Got into work quite late today ... the result of staying up very late. As in sun-coming-up late and not because I wanted to be. As in: for the first time in months being up with heart-racing insomnia that didn't abate with a hot bath, with rereading transcripts of past fond chats with MSF, with the eating of a plate of cold turkey breast at 4:30, or even pulling out EB White's "One Man's Meat" for folksy storytelling distraction.
I'm blaming Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, the account of a Mt. Everest expedition featuring loads of high-altitude frostbite, delusions, and death. I love the book and have already read it 3 times -- and for reasons unknown, last night was the night it decided to disturb the living shit out of me.
It took pulling the laptop into bed, queuing up the cartoon Ratatouille, and letting the happy rat chef make some splendid soup before my brain shut off and heartbeat relaxed and I drifted off at about 6....only to wake myself up with a dream about riding bike across an f#$%ing ice bridge while looking down at an endless crevasse in either direction.
Oy. Hope the pleasant dreams MSF wished me before we said goodnight at least came true for him.
Not to gripe, though. Last night I guess I could have been at Wal-Mart, getting pepper-sprayed by a fellow video-game shopper.
It's in this context -- a bit sleep-deprived, a bit sated from the food and fellowship of yesterday, a bit daunted with the to-do list that awaits these last November days -- that I was grateful to see David Brooks' Times column today editorializing on his project, "The Life Reports". His request:
"If you are over 70, I’d like to ask for a gift. I’d like you to write a brief report on your life so far, an evaluation of what you did well, of what you did not so well and what you learned along the way. You can write this as a brief essay or divide your life into categories — career, family, faith, community, and self-knowledge — and give yourself a grade in each area.Of course I read most of these essays this morning, here at work in our sparsely-populated office after having death dreams and not sleeping... and promptly started crying. But even if you had productive slumber and are reading this blog entry in your pajams with coffee and curled up in front of a fir e... I highly suggest them for your post-Thanksgiving glad-you're-not-out-shopping-instead reflection.