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
I 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
In 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
When 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
This 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…)
Father Brown and Agatha Christie’s Poirot are two of our favorite shows. It’s not surprising, as both showcase smart and amusing fellows who just happen to find a lot of dead bodies. At first, Mom was skeptical – she was not a mystery buff, after all. Continue reading
So, I thought I was back on track with blogging but I guess I wasn’t quite there! I’m prepping a few posts so that I can get back into the routine of posting a few times per week. I think it’s one of the greatest challenges of blogging – you start out with ideas and energy and thoughts come spilling out … then it tapers off … and then life happens and it becomes an effort to keep up the blogging routine. Continue reading
Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? was a National Book Award finalist, a National Book Critics Circle winner and won a host of other awards. The author, Roz Chast, is a cartoonist and this memoir is written in that format, so it’s a quick read, though not always easy. I heard her discussing the book – I think on C-SPAN – several years ago (it was published in 2014) … long before my mother announced she was moving in with me. Continue reading
Sleep is a precious commodity – as one learns when it is disturbed on a regular basis. I am a night owl and Mom used to be an early riser, though now tends to sleep in a bit more. Sometimes it is apparent that she hasn’t slept well, as she is exhausted in the morning and sleeps in longer than usual. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to get up for work, unlike some of us! I have not been sleeping well either, so we have two grouchy people living in a small space – not a good scenario. Continue reading
My mother can be a fun and funny person, who likes to laugh and make crafty things and read stories and do puzzles. Sometimes, though, she gets a bit blue … her lost memory loss, her arthritic knee, her absent friends, and so on. I understand that she is dealing with a lot of loss, but it is frustrating when she cannot shift her mindset. Her doctor tried to convince her that she could look at this as a time to relax and to be thankful for what she has. I’ve also tried to convince her of that, as have others. But to no avail – I live in hope that she gets distracted by something entertaining that takes her mind off her problems. Continue reading