> jumping into life.

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The cycle is easy enough to predict: I am overworked, tired, and irritable. I snap at friends and lovers, perform substandardly in school and life, eat poorly, sleep worse. I do not have the time - or percieve myself as having the time - to do those things that I know nurture me: bake bread, sip tea, walk in the woods, meditate, cook, read for pleasure. I become more tired and irritable, feel more overworked and less capable of defending myself against the world and its pressures. I feel guilty for long showers and stolen naps. My relationships disintegrate more, including the one with myself. I become more tired and irritable, ad nauseum.

One of my least useful but most convincing skills is the abstract analyzation of myself, in which I can see and understand perfectly my actions and the motivations behind them. Yet somehow, I allow myself to remain powerless to change. I know that I need to take time for myself, sleep more, breathe deeply, but I cannot find the time, make the time, dredge the energy for self-care.

Then sets in the bitter fear - that this will be one more playing of the tape I tried to leave behind. Winter coming. So I grasp to small beauties, as I have always done, trying to narrow my focus enough that grace cannot escape me. The color of light on the brick, the reach of plants toward the window, the mystery of evolution, the flavor of pecans. Some writing.