I was right in the middle of doing so much that needed to get done. The kids were asleep in their beds. I had so many piles of papers to tackle, floors to clean, sinks to wipe down, clothes that still needed to be wash, and dates to enter into the family calendar.
I was so tired. I walked by each task, while in the middle of another one – and I was hardly able to focus on the one, because the others were distracting me. I secretly wondered which ones I could put off until morning – I realized – none of them.
So, I kept plugging through. Believing that if I got through each pile, I would sleep better, and tomorrow would be much less stressful. This is when I start having these fantasies – they’re not really fantasies. They are practical ideas that involve me staying up all night long getting everything done, so that tomorrow, I will be free all day to attend to my children. And be so carefree because all of my chores are done, that I actually laugh with them.
Then, the power went out. I couldn’t finish e-mails. I couldn’t maneuver my way through laundry piles. I certainly couldn’t tackle the floors. I was done. There was nothing more I could do – and suddenly, within the darkness, I could see nothing. I could no longer physically see what was so urgent, and my mind, too tired to think, couldn’t remember them.
I found some matches, lit a candle, and walked through my house with that peaceful echo that reminds me of so many constant hums that I’m unaware of all day long. I remember the farmers, who rose and slept to the rhythm of the sun. I go to the bathroom to wash my face – thinking about which lights were on – and which ones will suddenly pop on in the middle of the night. I haven’t a clue. Nor do I care. I’m finally able to focus on one thing – the exhaustion in my bones. There is no longer anything to distract me.
I crawl into bed, comforted by the echoes of silence in my house. There are no streetlights peering through the windows to remind me of my suburban lifestyle.
Surprised at how easily sleep comes – even though I didn’t get through all of those urgent things. I wake – startled awake, by a feeling that it is completely daylight, and that I have overslept. But it is just the power back on; illuminating my room once again in it’s artificial light.
I get up, irritated by this intrusion to my “farmer’s wife fantasy” and check all the other lights in the house. I go back to sleep. I awake the next day. I am surprised to see that due to my inability to get so much done last night, my day is not “doubly stressful.”
This is comforting. Knowing that I can get by with less power in my life.