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There are 25 days and counting between now and the Toad Album Release show at the Troubadour. I feel like I’ve made significant improvements in the last week in terms of eating sanely and getting regular exercise. Again, improvement is pretty much my goal. Nothing nuts… no “I will lose 20 pounds in 25 days” nonsense. I’ve pulled that routine in the distant past and it gets me nowhere but miserable. This is less about appearance and all about attitude. I really just want to feel better. If I stay the current course and continue to walk regularly and actually pay attention to what I’m eating, I’ll walk into that show happy and feeling like I accomplished something. It’s mainly about self-perception. When I’m in sloth mode, I view myself disparagingly. When I’m making an effort, I tend to view myself and the world at large more positively, regardless of the number on the scale.

That said, Chris just texted to say he was working on a big project and would be late. This undoubtedly means no walking for me tonight. I can’t say I’m entirely sorry. I’ve been exhausted all day. Chris’ alarm went off at 5:30 AM, and I turned it off, which happens a lot. Today I unfortunately had an awful time getting back to sleep… I was awake for about two hours. Avery woke up at 9:30, and while I convinced her to stay in bed for nearly an hour, awake is awake. I’m really feeling that lost sleep. I don’t have a clear solution to the alarm problem. Our bedroom is small, and the alarm clock sits on a dresser closest to my side of the bed. When it goes off, I notice it immediately, and I have only one clear thought: Don’t let it wake Avery! So I stumble out of bed and turn it off before Chris even seems to stir. He’s suggested moving it to his side of the bed, but the only place for it would be the bedside table. I am concerned that if he didn’t have to get up to turn it off he’d end up falling back asleep and never even realize what had happened. Right now I’m turning it off more often than he is, which sucks for me, especially when sleep proves elusive afterward.

So Day One of the head designer’s vacation and Chris is stuck at work. I wonder if that will prove to be a trend. I have mixed feelings, obviously. More money is a very good thing, but less walking would be an accidental result. That part is less inspiring, as is the notion of playing the role of solo parent 12+ hours a day. For his sake, I have to hope he’s there quite late. Traffic is a fickle beast. If he leaves precisely at 5:00, he can be home in an hour and 15 minutes. If he leaves even 15 minutes late, he might have a two-hour-drive home. He’s better off working until 7:00 PM or later than he he working until 6 PM. Neither is super-appealing for me, but I don’t want him returning tired and miserable.

Chris’ uncle offered to buy him a ticket to the Toad show, an unexpected gesture that was very much appreciated. Even more surprising, a good friend then offered Chris a ticket for free. The generosity is appreciated on all counts. From my end, it’s an even bigger deal because I kept trying to picture myself standing at the show without Chris and failing. Don’t get me wrong… I would have gone without him, had push come to shove. Not only am I a huge fan, but I have met some of my closest friends in life through this band. It’s more than just “I love the music,” although of course I do. They’re woven into the fabric of my life. To have them put out a new album 16 years later is incredible. So many good friends are coming into town for this show… it’s a very big deal for us. I can say with utter seriousness that my life would be very different if I weren’t a Toad fan. It sounds crazy – and on occasion it has been crazy – but again, most of my friends have come into my life through their music, and some in unimaginable ways. My level of gratitude here is enormous. I get a little choked up just thinking about it.

Chris just texted again to say that he’s leaving around 6:30. I’m a bit nervous for him. I hope the traffic is at least semi-bearable, and I hope he returns to us soon. It’s funny, as the result of unemployment, I’ve spent the better part of several years with him literally 24 hours a day. There were contract jobs here and there, but still. There has been an awful lot of togetherness, and I can’t say I’d recommend it. The combination of stress and constant contact does get to be a bit much. Still, the surprise is that the minute he’s actually away, I miss him. You’d think I would have gotten my fill, and then some. It would seem not. I adore him. I’ve had “for better and for worse,” and regardless I can’t imagine my life without him. He’s it for me, and always has been. From the day we met there was magic. Life isn’t always easy, but it did give me Chris. No complaints.