Saturday, December 7, 2013

Totally Scrooged

Oh Woe, Is Me
(To be sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree)

Oh woe, is me
Oh woe, is me
My pipes are completely frozen
Oh woe, is me 
Oh woe, is me
I pray that they're not broken

The plumber says I have to wait
And there's a good chance there's a break

Oh woe, is me
Oh woe, is me
Lots of cursing spoken

Yup.  After a summer of too much water...I now have none.  I'm writing this in a house that is far too quiet on a Saturday because my kids have all been farmed out to various friends and family members while I wait for a plumber to come look at the problem tonight.  I have relied on the kindness of my neighbors for the use of their facilities (so that my kids won't wake up to the headline "Colorado Woman Arrested for Peeing in Backyard") and this morning I took a shower at my gym, marveling at the miracle of plumbing in a way that I've never done before.

As you can imagine...all of this is not helping my already wavering holiday spirit.

I'm hoping that as I write this, my humor will find its way in - because usually that's the only thing that keeps me from going completely insane.  I sent a holiday article to my agent yesterday only to have her respond (as I knew she would), "I was hoping this would be funnier."  

But let's face it.  These last couple of's been hard to find my "funny."

I've truly been practicing what I learned the year my husband died - to take each moment as it comes and only focus on the things I can control.  Take one problem at a time, one step at a time.  

The other thing I've learned is that I should never take flushing toilets for granted.

I've been doing everything I can to get things flowing, but unfortunately, the only thing that seems to be flowing is me.  As I told my neighbor yesterday, the umpteenth time I rang her doorbell to use her bathroom, "You have no idea how much you need to go until you can't."  And the need to plan my bathroom breaks has made me feel like I have to go all of the time.  

This doesn't leave much time to concentrate on the important stuff.

I allowed myself the luxury of a half hour nap today because, obviously, I didn't sleep very well last night.  I was awakened at precisely 12:20 AM by what sounded like a low, thundering noise and something cracking.  I immediately jumped out of my bed and ran around my house, looking at every exposed pipe under the sink and the faucets.  As I stood, sleepy-eyed, in the middle of my kitchen and saw my cat run through the room in a frenzy of midnight activity (why do cats do that?) I came to the conclusion that the noise was her, running up and down my upstairs hall as if possessed, only to pause occasionally at my laundry basket to sharpen her claws.  Which explained the cracking noise.

Damn cat.

No offense, but I was hoping to not be writing at all today.  I was hoping to be finally putting my basement back together this weekend so that I would finally have my office back after all of that summer flooding.  My husband's old pool table was supposed to be gone yesterday, new carpet installed, and I pictured myself finally wrapping the Christmas presents I desperately need to get started on so that my kids can start shaking them.

And then three things happened:  my carpet guy postponed, my pool table buyer backed out, and my pipes froze.

I will admit that when all of these things happened yesterday, I sat down and cried for about an hour straight.  I know that these are "classy" problems that I am ultimately fortunate to have...but they're still problems.  And they're still overwhelming when left on my own to deal with them.

I know that most people hate that phrase "there's a reason for everything" and most of the time I'm with you on that.  But I'll admit that part of me, when going through trying times such as these, does wonder if someday I'll figure out the lesson this was supposed to teach me.

Is it learning new things about home maintenance?

Is it so that I'll think back on a time when I had more strength than I knew possible?

Is it so that I'll know that I can actually get through these things without one drop of wine (which will make me have to knock on my neighbor's door at double the frequency)?

Is it my husband causing so many problems with the house from the great beyond, telling me that it's okay to move on?

Who the heck knows??

And so, I've decided to put my Christmas spirit on hold for a few days.  I'm giving myself permission to not have the jolly demeanor I try so hard to have this time of year for my kids.  Years from now, they might reminisce about the year I decided to play Scrooge for the holidays - and that's okay.  

I've earned it.

1 comment:

  1. Everything does happen for a reason, and sometimes that reason sucks.

    Pipes froze - reason - because it's too freaking cold outside

    Carpet guy delayed - reason - he's behind due to some problem of his own or the companies (maybe your carpet didn't come in).

    Buyer backed out - reason - maybe he lost his job, found a better deal, realized he should buy presents for his family before he buys a pool table.

    Hope your toilets are flushing soon, hang in there!