In my mind’s eye, I had something completely different planned for today’s blog entry. That’s not going to happen now, but it helps me segue into what I’ve decided to write about instead: exhaustion.
The reason the blog entry I had planned to prepare for today is not making an appearance is because of exhaustion.
I realize that my friends (and readers) that have children will say to me, “Beth, you don’t have kids. You have no idea what exhaustion truly is.” I will concede that I don’t know what that particular brand of exhaustion feels like, but I’m only talking about the brand of exhaustion that I’m familiar with, which I suppose is best explained as fatigue.
On Monday through Friday, I wake up at 4:20 A.M. Yes, I realize that this is the result of the choice I made to take a job on the south side of Chicago, and that my commute involves an hour and ten minutes of driving in each direction (sometimes more than that). I acknowledge that this is a choice that I made, and that I should accept the consequences. So let me make it completely clear, I fully accept those consequences. But that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about my exhaustion.
Sometimes I feel as though certain people in my life don’t truly understand how exhausted I am by the end of the day. I try to get to bed by 9:00 each night, which would allow me 7.25 hours of sleep. But I have too much to do before I go to bed, so I’m usually in bed by 9:40, which instead allows me 6.75 hours of sleep. For some people, this is enough sleep. I am not one of those people.
You see, unlike those certain people, even when I get home, I’m not done working. I don’t get to relax. I cook dinner, I clean the kitchen, I make my spouse’s lunch for the next day, I scoop the litter boxes, feed the cats, if it’s Thursday, I get the garbage ready for pick up, and I prepare the coffee for brewing in the morning. Only then do I get to go to sleep. Then in the morning, I get up, I shower, I eat breakfast, I feed the cats, I finish my hair, put on makeup, get dressed, bring my spouse a cup of coffee (as he remains in bed), grab my bottles of water, travel mug, prepare a new pot of coffee for my spouse, and then drive an hour and twenty minutes to work. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Last night I was so exhausted that while cleaning the kitchen, making my spouse’s lunch, and preparing the coffee pot, I got the dishwasher fully loaded and ready to run. Yet somehow the simple act of pushing the start button escaped me. WHO DOES THAT? Apparently, I do. At least, when my brain is fried.
What this all boils down to is the fact the weekend is the only time I have to get the shit done that I couldn’t get done during the week. This means five to six loads of laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, any other kind of shopping, etc.
In other words, if I’m asked to go to Beloit, Wisconsin, to watch my spouse play Magic from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, the answer is most likely going to be no. When do I get my shit done? When, I ask? I don’t play Magic, and apparently, my job would be to keep four kids under the age of six from bugging my spouse and his friends (two of which the kids belong to). And for free, at that. Then, somehow, with the four remaining hours I have on Sunday night (after I get home), I have to go grocery shopping and wash at least five loads of laundry. I’m not Supergirl! Listen up, he-who-shall-not-be-named, I realize that from your perspective, the house gets magically cleaned, the laundry is magically washed, and the pantry magically refills itself, but the truth of the matter is, we don’t have elves working for us! It’s all done by me!
So, yeah. Exhaustion. Understand it. Please.
No caption necessary. The person pictured is not actually me.