Struggling

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October 6, 2009 by 8junebugs

It seems we all are these days, to different degrees. Everyone’s got their troubles.

I’ve been a bit out of it lately and disinclined to write (which is usually a bad sign — three posts have died that this one might live). There isn’t a whole lot that changes from one day to the next. My basic needs are generally met. Some things are on hold. Some things are difficult or frustrating. Some things are outside my control. Occasionally I get the urge to punch someone in the neck. There are things to worry about and things to celebrate (Welcome, Margaux!). Life goes on, much as it ever does.

Unless my attorney or real estate agent tells me otherwise, we close on the sale of Mom’s house today…which means I can remove two keys from my keychain, which will make my dad happy. You know how dads are — all worried about how too many keys will damage your ignition switch or blahblahblah. I think my car is less likely to sustain damage from my keychain than from my mental block around oil changes, but the concern is appreciated.

I won’t have the inner strength to deal with real estate again for a while…which is convenient, as I’m in no place to buy or sell property. I know plenty of people who own homes and love their homes and deftly manage trash removal and maintenance and property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, but I’m just done for a while. I know it must be different when it’s your own and you’re living in it and you’ve got easy access to the kinds of services I’ve come to appreciate, but I’m just…done.

There are still some loose ends to wrap up before the estate can be closed. Some furniture went to an estate auction service, so there will be some proceeds from that. That guy has yet to even send me a receipt for picking the stuff up, though, so I figure this could go on ’til Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I’ll most likely be heading up to Vermont and staying somewhere other than Mom’s for the first time in my life. I’ll see about bunking with family or camping out at Memere’s house — you’d be surprised how many people you can fit in a two-bedroom condo. I’d considered spending Christmas in Cancun, but I think this year calls for another round of the World’s Best Eggs.

Memere is recovering bit by bit and better than we dared to hope, and she’s been moved into the nursing home in Middlebury. She still can’t speak, but she does seem to understand and they’re finding ways for her to communicate as she continues physical and speech therapy. She has a feeding tube, as well, and gets most of her nutrition from that.

My aunt bought a big digital photo frame, so we’ve all been sending up photos for the rotation. The thing holds 6,000 photos — I think we could fill it, if we tried. The family asked me to send pictures of Mom, especially, which might seem weird…except that it isn’t. Partly, it’s because Mom and Memere were close. Partly, it’s because there were a lot of years when we were all still legally family.

Partly, it’s just that life goes on. I like to believe that any remaining bad feelings can die with the person they’re held against, but only if you let them…I continue to work on letting them. And whatever Dad has needed to do about his own feelings around Mom, their relationship and divorce, and the years since, he hasn’t made it our problem…which is a nice change, really. Mom did the opposite, and it didn’t help our relationship with Dad at all. Ever.

I don’t generally post about work (because doing so is stupid), but I will say that the only constant in my job and environment is change. On the positive side, it does keep things interesting — a bad day at my office is still usually better than a good day with most companies. But managing change takes mental and strategic effort, and doing so for a prolonged period of time causes stress…like carpal tunnel syndrome for your brain. Even when you’re flexible and adaptable, it takes a toll — even a rubber band will snap when it dries out or gets overstretched too often.

I’m working on not snapping.

School seems a bit more manageable this term. The reading is still staggering, but it’s more interesting — more communications theory and less exercise in discipline. I like both of my professors this time around, in the way that I prefer to like professors: “Hey, you’re neat, and also funny, and I respect you!”

I tore out the balcony garden over the weekend, too, as it’s been dead for a while. I’ll try again next year, now that I have a better idea of how many squash plants is too many squash plants.

***

Shotgun said something recently about becoming so used to problem solving that your brain gets into a rut — once you run out of looming problems to solve, or are perhaps facing problems over which you have little or no control, adapting to a state of just being is harder than it sounds. I mean, why can’t you just be, for heaven’s sake?

Because we’re complex organisms that take time to change gears. Haven’t you heard? It takes about a month to change a habit, and, like, 20 olives in a row to develop a taste for olives…

I haven’t tried that last one. I think olive oil is a good compromise between olives and no olives.

But I am making an effort to just…be here. Now. I am inconsistent when it comes to self-care, and I’m thankful every month that I set up the Massage Envy membership — that monthly indulgence goes a long way toward keeping me on track and off medication for my wonky fight-or-flight/panic-and-freeze mechanism.

This weekend, I also spent some time down in my neighborhood, which I haven’t been doing often, of late. There was the annual art festival on Saturday afternoon, followed by a double batch of homemade broccoli soup and dilly bread. Sunday, there was lunch with Alicia and Shotgun, and a quick pass through Artfully Paper and Artfully Chocolate, then a stop at Cheesetique for a bit of caramelized-onion cheddar and something like a Havarti. There was a nap, then a massage, then, before bed, my first attempt at guided meditation.

This weekend was an exercise in being.

Next weekend is an exercise in celebration — Kath and Amy’s wedding is the fourth and final one on my calendar this year, and I can’t wait to celebrate with them on the Cape!

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