where have you been?

It’s been a crazy year!

Last June, I changed jobs and started working from home on a regular basis. It was great because I could be available to my mother at all times. She was not interested in joining clubs or going out. She has very little short-term memory at this point and becomes anxious when alone. So, working from home was perfect!

Until it wasn’t …. In December, I realized that I was spending about 18 hours a day in my bedroom – my office was there, my bed was there, and my post-mom’s-bedtime TV watching was there. I also realized that my mother’s lack of privacy, while not a problem for her, was becoming a problem for me. It was excluding me from using most of the apartment space. So, I started thinking about moving. I thought about it for months and just when I decided to act, the COVID-19 restrictions kicked in. So, I waited a bit longer and in July started looking and tracking properties. In August, I decided to get serious. In September, I sold my condo and bought a 2-bedroom unit in the same building.

The new place needed work. Some of the renovations were done before we moved in, some are in progress now and some will come down the line. It’s been a challenge to move and it seems to be taking a long time to settle in. The good news is that I think that by the end of December, we will be in good shape. We’ll still have the “down the line” renovations to do, but we will be in good shape.

I am not a patient person, so it is stressful that it is taking this long to settle in. Part of the problem has been that I needed to order some furniture that takes a while to get here, so we have boxes of books and bookcases with dishes and glasses, and other stuff hanging about. But the bigger problem is that I was just exhausted. Really, just flat out tired and stressed. I just need to breathe deeply and be patient – we will get there in the end.

As to the blog, here is the plan – with the goal of one or two posts a week:

  • A few more posts on The Crown and perhaps some other TV shows – this has been about all I can manage these days,
  • Some posts on books that I read a while ago – hopefully, this will make me want to pick up books and read again,
  • A few posts about how my mom has been doing with all of this chaos (answer, pretty well!),
  • A few posts about renovations and how they are going and how everything looks – these will likely be in late December or in January,
  • And a few random posts about other stuff.

excuses, excuses!

shield-417826_1920So, I’m not sure why I keep putting things off. I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator, but until last year if something made it on my ever-present “to do” list, it got done. Over the past year, I’ve not only skipped over tasks, I’ve been ignoring the list altogether.

I think (hope) that I may be hitting a turning point, though, as I’m now starting to pay attention to the list again. This doesn’t mean that I’m actually completing things on the list, but at least I’m acknowledging existence of a list and tasks that I’ve been neglecting. This is progress! Continue reading

the all-important cat update

Sorry for the delayed post. It has been a complicated few weeks.

Oscar, at age 18, has had a challenging year. It all started about 6 months ago, when Oscar started pooping outside his litter box. He had never done this before (outside of the occasional accident) so I took him to the vet. Thus began a concentrated focus on cat poo that I never thought possible … and roller coaster ride of emotions. Continue reading

what happened to that book you were writing?

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Last year, when I took my 6-month break (that became a 12-month break), I had planned to work on a book. I would write a little story and my mother, who has done arts and crafts all her life, would work on the illustrations. This lovely little book would be shared with family and friends. The book should have been done by now … but it’s not. What happened? Continue reading

picking up where we left off

tree-of-life-3132592_1920I have a lot of first cousins – on my mother’s side and my father’s side. Although I occasionally visited with the cousins on my mother’s side when I was growing up, I’m getting to know them better as an adult. This has been a really rewarding experience and I’ve enjoyed it.

On my father’s side of the family, it’s completely different.  I grew up with my cousins, we went to the same schools, saw each other at frequently family get-togethers and cookouts, played together and so on. When we were kids, there was a wonderful camaraderie – we teased each other and laughed a lot and grew up. There were also losses along the way. We were all so young when my father died – it is part of our collective story and memory. So is our grandmother’s funeral, when we were young adults. Continue reading

the evolution of things

 

banner-1076214_1920In a prior posts (including staying on schedule, logging progress and challenging fears), I talked about putting together lists and organizing my mother’s time and space. It’s a process. Every time we fix one piece, there seems to be another that needs an adjustment.  These aren’t wholesale changes – just tweaking around the edges. Changing out one spreadsheet for another. Switching out furniture for something easier to use. Editing some instructions on how to use X, Y and Z to include more pictures. Simplifying … everything. Continue reading

transitions continue … my new job

questions-1922477_1920.jpgWhen my mother came to live with me, I had hoped that cutting my workload to 80% efforts would be adequate to accommodate her needs. My work included a long commute that made it impossible to return home quickly if my mother needed assistance. When it soon became obvious that the arrangement would not work, I explored other options. Fortunately, my then-employer made it possible for me to work from home one day a week and my former boss (from a decade ago) had a position open for the other four days. Thus, I was able to work from Baltimore. This was truly a blessing. Continue reading

counting the changes and making trade-offs

hourglass-1425727_1280This post will be something sort of a stream of consciousness, as this is how I am processing change these days.

Accepting change is not always easy. There are trade-offs, so even if we are moving toward something great … or at least better … the loss of what we know is a bit unsettling. What if my new gig doesn’t work out? What if I don’t like it? What if I didn’t think through all the ramifications of change?

In the past, changes in my life usually were initiated by me – I decided when to move or when to change jobs or how to spend my time. As I’ve gotten older, there have been significant changes and, more often than not, I’m on the receiving end of change. This seems counter-intuitive – I should be more in control, not less, right? (more…)