It’s February, the longest month of the year. You thought January was eternal? Well, hold onto your butts, here comes February. For a such short month, February packs in the brutality. Always has, and not just for me. A friend and I used to go out to dinner on March 1st, just to celebrate surviving February, to toast being the furthest from that midwinter bullshit we’d be all year.
This year, here in the House of Chaos, we also have a return to THE BUSY SEASON. Tom’s job change last spring returned him to a career he loves but damn skippy, early in the year is nuts. Mid-January to mid-May is THE BUSY SEASON. He’s on the road a lot, and easily churns out 14 hour days when he’s home. Andy was born smack in the middle of the very first BUSY SEASON, and nearly 19 years later I’m still recovering from that nonsense (9/11 hitting when he was five months old didn’t help matters any either). Thank god the boys are older; I thought it was fantastic when they got to the age when they could wipe their own butts and fasten their own seatbelts. Now they can drive and get themselves up and out the door in the morning; I’m giddy to the point of hysteria by this newish development.
2020 brings fresh variables (I know you just read that as vegetables) to THE BUSY SEASON, making the House of Chaos just a little more chaotic than usual. I’m working, and while it’s only part-time it still demands full time dedication and concentration, as well as some evening and weekend activities. Andy is working full-time and applying to colleges for the fall; the overwhelm is real and lord save me, give me strength and wine. Jack is on a competitive robotics team and this is BUILD SEASON; he has five hour practices after school four days a week and eight hour practices on Saturdays. His BUILD SEASON almost entirely overlaps Tom’s BUSY SEASON, because of course it does. He also has several multi-day competitions this spring, right when Tom is traveling and I hit band contest season. We’re all helping my parents move out of two homes and into a third just minutes from us. Given that Parkinson’s is a rat bastard and can shove my dad into rat bastard guano pudding with no warning, I’m thrilled and relieved that they’ll now be ten minutes away instead of an hour. Their real estate tango is layered over the exact center of THE BUSY SEASON. It’s been a loooooong real estate road to get to this point and we are all so relieved it’s nearly over. Condensing two households into one considerably smaller household ain’t for the faint of heart; on the bright side, my brother and I are scoring some awesome furniture and kitchen items.
This is all on top of it being the hardest and most miserable part of winter. Fun fact: the Chicagoland area has broken records this year for the number of consecutive days without visible sun. It’s been at least two weeks of overcast skies; the sun made a half-hearted attempt yesterday afternoon and just gave up after 45 seconds or so. The dumpster fire that is current events has merged with the tire fire of national and international politics and joined forces with the tsunami vortex black hole tornado of IT IS ALL TOO GODDAMNED MUCH and my friends, February has arrived. Shit goes down in February. February surveys the societal landscape, rubs its parched hands together, and humorlessly smirks with cracked lips. It has a trailer of bullshit hooked to its winged horses of doom and has been plotting for eleven months. This year February has an extra day of cruelty, aren’t we lucky.
It is February of BUSY SEASON and lord love a duck may it please be gentle. I have zero expectation that it will be but I’ll be happy if things are just less. Not an adjective. Just want things to be less. February and BUSY SEASON tend to crank everything to 11 on their own; together I’m kinda wishing I could stay in bed until March. So hold on tight folks, here we go.