Peopling has started to exhaust me. Family, acquaintances, coworkers… All are starting to wear me down. It’s hard to explain what it is about having to be around people that drains me. But it is a thing.

My road trip to pick up the kitten on Caturday? First, my eldest wore me down with her chatter. I should have appreciated her wanting to talk to me about her life, but by the time we got to our destination, I was only giving thumbs-up in response to her comments — I couldn’t find the energy to respond verbally. Then the breeder: she always schedules an hour to do paperwork and whatnot — chat about the breed, kitten’s personality, etc. All I could think of was winding it up so I could get home (which happened after about 30 minutes). The trip home was quieter, probably because my daughter was more preoccupied with the kitten.

Then the Fourth of July. My parents extended an invitation, the kind that isn’t an invitation, to come over, grill and let my mother socialize with her granddaughters while I try to avoid getting my father riled up about this, that, or the other thing that his Boomer sensibilities find offensive (lately it has been returning time and again to the Big Bang theory of the universe, or some technological irritation he’s discovered and wants me to explain away). Both are vaccinated and are now “immune” to coronavirus, so they are being kind of stupid about going out and about, even though I’ve tried, with zero success, to explain that their vaccine is actually only slightly more than 90% effective (e.g. 10 in 100 will still get coronavirus even with the vaccine) with effectiveness dropping with the new delta variant. In enclosed spaces with strangers and around crowds, I personally continue to mask up because I have kids too young to get vaccinated. My parents don’t and it makes me nervous because they think they are superhuman in their 70s. Not for them — that’s on them if they get it — but for the twins’ sake. But, apparently, I am being overcautious.

The kids want the kitten to be a perfect angel right away, and they want to inundate him with their own stuff. First it was the name: every 15 minutes they asked if we’d decided on a name while we kept telling them to just wait and see his personality for a day or two. When we decided on “Ghost” for a name, it was: Can we put a collar on him? Why won’t he cuddle me? Why won’t he do what I want him to do? Why is he hiding? Why? Can we? [Drift off and play on tablet or watch TV].

Ghost is a real love bug. But he is also a speed demon when he has a fit come on. I let him out to explore the living room last night and he zipped around like a madman, leaving the other cats baffled as to his speed and agility. I was amazed myself, as I had seen some fast kittens over the years, but nothing nearly as fast as he was being, nor quite as chaotic. It was tiring, keeping track of him, but I did get some laughter out of his ninja attack on the self-proclaimed alpha cat of the household (who, I think, might be taken down a few notches when Ghost get bigger). Fun, but tiring.

Then, it was me asking an off-the-cuff and rhetorical question on social media last night. Just plain stupidity on my part. The post was meant to just venting but, by asking why the anticipation of taking my self-injected medication was always worse than the actual reality, I got a response with someone trying to one-up me with regards to their own medical trials. Then an in-depth quiz from my mother, who saw the post. I apparently forgot to tell her I was injecting stuff when I started doing so in January. I had to explain everything, although it really isn’t her business what I do for medication. Nor do I much care if she understands what I am doing.

I have some coworkers who think that any time throughout the day is fair for having video meetings. They are the kind of folks who love their work more than I do. Or, at least, have yet to find that work-life balance. I have a meeting right before I need to start cooking dinner later in the week, which annoys me when everyone knows I’m on reduced work hours.

And… although there was a family pow-wow on the adoption of another kitten, cat duties are already starting to fall back to being my responsibility. Litterboxes. Feeding. Mixing breeder’s food with our brand of food to avoid the poos. Entertaining. Babying the kitten. Shopping.

I’m tired and I’d rather cuddle or sleep than do almost anything else at this time, especially if it deals with people.

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