By Melinda Munson

I wake up in the morning wanting to hurt something innocent. This simmering, inexplicable rage is a new phenomenon for me. Normally, I’m a centered, patient person. But now, the beast awakes each morning as soon as my feet hit the worn carpet. I am not mad at anything in particular — I am mad at everything.

My blind daughter turns her head towards me and I’m immediately irritated. 

“What do you want?” I hiss. 

“To tell you thank you,” she replies.

“Oh, sorry,” I say as I deflate.

My husband asks where we keep the pizza cutter for the fourth time since we unpacked the kitchen and I don’t answer, I just growl and bark like a dog.

My four-year-old poops in his diaper — again. I just cry.

I am severely and critically burnt out. 

We have moved four times in one year. Moving is unsettling for anyone, but add family members with blindness and/or severe ADD and even Marie Kondo couldn’t organize that sh*&.

My husband started a new job feeding Skagway’s elderly through Meals on Wheels. We’re excited but suddenly I’m home during the days, fighting the chaos of dinner routine so I can start work on the newspaper, already exhausted from five showers, four loads of laundry, two dishwasher runs and one: “What the heck is that around the toilet seat?”

Three times a week I lead thirty-something high school students through their last month of Zoom classes, feigning enthusiasm and good cheer when we all know they just want a normal prom and I want a nap.

I don’t think I’m the only one in town who feels off balance. I see multiple posts on Facebook about how badly everyone needs a break. About how this past year has just been too much with COVID, financial devastation and business plans that have broken more times than the ferry.

Just when I was about to start weekly therapy or book a one-way ticket to New Zealand (good weather, low COVID-19 counts, my kids don’t have passports), something happened — the sun shone in Skagway. In one single day, the April snow berms melted and I was walking around in Tevas with my white triceps bare, slapping at mosquitoes. 

Basketballs slammed onto the recreation center pavement, where just weeks before an ice rink lay. Kids pulled out their swim gear and actually jumped off the small harbor dock. Adults gathered at bonfires to watch the vivid northern lights. Suddenly, optimism bubbled up through my chest, washing my soul with the balm of hope. Skagway was rising.

Instead of buying airfare, I signed up for the all-woman Chilkoot hike in June. I committed to Tuesday night yoga classes with Jeanne. And for the record, I think I will book that therapy appointment. Spring is here and I will focus on that.