This month, I am readjusting my relationship with time.
In Thailand, when I was on vacation, I never quite adjusted to the 12-hour time difference. I would wake up at 4 or 5am every morning. The immediate familiarity of my boyfriend, laying next to me, was deceiving because as soon as I climbed out of my sleep, and started to blink slowly awake, I would realize: I see the faint glow of neon signs outside. I’m in a country halfway around the world. I’m in a hotel room and right outside my window there is a beach, and palm trees.
When I got back to New York, I found myself waking, again, very early every morning and getting tired early each night. My boyfriend and I have long complained about how late we go to bed, and how sleepy we are in the mornings, so the jetlag has created an opportunity that we’ve both seized. Early to bed, early to rise. Well, early for us, anyway. Waking up at 7:30am feels like a luxury: no more rushing around, hurried, harried, stressed. Instead we wake up slowly, indulgently, and start our days off with a gradual, natural wakening. At night, the new ritual is that all electronic devices are ignored after 11pm and for an hour, a blessed hour, we spend time slowing our minds, releasing the stresses of the day. I used to stay awake in bed at night for hours some nights, just tossing and turning going through mental lists of things that needed to be done.
Within the more defined limits of my waking days, I’ve found the re-entry to my every-day life to be stressful. I’m not here to complain—but I have realized that it will be superhuman to continue to do everything that I was doing prior to grad school, now that I’m knee-deep in the program. I had sort of thought, in the back of my head, that maybe the hardest part of my masters would be getting IN—now I find that no, it’s very much a rigorous, challenging program. Which is great—I’m really pushing my limits and revving the old brain back up to do hardcore learning—but it’s an adjustment. I had put “school” into a box, and now I find it’s overflowing the box. So, I have to shrink some other time allocations in my life. I’ve had to juggle priorities.
Each day, you evaluate the rocks that need to fit into the jar first. And you fit the sand in around them. But on a given day, the sizes and shapes of those stones may change.
Today, I am making space for myself to dance. I realized when I looked at my calendar that I’ve had precious little DANCE the past month. If I’m being honest, I haven’t had any. For a few months. I had a conversation with a certain Marlo Fisken last night that reminded me that while there are “should”s and “need to”s that may pepper our lives and guide the way you spend your time, every once in a while you need to do what’s right for you.
For two hours, I will lose myself in movement and let myself gently put down the midterm paper that needs writing. The chapters on neuroscience that need reading. The emails to respond to. Everything that fills up the load that rides on my shoulders.
For two hours tonight, I will be weightless.
Monday’s post: Inside every pole dancer…