There are some days when I just don't know what to do with myself. While the daytime hours may have been productive (or at least bordered on productive - I still can't get to those damn dishes!) as the sun sets and the evening hours come, I would occasionally find myself anxious to last those few hours between dusk and dark. Those precious few hours before sleep.
What will I do, I think. I'd better have something or else I'll start thinking of Mom, or of what I don't have, or of what I do have that I don't want. I can only watch so many hours of Battlestar Galactica, or play so many hours of FATE. I could hit the sack at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. but after a few days of that, I start to feel like I'm missing life.
Soon you do just have to face yourself. Most times I'm good at that and can be in my own space without a problem. But still, even these 12 years after Mom's death, once in awhile, I do get a little paranoid as I don't want to spend hours hurting or crying or angry in my own home. I don't want that kind of upsetting energy constantly in my space. But I can feel it coming, like watching a storm make its way across the sea. First the clouds arrive to set the mood and then the waves get choppy, lapping hurriedly at the shore. At that point I know I'll be a wreck in no time flat. I won't be able to help myself, so I'd better get out and do something and fast.
And that's exactly what I did a couple weekends ago. I found myself having a fantastic time in the sunlight hours (I even got my motorcycle permit!) but as the day drew on and the sun started to go down, I could feel the anxiety and the sadness bubbling inside. Instead of sitting at home though, I went for a drive. Advice from Blog the Third . I wrote that entry over a year ago and here it is helping me today.
Who knew where I was going at 7:30 at night, but I knew I just had to go. I took my blanket and my iPod, hopped in the car and headed for the PCH. Altadena to Pasadena. Down Arroyo Parkway. Over the Arroyo Seco. To the west and out to the water. I took the PCH passed Santa Monica and Malibu. I went passed Point Dume (my favorite beach) and as I approached Neptune's Net I felt it wasn't time for me to stop going. So I kept driving. 70 miles later I arrive at a place called Point Mugu.
To get to it you have to pass between these two awesome rock formations. They sit on either side of the freeway. Reminded me of something out of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Point Mugu is military, so once I passed the Naval base I figured it was time to turn back. Back between the alien stones but I didn't go straight home. Still, I wasn't done yet. Instead, I pulled over to the side of the road, turned off my car and sat in my car window.
It's kind of something you would do at a drive-in I suppose (drive-in, who remembers those!?). I rested my arms atop my car and stared up to the sky, all while listening to the water hit the shore from a pitch black beach. The moon was a clear, bright silver crescent and I got a great dose of stars. The ocean air was sharp and cold - perfect.
No matter how much crying I do on the drive, no matter how much I'm decompressing on these long trips, I always leave it there on the side of the road. I always leave it there at the shore of the beach. I can imagine perhaps that the waves come take it away. Maybe the bad stuff comes with the storm, but I find the bad stuff leaves with it as well.
Don't forget to take time to decompress ladies. Cry it out. Yell it out. Scream, scream, scream. Don't take it out on your families or your friends. Don't take it out at the kid at the check out line or people at work. Find a way to take your long drive. Maybe that's actually driving, maybe it's crochet. Whatever it is, take time to do it. Breathe. Leave it at the shore. Just as the storm did bring it in, let the storm also take it away.