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Rough Day!

Phew!  Another crazy long day.  It started this morning with my usual dash out the door to make it to campus before 9:30.  This means leaving by 8:15.  The power went out last night at some point, so my alarm didn’t go off.  I woke up at 7:30 (I’ve been working until 1-2am most evenings this week) and of course was immediately behind in everything.  Cutting corners where I could, I ended up eating breakfast behind the wheel once again.  Only this time, wearing gloves for the first time this seasons, I clumsily spilled half of it on my lap.  Oatmeal and yogurt all over black pants.  Of course I had to stand up on front of a classroom today.  And no, there was no options for changing.

Class went relatively well, despite the stained pants I tried to hide with a long draping scarf.  After followed by a line-up out the door all through my office hours of students wanting to talk to me about their impending essay.  From there I went straight to the writing centre where I met with back to back students until 4pm.  Next, I caught the 4:05 bus across town to meet a professor from a different department who needed me to do some marking.  The expected 1.5 hours of work quickly stretched into nearly three, and there I was standing at the bus stop in cold and dark at 7:20 pm with 160 more exams in a box to take home and grade (ideally) tonight.

The bus didn’t come.  Did I mention it was cold out?  Darn cold.  I did have the foresight to bring a hat, scarf and gloves, and as such was not completely underdressed.  But my body has not yet acclimatized to the downturn in the ambient temperature, and standing out in freezing weather was not fun.  I waited and waited and waited.  Still no bus.

At 8:10 it pulled up.  I was shaking uncontrollably and had been on the verge of tears – and of being sick to my stomach – for some time.  Turns out there is no 7:30 bus because that’s when the driver gets his dinner break.  He clearly felt bad and spoke kindly to me as I chattered my teeth all the way back across town to where I had left my car.

This is the first time I’ve reach the point of wanting to cry from frustration in a long time.  I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping my workload, and therefore my stress, under control.  This is very important for me to do because my body lets me know pretty quickly when I push it past it’s ability to cope.  I get sick, or my energy level drops through the floor and I become unable to do all the things that I need, and want, to do.  I hate being like this and so am very careful with myself.  Tonight I teetered on the edge of that boundary.  I think, however, that I tipped myself back on the right side, the side of good health and sufficient energy.  I do have a sore throat and can feel the beginnings of  a cold trying to set in, but that will be gone after a decent night sleep I’m sure.

The drive home was easy but long.  I noticed something in the air as I went along in the dark, tiny things flying through the beams of my headlights.  It looked like insects.  I thought that was strange because it’s too cold for bugs.  Perhaps I was seeing things.  As I continued on my way, however, the cloud of “bugs” got thicker.  Then I started noticing it in oncoming headlights.  WIth so many bugs, why weren’t they hitting my windshield?  Was I seeing things?  Were my eyes giving out from too much strain?  As I turned off the main road and onto one of the country back roads, I turned on my highbeams.  Then it was clear what I was seeing…

Snow.  Snow?  SNOW!

Holy crap, it was snowing out.  No wonder I was cold waiting nearly an hour for the bus with just a leather jacket and shoes.  I don’t remember  seeing snow last year until the day I drove home from the last sheepdog trial of the year, around the 25th of the month. So this is really early.  I don’t expect there’ll be any accumulation, but I have a feeling we might be in for an early winter.  I had best finish up putting my garden and yard to bed this weekend!

Once home, I let my poor, suffering dogs out to pee.  They had been locked up since 8:15am and it was now 9:30pm.  I am a horrible dog owner.  I don’t deserve the wonderful companions who sit locked up in my room all day and then are happy to run around for a few minutes, then curl up in bed and wait until tomorrow to play.  As I type I have three on the bed curled up to me  for warmth and one of the cats on my chest.  You can blame any typos on her as I am having trouble seeing the screen over her head.

The house, having been empty all day, was quite cold when I got home.  We run the furnace just hot enough to keep pipes from freezing, but it doesn’t work well and burns gas in far greater proportions than it heats.  The woodstove is the main way of heating this house, and so I tried to get it going.  My roommate is out of town for the weekend so this was my first attempt to get it going.  I failed miserably.  I know I could have worked harder at it and probably have had success but by this time it was 10pm, and I was exhausted and ready for bed.  I took a hot shower and climbed under the covers instead.  I’ll fight with the woodstove tomorrow when I need it going all day while I mark exams.

As I stood shivering at the bus stop earlier this evening, I had plenty of time to think.  Not surprisingly my thoughts were rather negative and cranky.  Now that I am in my warm bed, things don’t seem anywhere near as bad.  But I do have to say one thought stuck with me – it sucks to be on your own when thing get rough.  What I wouldn’t have given to have had a friend (or ideally a partner!) I could have called to pick me up at that frozen bus stop.  I wracked my mind for someone I could have called and came up with no one.  I also have no one who can let my dogs out when I’m gone for such long days.  While I have many wonderful friends, they are scattered about and far away, especially from where I now live out in the country.  The few good friends I have in London either don’t have cars, or have young children they can’t leave on short notice.  On a day to day basis, I have no one I can depend on to help make my life easier.  And while often the acts of strangers can help with this, where I was waiting at the bus, no such help was offered.  A taxi said where I wanted to go wasn’t far enough to be worth his while, unless I wanted to overpay.  When I asked a bunch of students standing nearby if they knew when (whether?) the bus was coming, no one answered or even made eye contact.  Cold, hungry and carrying a box too heavy to walk far with, I felt alone and helpless like I haven’t felt in a long time.  I really look forward to settling into a community where I can put down some long-term roots, and perhaps even find a partner.  Oh, that would be so nice…

None of this will happen until I finish my degree, so I had best stop whining and start writing faster.


2 Responses

  1. ACK! That sound like some of the days I spent waiting for busses in Ottawa that never showed up. The cold, especially early cold, always seems to bring out the worst in me too…(btw, partners are just as likely to make crappy days much worse as they are better, all you can REALLY depend on is a happy dog kiss)….i guess the cold is getting to me to.


    • Yes, the only thing I can count on is that the dogs will be happy to see me when I get home. Beyond that, life is pretty much a crap shoot most of the time! And this early cold is indeed always the worst. I keep telling myself that two months from now, I’ll find this weather almost tropical.

      Why do we live in this climate again??

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