I struggle to remember this everyday now. I have every reason to believe my life will go on after my current situation is over, and that belief is what keeps me going. If I thought this situation with my mother would be unchanged for the rest of my life I think I would give up.
It’s hard and I look forward to the end, while trying to stay in the present. Not an easy task when the present is so unpleasant and difficult in so many ways, and life beyond it is freedom. The end is not in sight, though, so I try to remember that living in the future and wanting something different than what is happening now is the very definition of unhappiness.
This is what is, and this is what I have to deal with. It’s not permanent, but some days it seems so, and I guess that’s what’s hard. I can’t see the end, and though I keep telling myself, this too shall pass, it doesn’t.
Over and over things seem to get better – I might have part of a day in which mom is feeling pretty good and work is okay and all the housework is done – but in an instant it’s gone. Mom is calling for me with some problem, and/or, as in the case last weekend, we get 2 feet of snow that I had to deal with for 5 days. Or I feel like I’m pretty on top of things at work and catching up from all the time I missed in the last two weeks, and I get an email that in an instant changes everything and I’m behind again.
I wake up in a panic every morning thinking about the day and all the problems that could be waiting for me, anxiety crushing my chest. I’m tired before I even start. In the shower, in the car, at my desk, in my chair in the living room in the evening, I tell myself: Everything ends. This is not forever. I know that’s true, but it doesn’t feel like that, and I’m tempted to lose heart.
I’m just so tired.
So at those times I allow myself to think about my hope for the future: About a time after my mother is gone and I can move back into my little house, and have only myself and the cats to worry about. I could travel again, and have time out with friends, go for walks and bike rides; do the things I enjoy doing. The things that make life enjoyable for me.
But I can’t linger there. That’s not reality now and while it does give me hope to think about that time, I have to be present in this time to do what needs to be done. This is all there is right now. Until it’s over, this is where my energy belongs.
This is my journey, not my permanent destination, so the only thing I can do is keep moving. It always comes back to that, doesn’t it?
JUST KEEP MOVING.