Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Climbing out of a well


I was having an email conversation with a friend who was cautioning me not to be persuaded to do something for someone.  And suddenly all I could think of was that I was at the bottom of a well.  

I wrote:
I feel like I’m at the bottom of a well and trying to climb up wet sides.  I keep slipping backwards and am not making quick progress.

And honestly, that's what I feel like.  

I feel guilty saying I'm behind because my mom died.  And it's not completely that, it's almost 2 weeks of driving to a hospital out of state every other day.  It's 2 1/2 months of driving weekly 2 states away to visit.  It's the guilt I was feeling for not driving down more frequently.  It's the time spent in the car, 4-6 hours each trip, plus the time spent visiting.  During all that driving and all that visiting I wasn't getting any work done on my business or volunteer work.  I wasn't getting projects and housework done at home.  I wasn't doing fun summer things with my kids.  It's that phone call of 'come down now' and several days of just getting through the basics.  It's a lot of things that didn't get done.  And now they need to be completed and I haven't started them.

And suddenly I'm at the bottom of a well looking up.  And each stone is something that needs to be done so that I can get out of the well and onto level ground.  Except that there are so many things keeping me from climbing up each stone.  I have scheduled classes to teach, my kids need rides to their activities.  I have housework to do.  It's mid September and I've finally posted October classes, but not advertised them yet.  I have organizations emailing to schedule classes and I can't fit everyone in because I don't have the rest of my fall schedule on my calendar.  The stones are wet and slippery and there are just too many of them.

It's overwhelming.

I'm scattered.  And not doing well at keeping up and replying to everyone's needs.  I'm not drowning or treading water, I'm just standing at the bottom of the well looking up at all the myriad things that should have been done that are still waiting for me to reach out and tackle them.

I need several days of no scheduled activities to get caught up.  But my calendar is pretty booked.  I also need a day or two somewhere to just decompress and breathe.  Trying to pick which to do on a day I have a few hours open is my current challenge.  Do I get caught up and climb a bit out of the well or do I take a few hours away to re-energize?  Do I start to climb up the well or do I take a moment to regroup, focus my energies and spirit before beginning the climb?

I think I will go for a local hike, and return to begin the climb.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Goodbye Grammy



Cancer is an evil thing.  I haven't posted regularly about it, but we've been driving to CT almost weekly to visit my mom.  She seemed to be holding her own.  And then a quick phone call the day before we were planning on driving down... 'can you come now, we don't think she is going to make it through the night'.

In under 30 minutes we're all in the van headed south. Plans for the afternoon and evening forgotten. I don't think any of us realized what we were going to see when we got there.  She did so well to hide the pain and discomfort on our last visits. It was upsetting for the kids as this was not the way they remembered her.  This was the beginning of the end.  She was asleep due to the pain medications, but not completely pain-free.  She seemed so close to passing and leaving the pain behind. But then she lingered, and didn't seem to get better, but did not get worse.  So we drove home late that night.

The next morning John and I went down alone.  We stopped in Boston on the way to let Becca know what was happening.  I did not want her to hear via text, phone or Facebook.  We brought her the quilt Grammy had been working on and that members of my mom's quilt guild had finished for her.  It was an even longer drive going to Boston first, but we eventually arrived.  And sat, and waited.  I held her hand and we all talked.  And she continued to linger.  So we headed home, thinking of what we could re-arrange to come down again soon.  But before we got home we received a text from my dad.  She had passed away a few minutes ago.

It's sad, but it was expected.  It's awkward to say we welcomed her death.  But to be in so much pain is not something you wish for anyone.  We are all very sad, but thankful that she is no longer in pain.

Goodbye Mom.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summer 2016

We've had a super busy summer.  Not the lounge around lazy days of summer type of summer, but a working, traveling type of summer.

In early June I wrote a quick post about my mom.  She was hospitalized suddenly and the diagnosis was terminal cancer.  This began a summer of driving down to the hospital roughly every other day for about a week, and then weekly drives to a rehab hospital, and then to her home.  Each drive is 2 or more hours each way so I'm spending 4-5 hours in the car just driving one day each week.

In between, we had summer camps and classes.  Almost every day had something scheduled.  On the days we were home we were busy with housework and paperwork.  There is a lot of administrative work in running a small business.

Suddenly it's the middle of August.  And we've done very little as a family.

This past week we took two day trips as a family.  We went to the Flume.  We took the Downeaster to Portland, ME.  We bickered a bit, we hung out as a family, and we were pretty much offline while doing it.   We visited my mom on her last birthday today.

Over the next week, we're going to try to fit in a few more family activities.  Our eldest daughter will move into her college dorm in just over a week and it will be months before all of us are home again.

It's been a super busy summer, and I'm super behind on a lot of class scheduling.  My class schedule is mostly posted through the end of September.  I think I'm missing a class and I still have to create a schedule for the rest of the fall.  It will get done eventually.  At the moment I'm focusing on time with my husband and children before the start of the school year.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Reduced class schedule for the summer

This is turning into a very busy summer. We'll be driving to CT about once a week, 2 kids have camp, I'm working at a camp for 3 weeks, and we're trying to fit in some family fun before our oldest leaves for college this fall.

This means my class schedule is reduced.  There is no Saturday Heartsaver course this month.  Too many conflicts means that I do not have an open Saturday to offer a weekend class.  The next Saturday course will be Saturday, August 6th.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Never good enough

No matter what I say or do, it is not the right thing.

I know no one reads my blogs, but I enjoy them. Even if I don't write as often as I should.

Tonight I am just sad.  I never seem to have the right words, or am not completely present when others expect me to be there.  I don't do enough, but I'm always exhausted trying to keep up.  I start to wonder why I continue to try, but then something else pops up that I need to do.  So no time to think.

Time to sleep, my day starts so early and ends so late.  What I do is often not enough.  Struggling to do more in the small space of time each day allows.  But it never seems good enough for those who judge by what I do not by the intent behind it.

I just need a few hours to sleep so I can start each day over again and hopefully do better.  I know it will never be good enough for those with super high standards that I will never reach.  But I will try.