1/13/2014
The tilts

At the end of my three weeks on break - to be specific, 23 days, weekends included in that count, of course - I was afraid I would have a hard time getting back to my routine.

The fact that I did not, as it turns out, file a single leave for the whole of 2013 - that partly explains why I was able to file a three-week leave and still have one day of vacation left over - helped a bit in making that routine, well, a routine. That, and my need for structure in my life, a lesson I absentmindedly absorbed while dealing with the fact that I have ADHD. So, on most days, I wake up at five in the morning, have breakfast, take a bath, wear my clothes, and either wait for the rest to finish preparing, or leave by yourself, preferably by six in the morning.

In theory I should have everything prepared by the night before: which bag I'm bringing, what's inside the bag, that sort of thing. Also, your nails. And your shoes. Especially on a Sunday. Shine your shoes so you don't have to do that in the morning. Cut your nails, too. You can shave whenever, and it will stay that way, perhaps until I decide that I prefer the feeling of mentholated shaving cream in the evening before you sleep, or in the morning after you've brushed your teeth.

I do sound like a schoolboy, yes? If you put it that way, it does sound ridiculous, but... how do I put this without being preachy? You, err, you don't want to be the guy who forgets something when you get to work. Or I don't know about you. Maybe you are the lazy one.

Anyway, routine. Me thinking I would have a hard time getting back to my routine. And I swear I thought it would be easy. But by my final week of vacation, I was not waking up at six in the morning - it's a transition period - and I was not going on my morning walks. I do hear my alarm - still a cut-up version of "Golden Baby", the instrumental bits, a dreamy, twee start to the day - but I choose to get a lie-in, thinking I'll get ten minutes, realizing I got ten times that amount. Crap. There goes my bid to burn off all the food I ate on Christmas and my bid to not be a sleepyhead at work.

(Well, it was not all that bad. I woke up at half past five one day, my birthday, so I could go to the Starbucks below my office, where Rainy and I killed seven hours watching old episodes of Bob's Burgers. Come to think of it, this whole predicament about waking up late feels very much a Tina Belcher concern. The next day, I woke up at eight in the morning.)

I don't want to be the guy who drags himself through the day, while knowing very well that he's late and has to rush. I absolutely hate it when I oversleep (and it happens despite my best efforts). I hate realizing that it's six in the morning and I have to eat breakfast and I have to go to work by myself and I have to stand in long lines and I will be late for work. And the commute is long the later you leave. It sucks living in Cavite - fifteen minutes from Alabang, but still - and it sucks more if you run out of things to listen to, or batteries in your mobile.

"Matulog ka na, may pasok ka na bukas!" my mother would often tell my brother, who tends to stay up late despite having classes at eight in the morning the following day. It's an understandable predicament, though. Sometimes I'd stay up until midnight for no reason at all (and, as Sam would attest, the conferences back when Kellybites Nights still aired on Max FM is "no reason at all"). One time I stayed up until half past five in the morning finishing a project. Well, more of micromanaging it. I had half an hour of sleep, rode the bus to class, and realized I left one of the CDs I needed.

Then again, my brother takes a while to get out of bed, and is slow at breakfast and pooping and showering, and needs to put hair wax at every available opportunity, because he has hair to style, and I, conveniently, don't. I also conveniently take a shorter time to get out of bed - yes, I said I lazed around during the break, but that was a break, and for better or worse, when I have to wake up, I just get out of bed, occasionally dragging myself, but still, out of bed, as soon as possible.

("Kaya ka nagka-vertigo," my mother said a week prior, when I, to my surprise, had a two-day bout with vertigo: world swirling, head tilting, is-this-the-end-of-the-world? feeling. I disagreed with the assumption, since I got dizzy while fixing my bed, after going on a morning walk - I successfully woke up early that Friday - and now here I am, potentially maimed for life, with a condition that's ripe for comic fodder, like Lucille Austero in Arrested Development. Will I walk to the office and just fall on the floor? Will I go on dates and do just that? My life is ruined. I should die! In my sleep, preferably, so it won't be painful, meaning I won't be dizzy.)

I stayed up until eleven last night. I was in front of my laptop, doing something I don't remember anymore. I was the last one to sleep, actually; now I was the one at the receiving end of mom's "matulog ka na, may pasok ka na bukas!" as if I was still in denial that my three-week break is over. But I have shined my shoes, and I have cut my nails, and I have said my three words to Rainy, and there was no sense of dread whatsoever. I've done everything I needed to do, I told myself. I've changed my layout, I've read a couple of books, I've reintroduced walking in my life, and I feel like I'm running out of money again. Yep, all set.

And then I couldn't sleep. My phone kept dropping the connection and my radio stream was buffering. And then it was too loud, or too soft. I wasn't nervous, but I wasn't getting sleepy. And then I was, even if it felt like I was awake for a long time, pondering whether to text Rainy, who was battling an allergy and was effectively sidelined from the floor, or just fall asleep, because worrying about your girlfriend does keep you awake.

I was expecting my mother to wake me up, like she always does when she knows that I have to be up early and I am not waking up to my alarm. (What if I died in my sleep? That would be horrible.)  Instead, I did what I always did: I wake up just five minutes before my alarm was supposed to ring. I eat too much, I find myself finished with work just after lunch, and I'm blogging again. Everything is back to normal.

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