Monday, January 22, 2018

Quite the Stressful Month

Thirty days ago the family drove down to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to spend the holidays with my wife’s parents.

Thus began the Stressful Month.

I did enjoy the vacation, though it wasn’t as fun as the one we took down there back in August. For one, it was colder, colder than normal, hovering about 50 most of the time. But there was a whole host of little stress nests: forgot one of the five bags of Christmas presents, the rental place wasn’t as cool as the prior one, the girls were not exactly on their best behavior (especially when alone with their grandparents), I discovered I had to take some last-minute tax classes and tests, and money seemed to be hemorrhaging left and right from our bank account.

Returned home for a quiet New Year’s Eve, then had to go to work the next day at 11. Similarly, I had to work the MLK holiday, while everyone else at the office had off. I don’t get OT at the nonprofit, so the best I could wrangle for having to work these days is that I get the equivalent amount of hours in PTO to use at a later date.

On January 2 I began the night job doing tax prep. To date I’ve only done two returns (but had two reschedules for later in the season), but there was a lot of other work: emailing last year’s clients, studying and being tested on the new 2017 Tax and Jobs Act changes, focused workshops to engage the client better, etc., etc., etc. I’ll have Thursdays and Sundays off, at least until the end of March when tax season goes into overdrive.

Both girls are playing basketball, so there’s the challenge of getting them to games and practices now that I work nights and the wife commutes out of NYC and fights insane traffic on a daily basis. Patch also does off-season travel soccer practices Friday nights.

The Mrs. brought a long-fermenting plan to visit Disney World to fruition, beginning January 11. I flew down alone with the girls; she met us down there. I spent three days in the various parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot Center) then had to fly back home to work MLK on the 15th. I returned wearier than I left. The girls stayed a few more days and had a blast (as did the wife I suspect) but I found the whole thing off-putting, introvert and solitary soul that I am. Perhaps a post on that later. And if I thought the bank account was hemorrhaging before, well, I’m still too afraid to look at the balance.

Then this past Saturday we got a puppy. This guy:


Again, one of the wife’s long-fermenting plans. His name’s Charlie, and now we’re undergoing various sorts of training at the house: poop and pee training, crate training, obedience training. The Hopper house has officially become an unmanageable menagerie: two adult humans, two young humans, a fish, a hamster, and now a dog. I’m the zookeeper that no one listens to.

My primary source of relaxation, reading, has, unfortunately, taken a back seat to all this. Only finished two books so far this year. Normally I’d have put away four or five. I come home at 8, wrestle with getting the girls to bed (and now the dog back in his crate) by 9, 9:30, then go to sleep by 10 or 11, to get up at 6:30, go for a walk, and start the whole thing over.

I’m completely exhausted, and though I’ve wanted to post here on the Hopper, posting is the last thing on my mind.

I think once I’m done traveling through 1945 Europe with General Eisenhower (Crusade in Europe, over there on the left in the “Current Reads” section), I’m gonna switch to some light adventure thrillers of the Clive Cussler variety. I have three or four on the bookshelf. Maybe chase them with some short fun-for-me reviews.

And maybe post some music, or something funny, should anything strike me so.

(I have been listening to nothing but Jazz as a sort of de facto New Year’s resolution and am starting to form opinions on that …)


Anonymous said...

Quite an exciting life!

LE said...

I'm ready for a lengthy stretch of boredom ... starting say around April 18 or so

Anonymous said...

But then all the excitement of Little One's graduation starts!!!!