I’m Exhausted From This Strange And Hectic Life I’m Leading


I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve just poked my head out of my groundhog hole and come to grips with everything out there.

It’s a lot.

Part of it is the holidays, of course. I try to get my tree down before my daughter’s Jan. 3 birthday, and that’s a struggle. Then, I have the rest of it to deal with — the wreath on the door, the ornament swags in the planter box, the Santa Claus pennants in the kitchen, the Rudolph nose on the fake deer head.

Another part is the end-of-the-year thing. With two stores to tally up and the IRS to report to, I need to sit in front of my computer for much longer than is healthy. I just know my popo is going to flatten out. (It’s a Polish word, but you get it.)

Thank-you notes. My mother never let me play with my new stuff until I wrote a thank-you note for anything I had received as a gift from anyone outside the home. Completely unreasonable (I felt, at the time) but it stuck. And, since it’s already January, and I really want to get into those Hoffman’s Chocolates…

The grandkids are back in school, but not really. Thanks to the pandemic, I’m like a doctor on call, 24/7, waiting for a text telling me that they’re suddenly out of school for the day. I practically leave my car running in the driveway, in case I have to drag them from out of harm’s way.

Then there’s that eating thing. My husband likes to eat — not three meals a day, of course; that would be madness… but occasionally. I finally had to admit that while I may not particularly care for the “food” in fast food, I really do love the “fast.” No buying groceries, no prep, no cleanup, no leftovers. I’ve did it the other way for 17 years; I prefer this way.

And laundry. Try as I may to keep the hamper empty, it keeps filling up until it eventually barfs cotton and polyester onto the floor in a desperate attempt to get my attention. I avert my eyes as long as I can until, without fail, I slip on a sock and barely catch myself on the windowsill. That’s how I know it’s laundry day.

Car maintenance. Having put everything on hold since the start of the holiday season (you know, Aug. 1), my car now huffs and lurches and hisses along the road, dashlights flashing maniacally. OK, fine. I’ll take you in. I tell the guy, “All it needs are tires, fluids, a battery and, oh… can you get the windows to go up and down again?” He hands me a number.

I try to fit in some fun. I write a little bit. Buy things at auction. Pop in and see how my stores are doing. One time, I went to a movie. It all adds up. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I need a coffee.

Wait! I don’t drink coffee.

But I do know why Punxsutawney Phil ducks back into his hole. Groundhogs are smart.