From Where I Sit – Just What I Needed

In the days since the big event I was coordinating ended?the Babas and Borshch Ukrainian Festival?I’ve attempted many things.

I tried to get some feeling, other than pain, back into my body. A chiro treatment and hour-long massage have helped. I attempted a nap Monday afternoon, slept for an hour, and buggered up my night.

And speaking of sleep, I’m baffled. In the months leading up to the event, several nights were broken up by middle of the night staring-at-the-ceiling sessions lasting hours. I dreamed the caterer was a no-show and we had no food for the big-deal dinner. In my mind I wrote speeches, dictated emails and letters, planned pitches. Some nights, when the craziness went on too long I got out of bed, crossed the hall to my office, and worked. I sent midnight emails, updated to-do lists, and jotted down snippets of stuff in an often-futile attempt to empty my mind.

So why in God’s name am I still dreaming about Babas and Borshch? I’ve cleansed my amethyst and faithfully place it beneath my pillow each night. I fall into bed exhausted. And while It’s true that there remains much post-event work to do, the toughest part is over. Yet one night I dreamed it hadn’t happened yet.

Slowly I’ve begun re-entry into my life. Tackling a sink full of dishes, washing load after load of laundry, and trying to turn the house back from a warehouse into a home filled many hours. I even watered my patio pots in an attempt to revive the plants that had succumbed to the neglect.

But maybe the best thing I could have done was inviting Grady over for a sleepover. We picked him up Thursday after dental appointments and I returned him Saturday before the first of two weddings I was performing that day. At age four he plays more independently, but still loves company. His insistence on my presence kept me from disappearing into my work.

We watched How to Train Your Dragon and Up. At the gravel pit he climbed like a monkey to the top of a 15-foot pile. We had a few tense moments (and a talking-to) when he locked me out of the pickup when I stopped to close the gate to that farm.

The best part was getting caught up in his giggles as he drove the riding mower. I worked the gas pedal; he drove. No power steering here, yet he was able to control the machine. I encouraged him to burn some doughnuts. We spun around and around until I was dizzy. We laughed like kids, and for a while I forgot the world of work and responsibility. Just what I needed, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.