Sore, exhausted, trapped

I have been very sore and sensitive for the last few weeks. My back, legs, and hands ache. Unfortunately, this drains me of any ability to deal with things I dislike.

Trying to start a cultivator, also known as a tiller, I yanked too hard just as the starting cable seized. This pulled my shoulder, ripped skin from my middle finger, and caused a shooting back spasm. I was already tense and unhappy with progress on the house, so this left me even more tense, more anxious, about the yard and house.

I don't like where we live. I hate being semi-urban, living within Minneapolis. The disorder of urban life is hard on my senses, as it is. The fact our yard is yet one more thing that's disgustingly incomplete annoys me.

We've already made plans to have the garage painted. The crew will prep it, let us repair some of the wood, and then it will be painted white. I am at least glad it is one less thing we will need to do. I hate seeing the peeling paint, rotted wood, split planks, and other issues around the garage. Having it painted will be a good thing.

The yard has to be done this summer so we can sell the house and escape the city next year. While I am hoping to land a professorship or other position in the West, if we're stuck in Minnesota we still must sell this house. I cannot stand the location at all and it's affecting me very negatively. I hate thinking about where we live, day after day.

The city is dirty. It's horrible during the winter and the months of either side of winter. In summer, the trees form a tunnel I dislike. Coupled with the cars on either side of the road and you end up with streets too narrow for more than one car, making driving a matter of negotiating with oncoming traffic.

There are many, many things I am sensitive to in the city. The narrow streets. The potholes. The dirt and filth. The unkempt yards, and houses in need of repairs. The traffic signals and stop signs are irregularly spaced, often with no apparent logic to traffic flow. It's noisy most mornings, with buses and city trucks. I hate feeling trapped. Tall buildings. Sirens. Crowds. I want silence.

The last two weekends we have went to parks. I like the parks, even if I ma having trouble walking. I like to be away from the sense of being in a city. We went to the Minnesota Arboretum, more than 1000 acres of plants and wildlife. We saw cute little animals, birds, and plants. The tram was too crowded, and left me very tense, but walking along trails with just the two of us was nice. Much nicer. I need that calm. I really love the water features, from fountains to small lakes. Anything calming is better than the city.

So, the house must be done. And yet, working on the house ends up painful. Very painful. I resent the pain. It reduces my ability to block out thoughts of where I am. The pain is one too many things.

Cities are horrible, crowded, noisy places. It takes energy for me to face the city. A lot of energy. I don't have that energy when I am in pain. I'm exhausted and the one place that should be relaxing -- home -- makes me even more tense. I hate this house. I despise it. Yet, ironically, improving it is necessary to get rid of it.

My left hand stings where the skin is missing. My back is so sore, I can barely sit up to type this.

I need to be in a suburb, with space around me. I need some distance from other people. Even inside the house, I can't stop thinking about what is outside. I can't stop seeing all the problems with the house. I just want to be somewhere else. The sooner, the better. I need to get a job elsewhere. All this work for a Ph.D better pay off with something better than living like this.

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