at the end of every day, it turns out that I have just enough. just enough energy to do all the things I have to do. just enough patience to help a little person who has lots of energy and lots of emotions all day long. I get just enough sleep to wake up on Beijing time to tutor my students. there is not a lot of me left over. but having only a tiny plate of leftovers above being actively burnt-out.
I don’t quite know what to do with the leftovers.
it’s naptime. what can I do with my leftovers in an hour? most days I just take a long hot shower. drink a of cup of tea. sit in the quiet and soak it up. spend some time daydreaming of things I could do with a few more leftovers. I want to write. I have writing goals and deadlines. but I can’t sit down and write without having logged a few hours of mental prepwork beforehand…and I can’t do that mental work during my days. for that kind of thinking, I need emptiness. and all day long I am plugged into everybody else’s thoughts and feelings and needs. there is no space in my head for thoughts of my own.
some days I have more left over. like Mondays, when I get to drive to my dance class and spend two hours alone in my car. just thinking. and my stories fall together…but then it’s hard to keep momentum going on a story you can only dream about one night a week.
lately all my leftovers belong to the little fellow. thinking about labor. practicing breathing patterns and relaxation techniques and trying to think ahead for when I’ve got a toddler and a newborn and there won’t be leftovers, none at all, just empty plates for a few wild months.
but in the meantime I’ve got leftovers and I’m not sure what to feed them to.