February Spring

I’m stumbling home in a February spring, coat open, gloves off, a warm wind winding in and out and around me. I am half-happy, half-mad, all-exhausted. Each step takes effort, is so slow—I want to want to run—but I can’t—I can barely walk—one foot in front of the other, and suddenly, dizzy, I stop…

I’m tired. I’m so-to-the-bone tired, an exhaustion I’d tell you I can’t describe except it would be a lie, because that’s exactly what I’m doing now. I’m so tired, I can barely walk, I can barely think.

I’m stumbling home…

I’ve spent the morning writing and juggling. First, loving the morning-loving-Ender, negotiating with him my need to write Morning Pages as soon as I wake up no-matter-what-no-I’m-not-going-to-build-Kapla-or-make-you-an-omelet-here-eat-an-orange-when-I-am-done-I-will-make-you-eggs-what?-yes-I-can-get-you-cold-spaghetti-from-last-night-but-you’ve-got-to-let-me-write…

Then, walking, so very quickly, to a café—I cannot work at home today, it is oppressing me, squeezing me, reprimanding me with all the things it wants from me and I hate it, I need to run away, will-you-watch-the-children-thank-you-I-promise-I-will-come-back.

Coffee. “Dark? Medium? What size?” “Surprise me. I have no superfluous decisions left in me today.” And it’s only 9 a.m….

(She gets me a large latte; I feel bad I don’t have money for a tip.)

You come to visit me for a while, and we talk about EVERYTHING, and this time, neither of us cries, and we laugh about it. You’re my fix of… what? Something undefined, but needed. I appreciate it. An injection of energy that gets me moving, and after you leave, I write.

I’m writing about a woman who’s going to change the world. As I write, I believe it. I love her, I envy her. When I finish, I despair. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to let her. They’re going to destroy her.

(Can I stop them?)

I have more to write. Difficult things, technical things, uncreative things, necessary things.

I’m suddenly tired, uninspired and I don’t want to.

A text. “Can you be home by… I need to…” “OK. I’m done writing anyway.”

In a minute, in a second, in a moment of time shorter than that, this happens: I switch from writing-producing-thinking-happy to… fallow-done-exhausted-barely-alive. The fog envelops me and deepens as I walk towards home. With each step, I get heavier. Slower. More stupid. So tired. Where does this exhaustion come from?

I stumble home, into the house, crawl up the stairs—I have a window of perhaps 20 minutes before kids—I fall into bed. Eyes closed. So-exhausted. What do people who cannot nap do?

I don’t know if I sleep. I simply don’t move.


“Dropping kids off at the top of the hill, can you meet them?” “On my way.”

I am still tired. Stupid. I think, the thing I wrote this morning? Worthless. The things I still have to write? Pointless. When will I do it? How? Despair.

I stumble out of the house. One foot in front of the other. February spring, wind.


I inhale.

An idea…

One foot in front of the other up the hill I see three little bodies, arms waving, legs and arms pumping, oh-the-energy, infect me!

We walk home together. I am still tired. But I am not stumbling. I am not stumbling.

There is food on the stove (I text: “Thank you, my love”). I do some things. A request: “Sit beside me, Mom.” I do. I open the lap top. Caress the keys. Maybe what I wrote this morning wasn’t so bad.

Maybe what I write next isn’t pointless.

“Hey, Mom, do you want me to make you some green tea? You look like a zombie.”

I am, just a little, tired.

But no longer so-to-the-bone tired I can’t walk-or-think.

Still. I am looking forward to bedtime. Immensely.

nbtb-Feb Spring



P.S. You really liked this post: Dear un-Valentine: the way you talk to your partner tells me more about you than the way you kiss. Thanks!

5 thoughts on “February Spring

  1. I want a February coat Ms Nothingby. All I have is my own skin and sometimes it would be lovely to peel it off in the fuggish humid haze that is our February. I am going to hold that image of a February coat firmly in the centre of my mind as the thermometer starts to climb… again… I see your mental exhaustion. I see it and I wear it like a coat. What is it about this time of year that makes simply moving a chore? Post after post of exhaustion has me thinking that worldwide, we are taking ourselves to the limits of our abilities. Have a hug Ms Nothingby. It might only be a mental one, it might be entirely half-arsed and more like a shoulderpat but it is heartfelt and entirely focused on you.

    • I adore you. It is now March, and maybe this is a real spring after all, but it is not, I am totally deluding myself, I know, because the snow will come and crush me and it will be so cold… and I will think of you, sweltering, with envy…

      • Fear not. I am assured, by a lady in California, that summer is well and truly on it’s way. I have NO idea where you live but I am guessing someplace up north where the snow hides till the sun manages to catch up to it about July, sort of like Tasmania but with extra coats I am guessing. I am SO happy to take over that mantle. Send it down post haste. I will shrug on your snow like a happy seal who has done her time sweltering and is ready to lay on a nice layer of blubber (LOVE that comfort food) and settle down to crocheting, hibernating and thinking wistful thoughts about perhaps getting dressed and heading into the city to watch ’50 shades of Grey’ but then I remember who I am and that there is buggery bollocks own chance of me parting with my readies to watch that tripe! Toasted cheese sarnies all round with hot soup and a lovely fire Ms Nothingbythebooks. I came from a hot clime and I will be buggered if I am going back! 😉

  2. Wow. This post had me thinking of that smell, you that smell…maybe it’s decaying leaves or if melting snow gave off a smell…that would be the smell. That’s what reading this post into my mind. That smell.

    And smiling envy

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