At Least a Little While

Here we are, at Wednesday of this week, and so far, I feel like it should be Friday. Actually, it should have been Friday at the end of Monday, but it wasn’t. What a shame. None of the events of the week have been onerous, per se, but because the kids head back to school this week, the list of tasks that must be accomplished is long. And each day is full. Very full.

So far this week I have:

  • Gone shopping with M for shirts and shoes
  • Driven to and from Athens, Ohio
  • Moved Z and T into their rented home
  • Grocery shopped for Z and T (who were sorting things at their house; they do not have a car on campus)
  • Hauled stacks of cardboard to recycling
  • Sorted leftover items in the girls’ room here at home
  • Gone for a run
  • Cleaned six loads of laundry (which we all still need to fold)
  • Cashed two checks at the bank (one for an editing gig and one for royalties for Rewrite the Stars!)
  • Grocery shopped for us
  • Visited my parents (this is a daily activity)
  • Attended an editing workshop
  • Worked on a short story for submission to an anthology
  • Approved several articles for the next Literary Mama issue
  • Called the pharmacy
  • Printed out new patient forms for Tim’s dentist appointment
  • Cooked dinner/cleaned up (again, daily, and I had some help)
  • Scooped cat litter
  • Moved my dad’s old nightstand into the girls’ room
  • Tried to remove cat urine from the carpet

That list isn’t exhaustive, and I admit how mundane it all must seem to you, but these are the things that I do in a day between editing and teaching. Honestly, the one that’s really getting to me is the last one. For whatever reason, one of our three cats seems to find it a better option to urinate on the family room floor. Does he have a UTI? I don’t think so. Is he stressed because the girls have left? I don’t know; this cat is always stressed, and he doesn’t seem any worse now. Am I at my limit for smelling cat pee? Yes, I am. Despite the enzyme cleaner we used, it’s clear to me that we’ve lost the battle here, and so today’s large task (after getting the other two cats to the vet and seeing my parents and a few other important to-dos) is to pull up the soiled patch of carpet in the family room and then contact a flooring specialist. This carpet has seen better days—it might be fifteen years old, and it’s experienced many animals and four rambunctious children—but I had hoped we could wait a little longer to replace it.

However, if I want to keep the last shred of sanity that I’m holding onto, we cannot. We just cannot. New floor it will be. (Thank goodness it’s a small room.)

The thing is, newness is exciting. Every year, when the new school year approached, an anticipation simmered in my veins. I liked school—didn’t love it—but something about the crack of new spines, the smell of new pages, the comfort of new shoes filled me with joy. And joy is something we could all use a little more of right now.

So I’ll be headed to the flooring people tomorrow (that task is on the list!), and even if I have to wait six months to replace this floor, I’ll be soaking up as much joy as I can from the knowledge that soon, my floor will be brand new.

And not smell like cat urine.

For at least a little while.

Image of hardwood floor by Pexels from

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