The thing is … lately I feel like I’ve been ‘wrapping things up’.
Letting those who mean something to me know it.
Giving back treasured memories of the past to the people they belong to.
My writing has not been good lately.
I know it.
My positive attitude has taken a turn.
I know this too.
I know it – and don’t have the energy to change it.
I’ve reached emotional, physical and mental exhaustion.
Someone received an arrangement at work a couple of weeks ago – and I became caretaker.
The vase was bursting with vibrant color and fresh cut blooms.
As they faded and withered, I removed them.
One by one.
I kept doing this – refusing to throw them all out because some part of the whole had passed on.
It came down to one stemless flower this past week.
I found the smallest container I could, and placed it gently in the water.
I couldn’t find it in my heart to throw it out while it still had some life in it.
While it still looked so beautiful.
It wasn’t finished.
Contrary to this, I found my pen writing the most obscene sentence in my own diary last week.
That I had been having fleeting thoughts of death.
Thinking that perhaps all that I was here to do had been done – and all that I hoped for might never be.
Perhaps not meant to be.
And that ink bled out onto the page with such rawness and so bravely – that I allowed the pen to finish the sentence.
And I’m not ashamed.
Because thinking of things does not make them so.
And because allowing myself to admit something so dark, even to the pages of a book no one will read – shocked me necessarily.
I find the smallest light I can find – and gently place myself in it.
I give my soul water – salty – and shed when I am alone.
I continue to share my memories with those who made them with me.
I don’t stop telling people how important they are – how loved.
And I steady myself for what the future might hold – and know that I’m strong.
The thing about blogging on any consistent basis – is you end up with something akin to a journal that anyone can read.
Good days and bad – you’re basically reading my diary.
That’s fine by me – but I find it a little eye-roll worthy sometimes when I’ve had a bad day, to read a previous very upbeat post.
If you find your eyes rolling with mine, just know that at that moment, when I’m typing, every fiber of who I am and what I feel and know to be true is being transcribed upon the screen through my fingers.
No one can be completely happy and upbeat ALL the time. “Even the best of souls” which, is what I heard last night when I stumbled upon ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’. I’ve only seen one episode, so to any devout fans reading this, my apologies.
Dawn French’s character, Caroline Arless, had returned from a stay somewhere, with new resolve. She was going to watch her mouth, keep her skirts down (that cracked me up) be grateful and humble. I saw myself in her immediately. And my lips twitched into a smile watching her exuberance for her metamorphosis.
As she was telling this to a woman who, it seemed had mastered those skills to some degree, the woman remarked (and I’m paraphrasing) that was a tall order ‘even for the best of souls’.
I thought of my day – I thought of my last post … the juxtaposition of the two not lost on me – and then, I thought of clowns.
Yesterday: I am sick again. And for someone who never gets sick, this is getting annoying. This is twice now in 3 months.
I woke up, watched a couple of movies in my bedroom and did something else I never do. Went back to sleep.
I crawled out of my infirmary after 2 in the afternoon. I had cleaning to do that night at the offices.
I really almost put it off until today – but needed to go into that neck of the woods anyway – and you know, two birds, one stone.
So I’m cleaning, and feeling rotten – and I’ve said some unkind things to Nic in the car on the way over.
Things that needed to be said, but did not meet the rule of three that I try to live by.
It goes a little something like this – Before you speak, ask yourself:
1. Is it kind?
2. Is it useful?
3. Is it true?
It was useful and true, but not kind. And in my depleted state, I had no right venturing into conversations that required a positive attitude.
I poured my last energy into cleaning, while my head wouldn’t shut up about the things I’d said to Nic. You know, I don’t know if it’s a bad thing that I realize I’m doing something wrong and still do it? Or if it’s a good thing as I’m clearly growing and learning?
Then my mop broke.
(Insert Metaphors here)
Rust particles spilled onto the freshly vacuumed floor and tile.
I did the best I could with a smaller, less absorbent mop. Then, having decided I was as done as I could be, I excited the building.
It was then I noticed I had lost my car key. I stomped back into the offices, accidentally set the building alarm off, then proceeded to stand in a door jamb crying my eyes out.
Nic came to me as I stood there, arms up, head buried, I could have been counting for ‘hide and go seek’.
I broke. “I am tired! I can’t do this! The floors look horrible and I need help! I don’t feel well!” This was not about the floors. Not just about the floors. And we both knew it.
Still, I knew I couldn’t leave without being satisfied with my work – but I only had so much to work with.
I tried again, with a new floor cleaning device, making the best of what I had, into something I was willing to leave for the night.
I had promised Chinese food. Of course, thanks to my mouth, I had knocked any hunger Nic might have had for it right out of him.
He was still hungry, but his feelings weren’t in the mood for food.
We got it anyway and I tried to mend the wounds.
There’s still a heaviness in the air today – residue from yesterday.
