I used to work with a woman whose favorite expression of stress and anger was, “I could bite the heads off snakes.”
Yep. That’s just how I feel. Bring it. Cuz I’M READY TO GO. This has been an off-the-charts CRAPPY week.
Work is hectic cuz everyone’s on Spring Break, and we are getting ready for a company-wide event of some consequence in a couple of weeks here at Acme Health Services. Those of us who DID NOT go on vacation to some warm sunny locale are stuck here doing extra work for those who did, and there’s a certain level of feeling and attitude in the building which has been rising all week, and is now at a rather uncomfortable pitch.
Evenings are not much better cuz of having WAY too much to do and not enough time to do it, and I don’t hold out a whole lot of hope of improvement for the weekend in that regard, either. Trying to fit in ALL the needs – my mother, the cats, the incredibly-old-and-falling-down-around-us house, the daily/weekly chores, bills, etc. – and tacking on the end getting to the gym and trying to spend time with friends and have some semblance of a life that I might actually enjoy is just fecking impossible.
And sleep? Yeah…not so much.
It’s wearing on me. It’ll be seven years in November since I moved in with mom. Seven years. 12% of my life. It’s not that I regret the time I’ve spent as caregiver to her – I don’t. It’s the right thing to do, and I’ve learned a lot in that time. It’s been a good thing in many ways. This is what I signed up for. I didn’t read the fine print, though, about duration and wear and tear, and that’s where the trouble is.
What I’ve been wrestling with this week is all that this endeavor has cost me – what I’ve lost in those seven years, including my health to some degree – and wondering how much more I can take. I’m ready to move on, but I’m not finished here yet, and that’s disheartening. I alternate between feeling sorry for myself (unhelpful), and feeling like the lowest wretch on earth for essentially wanting my mother to die, which is the only way to gain my freedom and regain my life as I would like to live it for whatever time I have left on this planet (even more unhelpful).
Really good times.
Then there’s the advice from well-meaning folks, that doesn’t have anything to do with anything even remotely resembling the reality of my life. Trust me, the last thing I need to hear right now is “You’re doing it wrong.” That’s where the snakes come in, and I’m ready to just take a chunk right out of anybody who wants to get in my face right now, cuz I’m SICK TO DEATH of people thinking they know me or what’s going on in my life BETTER THAN I DO.
But then I have to step back and take a deep breath and think about all the people I’ve alienated over the years with unsolicited advice, and remember that these well-meaning co-workers and friends are trying to help, and that I left myself open to it by telling anyone anything about any of it in the first place.
Alex Dumas said: Sell your confidence at a high price, if at all; to be strong, keep your own counsel.
Smart guy, our Al. Too late for me and my big mouth, though, so I just smile and say “yes, for sure, oh really? okay” and then I go somewhere and eat worms. Now, if worms were good for high blood pressure, I’d be all set! Alas, not so, though, and neither is alcohol or ANY of the things I really like to eat and in the past soothed my ruffled feathers, so I’m left gnawing on carrot sticks feeling ornery and put out and just generally like I wish I had some snakes, cuz I would tear those babies RIGHT. UP.
Did I mention the weather and the wind and the lingering cold and general cloudiness and ickiness of early Spring in Michigan? No?
Well, such good times! And don’t even get me started about Mercury Retrograde…
So, anyhoo, that’s my week. How was yours?
Mercury Retrograde kicked me in the ass too. I feel your pain, my friend.
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It’s going around. And I loved your post. So real. Thank you. It does help to know there are others out there just feeling crappy and stalled. And as for that unsolicited advice: I remember a Dr. Phil response. “Thank you for caring enough to share. I promise to weigh it carefully.” To that, in my head, I add “or not.” ☺️
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Thanks for your honesty. I am currently in the process of winding down a career of more than 30 years to go home to aging parents. While I feel it is the right thing to do, there is much that I am neither equipped or prepared for. The resentment and the guilt for feeling that way are things I’m sure I will experience. I hadn’t thought about my own physical deterioration. I recently caught a glimpse of the unsolicited advice but am not sure how much of it I can nod away. Probably gonna need some snakes. Thanks again.
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Thanks for stopping by, and for commenting. Good luck. Take care.