pointless update ? for writing exercise! …
I feel like the last two pandemic years have gone by fast and slow at the same time. I guess I never fathomed this would be our world for now almost two years. It seems unreal that this Covid virus doesn’t want to give us – and our hospitals – a break. My grandmother lived through the years of the Spanish flu – she did ok from what she told me -but she did lose an older brother to it. That is a loss that saddened her throughout the rest of her life. I only wish I had asked her more about that time. What it was like. Was it scary? How did they stay safe? I never fathomed that this would be our world 100 years later.
So here I am on the flip side of the holidays. I am just taking down my decorations. I am happy to say I was up for putting them out this year. Last year it seemed enough to put out the ceramic tree and a wreath. This year we had a larger tree- a $99 home goods find (love that place) – and other decor splashed about the house. I also planned on sending out cards – and I did send a few- but then I just got behind – or overwhelmed – or both. I really wanted to try once again to really dive into the season after last years flame out of the holidays and I did pretty well – the house looked festive and that made me happy. Its the disassembly of it all that is a bummer though – and time consuming.
After last years Zoom Christmas which included me trying to play the elf and have my kids -who were in three different cities- open big boxes of stuff while we watched – which brought laughs but was so weird- we decided not to do that again! We were going to have one child home for this Christmas. My Navy son got a 2 week leave. For this I was so very grateful. He was fresh off a sub deployment so I think having some quiet time and family time was much needed.
We had some family over on Christmas day and had some eats. It was a small gathering but very nice to be able to get together. For Thanksgiving we did the same (except none of our kids were here). We hosted Kevin’s family and my brother came from Texas – I hadn’t seen him almost three years! We left the invites flexible so anyone could cancel if they felt unsafe bc of Covid.
I guess we are trying to have some ability to go out and do things despite being in the midst of a pandemic. I am very careful and I am trying to still safely go out and live life. Maybe not in large crowds but to still get out and get things done and do fun things. My KN95 masks have become my accessory of necessity. And they go with everything. Sigh…
While we had my son home we wanted to take advantage of doing some things with him. Otherwise he would just game the entire visit and since I stink at it (and he didn’t invite me to play -probably bc I am horrible at it)there was little chance I would see him if we didn’t create some experiences for all of us. “Experiences” is a fancy word for doing stuff that forced us all together – and to do stuff and to maybe even – gasp – talk some during said experience.
So we went to the beach for a long weekend and we did a new years walk/run together- and really just chilled out. Then back in Maryland my daughter -who now lives in Chicago- flew in to join us for a few days. We hadn’t seen her for almost 18 months! Thats hard to believe! Again- experiences… some went well others not so great. One that didn’t go so well was us driving to a bowling alley only for it to be closed due to many employees being out with Covid (hey bowling alley owner? hello just stick it on your website or facebook page and phone message that you are closed- yes we called)-that was a bummer but an ice cream float experience waited at a nearby soda shop.. and we bowled another day- I won two out of three games bowling..yep and left armed because I can’t bowl with my other arm because of nerve damage. (I did use bumpers while two of my opponents opted not to us them(lots of gutter balls!)- so I had an advantage..will I take the win? –yep!….). And one day my daughter rode horses with me. All of her skills came right back. And we had fun. That’s what counts most. (and I am always grateful for my ability to participate in any activity after so much pain sidelined me for so long.)
I think we all needed to reconnect and these things helped forge that. My kids are off living their own lives and sometimes parents get put on the shelf. I remember myself back in my 20’s and I know that I wasn’t calling home weekly! And now we parents freak out if we don’t get a fast response to our texts to them. I now know how my parents may have felt as their children went out into the world. I guess it is the inevitable plight of parenthood….the letting go. So the reconnecting is special.
I have one kid who isn’t speaking to us at the moment. It is a bummer but I have now concluded that if I have 2/3 of my kids speaking to me that it is a win! If we get the trifecta that is a bonus! My kid that isn’t on speaking terms with us is mad at us when maybe he should be looking at himself. And I just don’t think he is there yet. He moved home for a time and it just didn’t work out for all of us. So he moved back to Florida. I can say in this situation I tried very hard to make it work and things didn’t go the way we hoped. I will give him space as he processes things and perhaps he will come around. I am always here for him.
I am trying to learn when I just need to step away and give my children space. It took some therapy to get there. I am a fixer. I want to jump in and fix their problems but I am learning I am not responsible for fixing my children…they have to want to fix themselves. I am always here to listen and give and opinion but only if asked.
When I had the two kids home I felt that old familiar mom feeling. That sense of purpose and place. It is not something I would have defined in myself when I was in the act of being a parent when my kids were living at home. I always prided myself on having many interests and I didn’t live vicariously through my children. But when they were all gone I felt the emptiness probably known as empty nest. I was surprised. I felt lost and as my kids went to find themselves – I have been left to redefine me. That is a work in progress.
My mom lives with us and though she can care for herself she does have health issues that require frequent doctors visits. And I have my own health issues so I have found myself in many medical buildings often during Covid. I go to PT weekly to get cupping to help with my chronic pain and I get trigger point injections every 6 weeks or so. I also have scans coming up and that gives me scanxiety.
It is what it is. I just try to move forward and enjoy my joyful moments- which include text from my kids- hint.. hint (they won’t read this – haha!).
So the pointless post -which I guess is kind of an update because I haven’t been writing much- is done. My message is life goes on – find joy where you can!
[My goal is to write more- it always is. If I can do it once a week or so just to exercise my writing part of my brain I think it will be good for me – ergo this post- but who knows if even that will overwhelm me too much. Its how my brain works now. It has been through too many surgeries (all that anesthesia!) and it has to deal with meds that take away some of its power to think straight! But my love of writing is always there. I have a million topics to write about…then I just don’t!. So we will see. ]
Be well- stay safe….