Have you seen this Justin Timberlake meme? It’s one of those things I think a small audience appreciates.
I’m stoked for May because Michael and I are finally going on our honeymoon trip to San Francisco/Yosemite, I start my 4-day summer work week, and some top-notch babies are expected to arrive. I’m even more excited about leaving April behind. Why? Because April sucks. End of blog!
Ok, I can elaborate a bit. April has become more and more consistently bad over the years. Either that or I just associate the month with sadness. The primary reason for this is the anniversary of my dad’s death (10 years ago this year). It also happens to be his birth month, so he’s on my mind a lot. It’s usually the holidays that bring back fond memories and thoughts of lost loved ones. That’s what April is like for me, but without the comfort of pies and pine smell. Ten years is just about one-third of my life. Someone I knew so well, was so close to and knew me so well has been gone for a third of my life.
While wallowing in feelings of loss, loneliness, and just getting jipped in life, I try to recognize how lucky I am to have had the time we had together. My dad had quite a life before me: growing up in New York, seeing the world while in the army, making himself something from nothing, and being my dad.
Here are 13 Reasons Why April Sucks:
1. 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. When Mike was out of town for the week I queued up the buzziest show on streaming television, not knowing what to expect. The series “follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.” Oh boy. Hannah Baker, American high school junior, recorded 13 tapes accusing friends and acquaintances of mistreating her or of not doing enough to prevent her from taking her life. The show also includes Hannah’s character ending her life in somewhat real time during the last episode. The storyline switches back and forth from present to the months leading up to Hannah’s death.
After the first episode, I wanted to keep watching; it was gripping and, of course, had overt cliff-hangers at each episode’s end. At first, I thought this was some kind of science fiction show, with some supernatural twist. Slowly, I began to realize that this character did kill herself, blowing my theory that pod-people were afoot. But still, I wasn’t convinced. Episode after episode, I gathered that I have no idea how teenagers think. I’m old now! How could this girl think that things are that bad? Who cares about those high school a-holes? I had to go back to the mindset of my sophomore year in high school. I wrote about this experience in my journal at the time and also in a more recent reflection. I might share that story with you. But not today. Let’s move on.
2. S-Town. Moving on through sh***y April, I listened to this podcast from the makers of This American Life and Serial. Like both of these series, the story-telling makes you sit in your parked car, grinning, watching the minutes tick away while you should be heading into the office. It captivates your brain while you become fully invested in the subject and can’t listen fast enough. John B. McClemore called upon This American Life producers to investigate an alleged murder in his dismal town of Woodstock, AL. What you get is a funny and heart-wrenching, crazy story that delivers far beyond expectations. I can’t complain about expertly-crafted story-telling, only the emotional rollercoaster that seemed to fit in so well with April,
3. April Fools Day – when I was younger, this day brought anxiety. These days I just ignore it. Either way, it sucks.
4. Puppies – it’s been two months since we adopted Buckley, our new dog. It’s just enough time for his initial shyness to wear off and allow his true personality to shine through. His true personality is endless energy, barking, and being a jerk on walks. We’re still adjusting.
5. Personal tragedies of family friends.
7. Work stress – my colleague had to miss a week of work due to a death in the family. In addition to the sadness of the situation, it was also the busiest week at work ever.
8. 30 days – April thinks it’s pretty cool only having 30 days. I guess that’s one fewer day to suck!
9. Dog hair and slobber – it’s in my car, on my clothes, smeared on my car windows, soaked into its seats.
10. Easter – better than Christmas? I don’t think so.
11. Acne – it’s only getting marginally better.
12. Very little free time for anything.
13. Because it just does.
By the time you’re reading this, it’s probably already May. Lucky you. I know it’s not the month because sadness, death, and loss have no timetable or calendar (although let’s face it, October rules). Maybe some of this sorrow is self-inflicted and part of me uses April as a time to wallow, to get stressed out, to get impatient, and to cry a lot little. Maybe it’s a cleansing month— a reset for the next ¾ of the year. Perhaps viewing these feelings as a finite month is helpful. It’s something I can box up and store in the garage until next April, right next to the Christmas decorations.