I love swimming in the ocean.
I love floating in the waves, feeling weightless and very much aware of the up and down pattern. I love the tumble of the rougher waves, the loss of balance and control when I get swamped and suddenly it's all salt water and sand.
Yesterday felt like that moment when I finally find the right way up and get my head above water for a breath of air. There's always that next wave coming, usually faster, harder, and higher than I expect; and I'll get swamped again. But, for a moment, I catch a breath.
I worked three 14+ hour days in a row last week on top of my usual 10-hour days of rehearsals and practices and classes. It all went well - the show was good, the audience turnout was good, the speech meet Saturday was good for the kids (as in, we didn't do as well as usual, but they've been slacking off lately in practicing, so it's good for them to get a little humble), the improv show we went to after the meet was a huge hit with the kids, and I'm finally down to only one production in the works. (Sort of. Rachel, Jesse, and I are planning to meet soon to talk musical stuff, so the reprieve will indeed be short-lived.)
So, yesterday was my gasp for breath. I called my parents on the drive home from the improv show Saturday night when I was finally off-duty. I needed them to talk me home so I'd stay awake the whole way. I made it, thanks to them. I greeted my neglected kitty, and I crawled into bed immediately.
I got up in time for church and actually stayed for the full block. I'd close my eyes for the prayers and have a really hard time opening them again. One woman sat by me in Relief Society.
"How are you doing?" she asked, friendly-like.
"Oh, fine," I replied.
"Really? Because you don't look so fine sitting over here."
"Well, I'm kind of exhausted," I said, a little surprised at her forwardness.
"Why? Fun weekend?"
"Heh. Kind of. I worked a long day yesterday."
"Worked?" She blinked at me. "What did you have to do besides... teach?"
I'd try to explain, but I just didn't have the energy to get into what, exactly, it means to be a speech coach/theater teacher. I stuck to a generic response and, thankfully, the lesson started up.
After church I started a load of laundry, then fell asleep for a few-hour-nap. Happily, Rachel, Ben, and Jack came down for dinner. Even happier, they brought dinner with them, since I haven't been to a grocery store in two weeks except for props/paint/costume-parts runs. They took off around seven, and I wrapped up the laundry.
And then I heard the rumbling as the water rushed past me back to the sea. I took a deep breath, found my footing, and dove back under the next wave.