My Hibernation Schedule Is Fucked


I feel as though I’ve been hibernating.

A few moments ago, I sat on my deck and contemplated the sorry state my deck has fallen in to. We have lived in this house for seven years now. This house is the first house I’ve owned and I’m still not convinced that owning is better than renting.

Every spring, since we bought this house, I have gone through a burst of enthusiasm for gardening. I planted grasses which resulted in me being attacked by fire ants. I planted Rose of Sharon bushes that came from starts from my mother in law’s garden. I have killed hundreds and hundreds of dollars in bushes, trees, and plants. I watched a lilac bush go from barely a twig to a tenacious tiny bush that refuses to die. In five years, it’s grown about 12 inches. Each spring I am certain the lilac bush will be dead and each spring it grows just a little more.

I filled a few dozen pots with annuals every spring. Usually petunias because they are the the hardest to kill. My deck, from the first year we lived here, has been vibrant, huge, and over the top. Randy would hang Chinese lanterns. We burned candles and incense. Music played non-stop. We had mini vacations every weekend.

Not this year.

I didn’t plant a single flower.

Randy and I have spent some time on the deck, but very little. The Chinese lanterns haven’t come out even once.

I’ve been more depressed and anxious in my life than I am now. Certainly, when I was a child and a teenager. My twenties and into my early thirties were worse.

But it’s been better since. Until this summer.

This is not the worst it has ever been, but it has sucked some major fucking ass.

I feel like I’ve been asleep for months. I hibernated over the spring and summer. I hibernated wrong. 

Anyway, I sat I my deck and contemplated the sad state of my yard. I noticed that a broken down flower pot in the corner had a petunia growing in it. A petunia came back from last year. There is also a huge thistle and another weed that looks like it might turn into Audrey III in the broke ass flower pot. Still, the petunia is thriving.

I thought how sad. That poor little flower living with the scary weeds. No brothers or sisters to be pretty with. The little flower resurrected itself to find that life wasn’t what it remembered.

I created a dystopian future for my flowers. Fucking hell. I Mad Max’d the petunias.

Then I decided that it doesn’t matter where the petunias are growing. Petunias don’t stop being petunias just because there are weeds around. Petunias growing in botanical gardens, shopping malls, zoos and golf courses are no more or less petunias than the petunias in my broke ass flower pot. My sad little petunia is still just as pretty.

As I decided to appreciate my unexpected flowers instead of focusing what I failed to do this season, I heard some birds squabbling at one of Randy’s bird feeders.

For a moment, I thought it was spring and that it was time for the annual bird rape that happens in my backyard every season. I forgot, for a moment, that spring had passed and summer is already dying. The birds at the feeder were just squabbling. I bet they were brothers.

I don’t feel like I’m awake yet, but I am starting to feel like I might get there.

Just in time for hibernation season.

I don’t want to mourn that I’ve lost the spring and summer this year. I am not good at mourning or grieving.

That doesn’t mean I won’t, though. I’m tired of believing that I’m doing feelings wrong. I am constantly at odds with myself.

Don’t feel that way. No. Wouldn’t it be better to be grateful that you’re starting to feel better than to whine about the changing season? Isn’t feeling better what you should focus on?

Or maybe I could just accept that it sucks I missed most of the warm weather and it’s okay to feel bad about it sucking.

I am not ready for everything to die again. I’m not ready for this season to change.

I remember I felt this way last year. I was anxious about summer ending. I even wrote about it. If current me could go back and talk to me from last year, I’d tell her to appreciate the goddamn pumpkin spice because she has a shitstorm in front of her.

I watched the birds again and thought how short and brutal their lives could be. There are cats and windshields everywhere.

Those fucking birds didn’t care. They’re weren’t worrying about cars and felines. They squabbled. They flew back and forth between the dead trees and Randy’s feeders. Just doing what birds do.

I kind of envy the birds.

A little red breasted, black and white hummingbird buzzed by. I’ve been seeing him around the past week or so. I love the hummingbirds, they make me laugh.

I feel a little better.

Not great. I’m still not ready to come out of hibernation. But I think I might soon.


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  • I am no green thumb either but like you I have learned to cherish the petunias that manage to survive in the wilderness of my backyard. Hope that your world is looking brighter so that you enjoy the next season.

  • Shit, don’t feel bad – my flowerbeds look like the fucken’ MOJAVE DESERT!!! Drought has killed almost everything – if I had the energy I’d plough it up & put in a xeriscape… (But all I have the strength to do is bitch at Hubby to pls mow down the broomweed!)

