When you ease back in the dentist's chair with a sigh of relief - and then almost fall asleep between treatments.
You KNOW your day is bad.
Awake between 2 and 4 am reading newspapers and trying to cheer up the cat.
Huge melt of snow, streets full of 20 cm of dirty snow melt. Hard to drive or walk.
TWO hours at the vets, while he does blood tests and checks, and talks to you at length...to end up with the same diagnosis: your cat is depressed and has a gum infection.
Missed appointment with the accountant.
Almost missed 11 am class too.
Then no time for lunch.
Rushed to dentist. 20 minutes of relaxation while the new night guard fitting is checked.
Home to lunch, livened up cat on antibiotics, watch TV, make Okaasan's dinner and put it in flasks on the table.
Back out again at 4.15 pm.
Second appointment with the accountant. I OWE the tax office $50.....and the account charged me $300 for telling me that.
Streets now freezing into deep ruts of dirty snow. Have to clear shovel some outside the house to stop passing cars getting stuck.
Finally, at 8 pm back home exhausted with it all. Dreaming of a glass of wine and a quiet dinner of maybe the deer curry pack I brought back from east Hokkaido last month.
I find the food flasks open, but the food uneaten - and Okaasan says:"Oh, but I was waiting for you to come home, so we could eat together!"
BUGGER! Bugger Bugger.
DON'T want to have to eat with her after all that long day.
But have to.
Don't have any more energy left for making conversation.
I heat up her food, dish up leftovers for me and eat across the table from her in silence.
10 minutes later I tell her I have a cold coming and should go straight to bed.
One blog commentator praised me for not taking out stress on Okaasan...well, I don't beat her up (like far too many awful stories in Japan recently), but there are many times when I just don't have any more energy to give her - in conversations or brightness.
I escape upstairs to a glass of wine and some cheese.
And the cat is STILL lively. THAT is a good thing. Is he still on the drugs-induced-happiness...or is he really feeling better? Anyway I dish out as many expensive dried food snacks as he wants to eat. Just happy to see him eating again.
Thought quite a lot about stress and life today.
Maybe something has got to be changed in our winter life - because obviously the cat is feeling stress, and I know I am feeling stress. I don't have any ovaries now to multiply and pop... I expect some other body part could go wrong.
It all stems from his job as a ski instructor and being away for long times at a stretch.
And my job being morning, afternoon AND evening.
Something has to change.
The trouble with working freelance - as we both do - is that you don't want to turn down work when it's offered.
So he says "Yes" to every ski job, and I say "yes" to every evening class.
Maybe in winter, when he is away, I should limit the number of evening classes I teach to 2 or 3 a week. So I can come home late afternoon and be here for the depressed cat and make the old lady's dinner and eat with her.
Or he has to say "No" to more ski jobs and be home more.
When a family life is over-stressed the stress filters down to the lower members and in our case it was the cat. Stuck inside in a crazy-weather winter. Left alone while mom and dad work. Ignored by his sibling who goes out more to climb snow drifts.
Yesterday was just an awful day - I just ran around putting out the necessary fires of life.
Something's gotta give.
52 years old. Got be apply some wisdom to life.