April 14, 2020
Well, clearly my plan for a day-by-day Social Distancing blog has not worked. It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I last popped in here with my frustration and my wisdom. All the days seem to be the same. Weekend? Maybe. Business hours? Maybe. Does anyone know? Does anyone care? Maybe.
I would like to be writing. Writing. Writing…….. I rarely get time simply to sit and write all the things that are in my head, clamoring to get out to the keyboard through my fingers. I do beading – jewelry making, if you will. It’s all self-taught and probably not very professional, but it makes me happy and that’s what’s important in this equation.
Closets lurk in need of organization, dusting, purging. Leaves are dense and sticky in the yard, being soaked from overwintering since the snow came early last fall. There are cobwebs and spring cleaning and….. yes, a dog to wash. But I can’t seem to get inspired. The naps are too compelling. Too essential to coping.
My mom passed in February. I’m dealing with her affairs, her accounts, trying to notify all the people who need to be notified. She shared her time between three houses, two in Michigan and one in Arizona. That alone make things challenging. I started on a plan of sorts, but the orderly dispatch of these things branches the same way a tree branches. I’ll get just so far on something and the track will split or I’ll get stonewalled. Lacking a particular paper of authority, lacking a document from one of her other residences, lacking a key, a phone number, or an address, I have to put things on hold.
I’m also in the midst of constructing a memorial tribute to my mother. It will have to be on-line now, instead of the open house/party I wanted to have. At least I take comfort that she has not had to endure the pandemic madness that stole her Celebration of Life.
As I go through the photos, I’m looking for favorites I remember and anticipating the rediscovery of ones I’ve forgotten. I found a gap in her 96 year life story, and realize those photos are likely stuck in old cell phones somewhere. I’ll check the basement when I remember. Then I’ll hope we still have the charger cords, and remember how to extract those photos from the phones.
Tax preparation has been niggling at me, clinic books and personal records finally finished and dropped off at the accountant’s office. Our son’s taxes are next. And my mom’s. It’s convenient that the deadline has been extended. That will give me time to get her papers collected, forwarded, emptied out of mailboxes in three locations.
Age has me locked down at home, as is my husband who is a few years older and has more pre-existing conditions. We don’t mind being here at home, but we do mind not being busy in our normal lives. Where I would like it to be a vacation (or at least be able to pretend it is) I find my self surrounded by exhausting chaos. There are dozens of threads of things that demand my time. I don’t have order, and I don’t have any sort of control. It’s like being surrounded by mosquitoes — and just as exhausting.
I want to go to work. I want to sew, or clean a closet, or read a book – and I can’t seem to do any of these. I want to be able to choose how I spent my time, and lately all I’ve been able to do is swat at the deadlines. The first weeks I took a lot of naps in spite of it all, justifying that by saying I need to be rested and healthy to fight off any exposure to the virus. I feel like all these thoughts are scattered and wandering on their own, unwilling to be corralled or trained or calmed. Like herding cats, as they used to say.
But here I am. I’m writing. I’ve started making notes about things we do, because it didn’t feel like we were doing or accomplishing anything. We’re looking for the victories, even if they are small. Recording the progress, even if it isn’t all the way to the goal. Fewer naps, and more small projects. More joy, less stress. I highly recommend it. We’ve weeks to go. Find ways to celebrate.
(c) 2020, J. Cools