I was burned out yesterday. Too many nights, no sleep, all work — whether work-work or school-work. I arrive home at a strange hour, crawl into (a cold) bed, and attempt to sleep. I sleep until evening time, where I have an hour or two (perhaps) to recuperate and eat and pack for my work shift before it’s off to work for another graveyard.

It’s snowed 40-some centimeters total in the last 5 days, and over a weekend, too, so no plowing the roads and sanding was heavily delayed (especially on Sunday morning and the middle of Saturday night, when I still had to safely make the 35km trek to work.)

My first evening to myself after this had finished, I was wiped, with all of my favourite resources (sense of humor, patience, understanding) worn down to a thin membrane. I cried. I needed to connect, to be human. I texted the Man, the husband, the one who’s far away. “I can’t fix your problem from here,” he soothes on the phone, and I know it’s true. He comforts me anyway,  and I grow the confidence and shed my embarassment at my emotional state. I have a unique reason for feeling so disconnected and discomfited.

I crawled out of my hiding place, asking the Second to follow me back. I begged him to connect with me, talking about how I’d been hesitant to ask for this earlier in the evening, feeling as if I always am the one demanding me-time and trumping him-time, feeling as if I’m surely an inconvenience. I articulate this, telling him how I feel. “I think I shouldn’t ask for things, even when I need them,” I confess, remembering my formative years, “I feel as if I should just float along, and not disturb anyone.” Ironically, it is doing exactly that — moving in and out of my place as a ghost, connecting with no-one — that has led me to start feeling so worn down, causing the erosion in self-confidence. The paradox is not lost on me.

My husband comforts me on the phone, and the Second comforts me with touch, connecting and reassuring me that it is never wrong to ask for what I need. He admits that sometimes he is unable, but it is never, ever wrong to ask, he insists. He calms me, insisting that though I feel as if I’m an inconvenience, this is not a feeling based in rationality, that I’m trying to be considerate, but that it’s ultimately his decision to make — gently, gently chastising me for making the decision for him, for not-asking because I had already decided he wasn’t wanting to give it to me.

“Sometimes, I say not now, but it’s more a matter of ‘it’s not what I had in mind’ — maybe I was thinking tomorrow, instead of today? So ask, I didn’t realize you wanted. I am willing to give these things to you.”

My boys take such good care of me. It is my responsibility to make sure that I let them know what I need… instead of immediately assuming that they aren’t interested in giving it to me.