Once again, I almost put off my chores in favor of staying in bed. But I got up, and went to the laundromat.
This is when I thought of clowns.
I’ve never liked them. For two reasons I think, one being the mask factor. Hiding behind a facade … The other the impossible constant smile.
I’m funny and mostly happy, but I am not a clown.
No one can smile all the time – and no matter how often I remember that, I can’t seem to cut myself a break when I don’t feel like smiling.
“It’s just everything – it’s worrying about Christmas, and the car … and always having to worry about things like that – it’s doing it alone, but I wouldn’t have it any other way – what we have … and not feeling well and not being able to go to the doctor – it’s being stressed out and not having someone to talk to about it. Because they’re going to tell me not to feel a certain way when I DO feel that way. It must be okay to feel that way if I feel it?? It’s when people ask “Feeling better?” with a raised eyebrow because your answer had better be ‘yes’ … it’s not being allowed to feel sad because you’re the person who makes people laugh. And on top of it all, I don’t feel well. And I’m sad. I’m just … sad. And no, it’s not forever – and yes, it will pass and I’m so grateful – I’m grateful for everything we have and everything we don’t have … but I’m just … sad. And I should be allowed to feel sad.”
– Me, after telling my son I couldn’t possibly vent to him.
I left work early today.
I couldn’t take one more second of holding myself upright when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball. I put a smile in my voice on the phone … and in front of customers who came into my office. I went above and beyond on my files – went in early today and cleaned. I pushed and pushed – and broke.
Monday I had a pretty bad ‘spell’ at work. Besides my heart condition – I think my body also tells me when it’s done holding things in.
My vision blurred in my right eye and my chest squeezed. I couldn’t get my bearings. I sat outside on a curb, taking purposeful breaths and feeling the wind on my skin until the spell mostly passed and went back in to work.
That’s what I do.
Remove myself, compose myself and return.
Yesterday I came very close to asking to use my barely used sick time. But I stuck it out. My ears have been hurting me – I’m dizzy and nauseated. But I stuck it out.
This morning, I came even closer to asking to use my barely used sick time – then remembered I had a meeting and had to approve a settlement statement so that a customer could sign their documents. So I went in.
I tied all the loose ends up and emailed both of my bosses asking to use 1/2 of a sick day.
The answer was yes.
I read an article yesterday on a hospice website. About the phases of death. I was making sure I was using ‘catabolic’ correctly in my last post. A catabolic state is when your body can no longer process nourishment – it’s so starved for it – it starts breaking itself down.
That’s how I understood it anyway.
And that’s how I have been feeling. Like there has been no nourishing input lately – that I’m sustaining myself and breaking down all my reserves.
So after my grand monologue that I wasn’t going to give in front of my son, I ended with, “I just want to hear ‘everything is going to be ok'”
To which my son replied, “Everything is going to be ok”
And when he hugged me – I sobbed harder. And he didn’t tell me I wasn’t allowed to feel sad.
I love him so very much.
Why is it that when I have to stay awake, I most want to sleep? It’s like not being hungry – then being told you HAVE to fast – suddenly:
I’m up because my son has promised himself as a taxi to someone who needs to be picked up at 4 in the morning.
I didn’t want him driving sleepy – so he’s napping – and I’ve taken on role of alarm clock.
And I want my bed!
It was a long day.
Work has been rough lately!
If I am to find the silver lining (other than having a job, that’s a given) it would be that the days have flown by on wings of some really fast bird.
My attitude today though, sucked. I’ll admit it. I’ll own that one.
I actually threw a staple remover at one point in frustration … not across the room or anything, just from my hand to my desk. Of course, it hit my metal file stand and made a bigger deal out of itself than I intended.
Wasn’t my proudest moment.
I think that might have been the point when I decided I needed to remove myself from the office for a little while.
When I returned, I gave my boss a small box of candy and told him I was sorry for my tantrum.
He gestured to my desk where he had placed a small piece of chocolate. Aw, see! We understand each other.
The good news is – when I need an attitude adjustment, I know it. And not only do I know it – I’m proactive about adjusting it.
Besides the small box of candy for my boss – I also bought a hula hoop. It was on sale for 48 cents.
In my self-imposed time out – my inner child needed that hula hoop. It helped the attitude adjustment immensely.
I decided to take my adjustment one step further, I emailed my other boss and requested some time off.
I am spent!
Mentally and physically s-p-e-n-t!
I don’t take ‘vacations’. My time off is used for such exciting things as ‘I have to be home because the handy man is coming and someone needs to be there’.
I have never taken more than 1 day off in a row. And it’s showin’!
So – I took TWO days off in a row! Crazy! Next month.
In my fantasies, I shall have cake, and pajamas and movies and … alright, let’s face it I’ll probably end up cleaning the house and finding dozens of other things that need my attention in order to not feel guilty about relaxing. But still – it’s 2 days off in a row.
Until next month – I must remember this: