Here are some snippets from recent life:
I forget if I shared that, in the middle of a not-unusual late April blizzard, I got a missive from my HOA, threatening to fine me if I didn’t do something with the xeriscaped portion of my lawn. We’ll set aside for a moment that I actually already had planted decorative grass in the area (it mostly died— see “blizzard,” above, and that wasn’t the last blizzard or hard freeze of the season.) And hand-aerated, and weeded, seeded and fertilized, and mowed a couple of times, and cleared out the bed. My lawn, while not the most spectacular on the block, was far from the worst.
My mother has a way with fractions. Makes me crazy. She’ll empty 1/8 or 3/4 of the dishwasher, but I can’t think of a single time she’s ever emptied the entire dishwasher. She’ll eat a fraction of something, leaving a spoonful or two in the container. And then eat another fraction of that. It seems like, with many things, she’d never ever get to the end of a thing, because she could always split it into a smaller fraction. Our cupboards constantly have bags with three pretzels in them. My female cat does this too— she’s not ever going to clean out her whole dish, but she’ll complain when it’s emptier than she’d like.
I have always thought of myself as a pretty sensitive soul— I’ve always been easy to move to tears. Just Monday, in choir practice, we were singing and tears were running down my face, in a particular song. I’ve also always been empathetic to a fault— I’m going to get used by people who play on my sympathy, I’m going to bankrupt myself emotionally. Look at the situation with the flaky friend: She cancelled an outrageous (to me) third time on plans she asked for and whose terms she has always dictated, last night. I expected that she would, and texted her three hours in advance to establish that, so I could plan my evening without having to factor that in. Instead, she cancelled with less than 30 minutes to go. And I didn’t yell. I didn’t make the plans again, but I’m not going to cut her out of my life.
This Arbonne thing is an example of a thing I do pretty frequently— I have an idea about something and I go ahead and test it, to see if it is what I think it is. A few years ago, I decided I just needed to exercise more, not change my eating. Doing triathlons, I discovered that I was eating enough to offset the exercise and even gaining weight. I had been telling myself that “calories in/calories out” doesn’t work for me. So I tracked my calories and lost weight. I’ve had a few theories (about eating more whole foods, about where my calories were coming from, how hard it would be), and testing them simultaneously means that causality is difficult to determine, but here are some observations:
It turns out that all my uncomfortable conversations are going to find me this week. Grey Area Guy is back and I’m going to have to say what I need to say there, it turns out that the friend with the mid-week event where there was subtext is an occasional reader of the blog (hello, IRL friends! I’m glad you’re here and I’m sorry if I sometimes say things that make things awkward!) more conversations about family… all of it. Right now.
And Mom has started openly rebelling against the Arbonne thing. So many lessons, so little time. Fingers crossed that I find some grace to navigate these waters.
I had that unpleasant conversation with the BFF last night. It had been awhile since we talked and I kind of thought we’d start by catching up on life, but she’s like a dog with a bone and when I tried to talk to her, she started right up with “so I’ve got to get this scheduled…” and I said “I’m sorry, but at the end of the day, I’m not comfortable committing to a trip that long, this far out.” She argued with me: “but you’re never really going to know what her health situation is…” and I agreed with her. It’s possible that Mom’s health will decline more slowly than I think. It’s possible that I’m cutting myself off from fun things I can do now. But I’d rather not commit to things that have me out of town or out of the country for that long while I’m her primary support. Italy was different, for me, partially because I could see that this time was coming, and partially because it was a trip that I had felt really strongly about for 11 years. I offered to visit her, instead. I made clear that this isn’t about not wanting to see her or spend time with her, but I’m not willing to plan to be away for more than a week at a time, at this point. I’ve also said that I’m floating the idea that other people who love my mother could spend more time with her, and that might free me up to make a plan like this, but so far, that’s just a bright idea on my part— nobody’s offering to step in and time a visit so that I can bug out for a bit. Continue reading