There are certain times when I seem to be removed from reality. I imagine most people have these moments and the triggers are probably different for everyone. When I was very young, any time I did anything outside of my normal routine. An overnight trip to my grandma's, or even just going out to eat at a restaurant, everything would sort of take on a dream-like quality, like it wasn't really happening. When I was in high school, I remember it happening if there was some big assignment that I was putting off. It would get closer and closer to the deadline, and I still wouldn't start work on it, because it didn't seem real. If it was real, I never would have let it get that far. So the fact that I did must mean it wasn't real. (And then of course I'd always manage to squeak it out at the last second, and probably get an A on it. In fact, my final semester of college I got an A on a term paper and presentation that I threw together at about 11:30 the night before it was due and was sure I was going to fail. The secret: stop worrying about all the stuff you don't know, and just focus on what you do know. You sound a lot smarter that way. Also, the "write now, edit later" mentality that I learned during NaNoWriMo helped quite a bit.)
Anyway, I'm feeling that dream-like quality again right now. I just feel . . . off. My parents came to visit, along with my 12-year-old niece, for the past couple days. While that isn't a bad thing, it was just the first in a series of "out of the ordinary" events that are messing with my head, for some reason.
They arrived Wednesday night, and we went out to dinner. Yesterday I spent the day with them doing some touristy things (not that there are many touristy things in Dubuque), and when Pat got off work he joined us to drive out to the Field of Dreams movie site, about twenty miles west of us. Today they went home.
Also today, Pat is going to a company golf outing after work, and after that is a company picnic, which I'll be attending as well. I know I wrote a little while ago about how I'm getting better about going out and being social, but there's a big difference between hanging out with people I know, and being surrounded by people I've never met. So, I'm a little apprehensive, to say the least. I know I shouldn't be, but logic doesn't really play a part in matters like these.
Tomorrow we're going out of town. One of our friends from New York is visiting, and when that happens we always try to get back home to see her, plus other friends of ours are having a barbecue and bonfire. Usually these events are reserved for Memorial Day and Labor Day, and we can never go because we have a three-hour drive home and work the next day. So, despite the fact that we've been doing a lot of driving back and forth the past couple months, we wanted to make it work this weekend. Again, not a bad thing, just a lot going on.
And to complicate things further, we're trying to work it out timing-wise to see The Dark Knight Rises before the party, but movie times (and the fact that it's almost three hours long) are making it more difficult than it should be.
And the icing on the cake is that, about ten minutes before my parents got in on Wednesday, my laptop started flipping out at me. Later that night it sort of started working again, and I was able to pull a few of my more crucial files off of it, but then it flipped out again, and I'm sort of afraid to use it until I know I'll be able to (quickly) get everything else I've stored on it, because I get the feeling it's on its last legs. So right now I'm hijacking Pat's computer, but it's very awkward being without all of my files and bookmarks and saved passwords and settings and all that other stuff that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, but in my little world, is very much contributing to my being "off."