It is really hard to take care of myself these days. I think it’s one of the hardest things about my mothers death is that, it means there is so much more to do and the rest of everything doesn’t stop either. Like a started a new job in a completely new industry a week after she died, and started my last semester of school to complete a certificate for that industry on the same day. That alone is a little insane, but on top of everything else. Sometimes it’s hard enough to come home make or eat dinner, do the dishes and wake up the next morning. And for the first time in my life since I was a camp counselor, I actually love my job. I want to go to work. But there’s so much.
Here’s a picture of what all is going on.
First, while my mom left my dad with a very healthy retirement account that he is luckily just old enough to be able to draw from, he is also a freelance writer and can not afford to stay in their current house forever. They were planning to move before my mom died, but got caught in the winter months and didn’t want to post it till spring. So luckily we knew it was coming and some things had been done to prep, but not nearly enough.
I joke that my parents are hoarders, which is not entirely true, but isn’t entirely untrue either. My whole family has a hard time letting go of things that have memory attached to them, and because they live in a house that’s too big for them, they’ve never really had to. To give you a picture of what this looks like – my parents have a three car garage. However, my brother’s car is still parked in the driveway because you can only get one car into the garage. The rest once was moving boxes from almost a decade ago. Now it’s mostly Adam’s in-between stuff while he figures out his post-college life/housing, and decades old odds, ends and power tools. The important part is – two cars worth of the garage is inaccessible. In the basement, there is several hundred square feet of office space buried in art projects, old files, toys and I shudder to think what else. I found cell phone chargers from the early 2000’s in there recently and I’m still not sure why we have them.
So that brings us to the very interesting dynamic of having a shit ton of stuff loaded with emotional baggage taking up near rooms at a time that we get to go through over the next few months to clean it all out so dad can sell the house and move. Let me restate that we have to go through literal piles of things, many of them covered in my dead mothers handwriting, or collected by her, or given by her to us, and try to get rid of as much of that as we can.
So that’s one thing.
Another is just our own house. It’s interesting – especially when someone close to you dies, you just want everything to be put in order. Last year we spent about $9,000 in repairs, maintenance and improvements to our house. Which is a little insane. This year, we’re working to get everything else fixed up. I’m very happy to have our house. And I love everything we’ve done. But it’s also hard to just do that stuff. It’s freeing and terrifying to blow money in hundreds of dollars at a time. We’re fortunate enough to have it accessible to us, but it’s a lot.
The day after Valentine’s day I took off from work because things just keep welling up and I wanted to try and rest and be for one day. I wanted to just sit in silence the whole day, take a bath and read a book, and try to cry here and there, because I find it hard to feel safe enough to (which is a whole thing in and of itself). I couldn’t sleep, I was so nervous about taking the day off. My boss hadn’t texted me back that it was okay and I’d never requested off before. My alarm goes off at 6:15 and when I did check it he had texted at 6:14 to say it was fine. I tried to sleep in, let Hannah get ready and leave, and just sleep, but I didn’t. I ended up just doing that thing where your eyes close and you drift in and out, but never really seem to sleep. I gave in around 8:15 and just scrolled through FaceBook and Pinterest. And then at 8:30 Hannah called me in a panic. She was in heavy traffic downtown, her car was smoking and she couldn’t get over.
She got safetly pulled to the side after she hung up. I got ready and was out the door by 8:35. By the time I arrived, she was fine and her boss was waiting with her since she had been just a short ways behind her, also on the way in. As perhaps a funny aside, she asked me how I was and I responded, “I’m okay, my mom is just dead.” I think I horrified her a little.
Hannah apologized for taking up my day off, and I told her it was fine. And honestly it was, but it just feeds back into the whole thing. Nothing will stop it seems. It just keeps going and going and all I want to do is sit in a quite room and read, or maybe even do nothing. I don’t even want to write this blog post, but I know I need to.
Hell, I almost gave up on my homework today. I was just re-purposing old code in a new language and couldn’t figure it out. I was so close too – just a couple clicks away. But none of it feels worth it. I had a goal when I started to get a 4.0, and because it’s me, I still want it. But I don’t know if I can do it. I can barely put in the 2 hours of effort a week required to get the tasks done. I used to spend 6 hours plus a week on school.
I don’t know, this period is so odd. some days I feel like I’m hardly effected at all, and then I take a bathroom break and find myself in a quiet place and it just slips back in. And I can’t tell if I want it here or gone. I want to feel it, I want to feel broken about it and breakdown crying somewhere. But I’m afraid of that pain, and I’m so driven to keep things as put together as they can be, I don’t know if it’ll ever happen. I’m a fixer. And this isn’t a situation I can fix, so I’ve just grabbed onto anything I can find.