I heard, “Mom? It’s 6:30. Are you getting up?”
My first thought was, “Do I have to?” but my second thought was, “What day is it?”
When I flipped back through my recent memories, the previous three days were all blurry. I had a recollection of doing nothing all weekend but not a wisp of feeling refreshed or happy about it, all I possessed was a sense that I had been disconnected but not in a good way. The weekend was lost: Middle Age Mom version.
When I was a kid, a lost weekend would mean that my parents had assigned chores on top of chores with little to no fun time or, the best-case scenario, I had read all weekend.
Reading has always been a delicious way to lose myself, but the weekend that I had just lived hadn’t been lost in a book. I didn’t have a reading hangover – the confusing time spent trying to decide what was real and what I had lived through a in book.
In college, lost weekends had yet other meanings. Young Susan would have thought that working and studying all weekend was a dull waste of two class-free days. The same Young Susan would also think that the hazy memories of a whirlwind social day (or two) followed by the solid sleep of a person with few responsibilities would make a delightful lost weekend.
As a young parent there was yet another lost weekend manifestation: weekends that blended into weeks with no concept of day or date, just running on energy fumes to get from one feeding and one diaper change to the next. There’s no other time in my life when I’ve been so physically and emotionally exhausted as when there was a baby in the house. It’s a bone and soul level pain with a soothing love chaser.
This past weekend wasn’t a chore weekend, it wasn’t a fun party weekend and, thankfully, there are no babies to drain me in this house. It wasn’t anything noteworthy: I had a bug.
“It’s allergies,” I told my son when he asked why I was coughing.
“It’s allergies,” I told my husband when he noticed how much tissue I was using.
“It’s allergies,” I told myself as my cough became tighter, not productive…and had breathing always been that hard?
Thursday night I went to bed after a shot of the liquid cold medicine that tastes like Jagermeister and seems to cause some sort of sleep paralysis. Friday morning, I woke up without much of a voice, a raging headache and the non-allergy deal sealer: a fever.
I dragged myself through the work day leaving projects in my wake that didn’t suggest I was on top of my game. I was in my jammies by the time my husband got home from work and face down in my pillow not much after that.
Saturday morning, I admitted to the family that it wasn’t just allergies and I didn’t get out of bed. The rest of Saturday was lost to slumber, coughing, fluids, disposing of used fluids and more slumber.
Sunday morning, I felt well enough to go downstairs, hard-flop on the couch and repeat Saturday’s activities. Second verse, same as the first.
By the time my son woke me on Monday morning I was feeling better, stiff from inactivity but not thinking I was going to hack up a lung. By Tuesday I was well enough to beginning fretting over sloppy work and looming deadlines, but the weekend was long gone, and the next one felt very far away.
I’ve lived well over 2,000 weekends in my life and, sadly, many were incarnations of lost weekends all sharing share one thing: blurry memories of time spent in activities rarely extraordinary and mostly, simply ordinary.
Susan is a Kansas City based writer and podcaster. To listen to the women’s history podcasts that she co-hosts or to read more of her work visit www.thehistorychicks.com or www.susanvollenweider.com.