Note: I wrote the following in a fit of frustration, anxiety and sadness two weeks ago. Some things have changed since then (some things haven’t), but I thought it was still worth sharing as a snapshot of my state of mind that others might relate to.

I can solve NOTHING!

I can’t get the handle on the fireplace damper fixed or replaced.

To be more precise, the company hasn’t called back to offer any solutions.

I can’t get a spare tire or ‘donut’ in case of a flat tire.

To be more precise, if I get a spare it will take up the whole trunk.

Not a good option.

Donuts are difficult to find. I can get a used one shipped from Arizona or California for a lot of money.

The Honda dealership offers no options or solutions.

I went to AutoZone and a helpful man showed me the tire sealant he recommends. I bought it and threw it in my trunk.

I will keep my AAA membership – I’ve been getting good use of it these past two months.

I will pray that if I get a flat, I’m in cell phone range.

I can’t get a memorial stone for Aunt Clair.

She wanted a footstone placed at her mother’s grave, though she herself chose to be cremated.

It comforted her to think of it.

I ordered one and paid for it immediately after she died six months ago.

After many emails and layers of approval, from the burial society and the cemetery,

After mock-ups back and forth,

The dates are wrong on the latest one.

Must it be so difficult?

Is it time for Plan B? What is Plan B?

I have an idea,

But it doesn’t have Aunt Clair’s seal of approval.

I may have to live with that.

I’ll give it one more shot with the monument company, then we move on.

I can’t get my mother’s insulin regimen straight.

Her doctor rarely responds to my calls or emails.

I placed another call this morning.

Fortunately, Mom is getting her insulin

Though her glucose is not well controlled.

Ironic given that I am married to an endocrinologist.

It is not his fault, nor can he manage this in a day-to-day way

For many reasons.


I can’t convince my granddaughter to make her entrance into the world.

She is 9 days late and counting.

I am grateful that all appears to be well with mom and baby,

But we are on pins and needles.

We are at loose ends.


I know patience is a virtue

Sadly, I was not blessed with it.

Is this a test?

I can’t resolve my laryngitis.

A month into this

A course of steroids


Nasal spray

Allergy medication

Reflux medication

Cough medicine

After ten days, I can at least make sound, I can talk on the phone

So that is an improvement,

But, is this hoarseness permanent?

Of course, it could be worse.

It could be my grandchild gunned down in school.

It could be my friend murdered in a supermarket.

That is small comfort.

So much struggle

Can we hope for more than being grateful that we weren’t in the site of a gunman?

Update: There is some good news. There is hope for movement on gun safety legislation. It isn’t enough, it isn’t what I would want, but I am a pragmatist about public policy. Something is better than nothing and hopefully it can be built upon.

Our granddaughter did make her entrance into the world – the day after I wrote this she arrived. We are thankful and in love with the peanut.

I haven’t had to call AAA in the last two weeks – but I don’t want to jinx myself as I will be driving quite a bit over the next few weeks!

Aunt Clair’s monument is still unresolved, we are still struggling with Mom’s diabetes though she seems to be stable, and I am still hoarse. Of lesser importance, the damper on our fireplace is still not repaired – and the guy who said he would pave our driveway a month ago hasn’t been in touch. I figured I’d throw that in since that is another one of those things that feels out of my control.

Despite the remaining frustrations, I am in a much better frame of mind than when I wrote my screed of exasperation and anxiety, and for that I am grateful.

11 thoughts on “I Can Solve NOTHING

  1. I wondered why you were hoarse! I so understand your frustration. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Thanks for sharing, you aren’t alone!


  2. I sincerely believe this is the “new normal “. The only way I find I can deal with it is by recognizing it is the new normal and trying to accept what I must (depending on its importance in life) and resorting to creative problem solving.
    This all said, it still drive me CRAZY!😂


  3. I can relate to your frustrations with Clare’s monument. It’s so important to honor the wishes of our loved ones. It took me approximately 8 months to get the monuments for my parents carved correctly and placed. A week before the unveiling, it still had not been done. I was panicking because I had family, including you, flying to Florida for the occasion. The headstone, footstone, and bench were finally installed (with everything as ordered) with three days to spare. After the unveiling, I wrote a four page letter to the owner of the cemetery, detailing every step of the obstacles I encountered with his staff and sub-contractors. I mentioned that I would discourage anyone I knew from using his services. He refunded me the total cost of the stones. This was a small consolation for the months of anxiety and feeling like I had let my mother down. I know these issues are out of our control, but I hope you can hang in there and get this resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. I’m in your corner with sympathy and love.


  4. This may be a bit contrarian but I think your entire blog post misses the most important problem. True, you have hit all kinds of obstacles trying to get important things done . But isn’t the problem really that you strived to accomplish these things? If you never try, you can’t suffer this kind of frustration. I say, set lower goals. Aim to finish breakfast in time for lunch. Listen to a Joni Mitchell album.
    Perhaps your goals are slightly more worthy than mine. But I’ve solved everything.
    Thank you.


  5. Linda, this post is so relatable. I know when I put effort toward many things on my list that need resolution and they do not get resolved, I get very frustrated and usually let out a loud “AARGH!”

    Ultimately, I do get the satisfaction of crossing the tasks off my list (very gratifying). In the meantime Gary’s suggestion of listening to a Joni Mitchell album is a good one!


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