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Exasperation Central

>> Thursday, December 3, 2009

I've half-jokingly mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of winter.  If I were to be completely honest, I actually do like a lot of things about snow and cold and ice (well, for at least the first month or two of winter, then it starts to get old, and I always hate slush, salt on the roads, and cold toes). 

What I really dislike about winter, though, is how short the days are.  It's amazing how much of a psychological impact that has on me, and how confined it makes me feel.

I come to work as soon as it gets light.  I then work all day.  I then drive home in the dark.  That means it's hard to get any time outdoors in daylight.  Evenings tend to be more frenzied, too, since we have fire-tending and wood stacking responsibilities to add to the daily chores. 

Work is particularly busy, which isn't helping.  It always is at the end of the year.  I'm buried with all sorts of things, and am being consumed by a couple of litigation matters.  In my line of work litigation generally takes one of two forms: 1) somebody spilled something icky and a fracas has ensued; or 2) somebody is about to build something that other people don't want built, and a fracas has ensued.  I have one of each at the moment, on top of general permitting, compliance and transactional matters.

This time of year I'm so busy with holiday preparations on top of everything else that it's even hard for me to get outdoors on the weekends.  THAT is what really makes me grouchy.  I can survive the cold dark weeks with my head down, so long as I can hope for a break of fresh air, open sky, critters, and a botanical foray on the weekend. 

But this week, shopping for family members and colleagues and an adopted family in need is likely to consume much of my weekend.  The rest of the weekend will be eaten up by Christmas cards.  For some reason Spouse got the harebrained idea that I should paint the design for them (one of my other many hobbies) and have him print them (he works for a printing company) this year.  For some insane reason I agreed.  That should at least double the amount of time we spend on the Christmas cards.  It will probably double the amount of money we spend on them too, but nevermind.

Actually, I don't mind doing any of it, and even enjoy most of it.  I just mind that it all supplants my other typical weekend activities. 

What this all means is that I'm grouchy (I think I already mentioned that), and I'm short on outdoorsy blog material.  It also means the dogs are cooped up and particularly fractious.  Are there still trees and sky out there?  I know there's mud - the dogs track that in the house for me.  But are there great critter tracks in the mud?  Is ice forming on any of the open water bodies yet, and are there still a few die-hard leaves stuck to branches?  Are there birds feasting on berries? 

Hello, wilderness, are you out there?


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