  • P.S. Owning is MUCH better than renting – think of your EQUITY!
    (Somehow my teenager seemed nonplussed when I swept my arm out & declaimed “One day all of this will be YOURS!!!”)

  • I loved your dystopian flower reference – I have the family brown thumb and it has become legendary that I can kill a plant just by being somewhere in its vicinity! Keep looking at that petunia and suck in some of its resilience 🙂 ~ Leanne

  • I feel like fall is when I wake up. I hide in the summer when it’s hot and the sun is too bright, but fall with its cooling breezes and colorful trees (New England, here) is when I come alive again.

  • I plant stuff. Everywhere. The husband complains because we are held hostage by the Vinca that has taken over the front yard. Silly man – it just makes it worse when you struggle…

  • That Petunia is one of life’s lessons, I believe. No matter how many weeds surround it, it comes back stronger than ever, just by being its own self. A whole garden of crabgrass would not be able to force the Petunia to turn into crabgrass. Of course, if you don’t clean out the crabgrass eventually, the petunia will begin to maybe wither a bit and no longer thrive, unless it’s REALLY strong. What a metaphor for life and being around the right or wrong people and places. Cleanse your soul of crabgrass, Michelle! 😉
    You have gone through a very difficult summer this year (to say the least!). But, that’s THIS year. Next year, it will be fucking FABULOUS! I’m psychic, I know these things! Haha! My husband and I used to decorate like crazy for Halloween and Christmas and when we both experienced health issues a few years ago, we stopped doing that. But, this past year, we were feeling a bit better, and a few decorations came out again. Perhaps a few more will come out this year. Who’s to say you and Randy can’t hang your Chinese lanterns in the Fall and put on tutus and dance around the weeded garden in a celebratory pagan ritual? (And if you can actually get Randy to put on a tutu, we want pictures!) Try not to think of everything around you as “dying”. It’s merely hibernating, too, so that the petunia can come back NEXT Spring, even bigger and better, and kick the thistle’s ass! (And here I sit, LOOKING for signs of Fall and lighting up Pumpkin Spice candles to lure it this way! In South Florida, you know “Fall” has arrived by the inevitable influx of Snowbirds, who also do a LOT of squabbling while they’re here, now that I think about it! HAHA!)

  • I used to have a coop. Which was like renting but I paid a lot of money to move in, had to show that I was a worthy adult in an interview (ha, fooled them!) and got money when I sold.

    I don’t know why I thought that made me capable of owning a house. But somehow I fooled the world for five years.

    Then came the weeds. They took over. No matter what I did….I finally found a great woman who showed me how to get rid of them. So I’m back to fooling the world.

    Except….when I had the outside of the house painted one man ran when I told him that my husband wouldn’t give his approval because I don’t have one. And a lot of things like that…..

  • Hibernating, eh? I love summer but hate the heat and humidity that comes with it. Fall is when I come alive! Our summer wildflowers are blooming still, and it’s nice to look at. I’m glad for the fall flowers; who says we can’t hibernate in the spring & summer? Light your effing pumpkin spice candles and hang the Chinese lanterns and live!

  • Pretty, little Petunia among the weeds. Yes, I can just see it and I think we have all felt like that petunia at one time or another. Ready to throw our hands up and give in. But no! Hang in there Michelle. Sometimes hibernating is what we need but be sure to poke your head up for the changing colors or autumn and the smell of pumpkin spice. These little things are what life is about…

  • M-

    You take care of you. As a nurse I can tell you that having your thyroid fucked up will reek havoc on your emotional states! Personally and professionally I have experienced this.
    Wonder too if also perimenapause is taking a toll as well?

    Be brave- know we are here for you and love you much!

    • Oh yes! I am sure I’m menopausal. It’s AWESOME. hahaha

      Thank you…that means a lot to me. You have no idea how much the interaction I have with people here helps to shore me up.

  • My husband and you must be kindred spirits. He’s so bummed about summer being over and his plants biting the dust, he’s taken to unplanting them and replanting them into pots he can bring into the house even though these plants are annuals and have a shorter life expectancy that a housefly. I guess I should be more compassionate, huh? You’re a delight to read though. I happen to love the profanity.

  • What’s a weed? It’s any plant that grows where you don’t want. The nice thing about that is how easy it is to get rid of weeds–you just accept that plants are gonna grow where they’re gonna grow, and it sounds like you’ve come to that. And, hey, if you’ve hibernated through summer you’ll be well-rested for winter, the time when you need your strength the most.

