To describe my feeling of utter exhaustion can only be related to two periods in my life: pledging a sorority and buying a puppy.
This change has not been easy on me.
Mostly it's because I can't get a full night's rest. Toby has not adjusted very well, but I can't blame him. He goes to bed with Jerry at 6:30 or 7 p.m. and then is expected to sleep until 10 the next morning. Not even a sloth rests that long.
So, in addition to the 3 a.m. whine fest when Jerry leaves, Toby has usually had enough downtime by 9 a.m., stretching his front paws into my face, alerting me that it's time to get up. Even though I desperately need to remain in bed.
In total over the past four nights, I've probably gotten about 16 hours of really good rest. The kind where your body is nearly unresponsive and just concentrates on recharging.
In addition to my lack of sleep, I also made one of the worst decisions of my life and opted to renovate the guest bedroom this week. If I could rewind to Sunday when Jerry asked, "Is this really the best time to do this?" I would've said: "No. No it's not. I need an intervention. Help me put down this paintbrush."
Instead, in my desperate desire to see what that room looked like in a shade other than something reminiscent of an overweight canary exploding in it, leaving a jarring shade of yellow coating every wall surface in the room, including the ceiling, I pulled out the high-hiding primer and got to work clearing the room and laying down drop cloth.
At first, I thought I could roll the primer directly onto the drop ceiling. But those lightweight foam insulation squares kept popping up. So I enlisted Jerry's help and he pulled them down while I covered them in white. I had every intention of sticking them back up until I took my first look at the actual ceiling, eight inches up.
There were admittedly a few cracks. But it looked a lot like the dining room after we had stripped off the epilepsy-inducing wall paper a few months ago.
I could fix it.
So, a few hours before the Super Bowl, Jerry reluctantly pulled out his power drill and helped detach the metal grid that formed the drop ceiling, saying again "for the record" that he didn't think it was a good idea and "couldn't we have picked a better day to do this?"
Probably. But I'm obsessed. It was my project. I was determined.
Just raising the ceiling those few inches changed the entire feel of the room. It was less "high school classroom" and more "bedroom in an old Victorian house" -- a huge improvement already. I spent the next hour spackling the screw holes from the drop ceiling and covering the cracks. My arms were numb and my neck felt broken from looking up for so long, but it was going to look amazing and add a ton of value to our house.
The next morning, because I wasn't sleeping anyway, I went to the hardware store to buy a few gallons of lightweight plaster, mixed it with white paint and painstakingly refinished every surface in that room, including the ceiling. Jerry helped for a few hours when he got home, then, feeling dead on my feet, I went to work for the night.
The morning after that, despite a feeling of total exhaustion filling my pores and seeping right down into my bone marrow, I painted. One coat of white on the ceiling, two coats of light gray on the walls.
In the meantime, our entire house was a disaster. Here we are trying to adjust to an entirely new schedule and I had to go and make it harder by adding another stress into the mix. Not only were Jerry and I tiptoeing around in the dark trying not to wake the other person up -- him in the morning and me at night -- but we were also tiptoeing around a mattress, box spring and metal bed frame in the upstairs hallway, all of the furniture from the guest room, buckets of paint and plaster and a toolbox. I guess it was my penance to slam my right foot into the toolbox Tuesday night, sending me to my knees on the bedroom floor in an awkward silent pain, trying not stir the guys.
But it's done. The room is complete and the house is somewhat back to its pre-renovation state.
Sure, it looks fantastic, but I'm too exhausted to even enjoy it. I'm physically, mentally and emotionally drained to the point where I would consider taking a personal day if I was the type to use them as personal days rather than planned vacation days. Or, to put it another way, if I was in college, I'd be skipping my classes today to lay on my couch and eat a tube of store-bought cookie dough with a spoon.
Is this week over yet?