Breather

My chest feels constricted.

I announced I’m not going to the beach.

I need a break.

You go, have fun, I need to be alone.

I just finished folding the laundry and coaxing the kids to put it away IN the drawers, NEATLY.

I just reorganized their drawers three days ago.

I just washed all our laundry yesterday.

This last hamper was sitting in the living room beckoning only me, apparently, to be folded and sorted.

Breakfast was prepared, eaten and a mess left behind for me to clean up.

Sandwiches were prepared for the beach. Drinks chilled. Fruit washed, cut, and stored in sealed containers for the beach.

All messages answered.

All hugs and reassurances distributed.

All coffees made and dishes sorted.

Kitchen is clean, again.

Living room got messy and sorted again.

And it’s only 11 AM.

I go to check that all clothes have been put away.

I find half a pile on the floor.

Scattered around it I see a couple of pj pants, they look worn.

But it’s been only one night since I did the laundry, and the kid they belong to is still in his pjs. Where are these coming from?

I dunno.

How is it possible to have two pairs of worn pjs on the floor when yesterday the floor was clear and you are still wearing your pjs?

Oh… I forgot.

He picks them up and throws them in the hamper, which is already 1/4 full.

Remember I just finished the laundry LAST NIGHT! And kids are still in their pjs!

My chest tightens.

You’re gonna have to learn to do your own laundry one of these days!

This is ridiculous!

I feel like an idiot washing clothes over and over without them even being worn.

A lump forms in my throat.

My eyes well up.

Tears start to fall from my eye-lids, as hard as I try to push them back in.

I walk up to my husband.

I had just picked out my burkini and the kids’ swim trunks and Ts.

I don’t want to go to the beach.

If you want to take the kids go ahead. I’m not going.

He can tell I’m about to cry, because his voice is soft: OK.

I close the bedroom door behind me.

It’s been a good summer.

Busy, we had fun.

Our basement flooded and the people who are supposed to fix it are taking their leisurely time.

Our insurance company is taking its own good old time coming to check out our damaged goods.

So they sit. In our garage.

With the rest of the stuff we’re waiting to sort.

We’ve stuff to sell.

We’ve got stuff to donate.

We’ve got stuff to throw away.

But it sits, beckoning me to deal with it.

I avoid the garage now.

My chest tightens each time I walk in.

But we’ve been so busy with activities, fixing, appointments, visits, etc., etc., etc., I haven’t been able to move things to their places. I had sorted most of it. But then the flood…

The basement is still unusable.

I feel like I’m running around and juggling everything while more balls are thrown into the mix, the rug is being tugged under my feet, and nobody seems to notice.

I’m not alone. I’m not.

But I feel like I need to distance myself from the craziness a little bit.

Because it’s getting to me.

Kids are learning.

Husband is busy.

Everyone else looks for their own good.

I get messages past bedtime and at breakfast asking me to do more.

I say no.

My good right now is to be just left alone.

For a little bit.

So go to the beach.

And let me breathe, and settle down for a few hours.

I’ll get back into the swing of things.

Just a breather.

So social media is off for the rest of the day.

I’m not answering my phone.

I’m not doing anything.

I have one job to do, and I’ll do that.

But nothing else.

No cooking.

No cleaning.

No laundry.

No counseling.

No mediating.

No mitigating.

No consoling.

No sorting.

No listening.

Just me. And my one job to do.

And that’s today.

Tomorrow is another day.

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