I am a scheduler. I start thinking about what a particular day will look like about one week out. It’s compulsive and comforting.
It’s also a false illusion of control.
This morning, as sleep eludes me I find myself reaching for today’s schedule, desperate for whatever solace it offers, even though it’s an illusion.
Last week, I could picture today with clarity– wake up and cuddle with kids, go to work, come home, dinner and bedtimes. One week out, everything looked completely routine.
Over the weekend, I added some flourishes– Let’s try a new crab cake recipe Tuesday night and complete 2 research projects on attorney fees. By Monday morning, Tuesday’s docket looked typically unrealistic with more on my To Do list than I could actually accomplish. Just how I like it.
What I didn’t account for was needing space to process the events in Boston yesterday. Last week, I didn’t picture Tuesday Me trying to accomplish routine tasks on roughly 4 hours of sleep and a disturbing feeling of terror stalking me. I didn’t know I would labor under the burden of images of explosions and smoke and innocent runners who were trying to cross a finish line only to be marred and terrorized by a bomb attack.
I didn’t know that sleep would elude me almost all night. I didn’t know that I would be haunted by my Facebook feed full of messages to runners, quotes from Mr. Rogers, and pictures of first responders. I certainly didn’t account for the energy that I would need to grapple with the savagery of humankind.
Somewhere in my schedule I need to make some room. I need some space to breathe and mourn and make some peace with the evil that happens that I will never understand. I don’t see much space for that– maybe on my train ride home or when I’m chopping tarragon for the crab cakes.
But I’m going to need more than a few stolen moments where grief and terror can be processed alongside tonight’s dinner. I don’t think multitasking will bring me the solace that I seek. Honestly, I don’t know what will.
But I do know that today’s schedule looks not just ambitious, but actually abusive. Each devastating act of terror– from a madman with an assault weapon or a concerted effort of anti-American groups– shatters one more sliver of my innocence. I want to make some time to put those shards back together, or at least somewhere high on a shelf so I don’t cut myself on them.
And it’s certainly going to take more than my schedule to make me feel safe and comforted today.