The winter of my discontent

Friday the 13th, my lovely bride got up at 4 a.m. and drove me to the train station.

tired.ferretIt’s cold, it’s snowy, but it’s also winter in upstate New York, so I’m not one to complain. (I save my vexation about the weather for the summer.)

So the stuff outside is not specifically bothering me, though if I were to, it would sound like The Grounds for Violence – Key of Bart. People who don’t shovel their walkways, ESPECIALLY at the corners, and make it difficult to walk; now THEY really bug me.

I did fall down outside recently, trudging through the white stuff, and had a difficult time getting up. You’d think the snow would be more forgiving, but I guess not when it’s 10F/-12C. Landing in it managed to bang up both shoulders, my left knee and my right thigh; my back and ribs are hurting, too.

This is Black History Month and, at church, I’d somehow gotten myself involved with not only the adult education for February but most of January as well. The annual luncheon process became more complicated by ANOTHER event in February at church.

Because the calendar fell as it did, I was unable to go to the annual Midwinter’s gathering in my college town area, which I often find restorative, because it clashed with RESPONSIBILITIES at church; it’s only a problem when February 1 is on a Sunday.

The Daughter’s church musical is March 1, which has meant attending extra rehearsals.

A big issue in my life is work, which has become stressful. We had had five librarians working on reference questions. One has been out on maternity from Thanksgiving, returning at the end of February. But another left to take another job at the end of January, and I will miss seeing her every day. Worse, there is no promise the position will be filled.

So for most of February we’ve had three librarians, except on those days when one of us was out – at least twice because of the weather – and we had but two. Yet the workload did not ebb.

Surely, it’s THREE funerals in seven weeks that has worn on me. They were actually all very nice events in their own ways. I spoke at two of them.

I think that sense of loss has made the deaths of public figures, such as Bob Simon and Lesley Gore – my, I LOVED You Don’t Own Me – somehow more poignant.

Basically, it’s that I’m damn tired. The Tuesday before my cousin Robert’s funeral, a cousin called, waking me at 10:30 p.m. telling the funeral as on THAT Friday. I went back to sleep, but then woke up again at 1 a.m., trying to problem-solve how to get there by looking at Amtrak and Greyhound schedules. I never DID go back to sleep.

When I got home Wednesday evening, I was SO exhausted that I changed into my pajamas at 7 p.m. A half hour later, the doorbell rang. One of my church buddies was there to pick me up to take me to a meeting, something I had asked him to do only two days earlier. I ran upstairs to get dressed and went out.

Friday the 13th, my lovely bride got up at 4 a.m. and drove me to the train station a half hour later. Took the Amtrak to New York City, the subway to Queens, and then a bus to the funeral parlor. At the end of the day, got a train to Penn Station, then the Amtrak back to Albany (or rather Rensselaer, on the other side of the river), and waited for the CDTA bus; got home at 11:15 p.m.

It’s all made me rather impatient. After an Islamic center in Houston, TX was torched, some Facebook friend of mine, someone I knew in childhood, wrote: “May HaShem forgive me, but I don’t think it could happen to a more deserving group of individuals…Terrorists, what ever you choose to call them, but human they are NOT…!!!”

Someone unknown to me replied to her, “Such comments are disgusting and a real Chillul Hashem“. I just unfriended her, only the second time I’ve done that. Can’t be bothered with the debate.

Some of this will likely get better. The weather will break, a coworker will return, the play will be over. Now if I can be sure there won’t be any more funerals to attend anytime soon, I’d be a whole lot better.
***
“What Makes Us Happy?” (The Atlantic, June 2009).

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “The winter of my discontent”

  1. I hope, in parts of the country where snow is frequent and walks must be shoveled (and fire hydrants cleared) that people who are physically unable to do so have neighbors willing to help.

    I know my neighbors are looking grumpily at the leaves still hanging around in my yard, but my allergies this fall and winter have been so terrible that I’ve been afraid to rake them, lest the molds in them cause me to have hives bad enough to hospitalize me. I don’t quite know whom I could hire to remove them; none of my friends or colleagues have kids of the right age (or who don’t have similarly terrible allergies).

    That’s the kind of thing I worry a lot about: being able to keep up some minimum standard if my health doesn’t permit. The city here is spectacularly unhelpful; they say, “Do it or be fined” without any real suggestion as to HOW. (No, they are not harassing me about leaves, but over the summer they did about brush along the fenceline that I technically did not own).

    I’m tired too.

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