The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

True confession: I’ve not read the book or even seen the film from which I’m stealing the title of this post.  It’s not quite 0700 and I’m already beyond caring about perfect analogies and such.

What I’m in touch with this morning is that I’m less undone by the big messes of care giving than by the repetition of routine chores, no one of which is heavy.

The occasional emergencies call forth some effort and then go away.  A few weeks ago at work a customer’s kid threw up all over an aisle.  The young guys I work with ran every which way to find mops, don hazmat suits and notify the Pentagon.  By the time they got back to the floor, I’d already grabbed a few rags and paper towels and had the mess cleaned up.  No big.  Care giving accustoms one to such situations.

But this morning in my own home I’m struggling.  Not a single difficult or out-of-the-ordinary task presented itself over the last couple of pre-dawn to sunrise hours.  But for whatever reason, this is one of those days when the normal stuff seems like a load and now I’m tired, surly and anxious (great time to write for you, dear reader!).

Our cat’s meowing for her breakfast revved my heart rate like the time a mountain lion’s noise chased me out of a tent in the Black Hills.

Our dog’s happy dance in anticipation of running outside to pee (and chase rabbits and run across the street and bark at joggers etc.) felt like I was being run over by a wildebeest stampede.

IMG_20130704_101412_454The kid was messy in the bathroom, which isn’t new but today raced my pulse like a tire blowout on the freeway.  Then he didn’t want to sit at the table and have his morning medications.  He gave me his patented “I’m tuning you out so you don’t exist” resistance.

“All of this” – a cat’s meow, a dog’s potty break, a kid’s morning routines – comes to maybe 15 or 20 minutes.  Not much time, not physically demanding work, not unexpected.

That’s the b***h of it.  It’s not unexpected.  Day in, day out, for weeks and months and years.  I get the mornings, and Melissa meets him coming off his bus at the end of the day.  Her pile of stuff includes trying to engage him in conversation only to have him fry her brain and last nerve with repetition of his demand for whatever new video has him perseverating (had to throw in a bit of catchy special needs jargon to keep up the blog’s standards, dontcha know). He can repeat a phrase for hours, sometimes tugging on her ear to make sure she can’t tune it out.  And just when mom is near her wits’ end, the dog starts gnawing on its paws with a gross slurping sound that makes sure wits’ end is reached and surpassed.

20160519_064515So here I sit in a lump to wait for his a.m. bus.  Coffee.  I love coffee.  No, I lust for it and obsess over it.  But I can’t get up to make it.  It feels like the one-more-chore I can’t handle this morning.

Maybe I’ll lose internet connection.  That would be awesome.

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