I am not a morning person. If one knows anything about me, they probably know that I am more likely to be awake in the 2am hour than I am in the 5am, or even 6am hour, on any given day. Much of my writing and other creative brain work happens between 10pm and 2am. It’s just the way I’m wired, and working from home for the last 2.5 years has definitely made this easier, or more common anyway. TBH, folks still schedule meetings for me at 8am, so it’s still difficult
For the last 2-3 years, my company’s health insurance plan included the obligation to go to an annual physical appointment with your doctor or pay an additional $750 premium. I know, these are very first-world problems, but I really hate this sort of extortion, especially during a pandemic. I have always been pretty healthy, I’m not in pain nor do I do anything “in excess,” and I hate interacting with the medical and health insurance industries. Nevermind all the potential data security issues. I would much rather see a doctor when I need, on my terms, than having my EMPLOYER place this extra requirement on me.
By the time I got around to scheduling this obnoxious intrusion to my life, I was unable to see my normal doctor, but was scheduled for an appointment with a nurse practitioner last Monday morning. I had to be there at 8.05am. 🙄
So, Sunday evening, I asked my husband to make sure I got up at 6:30; he is my early morning sherpa, making sure I get out of bed, have coffee, eat breakfast (if my stomach agrees), and gets me out the front door on time when I can’t brain. When I woke up on Monday, though, it was on my own at 7:15… I had to leave the house in 15 minutes!
I jumped out of bed, gave my husband a mild chastising, and ran into the bathroom. After relieving myself, washing my hands, and doing a quick swish’n’swipe in all the places, I was greeted with an incoming call with “Dr. ________” as the return number. I answer and the woman on the other end tells me they have to reschedule my appointment.
I immediately tear up, start shaking and grabbed the bathroom counter to brace myself. I don’t blame this woman at all, but I tell her about the insurance and the financial obligation and all the stuff and she calmly asks me when the deadline is. She assures me that they can meet it, it won’t be a problem and she took some deep breaths with me. I feel my heart rate begin to slow.
The first appointment she offered was again EARLY in the morning (even earlier, in fact) this Friday. I had to decline, not only due to the hour, but also because I was planning a short trip Wednesday night through Friday to visit a dear friend this week and i REALLY NEED this trip! After another scan of a different NP’s schedule, she found me an afternoon appointment next week. Crisis averted.
But my whole day was a shambles. It is rare that I experience such an emotional roller coaster ever in one day, let alone in my first 5 waking minutes. Since I had time in the morning now, I went outside to pick another few cups of raspberries from the patch and hang out with the dogs before it got too hot. I spent the time picking, breathing, thinking calming thoughts, a total of about 30 minutes. It didn’t feel like enough.
All day I felt off, emotionally disregulated, “snippy.” I had trouble concentrating at work and I’m sure I stuck my foot in my mouth, which happens pretty much anytime I’m not focusing on NOT doing that exact thing.
It took until the evening, and really overnight, though it wasn’t a particularly restful one, to start feeling “normal” again. In retrospect, I should have taken a sick day and relaxed, but I had signed up for work and did not want to miss any deadlines or fail to meet expectations. So I stuck it out and did the best I could.
This seems like the point at which I share some kind of “moral to the story” and I could do that, but I’m not going to. You are free to draw whatever conclusion you like about this experience I shared. Some people might say, “wow, if that’s all it takes to throw her off her game for a whole day, she could really work on her resilience.” Or perhaps, one would say, “gosh, I can totally imagine how it would suck to be at your worst time of day and have a phone call put you at risk of being $750 out-of-pocket due to staffing shortages and insurance rules.” Either reaction seems fair.
Really, I just wanted to get this post out there because, in case you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t wrote and posted on the blog for a while. This is not an issue of self-discipline, but rather a struggle to find inspiration in the world.
So here’s to breaking droughts, continued inspiration, and writing through it all, no matter how bad a day I have to have to find it. And to all those who can absolutely understand how my Monday got so derailed so fast, this is for you.
It is always easier to find tears in all the emotions when inspiration eludes me.