Sometimes Life goes crazy– all you can do is keep breathing, loving, and living. In the “letters home” spirit of this blog, there’s no denying that this has been that kind of week. I didn’t know this Breathe-Love-Live tornado was approaching, and don’t know how long I’ll be spinning in it, but I’m pretty sure that, for me, writing about it is better than pretending all’s well, and that I’m not Stressed.
Being “stressed” isn’t my style. Stress belongs to the worriers. Being too busy is the territory of the over-achievers. I lean toward doing what I love and loving what I do. I’m more interested in experience than goals. My life has been risky, unconventional, and happily out of the cultural mainstream. I eat glutens, and I don’t do boundaries. If modern tendencies to overdo arise, I put my feet up and read a novel, or write one. Take a bath or a nap. Sometimes I nap in the bath.
This week, none of that is working. I forgot an important interesting phone appointment this evening. When I talked with my friend Dottie about my week, she laughed at me. “You think you might be stressed?” Well, Dottie shares my life — she and her husband Al have been my good friends since the 1980’s. Al had a stroke last fall. These days I spend one day a week with Al, escorting him to social engagements: coffee with friends and then a Kiwanis meeting. This is part of my job. What goes around comes around. I ride my merry-go-round with great joy for the most part. But, this week, the machine is spinning so fast…
Dottie, Al, and I have a mutual friend, Doris who is dying suddenly and probably quickly. Our community is reeling and pulling together in Love. I work with Doris as a caregiver. Breathe, Live, Love. Stay balanced.
Another friend/client with Alzheimer’s disease became widowed overnight this week. I’m shocked into worrying, because her devoted husband has been her primary caregiver. Another darling friend is sliding precipitously into a deeper stage of dementia. We who love her ride her roller coaster with her. Three other clients worry me too, now that my worry wheel is turning. Cloning myself would be the only way to have enough hours to give to all my beloved friends.
Still, I’ve resisted being “stressed.” Then, a few hours ago I came home to my bathing, napping, writing sanctuary and learned that my 79 year old housemate/mother was in a collision on the freeway. She lost control of her Mazda Miata and bounced off the side of a semi-truck at 70 mph. No injuries. The mirror on passenger side of car is broken. Scary close call, and this tough reality to deal with: caregiving begins at home. She’s had some health problems lately. We’re riding a tilt-a-wheel of dizzying practicalities, car repairs, transportation challenges.
I surrender. Officially, I’m Stressed. Hopefully, I’ll be my cool calm self again soon.