and awake, it would listen. It would let me go out two nights in a row. It would let me stay up and finish the chapter.
I’m better now, and I think I believe it.
Like awakeness, betterness takes a while to settle in again. Texts read, “I’m better, don’t worry about me so much,” for months, as exhaustion tugged me back to my bed. I resented my favorite blanket. Continue reading