Lackawanna; or, is this garden burnout permanent?

There’s an exit off I-90 in western New York for “Lackawanna,” and it’s always sounded to me like an extreme case of lethargy – “wanna” being the desire to do, be, or obtain anything. I’ve definitely been feeling some lackawanna lately, largely due to the pilot roll-out of a monumental, complex, and difficult year-long project at work. Add to that the ongoing (or stagnant) effort to buy a particularly wonderful house in the woods (a process which started over six months ago), and I tell ya: I’m tired, physically and emotionally.

The rollout was April 3, and I keep waiting for my wanna to come back. It’s taking its own sweet time, I tell ya. Several weekends have gone by with absolutely no desire to garden, cook, see people, talk with friends, or anything else fun – let alone not-fun stuff like cleaning the house, sorting out closets, or doing the taxes.

This is such a strange feeling. Think of the thing you most like. Chocolate? Sex? Watching your kids play? Now imagine absolutely not caring if you ever experienced that thing again. It’s like waking up in somebody else’s body. You hardly recognize yourself. I think it’s only hit me the last couple weeks because the previous few months, I’ve been so busy and tired that my entire emotional range was “muscle through work,” “come home and hide,” and “asleep.”

But now I know I’m starting to get back to the place I like to live my life. How do I know?

Friday, I didn’t want or need ten hours of sleep – for the first time in at least a month.

Saturday, I stuck my digging fork into the compost pile, unearthed wriggling knots of happy earthworms, and smiled that I had helped make that compost happen.

Sunday, I ran my fingers through the dirt of my garden, and thought it might be nice to put some seeds into it.

Yesterday, I decided I wanted to see some pansies blooming at the front of the house.

Today, along with the pansies, I couldn’t resist buying onion plants and poking them into the ground. And the avocados I bought over the weekend are ripe, and making guacamole sounds like fun, not a chore.

My physical stamina is still low – an hour of slow puttering in the garden feels like an aerobic workout – but that should return quickly now that the major source of stress is gone.

So maybe it’s time to leave Lackawanna and head back to my usual homestead!



  1. Pat said,

    April 18, 2012 at 12:35 am

    What your writing about sounds like a bout of depression. Just take good care of your self and if it lasts, please see your Doctor.
    Thanks for your blogs, I love to read them.

    • Emily said,

      April 18, 2012 at 8:10 am

      Thanks for your concern, Pat. I’ve been depressed; this is not depression. This is stress and adrenal fatigue. But the big stressor – the work project – is done, and I’ve gotten a LOT of rest in the last few weeks, and I’m starting to feel great again!

  2. April 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I am so glad that you are feeling better after that major project rollout. I think that needing a bit less sleep is a really really good sign, too. And one thing that is really great, if you think about it, is that you are wise enough to /give/ yourself all that rest (of sleep at night, and also some slowing down), to help yourself.

    I love when you’re able to be in your “usual homestead”, and when I am, too, and I know we’re both getting there. ❤

    (Oh! I just looked up wild pansies, and now I want to be wandering through the woodlands.)

  3. April 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Wishing you a fun, accelerated recuperation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: