I've been kind of running full speed ahead lately, trying to do too many things at once, keeping one eye on the next five minutes and the other on the next five years, which, if you didn't know, can make you kind of psychologically cross-eyed.
And then, last night, I couldn't sleep, because you know how it is when there are so many things floating around in your head that you just lie there staring into darkness, waiting for clarity. No? Is it just me, then?
Eventually I got out of bed and started writing: lists and emails and blog posts and all sorts of bits and scraps, until it was all out of my head and out of my heart and I could finally sleep.
Hate when I do that. Because it never bodes well for the next day's tasks.
Today, as you know, is Election Day in the U.S., which means I had a curiously large amount of work to do. I had been tasked, you see, with organizing the Embassy's election events, and I had two teams working the events, one at Hashemite University and one at the University of Jordan.
I myself went to work the event at Hashemite, about an hour up the road. Knowing that the drive would make me carsick, I cajoled the Embassy nurse into giving me some dramamine. It'll make you sleepy, she warned, but I took it anyway. Sleepy being better than nauseous, as you may know.
Off I went to the event, where I was required to be cheerful! And enthusiastic! And spewing All That Is Good About America! I was borderline manic in my fake enthusiasm, all the while fighting off my dramamine-and-sleep-deprived exhaustion.
Truthfully, the event was a lot of fun. We had tons of students at my school, whom we skyped in with the students at the other university for an election trivia contest. There was much shouting, and cheering, and chanting of school fight songs. Everyone was happy at the end, despite the fact that it was unclear which school actually won the contest.
We cleaned up; we drove home. The dramamine was doing its job, and I fought hard to stay awake. But I was so, so tired, and the effort that I'd expended to entertain all of those people had completely drained me. I'm fairly certain that I fell asleep and drooled down my chin, but the driver was too kind to say anything.
Back at the Embassy again, I decided to stick with my planned routine, so I went to the gym. Started out strong, but about 15 minutes in, it happened.
I hit that wall.
I was pretty much done, after just a few sets of weights. I sat down for a few minutes and just thought about things, right there in the middle of the gym, with big ole Marines stepping over me to get to their equipment, giving me all sorts of odd looks. I thought about giving up. I thought about getting up. I thought and thought and thought some more.
Finally, I was done thinking. I was just plain done. I got up from my mat on the floor, grabbed my bag and headed to the parking lot. I ran into some colleagues on the way. Wasn't it fun?, one said to me, and nice job, said another. I smiled and laughed and joked around with them while we walked to the parking lot together.
And then? Then I got in the car, put my head on the steering wheel, and just started bawling. Not for any reason at all, really, but simply because that wall was there and there was no climbing over it, not today. There was an armed guard a few feet away, and he sort of turned his back, I guess so he wouldn't have to acknowledge the crazy sniveling American lady locked crying in her car.
Then I dried my eyes and drove home.
I think maybe tomorrow will be a better day.