  • Aestivation. That’s what it’s called when you sleep through summer. Doesn’t make it any more fun, but at least there’s a name for it.
    Maybe the birds were squabbling over just the things you assume they are free from:
    (translated from bird-speak)
    “I’m telling you, there are cats and windshields everywhere!”
    “I can’t obsess over those things, Margaret, I can’t live like that.”
    “You’re going to be the death of both of us, Michael…”

    I once had a little cactus that was like your petunia. He just wouldn’t give up and die. He got knocked out of the window where he lived one time and I came home to find him on the ground with no pot, no dirt around his roots, nothing. I dug a little hole in the flower bed with my finger and stuck him in there, and he was still doing fine two years later when I moved away. As far as I know, he’s still there in that flower bed.
    I hope that you are feeling better soon, but I always hope that.

  • Oh man, M, I feel for you. And I get it, however for me it’s nothing short of pure relief that we’ve moved into September. I find summer something to endure. It’s been very hot and humid here, much more than usual and these past few months have been total crap for me. I can’t take the heat, the brilliant sun, the nauseating summer enthusiasts (sorry folks). I relish the turn of season; the start of Autumn is my favourite time of year. It signals a new beginnings, more so than Spring and New Year’s. But you’ve sunk into that place where, when you try to relax, every little thing seems to grab your eye, and what you see is coloured by a murky, moody funk. Just look what a lone petunia has done to you! I’m with Terri Lee: Hang those lanterns, buy a few pots of mums, light candles &/or a fire pit, play your music, smoke some weed (?), DON’T let Randy wear the tutu for fuck’s sake, and leave your anxiety in the house for an evening. Preferably in the basement. Good luck!

  • Yay for the petunia. Don’t worry, even the most green fingered of us have those kind of years, well at least I used to when I had a garden.
    I also feel like I kind of skipped summer here, apart from a few weeks. I feel like I missed it somehow, though I made myself leave my apartment every day for a time I still probably stayed indoors far too much, or maybe time is speeding up again.

    I was very grumpy about having to turn the heating on yesterday and it’s probably time to put away my sandals till next year, but I live in hope of an Indian Summer. I hate the cold and winter seems to get longer every year. Get out there, play some music, get the BBQ going and don’t be so hard on yourself. Next year will be different!

    You can even plant some things in the pots now that won’t mind the colder weather so much and brighten up the darker days if you’re feeling inspired.

    Randy in a tutu, that would be definitely worth a video, never mind a photo!

  • Every plant which has come into my care has summarily perished. The dog flourishes, though. But I’ve got amazing visions of “Mad Max Petunia”, especially because on Tuesday, my housemate and fiancé and I watched all of the Mad Mad movies. ALL of them.

  • Our relationship with house plants has always been very Darwinian. If you were a plant that ended up in our home, you could stay if you could live with the woefully inadequate amount of care you would receive. We currently have no plants. I am happy (relieved) to say that we apparently did somewhat better with our offspring who now live independently and are self supporting. One of them is even married. However, they don’t have any houseplants either.

    I hope your emergence from hibernation continues. I know I’m getting ready for a good dose of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    • I don’t usually suffer from seasonal affective mom does though.

      Yeah, houseplants quiver when they see me coming. I always have good intentions. I’m like Lennie in ‘Of Mice And Men’. Except it’s plants I kill.

  • I have killed every plant I have had! Nope, no green thumb here. I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I would prefer the fall weather, compared to the hot dry summer.

  • Oh god, great post – SNAP!
    I wrote a post just the other day bemoaning the fact that I can barely keep succulents alive. And I (first home buyer too) insisted on purchasing a small house on a bloody huuuuge block. It’s all slowly running to rack and ruin. I ingested so much weed killer that I’ve probably developed some kind of super power in the last couple of days (as yet undiscovered).

  • I love gardens, but hate gardening, a dilemma I have yet to solve. I have decided, however, to expand my notions of what it means to tend to growing things. Ideas, friendship, understanding, etc. have no season. If nothing else, it gives me an excuse to stay in 🙂

  • It’s so interesting — I never imagined others could feel this way. I went into a panic last week because summer was ending and I hadn’t emotionally caught up to it yet. We were in the middle of a heatwave, so I took a dip in the pool next door two days in a row, just to feel the whole bikini and water aspect of the season. Then I got a skin infection from the water. Then it got cooler and I was depressed. Now we’re in the middle of another heatwave, I have no A/C, it’s over 100 degrees in the apartment and I’m not getting back into that damn pool.

    Moral: Fucking summer, begone!

  • PS: I did what I was supposed to do. I followed the rules. Albeit, I’m two weeks late. Or, is it three? So, I commented. (I laughed.) (Bonus.) And then I tweeted. You made me say F*ck on Twitter. I tweeted the word F*ck. Thanks a lot. Not my usual lingo. At least for Twitter. x

By Michelle

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