Steady On

Given the enormous number of tasks I take on for others, the support I (willingly and lovingly) provide, with little consideration for my own well being (because I love to take care of, listen to, offer loving words, cook for, play and sing with, soothe, and laugh with all the people I love), the pressure cooker that is my daily world, in the face of my mother’s situation, and the years, no decades, of dysfunction leading up to where she is (I am) right now, gives me pause to express what I need from the people who support me:

  • Ask me the question(s) if you are unsure. It’s better than me asking the question because you didn’t!
  • Take your shoes off when you walk in the house. Spot shampooing the carpet doesn’t fit in my schedule, yet I have to do it. 
  • When you borrow my vehicles, make sure I don’t have to shampoo their carpets after you return them. I do not have time, psychically or otherwise to do this, but must. I know you didn’t mean to track dirt into the cars or house. 
  • My hearing sucks. Half the time someone says something to me I say, “Huh?” When I ask you do to something for me, please actively listen. Say, “Huh” if you can’t hear/understand me, or tell me you can’t take care of  ‘that’ something if you’re unable to. That’s ok.
  • Don’t ask me to socialize on my Sweetie’s hockey nights. I need down time, bad. I love you, but I have to hibernate.
  • Please follow up with me if I don’t follow up with you… leading to
  • Don’t take lack of communication as anything other than hibernation, or (more likely) dealing with mad priorities. This will not get better in the short term, as I’ve been given a serious directive to take care of myself… A priority.
I’m giving great consideration to:
  • Not taking any more landscaping design jobs until everything settles down. Design equals deadlines. The other 349 things I’m tracking all have nebulous, or artificial deadlines… Putting hard deadlines in the midst of so many moving targets is crazy making. I’d rather focus on consulting, and one-off maintenance jobs. 
  • Letting go of coordinating my local Master Gardener farmer’s market clinic. I have a team of people who help me, yet the restriction, this summer in particular, of having to coordinate my schedule around certain Wednesday’s has been challenging. It hampers what I need to get done on the Island. The property manager is amazing, yet there are things only I can do…
  • Hiring a housekeeper. Kitchen, bathrooms, dust, vacuum. Twice a month… Once a month. 
  • Hiring a handy man/woman to help with ‘low hang fruit’ around the house. Even one day would help tremendously were we to hone our ‘hit list.’
  • Putting the band on hiatus. The ongoing inability for people to follow through on commitments is astounding. However, a severe retooling will likely suffice.
Today, in the midst of picking up mail, making a collection call, meeting an HVAC vendor and a sewer inspection service, seeing the chiropractor, dropping off mom’s dry cleaning, setting up and tearing down the Master Gardener booth at our farmer’s market, vacuuming the (1700ish sqft) downstairs, gassing up the truck, working on a design for one client and a plant list for another (and all the other little things one does in a day that never hit a list), I will take time to can applebutter, harvest fruit and veggies, advance a painting project, and thin the radishes. What this represents in a day is my work, work for mom, work (fun) putting our house back together, volunteer work, house & garden work, and self-care. No small wonder I need everyone to keep a steady course as we steam along.

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