December is, traditionally, the month of the year wherein I am most likely to wish to die in a fire. It’s not that I don’t love the holiday fa la la la blah blah or whatever, it’s that:
1) Work is crazy. (See also: the glamorous life of a freelancer, no such thing as paid vacation.)
2) The children are crazy. (Monkey is crazy because everyone else is crazy; Chickadee is crazy because traditional public schooling mandates that December is a DANDY time to assign projects in every single class, plus have finals, plus do standardized testing, plus start doing competitions for several activities in which she’s involved.)
3) Travel makes me crazy, and the only thing that makes me crazier than traveling is PLANNING for travel, and December is the hallowed month of WHEN WILL YOU BE HERE FOR HOW LONG LET’S PLAN EVERYTHING and as much as I love each and every person who wants to see us, really, I do, I would also rather punch myself in the face repeatedly than try to figure this out every damn year.
4) It’s possible I’m just crazy anyway. MAYBE. I admit to nothing. Other than December bringing out my special brand of… me-ness.
December is also the month in which I start “making peace with my limitations,” which sounds a lot more Zen and friendly than just saying that I stop cleaning, I stop cooking, and also I stop caring. There is only so much that can get done in any given time period, and you know what? No one ever died from a few extra hairballs in the bathroom. I mean, I assume. I trust that—come January—just as in every other year, the crazy-scales will fall from my eyes, life will return to normal, and I will look around the house and bellow OH MY GOD WE ARE LIVING IN FILTH, CHORE DAY RIGHT NOW EVERYONE GRAB A SPONGE.
[Yes, of course I am exaggerating. A little. Not as much as I hope you think I am, though.]
The wrench in all of this is that, as you may have guessed, those posters with the kitten dangling from a tree branch with the cheery caption “Hang in there!” are more stable than the workings of our daily life, right now. And JUST ONE THING can throw everything off, I mean throw off even the jacked-up, half-assed schedule we are limping along with right now.
Hmmmmm. December. December. Now what ONE THING could POSSIBLY come visit a family in December, unbidden? If you guessed ILLNESS you are CORRECT! Gold star and a big vat of hand sanitizer for you!
Last year Otto and the kids got the flu, you may recall, although in the end I miraculously escaped it. It ruined all of our plans, led to our canceling the annual holiday trek back up north, and was generally a giant buzzkill in every way possible. This year I forbid anyone to get sick. Obviously.
Well, Monkey had a hard week a couple of weeks ago and then Chickadee was maybe-sick for a couple of days and yesterday I went on a field trip with Hippie School and then ran some errands with Monkey and took him to get a flu shot and to therapy and then we came home and I sat down and I thought, “Huh. I don’t feel so hot.”
Let me clarify, here, that I DO NOT HAVE THE FLU. I have a cold. Probably a minor one. I just… buckled. I’m exhausted. I went to bed around 9 last night and didn’t even open my eyes until about 7 this morning. I’m about 20% sick and 80% just plain tired, and it’s not a big deal, but it’s interfering with everything I need to get done, man.
So I was lying in bed with my laptop and I started thinking about actually showering and getting dressed, and I realized I was completely out of clean clothes. Like, the only clean underwear I had available was the slutty g-string with BRIDE written in rhinestones across the front that someone gave me before Otto and I got married. (Which… yeah, I have no idea why I still have those.)
Also, most of the clothes which weren’t stuffed in my hamper were sitting in the clean clothes basket I never unloaded from the LAST time I did laundry.
AND every single pair of jeans I own needed to be washed. Do you do that thing where you have A PLACE where jeans go after you’ve won them and they are not FRESH FROM THE LAUNDRY CLEAN but can be worn again, probably? And generally that works out pretty well, but about once or twice a year you realize that said PLACE is heaped up with jeans, ALL of which need to be washed?? (You… don’t? Okay, um, well then me neither. Ahem.)
So I dragged myself out of bed and did three loads of laundry and put everything away. In case you were wondering, yes: 28 pair of socks. And no, it hasn’t been 28 days since I did laundry, because some of them were in the basket from last time that I never put away and…
… I have no idea why I’m telling you this.
Epilogue: My clothes are clean. The house is still a mess. And now I’m too tired to take a shower. WOE IS ME.