Fell asleep early last night, so by 4 a.m., my brain decided I’d had enough rest and propelled me out of bed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any quick answer to the question, “OK, I’m up, so what do I do now?”

Not for lack of choices.

I could write – or at least blog. The words and sentences won’t stop when I’m driving, walking or otherwise engaged, although they evaporate when I’m actually on the keyboard.

I could do some yoga prior to my anticipated early morning Jetty surf. Intended to surf yesterday afternoon, but a friend had time to cut my hair. The lock-trimming included some wine-drinking, which led to conversation-having and then all I could do was admire the theatrics of the sunset while stopping at Big Pete’s to say hi to the baseball-watchers. Lovely, lovely afternoon. And that sky – the contrast between the pastel air and black clouds lying on the horizon, the way the fading sunlight shimmered off the thick streaks of white stretching across the top, turning colors more intense, brights brighter, darks darker, all tinged in gold – this is where a photo would come in handy.

I could bake something for breakfast, offer up something besides the usual pancake experience. But we’re low on flour and really, I’m planning banana-almond pancakes, so what would be yummier than that? Nice to have a bit of food around the house again – we had a few rough days when neither Bobby nor I had money for groceries. What a weird place to be, and rather horrible that I have to also keep up with my interviews and show-going and all the job-related experiences that require a small flow of cash to facilitate. Important to maintain appearances, though – contrary to Morcheeba’s claims, nobody loves a loser.

Speaking of, I could catch up on Quicken, check my bank balances. I’m seeking something more soul-filling, however. Why let financial worries sink my day before the sun’s even up? Nothing I can do about anything till payday anyway, other than put my last $5 in the gas tank and leave my debit cards at home.

Sometimes when I’m walking on the beach, my mind wanders away from the moment and daydreams about to whom I’d give money if I suddenly acquired a great deal of cash. Organizations, I mean, besides the kids and my mom and people who have helped me out over the years. Anyone who helps keep people from being cold and hungry would get first dibs, then the library, then the schools, then a bit to public radio. And I’d like to build the Natural History Museum a new home on the bay similiar to SF’s Academy of Science. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Of course, daydreaming about giving money away is pretty silly when I return home to cats meowing at me because I haven’t bought them the cat food I can’t afford, but I have to imagine things could get brilliant, right? Otherwise, the despair would swallow me up. I’m also imagining we can still somehow throw Nick a quality birthday, but since reality is far less distant in that scenario, I can only pretend for so long.

I’ve carried this idea around for years, this plan to create a $5/week giving club. Even the perpetually broke, well, most of us, could donate $5 per week to a group fund, right? And then each month or quarter, we could jointly donate that pool to an agreed upon charity. That would enable us lower-income folks to still feel like we were helping in a quantitative manner, but wouldn’t push our own finances into the danger zone. I have yet to do that, however – anyone reading this can take that idea and run with it. On me.

I could catch up on all the emails I’ve been meaning to send. One to North Coast Aikido apologizing for flaking out and explaining first the time constraints with summer camps and travel, then the financial constraints and how I kept thinking we’d start again on the first of the month and then so many months have now passed that I find myself ducking my head whenever on the back side of G Street. So embarrassing. I could detail a missive to the relatives, make up something about how fine we’re doing. Not totally make up, but one can’t put forth the harsher side of life. (See note re: Morcheeba, above.)

I could crawl back into bed with my husband. He would like that.

I could work – the great thing about working from home is always having something to do.

I could write about Nick and how worry about his grades has momentarily surpassed my concerns about his diabetes. An F in math? What the hell? Not for lack of smarts – he’s able to sort out equations with ease – but for lack of turning in homework. We’ve had this conversation before,  unfortunately. I have no doubt he will kick into high gear, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to catch up enough. And since we’re having to get all parental (being the parents and all), we’re looking at a few weeks of, “No, you can’t get on the computer/go to a friend’s/do anything fun ever again at all.”

And of course, the mom-guilt arrives. Should I be home more? Be more attentive to his schoolwork? More available to help? Is his laziness my fault? Have I failed to structure our lives properly and therefore we’ll never keep perfect blood sugar records and Nick will fail 8th grade math and go on to live a life consisting only of regret?


God, this is a sad excuse for actual writing. B told me he’s hosting a new spoken word night at the Jambalaya and would I be interested in coming? Of course I said yes – I always say yes – but it’s on Mondays, the worst night possible as I’m fried from deadline and what would I read anyway? Everything good is old and read out. If I were a band, I’d have broken up by now.

When I think about writing, this is not what I think about. But when I sit down to write, I seem to need to clear out the clutter in my head so I can better see whatever it was I was trying to find in there. The problem is, purging my brain takes so long that by the time I’m done, I’m out of time to do more.