I wasn’t going to write a post today, but I’m not always given a choice. And I woke up thinking I should write this.
I’m not alright. Of course I’m not alright. My older son says that there are things that break you and that it’s a proof of your humanity that you are broken. Events after which we’ll never be alright again, if alright is understood as what we were before.
Of course you also grow through breaks. I’m not even at the point of seeing that yet. Today I CAN think for longer than 30 seconds at a time. OTOH I feel like I’ve been deathly ill and am just recovering. In fact, as close as I can tell, I feel exactly like when I woke up five years ago after major surgery. There’s no specific symptoms, I’m just extremely tired and out of spoons. I.e. any endeavor, even looking at the shower pan to see if it needs replacing or just re-sealing/re-finishing is way too much for me. (The walls will need to be replaced.)
I told (younger) son I’ll try to do it tomorrow, because the wall system once ordered will take two weeks to arrive, and — you know — it would be nice for him not to have to trudge upstairs to the guest shower. BUT I think I’ll have to treat myself as I did after the surgery (which is STUPID. It shouldn’t feel like this) and work two or three hours, then call it a day.
Weirdly, I got where I am by son distracting me with work from 11 am to 10 pm yesterday. Look, it wasn’t even that much work and I should have been done much sooner, but I wasn’t processing. He probably did the most of the work, and I don’t know if he meant to snap me out of the funk, but what happened was, as I was trying to hide in a corner and pull the world in after myself, he told me I had a lot more experience and he needed me, so he dragged me to finish some honey-dos.
When I was done I could actually sleep. I still feel awful, but I can think, and I think I’ll be okay.
However, what I wanted to write: This has been an exceptionally BRUTAL year. It started at the end of last year, when our friend Charlie Martin moved out of state. Yes, I totally get why he did it, and it’s been good for him and hell, he lived two hours away, so we saw each other twice a year… BUT he was nearby and in the same time zone, and we used to talk a lot. So, that was a change.
Then the changes kept coming. Some of them are good, such as the stuff with the kids (supposing younger son manages to get university to actually you know officially graduate him. [It’s all bureaucratic, but it’s a mess due to shutdown.]) But it changed the … texture of daily life.
Some of it was sudden and catastrophic and shouldn’t have been an issue, except it was, because the car died and left us stranded without a car, and we had to buy one, and since we’d had the previous car for 21 almost 22 years, it was a huge change.
Some was long overdue. We should have eased Euclid over long ago, but … we have trouble saying goodbye?
Then there was the lockdown and that’s a kick in the pants destruction of a routine I LIKED. (Work like crazy all week, take sometimes lunch special at Pete’s on Thursday, or lunch with son in springs during the week, but always take Saturday off and do fun relaxed day with husband (sometimes after cleaning house, if not done on Friday.)
Then…. Well, then I lost my shadow.
So it’s been a time when there’s no foothold to establish “normalcy” which is making me feel as crazy as when we were moving again and again and again over a year, till I felt homeless and like I had no roots.
Honestly, part of the issue is that I’m now in fear. What will be taken next? Havey? One of us?
Okay, here’s the thing: love them while you have them. Kids, cats, dogs, husbands, ants, dragons, fish, friends, routines.
Just take the time off, take a deep breath and be grateful for what you have. Be aware of what you have and that it’s good.
I know this is sometimes really hard. It’s hard to appreciate your bratty, messy toddlers. But take time, LOOK past the exhaustion and do so.
There is one thing I can promise you: everything passes. Everything changes. Love what you have and enjoy while you have it. And find something to love in the changed circumstances. Even when it’s hard. I’m having trouble with Havey wanting to sit on me ALL the time, and having to reach over him to type. BUT he’s warm, he’s fuzzy and he loves me. Could be WORSE.
Find a foothold of love as things change. Take comfort in things.
The human nervous system HATES change. I’ve heard moving, because of the change in routine, is stress enough to precipitate as many heart attacks as divorce or death of a partner.
And I swear to you, 2020 is trying to kill me. Over and over and over again.
But I’m not going to let it. I hear gratitude and love help. So I’m going to try that.
You try too.
I remember during a particularly “from hell” school year, in 7th grade, I needed a break like you wouldn’t believe. Portugal has a “carnival” break for four days. (Don’t ask.)
I decided I was going to “stretch” it.
I couldn’t stretch the time of course! Only how I experienced it. So I concentrated on doing things I loved and being REALLY there while I did them.
I still remember those four days (I read pirate stories <G>) sitting in the sun, reading, pretending it would never end. It worked. It was VERY restful.
I’m going to try the same. You try. It might not hurt.
Hold on to the things and people that matter. Even if you know they’ll pass. While you have them, enjoy them and be with them.
It’s all you can do.