A short distance away, the last streetcar on McKinney Avenue in Dallas rumbles it’s rusty way home. The bars and restaurants that line the street are locking their doors forcing even the most die-hard of stragglers to head out too. In the blackened hours of the night the rest of the city sleeps, but I cannot. Tomorrow is moving day for us and I have stayed up way past my bedtime packing boxes and rummaging through files. Now, I’m keyed up and the rest I so desperately crave eludes me. I realize that over-working was my own choice but that does not assuage my weariness. Although the world outside has reduced itself to a low simmer, my mind is wandering, full of all the chaos tomorrow is sure to bring. Moving is such an upheaval.
Off in the distance a siren lets go - a statement I think, about the unpredictability of life. I say a quick prayer for whatever the nature of the calamity. We don’t hear too many sirens here – not like in New York anyway, but as city dwellers in the heart of Uptown, there are enough urban sounds to remind me that life is out there happening where I’m asleep or not, whether I’m moving or not. Maybe I’m just getting older, but for some reason packing up feels harder than the times we’ve moved before. All of the clutter and endless hours of sorting through “stuff” is making me vow to never buy another thing I don’t need again!
I lie in bed grousing to myself, my mind an endless recording of lists and things I must not let myself forget. Tomorrow will be hard, but it will be brutal if I don’t get some sleep. The more I try to force my eyes to close however, the faster my monkey mind spins. Now, old memories come rolling in ignited by the cards and letters I’ve rediscovered in my desk drawers. What next? Turning over, I bury my face in the pillow. The siren blares again, closer this time and louder. I pay more attention. What could have happened? An accident, a heart attack … a fire? I’m as still as a statue listening until the shrill fades away and there is nothing save the dark blankness of the room and the faint pounding of my heart. Whatever my concerns about our move, they seem so trivial now. Life plows inexorably toward the future no matter what. It was my choice to push myself and stay up this late and it’s also my choice, tired or not, on how I look upon tomorrow. I realize that instead of looking at the day with dread, I can choose to shift my attitude to one of gratitude and celebration. It doesn’t matter to me now if I lay awake all night. I don’t care how tired I am come morning. I’m lucky to be moving to a beautiful new space. I close my eyes and drift off to somewhere good ~ counting my blessings …