Monday, November 21, 2011

Can You See It My Way?

I'm definitely one who will 'make do' with whatever I have at hand. I have been working on refining my home office space for quite a long time. Now having the luxury of more space to use instead of just a corner of a multi purpose room, I have been able to be creative and build the space that I want. 

I've spent months... likely a year or more working on this space. I get something the way I want it and then it just doesn't work how I think it will. So, I try again. I sort and organize, move furniture, I've switched desks and tables and shelves around.  I had an idea of what I wanted from the beginning. Finances didn't make it possible though, so I just kept playing around. Working on the 'next best thing' as I went along my way.  I wanted the Expedit shelving from Ikea, I got a hand me down desk, old kitchen table and cheap bookcase. I then took the doors from the bookcase and turned them sideways to make extended shelving.

Throughout it all, I was explaining my ideal space to the trucker over and over, in different ways. He just couldn't see what I did. My brother has an office that is quite close to what I want, though my space is not quite as big as his, and also, he needed an office that would accommodate two people working at the same time if needed.  

But I just needed to keep working and eventually I had a functional workspace. I tend to take up a lot of space when I'm working. The table was absolutely necessary in addition to the desk as the desk doesn't have a huge working surface. The table converted easily into writing space, sewing space, crafting with kids space. And it also housed our PC, the only computer the kids are allowed to use.  I had options. I could put the laptop on the table and use the desk for paper, or vice versa. I had TONS of room.

Over the weekend, The trucker and I bought a new entertainment stand for downstairs. We ended up completely changing the living room area. I love it. We moved the PC off my table and no longer had a need for such a big surface near my desk. Angel Baby's dollhouse was in the way, still in the living room, so I caved in and agreed to take apart my table. The doll house fits great there, she can easily access all four sides of it.  

Now, after all this time... The trucker understands what I wanted from the beginning. He can see my vision for this space, or at least a lot closer to it. I have to have my work space, but I also need room for Angel Baby as she is home with me all day when I'm trying to work. Now that he can see it, he can understand it, he has promised that we will buy the pieces that I want and build this space up right.  I'm very excited about changing this up. I know that I have put a lot of time into making this space of mine work right for me and I will have to essentially start over again, but I'm loving the idea of having a nice space. With furniture that matches!

The downside for the moment is that Angel Baby is loving the basement. She has been playing downstairs all day today. The boys spent much more time down here this weekend also. The dollhouse by my desk is giving my little munchkin space to play nicely right beside me while I'm working. LOVELY! She is being so cooperative today because she is so close to me and well occupied. 

What? OH, yeah, the downside... I don't have enough space to work!! My make shift shelf is full of things. My table is gone. I'm limited to my little desk for work surface, and it's just too small! The drawers underneath mean it is only possible to sit on the right side. If I'm sitting here typing, the laptop is on the right side of the desk, I have space on the left for papers. But I'm right handed and need my papers on the right of the computer so I can write notes easily.  My legs are just in the way!  I need to move these drawers or something!  I need my space back!  I'm really wishing I had a small folding table or something that I could pop up beside me!

I've had to get up and stretch a lot more often today. My flow is interrupted. It requires moving the laptop more when I need to write something down. I don't have space to leave my calendar open as I normally would.  
I surely hope that I can get this new furniture bought SOON!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where Are You?

This little tiny voice is trying to scream out "I'm Here!!" But sometimes it is just so hard to hear it. That tiny voice is mine. It gets lost and buried in the recesses of my mind because I feel for everyone else first.  The last weeks have been excruciating. Not my own personal grief over losing a loved one to a terrible disease, cancer, my energy has been given to all those around me. My outer voice says "Are you okay?" but the inner parts of me can feel your pain. I know the answers before you speak. If you are able to speak.

I feel your confusion, I feel your frustration. I feel your anger. I feel your sorrow. I shed your tears for you when you are not looking. I lose a night of sleep to my father's heartbreak. I lose another to my siblings. I lose many to my children. It is almost as though if I could just cry enough, you would never have to. But you do need to.  Later, I feel like it has been so much wasted effort. I have shed tears that you will shed also. I am not easing your pain, I am simply feeling it instead of mine. The most difficult moments, as I have mentioned before, were the minutes of telling my kids "Grandma is gone."  The days following were just a roller coaster of emotions, from one person to the next.

I cried in my own way, at my own time. But it was long after I'd shed all your tears. And I'm certain I'm not finished yet.

I'm still recovering from my own depression. Feeling your pain first is what led me into darkness. I forgot to ever feel my own. I am strong enough to realize this now, thankfully, but it is not something I can find any control over. I can not stop feeling for you, before me.  It just happens.

Yesterday was a long day. Yesterday I fought the quiet inner workings of my regular state of mind. I went searching for that tiny voice saying "I'm Here!"  I took the day off. I did not visit with family. I did not work. I kept the kids home with me. I ate ice cream in my pjs with the kids at 2 pm on a Tuesday. 


