Burned out, crispy-fried style

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It’s 6-1/2 hrs past my bedtime, I’m awake and exhausted after cleaning out a loaner truck (ours is waiting on a part), moving all of our crap and getting a quick lesson in the nuances of an auto transmission, because that’s what our loaner is. We are on a streak of too many small things going wrong – one after another. I want to list all of these things that put us here, in this state of almost catatonic distress. I mean, it’s like someone suffering from hypothermia and they’re at the point where they’re either going to rip all their clothes off and roll in a snowbank or be at total peace. I don’t quite know what stage we’re at, and I’m a little nervous to find out if anything else goes wrong. You see, there’s this camel… and this straw…

Anyway, I want to explain it. I want to write it out. I want to list all these little things that have gone awry in the past three weeks because it seems like it would be somehow therapeutic. Or by making all of you feel sorry for me I’ll somehow feel better. But that’s not fair. And it’s depressing. And I just can’t. I wouldn’t know where to start anyway. Or what to include. And I know I’d miss too many things. And I’d just verify that I’m a big, whiny baby. Which, by the way, I feel I deserve to be. Go ahead and judge me.

I’m just in kind of a bad spot emotionally. I’ve never exhausted my positivity before, but this time I’m closer than ever. I’ve tried reminding myself that things don’t always go as you plan them and that it’s all going to be okay. I know things could always be worse. I know there are silver linings. I know I can choose to not let it bother me. But I’m exhausted from having to pep-talk myself for so many days in a row. It feels like I’ve been lying to myself and I’m to the point where I don’t trust myself anymore. If I just breathe deeply and say, “it’s all going to be okay. It could always be worse. There could be a dead rat in my bed,” you know what’s going to happen? I won’t have a dead rat in my bed, but something else totally unexpected will happen instead and the next time I tell myself it’s all going to be okay I’m not going to believe myself. I already don’t. There’s been too much repetition here. I’m damaged and desperately need a break from it.

Indulge me while I attempt to describe our most recent example of frustrating bad luck. Just one. Promise. :

Our day running errands doesn’t go as planned (a whole story in itself). It just takes too long and I’m going to get to bed later than I should. We get to the truck and unload everything only to realize there’s a random truck part sitting on our dash. When we question the shop about it, the techs tell us, “oh yeah… those check-engine lights that have been coming on? We found a problem [finally] and you need a new part that we can’t get in until tomorrow.” Okay, but we need to pick up our load and get going tonight. So we get a loaner truck. It’s an automatic, which we aren’t used to driving, but we’ll get used to it. Because we now have to. And fast.

We get to the truck and find that there wasn’t enough time for it to be cleaned so it smells like cigarettes and is grimy in the corners and just dirty. It’s getting further past my bedtime as I clean the yellow goo out of the refrigerator, generously apply Lysol to everything and douse the mattress in Febreeze. Then we move all of our stuff in. Now it’s a rediculous amount of time past my bedtime. I almost might as well just stay up at this point. But I’m a driver and need to sleep when ever the hell I have the chance, as it turns out. We plug in the alarm clock and the APU (the power unit) just blinks on and off. We call a tech over and he can’t figure it out. We can drive it without the APU, so we just give up on it and go with fingers crossed that the week goes alright.

So I’m overtired and burned out. Like crispy-fried and charred. I think at some point I’m going to snap. What will happen? I don’t even know. Maybe it’ll unexpectedly snow so much in Wyoming that when we drive through I’ll say to hell with everything, rip all of my clothes off and roll around in a snowbank on the side of the road. I still have my sense of humor… that’s good, right?

(And seriously. It better not snow on this trip.)

I wrote this a couple of days ago, and here is an afterthoughts:

First, it didn’t snow in Wyoming. See, good things!

Second, I know this will pass. I’m just done tuckered out. Soon I will make a happy post because I want to write about a happy place that I’ll soon be visiting – my parent’s back yard. And that is just what I need to get through this funk, along with maybe a new truck. Which, excitingly, I might be writing about soon, too! So in the end, guess what? I’m feeling… well… optimistic. And that feels so much better.

Thank you, dear readers and followers for your concerns and kind comments when I’m struggling (and when I’m not). I read them all and really do appreciate them. It helps. For real. So thank you.


Tonight I love my jump rope. It kicks my butt when I really need it.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

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7 thoughts on “Burned out, crispy-fried style

  1. Wow…sounds like a low point but getting better. I’ve been following since PCT. You get over Donner Pass regularly. I live near Auburn and hike Donner area regularly on weekends. If you ever get there and want to hike north or south from hwy 80, I’d love to join you. –Donna

  2. Look at the bright side. You have Adam with you ……you could be doing this all by yourself. Give each other a big hug and kiss and be glad that neither of you have to do all this solo. Hugs sweetie.

  3. Wow, I wish I had advice. But I have totally been there. The last few years of having a second baby, full time job, three rounds of layoffs at work, never knowing how long the job is going to last, PTA job for the school (fundraising, at a school that has 75% of the kids on free lunch) …

    I have felt more overwhelmed and cursed the last few years than ever before. So how do you get a break?

    The only way I was able to do it 1.5 years ago was to literally take every hour of PTO/ vacation when I needed it. I burned through 100 hours in 3 months (one straight week was a chest infection). I’m not sure that you can actually do that with your job, but can you schedule an occasional longer “weekend”, so that when things go wrong you still end up with a day? Not sure how trucker schedules work!

    • That’s actually part of the issue. We’re supposed to get two nights home. Normally we’d get back late Sunday afternoon or evening then get back to the truck to start our next trip on Tuesday afternoon. But lately because of one reason or another, we’ve been getting back a full day late, so we’re getting just enough time to run our errands (we can’t do any of that stuff through the week cuz we’re always rolling), and that fills up a day, usually. So we just haven’t had enough wind-down time between the last 4 runs. We have a week off coming up in a week and a half, so we are soooo looking forward to that! I might just sleep the whole time! LOL!

  4. Wouldn’t a live rat be worse than a dead one? I admire your writing therapy. While I’m sure it helps you, it is also therapeutic for your many followers. Take care, be well. jim

  5. I do two things when I get on a “low streak.” 1. I try to remind myself that life is full of lows and with time I will climb back out. Life is just a set of waves, really. 2. I write down ( or say to myself) three good things that happened today. Sometimes we get so mired in negativity that we can’t see the good things that are happening alongside the bad.

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