the problem is that I wait until the end of the day to begin. when I am feeling all used up and my eyes are bleary from editing and my brain is weary from thinking and my body is tired from living.
I used to come alive at night. after everyone else went to bed and quiet fell over the house, my brain lit up like a neon sign. I felt like I could do anything. make anything, write anything. all my magic unfurled after midnight.
there is no magic unfurling after midnight now. there is actually no magic unfurling anytime after nine. it is currently 9:08pm and I am telling you people right now, I am struggling. after nine, everything looks wrong, feels wrong. and what I have come to realize is that things feel wrong because I have no optimism left. these days, I have a very fixed daily amount. once it's gone, it's gone. but what I also know now is that if I just slip into bed and read my book and fall asleep, the optimism will magically regenerate and return in the morning. there will be coffee and a fresh chunk of daily optimism for the taking. most of the time, anyway.
some days, I'm careless with it. I squander it, spend it all in one place. as if I have no concept of what it means to pace. sometimes it runs out long before the day is over and I am forced to run on faulty reserves. this never ends well. and my family has come to recognize this part of who I am. once, when we were all sitting around a bonfire in the backyard, staring in silence at flames dying and embers cooling in a fat pile of ash, ezra said, "look. it's mom's optimism."
and I laughed, because it was true.