Home is where the shark is

OK, I (Tim) am gonna whine. If you don’t like whining, and you’re one of those people who can just summon up a motivational quote, do some deep breathing, put on a happy face, etc., go do your thing while I whine. There’s some humor of a sort down below if you want to skip to that.

I hate the spring time change. I just adjusted all the clocks an hour ahead. I’m sure there’s some great social good to this somewhere, but it’s just another bit of sleep deprivation to me.

I’m whiny because I’m sleep deprived and “home deprived.” I work long hours and get home to a good share of household work. After that, I desire some rest. I want to enjoy some space and let my mind float a bit. But “situations” come with care giving, and the last few nights have been full of them. No privacy, no mental rest, reduced sleep and added stress.

Among the frequent bits of advice given to care givers are “Take care of yourself, reduce stress, do some things for you.” But those are exactly the things that care giving compromises. It’s been acute for me in recent weeks, so I’m whining.

Had a day off of sorts today. Got a wee bit of extra sleep, although now I’m setting the clocks ahead to give an hour back. Got to watch the better part of a movie on TV. But I didn’t get to the gym as planned, or read some stuff I wanted to read, or work on a book I have a contract to write.

So sometimes I annoy those around me by creating meaningless mental space. It is the only way I can go on automatic pilot and cut down the applied thinking and stress of too many demands.

A14148_009AOne way I achieve this is to pull out a diminutive glow-in-the-dark toy shark. Long story about his origins; enough to say that I got a few laughs out of humming the Jaws theme while poking Melissa with the shark early on in our married life.

So I pull out my pal Sharkey, or just put my thumb and index finger together if he isn’t handy, hum the music and poke Melissa. Or threaten to. Or make a face every time a word that rhymes with shark comes up – “I’m taking the dog to the park, wink, wink. Or give her the look any time the ocean shows up on TV, even in a commercial.

It is to the point where she’s more annoyed than amused. But I find it hard to go cold turk… I mean… cold Sharkey. Sharkey creates meaningless mental space in which I can just rest. I don’t need a “man cave,” just a shark bite.

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