Grandma! I love you in a salad way

What keeps me up at 4AM is the fear of dying, that crippling fear of not being able to share my passwords to my loved ones, of forgetting things, of not being able to do what I used to do. I rarely have time to do anything else these days. It's crazy. There's just routine after routine. When I feel like I'm not making good use of my free time, I add another routine into the mix. I signed up for a gym subscription last July and lost close to 40 pounds after seven months. Then last December, I signed up for a year-long intensive course on marketing on top of work. Sure, it's all online, and paid for by the company, but I never thought I had to read a hundred-plus pages of stuff on market segmentation, and spend a lot to park myself in a cafe for three hours - because that's the only environment I find conducive aside from libraries. My first exam is on the 10th of April. After 17 years, my mother will arrive at NAIA on the very same day. I will be on a business trip for the next four days, and I'm afraid I won't see her until the 15th. I got to a point where I had to stay up late in the office on my birthday. My response to my sister's greeting was to tell her that I'm so tired, but she said something comforting, something like: you'll be able to spend your birthdays better after your course. Which is true. I like long-term thinking a lot. I've never given long-term thinking much thought until I had a son. I feel like I've spent most of my (teenage?) days not doing anything - and I know I couldn't make up for lost time, only I had to jog and lift weights to combat heart disease at 40. Maybe the health benefits of drinking black, unadulterated coffee will pay off. I find it funny when people still ask me about writing. I still write - but not fiction. (I write emails!) I'd like to think I still have that sensibility - that process of meaning-making - and that, in itself, is the most important thing I learned about creative writing. That sensibility makes life much more bearable. That sensibility tells you to watch the sky at 4AM while walking towards your tricycle, duffel bag on my shoulder, mind blank. That sensibility tells you to write a story in your head about writing to ten dead people about their regrets - not because you're sure no one has ever done it before, but just because it's amusing. That sensibility tells me to attend that PAG-IBIG seminar in Mandaluyong not because it's mandatory but because all the stories I read about had interesting stuff coming out of the most mundane of things. (In my case, I found a Turkish restaurant across the road that sells authentic Turkish coffee.) I always think of the product of that sensibility - musings, imagination, whatever - as a layer on top of life - like, if life were made in a pre-installed iMovie on an office laptop, life would be the main track, and there would be two or three tracks on top of it. In this case, this is another layer that sensibility told me to do: to write something about your life from time to time.