‘Tis the season of … exhaustion

Is it just me or has 2014 been a really tiring year? Many people I know from all walks of life appear to be staggering to the finish line. ’Tis not the season of joy, ’tis the season of exhaustion.

Maybe we should turn off the internet and reclaim our weekends. The 21st Century is far too busy with its global village and its instant service. Remember when everything closed on Sundays and everyone just chilled out?

With that in mind I’d like to let my guard down. I’ve run out of energy to be cheerful so just for this week I’m releasing my inner grump.

I’ll start with lunch. Lunch is the most annoying meal of the day. Making it each morning before work or assembling it for the kids on the weekends, it’s all a bother. And I never know what I feel like eating. If the fridge is filled with fresh salady things then lunch can be pleasurable but even then it’s still an annoying problem to solve. If the human race were starting from scratch I would try to make lunch redundant.

Children’s car seats annoy me. All those hours I have spent clamouring around the back cavern of the car readjusting twisted snaky seatbelts. Every time the kids’ seats need to be shifted I hope it’s the last time. It never is.

Fixing my bicycle annoys me. This year I have had way too many punctures. That’s because of another utter annoyance: broken glass. People who throw bottles onto the road should be made to walk barefoot over the debris.

Speaking of debris: cigarette butts. Why do so many smokers think they have the right to litter?

Washing the dishes while wearing a woollen jersey with the sleeves rolled up. Obviously this is not a summer gripe, but it still makes my list of annoyances. The reluctance of woollen sleeves to stay rolled above the elbow is one of life’s more miserable domestic irritants.

Introverts frustrate me when I’m feeling extroverted. Extroverts overwhelm me when I’m feeling introverted. I just can’t be pleased.

People who can never be pleased annoy me too.

And negative people. I have a very negative attitude towards negative people.

But I’m not sure this grizzling persona suits me. I think I will leave the proper moaning to our cat who has gone and broken his leg. (More accurately, a dog broke it for him. I am also annoyed at dogs.)

The price of our cat’s new leg could have given us a really good holiday. You’d think the cat would be grateful. Instead he is profoundly unamused by his plaster cast and his hospital cage.

I promised myself I wouldn’t keep writing about my cat but it’s hard to ignore his yowls of despair.

Many people, like me and the cat, are clawing our way towards Christmas with shredded nerves. Even when we get to the break will there be any genuine respite? Or will we be swept into yet more ridiculous holiday bustle? To truly relax is actually quite difficult.

I have decided to start soothing my brain by working on a painting. I’m no artist but it sure is nice to mess around with colours and there are no deadlines.

The other thing I’ve done is to have a bit of vent in this column. There’s plenty more I could moan about, like wasps. And bigotry. And hayfever. Hayfever, now there’s an affliction I would like to punch in the face.

Thanks for indulging me. Hopefully my misdirected little rant has exorcised enough negativity to clear the deck for bells and holly. It’s all positive from here.

Two weeks to go. Bring on Christmas.

First published in Bay of Plenty Times 12 December 2014. Reproduced with permission.