India Choquette is a writer, a trainer, a teacher, a breakfast sandwich eater, a person in love with a person, and a FOrmer Vermonter living in New York City.

Happy I'm Tired

Spring usually makes me feel insane. But good insane—Insane like I could give up sugar and bread for life and write three novels a year and work out six times a day. And still have energy to grocery shop after work.

I don’t feel that way this spring. This spring, I could sleep at any moment, in any location. On the subway. In a café. Resting between lifts.

I know that there’s a reason for it. S. keeps reminding me that using my brain is exhausting. Not that it’s new to use my brain, but I’ve tripled my writing this spring. And drawing creativity out of myself is reverse Sisyphus—instead of pushing the rock up the hill, I’m pulling the ideas out, only to wake up the next day, new ideas needing to be pulled.

My dad wouldn’t allow us to say we were tired when someone asked us how we were. “Everyone’s tired,” he’d say.

And he was right. Everyone is tired. Everyone with jobs, with kids, with relationships. S. and I have a cat outside our window that’s in heat. She’s been there for five nights, howling and yowling. I don’t know how she hasn’t found a tomcat to help her out.

“I can’t believe she hasn’t found another cat,” S. says, using a reasonable amount of tact.

“Maybe she has,” I say. “Maybe she’s looking for multiple partners. To hedge her bets.”

Here’s why I’m tired: I teach fifteen fitness classes a week and usually see eight private clients. I try and write every day, and I usually commute on foot, listening to audiobooks to maximize my time. I cook as much as I can. We are getting ready to move, and every day is a new decision about getting rid of my possessions. I don’t like getting rid of things because I never know where to bring them. I would gladly put most of everything I own out of the curb if I didn’t suffer from crippling green guilt. Instead, I have to bring the clothes to textile recycling (a fifteen minute walk away, only open Thursdays and Sundays) and electronics go to Best Buy. And we could go on. No one wants used books, and hardcovers aren’t recyclable. I get up early at least six days a week, since either S. or I has an early start. There’s a ladder up to our bed, which is exhausting somehow. My friend just left for bootcamp, and that makes me emotionally tired.

My sister came to visit this weekend. She’s tired too. “Maybe I have Lyme,” she posits. She’s preparing for med school and also apartment hunting. She works in the ER and also brews her own kombucha. She recently visited my grandmother in Florida and is getting ready to run a half marathon. She’s also traveling to Spain in a couple weeks.

People like to tell me that I don’t know how to rest. Or that I need to take it easy. But I sleep enough according to science. When I was little, if people would ask me if I could have any super power, I’d say, “I would want the ability to go without sleep and never feel tired.” I still wish that.

But I do feel tired. But what’s the alternative? Being rested? What would I do if I were rested? Probably I’d do the same things I’m doing now. Which would make me tired. I’ve decided, while slightly inconvenient, tiredness is a good sign. Things are changing, and I’m working hard. So instead of saying “I’m tired” like it’s a bad or pitiable thing, being tired is where I want to be. It means that the train is moving.

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