Sunday, January 8, 2012


I am overwhelmed.

I still don't have a kitchen. I made do with three slow cookers, a rice cooker, a propane-fired camping stove, and a coffee maker. I wash dishes in a large plastic storage box. The refrigerator is in my outbuilding.

Robisel, a fine craftman and hard worker, built a tin-roofed dog house, finished the crown molding in my house, did some touch-up painting, repaired flawlessly two large holes in my drywall, and laid and secured the cement backer board for my tile floor. He is a Renaissance man; I'm fortunate to have him working for me.

I rescued a hound dog and her six pups. Now, the two remaining pups; the mom dog, Paloma; and my orginal dog, Oliver, are under my care. I am seeking a home for Brutus, the large white male hound-mix pup, who will be neutered and trained in a month or so.

My electrical panel lost one leg of the two 120V in parallel (no 240V), so no hot water for more than two weeks. A local electrical company installed a new panel the next day, but it will be expensive. Fortunately, a kind ex-boyfriend, an electrician, diagnosed it for me.

At work, a very large, critically important report is due this week. I worked on it all (my boss, also) all Christmas break while my brethern were mostly off on their holiday.

This week and next week are also some of the busiest of the semester for a graduate advisor, as school starts the third week of January.

I also have a large editing job to finish, but between illness and all these other things, I have not finished it. I haven't even billed my clients for for work I've already done.

I have not even had time to acknowledge the birthdays of my nieces and nephews. I'm always running and never getting anywhere.

I am president of the Friends of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market. I don't want to let these people down. The vendors are very appreciative. In fact, I can't remember any volunteer or service position in which the people involved were this appreciative. The volunteer coordinator quit; other volunteers tell me they can count on me for small jobs, then leave me in the lurch, so that I'm scrambling to put out a newsletter (and having to learn the software) at the very last minute. I've been staffing the booth five hours (from set-up to tear-down) almost every Saturday for months. A while ago, just trying to make pleasant conversation wtih another sometime volunteer, I asked if she would like to staff the booth for maybe a two-hour stint every once in a while.

"No," she huffed. "I have better things to do with my Saturdays."(This is after my staffing the booth for months.) It hurt then. It still stings now. I also have important things to do, but I honor my commitments. And I don't making stinging comments about those who honor theirs. But everyone else at the farmers' market is salt of the earth, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

(Another volunteer has since stepped up for a two-hour stint the first Saturday of the month. Thanks, Michaela.)

I have not been to the gym in more than 18 months; before, it was five or six times per week. I no longer have time to commute to work by bicycle. For the past 25 years, I have commuted to work by bicycle, but even this short 20-minute commute does not seem to work into my schedule.

Except for my father's funeral last December, I have not been able to take any vacation time at all, except for one glorious Friday in June for a quick weekend trip to Galveston with a girlfriend. Taking more than one day in succession has been verboten the entire 2011.

Remembering how uncannily insightful the rudimentary Eliza AI diagnostic program seemed been a generation ago, one lunch break I tried a mini-counseling session with an on-line Eliza, but the "doctor" was not picking up on my vibe.


*Juliette* said...

It sounds like time for a much-needed vacation in 2012. Do not give up on seeking counseling either - it can be very healing to have someone listen and give an objective opinion. Hang in there!

Waitress from Mensa said...

Juliette, Your sage advice is noted and committed. If counseling has helped an accomplished professional such as yourself, it is an avenue I should explore.