Up early, and making the best of it

superhero with cape flying in fireworksI’m up early today. I got to bed at a decent hour, last night, but the pain caught up with me. I shoveled and snow-blowed (or is it snow-blew?) and raked my roof for three hours on Saturday, trying to get the packed slush and heavy snow out of the way, so cars can get up and down the driveway, and my roof doesn’t leak in the places it developed “issues”, a few years back when we got hit with a blizzard, and I had massive ice dams along much of the edge of my roof.

For the ice-dam-uninitiated, don’t ask. You can Google it. Even thinking about them makes me twitch. Trigger alert: Ice dams 😉

Anyway, it’s no good, leaving 4 inches of packed slush, topped with three inches of heavy wet snow blocking the driveway. What if I need oil for my furnace? What if there’s an emergency? What if there’s a fire? I have to clear a path for vehicles to reach me, just in case.  So, I fired up the snowblower and set about at least trying to move the stuff towards the woodlot beside my driveway. Not an easy task at all. There was such a layer of slush, I couldn’t get good traction with the snowblower, and it kept skidding and getting stuck, which meant I needed to heave at the heavy *&$^#%, using every last muscle in my relatively in-shape frame.

Couldn’t get it all up, though, even after nearly 2 hours of wrangling with it, so I had to push a lot of slush with my shovel. Again — it took work. I can’t believe how much work. Js F*****g Cht, it was a … challenge. And then clear enough of the stairs and the back deck to get in the house. And then rake the roof, so the slush didn’t turn to ice, lift up the shingles, and seep through in that hair-raising drip pattern that starts in the eves and manages to trickle down the line of the rafter, to finally drip from a spot roughly 6 feet away from the wall. If you’re not traumatized by the memory of it, the physics of ice dams are fascinating. And the physics indicate that my roof definitely needs to get raked as soon as humanly possible — especially during the day, so the melt doesn’t have a chance to freeze under the shingles when it gets cold at night.

That’s no good.

Anyway, on Saturday I spent about three hours moving heavy, wet snow, and while I didn’t wreck my back, it would seem that I exerted every single muscle in my body. Every single joint. Every single sinew and tendon and bit of connective tissue. The result? Pain. Universal, inescapable, aching, burning pain — the kind that isn’t solved by Advil and a hot shower or even a long nap. Only time and healing rest will fix this, meaning I need to eat properly (and a little more than usual) for the rest of this week, so my body can rebuild. That’s the one part of this I like — eating more food, which I can’t often do, because it makes me feel sluggish and not-great.

Anyway, the pain woke me up at 4 a.m. I lay there for a while, trying to get comfortable, then decided to just forget it and make the best of it. I can use the extra time, to be honest. I feel like my days have gotten away from me, so to speak, with the business travel from a couple weeks ago wreaking havoc with my schedule and my ability to function at the level I want. I’m not that comfortable with mediocrity, so when I’m on reduced resources and barely scraping by, I’m not a happy camper. At all.

So, I got up, I rode my exercise bike and lifted my weights. I listened to music and made my breakfast. Today I get to sit down to read and write, which I never feel like I have enough time to do. That’s an illusion, of course. I have the same 24 hours that others have, and others do far more (and far less) with their time than I — it’s a management issue, really. Still, it’s nice to have a block of 3 hours to just do as I like, without watching the clock, without feeling pressured to Do Something Else Right Now (as I often do).

I’m in a lot of pain, but it’s not difficult to get my mind off it and laser in on other things that are far more interesting and edifying than physical discomfort. I have a couple of books I need to finish. I have some blog posts I need to write. And with the extra time (even if I am dragging, later today), I can do it all at my own pace.

Which is nice.

I don’t care to make a habit of this, but if I have to be up so early, I might as well use the opportunity for what it’s good for.

Happy Monday, everybody.

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