Most people that know me know I suffer from a serious case of FOMO (for those of you that don’t know, FOMO is Millennial-talk for a fear of missing out).
I’m always on the go, forever cramming in way more than any normal person should in any given day, running on empty, and grinding myself into the dirt.
Well. That FOMO has finally caught up to me.
Since last weekend, I’ve been sick with some viral cold/respiratory thing that’s been floating around town. Except for a little head cold earlier this summer during my hike in the Cranberry Wilderness, I haven’t been legitimately sick in years.
I never handle any ailment with much grace. In fact, there’s usually a lot of whining. I become irritable, restless, and downright unpleasant to be around. All I can think about is what I’m not doing, or can’t do, or shouldn’t be doing, because my body needs and deserves the rest to heal itself.
But that takes time, and let’s face it – who has any of that “time” crap these days any way?
Still, there comes a point when you simply must listen to your body. So from Sunday thru Tuesday, I forced myself to take naps after work instead of going for a ride. I chugged gallons of orange juice, popped echinacea morning and night, and did something I haven’t done in quite some time.
I went cloud watching.
Alright. Maybe not intentionally. It was more a byproduct of sorts, the side effect of a much-needed nap.
On the road, my work days rarely involve sitting inside from 9-5. I’m usually out and about during the golden hours (sunrise and sunset for you non-photogs) and working inside during the heat of the day. That system typically keeps me active and awake and tends to be the most productive timeline for me. The beginning of this week, however, I found myself back in the BRO office in Charlottesville for two full days of meetings.
They were necessary meetings, no doubt, but sick or not, it’s hard to sit inside for that long, for me at any rate. By the time Monday afternoon rolled around, I could have very easily fallen asleep sitting right there at the conference table, and I was only a quarter way through the two-day summit!
I took a half hour of my lunch break that day and collapsed on the lawn across the street. The sun on my face, breeze on my skin, damp grass beneath me, it was all very grounding, very healing. But this is Charlottesville, remember. Alongside those natural elements were car doors slamming, high heels clacking down sidewalks, sirens in the distance, helicopters overhead. No matter how drained my poor body felt, any attempts at power napping were useless. So instead, I simply laid there and looked at the clouds.
I consider this forced downtime. Cloud watching is cool and all, but I tend to find discomfort in inertia. I knew I must be really sick though when, with each passing minute, I found myself increasingly content to simply stay there beneath the sky and watch the clouds do all the moving for once.
During those precious 30 minutes, I did a lot of thinking.
Mostly I thought about how annoyed I was with being sick, how inconveniently timed it was. But I also thought about a question someone asked me recently on whether or not I could live out of a car if someone else was traveling with me, too.
My answer was an immediate ‘no.’ I have my system down (finally), I know how I like my things to be (an organized chaos), and having to put up with anyone else’s living habits would simply be too much.
But then I put myself in that hypothetical road companion’s shoes. Was it really having to deal with another person 24/7 that would drive me crazy? I’m pretty laid back, unless I’m hangry (FYI, hungry + angry = hangry). In reality, I probably wouldn’t mind the companionship, having someone take the wheel while I nap in the passenger seat or help navigate during rush hour in a big city. That might be nice, I decided. What was probably more likely the case was that s/he wouldn’t be the one who would be too much to put up with. It’d likely be me and my…peculiarities.
So, in the spirit of cloud watching and coming to some honest conclusions about myself, here are a few things you likely wouldn’t know about me unless you lived with me out of a car…which will probably never happen. But don’t worry. It’s not you. It’s me.
1. I get really carsick.
I know – not a good trait for a road dweller, right? Despite spending more time in a car than in a house, ever since I was a baby (Mom, please spare the Bob Evans stories on this one), time in a car makes me feel nothing but nauseous and sleepy. Consequently, I would not be the perfect copilot.
2. I have an irrational fear of sneezing and driving.
At least, that’s what my friends think. I don’t think it’s all that irrational. My sneezes are violent.
3. I can’t sing, but I belt it in the car.
You will also never experience this firsthand, as I don’t need you to tell me how bad I suck. I know.
4. Sometimes I hit the rumble strips from DBTW (dancing behind the wheel).
And yes, I did just create that acronym.
5. I’ve become a gas station snob.
If I have to hold the gas pump handle the whole time, you can forget about it. Work smarter, not harder. I’ll find another gas station if the pumps don’t have that little lever doohicky.
6. I drive 4 miles over the speed limit.
I like to live life on the edge.
7. I’m lazy about my music.
I’ll listen to the same playlist for five hours straight, two days in a row. Sometimes, I abandon the music altogether and drive in total silence.
8. I still dry my underwear on the dashboard.
Though I’m better at remembering to remove said laundry before rolling into town or offering someone a lift.
9. I never use the air conditioning.
Unless I’m on the phone. And even then, I just tell people I can’t hear them because it’s windy out and can I call them back?
10. I leave town at the most ungodly hours.
Like 11pm and 3am.