And I felt my own feelings. It was almost frightening in it's intensity. Such rage came out, such frustration. Such sadness and sympathy. So much relief that the suffering is over for someone I cared so much for. And guilt. Always guilt. Did I do things right? Was I there enough? Should I feel better than this? Or worse?  

Such a slippery slope this can be.

This morning I woke up beyond exhausted. Emotionally taxed beyond my limits, now feeling my own way as well as yours.  And I was mean. I was angry. I was rude and didn't want to listen to anyone. My poor trucker always receives the worst of me.  And this time all it took was milk. I knew last night I needed to get it. I wanted him to just go buy some. He was careful to leave enough in the fridge so I could have my coffee this morning. He could have finished it easily.  The boys were both set on cereal for breakfast, which really doesn't happen often. I barely had enough but I divided it between them so they could eat. I got them off to school and then the evil monster inside me leapt out of my chest and tore such an ugly strip of that trucker of mine. The poor man called me at the wrong time.

And I was perfectly justified! He should have just gotten the stupid milk. He was dressed. I wasn't. He drank it. He should have left it if he wasn't willing to go buy more.

That anger stayed all morning. Every single thing I did or said was tinged with the hurt that I was feeling. 
Over milk.

Thankful as always for the things I have learned, over the last few months especially, I was able to calm myself down. I was able to draw out that tiny voice screaming on the inside.  I did three things right away.

1) I apologized to the Trucker. It wasn't his fault, he just happened to trip the fault line and get the full rush of everything I felt for several days. He had no way of knowing the kids would need the milk, they don't often have cereal on school days anymore and almost never both on the same day. He had to leave for work so early, he had gone directly to bed after that glass of milk. I was simply refusing to get dressed to go to the store (and I have been known to go in my pj's anyway). Neither of us had cash to send Macboy instead. It was just a silly situation all around. It was not his attempt to ruin my day by any standard.

2) I got moving. I got out of the house and bought milk! Along with anything else that was being avoided on my to-do list. I also got some productive work done.

3) I reached out. I asked for help. I requested a nudge (or swift kick if deemed necessary) from my boss. "Please keep me busy and reach out if I seem to be distant. I do not want to slip away."  I messaged a few friends who know me well. (Except for one, she always seems to just know and call anyway) I asked for reminders to eat right, keep exercising and more. I also asked them to reach out if they don't hear from me. 

I'm worried about me. Really. I do not want to go backwards after so many forward strides. It seems like it should take a lot to pull me back that far, but it doesn't. It takes such a short time to slip but a long time to crawl back up. So I'm making sure that my supports are on alert. They are ready. They will not catch me when I fall, they will hold me up as I keep going forward so that I don't have to fall again.

So many people may think I exaggerate how I can 'relate' to others. It goes so far beyond relating or sympathizing, I sincerely feel your hurt. Another blog that makes me feel entirely 'normal' talks about this sense of feeling the pain of others. I've finally found a place where I belong. Where my thoughts are not outrageous, but other people have them too. I don't make things up, I don't pretend, I don't exaggerate.

After completing the steps above, I picked up my kids from school. We came home and all four of us played in the snow in the back yard. I even shoveled the patio out back, which we don't usually do. I got active. I played and laughed and exerted energy. Yep, exercise! The trucker cooked us dinner (at the drive thru hehehe) and I had a nice cup of tea to wind down.

I feel better. I feel stronger. I know I will be okay and there are people in line to keep me moving if I get lost along the way.  

If my Stepmom was never defeated by the cancer that finally took her from us, I will not be defeated by it either!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Patience Is A Hard Thing

But I certainly appreciate the patience of those of you who read my blogs. I have been way off course with writing lately.

I have monthly goals ready for November, they were good ones! But they sit on paper still. A family member who has been fighting cancer for the last three years, is no longer in pain. I love my kids for putting this into perspective for me. I had never had to deal with this. I have never had to tell them someone special had died. This has been a very difficult week and my busy house has really slowed down. After I spoke with Macboy, I asked how he felt. He said he was happy that she doesn't have cancer anymore.  You know what? That kid is brilliant. 

There has been a roller coaster of emotions around here as each of us processed this news in our own ways, and at our own times. There will be more to this ride before life settles back down. This coming week will be much the same I'm sure.

So I do apologize for not being around much, but I know each and every one of you who reads anything here will completely understand.  There are so many thoughts in my head, many things I could share here but I do not want to write without full consideration of my words. I do not want to post something that I have not fully processed with a clear mind. I can write quite personal information here sometimes, but it is always my own life. It is not someone else's story.

For now, I'm just not sure what else of this story I would want to make public.

I have not slipped back into my dark places, I am well. And I will be back to writing more very soon.

Thanks for your patience!  I am so happy you are here.