It’s been an eventful month.
And yes, I’m fully aware that I’m autistic 😉
Now, it’s time to get back to my routine, g*ddammit.
Seriously. It really, really is.
I had such great plans for April. I was going to “kick it” on my writing and reading, make some inroads in my posting, finalize my memoir, and lay a solid foundation for Auptima Press, my new venture with Toni Boucher (and a few other contributors). I was going to launch myself into a dedicated exploration of autism in my own life, peering into nooks and crannies where there’s still so much to be learned. I was going to regiment myself carefully, budget my time and energy, and really crank out some quality work, borne of careful consideration and all the motivation a member of a marginalized group can muster during a month dedicated to raising awareness about their “plight” (Oh, we poor dears… 😉
But then… life.
Illness. Industrial-strength. Live-and-death-grade medical condition. End-of-life conversations. Advance directives and living wills and powers of attorney, oh my.
And then… death.
The loss of my obviously autistic aunt — the woman who never, ever would have been missed or mis-diagnosed, had they known then, what they know now. Even in our still-developing state of under-awareness, she never would have slipped through the cracks. Not like she did, when she was a little girl. Nope. Not a chance. Her passing hit me hard. Much harder than I expected. I’m still not fully recovered, to be honest.
And now… life again.
Lots of it. Return to an over-full, busy schedule, a mad dash towards a series of shifting-target goals at work, as well as at home. I have obligations. More obligations than I’d like, but enough to let me know that I am — indeed — a valued part of the community. And that’s fine. That’s all very nice.
But I just need my routine again.
I’m peevish and irritable. I’m still recovering from poison ivy that’s not terribly itchy or painful, but gums up my routine, because I have to apply cream… and then the cream makes my hands feel weird, which I hate. I need to feel things with my hands — dry and firm and un-slippery. And that hasn’t been possible, what with all the lotions and potions I’ve been applying. Not to mention the weird ways that absorbing corticosteroids and Benadryl (even in a topical cream) have been screwing up my sensory processing.
Augh! I need a break.
But for me, a break isn’t just about checking out of the day-to-day. Far from it. For me, a break involves going back to my standard routine and being able to follow it to a “T”.
- Get up when I’m no longer tired — around 6:00 a.m. or so.
- Ride my exercise bike while I listen to electronica music and check in with Twitter, followed by some light weight lifting.
- Fix my breakfast and eat it in peace, taking my vitamins 2/3 of the way through.
- Sitting down to read and write and blog and check email and center myself for the day.
- Get ready for work — and NOT have to decide what to wear, because I’m back to my usual weekly “uniform” of certain clothes on certain days.
- Drive to work at a steady pace, after rush hour is over, and the traffic is more civilized.
- Work my day through, getting in a 30-minute swim, around 3 p.m.
- Head for home around 6:15, stopping to shop for supper on the way home.
- Put supper on the stove to cook/stew, while I sit down to read/write some more.
- Chat with my partner about her day.
- Go to bed. Do some yoga poses, then lie there for a few minutes, till sleep comes.
- And then do it all over again.
Is it so terrible, to want this exact same sequence to happen, day in and day out? I think not. Is it so much to ask, that I have this same routine, each and every workday? I can’t see why it should be.
I don’t want to stop the routine. I want to get back to it. That’s my “break”. That’s my relief. Knowing that my life is on track, and I’m making progress in meaningful ways. That’s what matters most to me.
And slowly but surely, it’s getting back to that… though none too soon.
It’ll come. It’ll come. I keep telling myself.