August Again

Here it is again.  The dog days of summer. August has started out not so treacherous.  Lower 90’s instead of near 100.

I so want to have enough energy to do more in the evenings after the 9-5.  It just doesn’t happen.  By the time I get to the house, I just want to sit and stare out the window or scroll through Instagram. I am scheduled to retire next summer.  Everyone asks me what will I do with myself retired.  I can’t seem to make them understand how important taking care of him and keeping house is to me.

I might write more. I might read more. I might be able to get my house the way I want it. I have some painting to do and some floors to recover and windows to redress.  I might even be able to get every closet, pantry and drawer cleaned out and organized.  I have some special projects still sitting in the wings.  I also have a major ambition to pursue.

With my pain level like it is, the fatigue overtakes me and then I cycle into a downward spiral.  My 9-5 job is very high stress and not rewarding emotionally or mentally.  Just an endless round of reports and meaningless data collection for the politicians. It drains me.  I hate feeling like this.  The upside is that it leads to an early retirement and lifelong health insurance for both of us.

I want to be able to do things with him and for him to make his life better and happier.  I try to research what to do, but then can’t focus long enough over the days to make the changes called for.

I am not alone in my frustrated state.  Many of my friends have the same or similar issues.  Not necessarily the pain, but the fatigue and the seeming inability to make things better despite having some vague ideas of what would help.

It is not that we have such desperately terrible lives.  I count myself among the blessed in this world.  I live in Texas. I have a solid house with hot and cold running water, two indoor toilets, a bathtub and shower. I have a well equipped kitchen and pantry and freezer full of food.  I have central air that I can afford to run.  I have good health in the sense that I don’t have to take any medications for anything right now.  And insurance if I did. My vehicle is new and I always have gas money.  My children are grown and independent and well.  Both happily married and raising healthy children.  I don’t have aging parents to take care of, though I wish I did.  They have all been gone for many years.

I guess my point is that everything should be fine.  But, somehow I have this nagging sense of unease.  And the physical pain and fatigue that no doctor seems to be able to figure out what is caused by nor how to fix it.  I have made yet another appointment with yet another doctor for later this month.  He has a reputation for non-traditional evaluations and treatments.  Maybe he won’t try to give me anti-depressants. I’m not depressed.  I just don’t feel well enough long enough to get more than the minimal tasks completed.  And that frustrates the daylights out of me.

Enough of this pity party.  I am blessed. I love and am loved.  I will do what I can and be glad for it as much as I can.  I will try to forgive myself for all I can’t seem to get done and for the anxiety that builds up and causes me distress.

The cicadas just started buzzing close to this porch window.  He will be home soon.  The evening shadows will blend into dusk.  The night will bring restless sleep, yet the coming dawn will break on a fresh, new day.  Please, Lord, help me rejoice and be glad in it.


A Song

I have heard a couple of songs on the radio recently. One is a current hit. One is from several years ago.  The one from several years ago is about a woman questioning what she is doing with her life.  I struggled with that for years.  Why didn’t I finish college?  What career path should I have taken?

I married early and had children. I had ill parents to tend.  By the time, real opportunity came along for me to pursue something else, I didn’t have the resources to move on it.  Resources aren’t just money.  Time, energy, desire.

Perhaps it is the approach of middle age. Perhaps is it the imminent arrival of granddaughter number one and the fast approaching granddaughter number two.  I am losing the sense of loss over missed opportunities.

The current song just made me recall my original dream. I don’t even know what about the song made me think what I did.  All I ever wanted was to be a wife, mother and homemaker.  I did all that along with a 9-5.  My husband is my career and the 9-5 is a sideline.

I wouldn’t give myself a very good evaluation for my career performance right now. I have been sidetracked.  I have this terrible weakness of allowing media-books, magazines, Pinterest-influence my decisions too greatly.  I let the profit driven mass production world of commerce deceive me into thinking I am not in line with what is acceptable modern living.  The problem develops because I cannot keep up with their standards and actually provide an appropriate lifestyle or living conditions for our real life household.

I am changing that already. I have made some decisions and some behavioral changes.   I am having success with them.  I feel better about a lot of things.  My self-evaluation is having a positive effect of change.

Just be happy. He and his son have told me that.  I am glad that line is sticking in my mind rather than the old one from a corny old movie. “Find and fulfil your destiny.”  Nope.  Create my destiny.  Just be happy.  Be wife. Be mama. Be granny. Be housekeeper. Be aunt. Be niece. Be cousin. Be sister. Be me.


Black and Blue

At times, my heart becomes black and blue from the concerns that come my way.  I find myself overly concerned about my children, about home things, about him.

I say “overly” because I believe worry to be a futile waste of energy.  I want to be concerned enough to pray for them, to spend time helping them, to tell them I love them, to gently guide or present another view.  But, to be so concerned that I become fretful is not a good thing.  It shows lack of faith.

I confess I have been overly concerned about my son and his wife during their recent travels and their island move in progress.  They are managing just fine.  He is just more relaxed about everything than I am.  I like having a detailed plan and definite commitments for big things like they are doing at the moment.  He seems to fly by the seat of his pants, like his father.  They are both successful men and have each other for conferring and helping when needed.  I need not worry a bit.

I encouraged my daughter to try to refrain from becoming distressed about situations in her life.  In fact, I have been doing that a lot recently with her. She is getting married, moving, changing jobs, all this summer.  Just one thing at a time.  Patience.  His timing is perfect.  Regarding a loved one’s illness, I simply said, find out what you can and pray.  Not much else to do for the situation right now.

I am not so very worried about him today.  Things are going well for him.  I am always trying to feed him healthier foods.  He is trying to like it.  I told him I don’t want to be a widow for my last 30 years, since I intend to live to 102!

As for myself and home, I got a few things done.  But, I was too late to salvage one project.  It will have to redevelop.  I am set up to do it now, though.  Our yard is looking so good.  The grass is green from all the rain.  Even in the flower beds!  The rain has been steady recently limiting the opportunity to work on some things.

I started a special project the first of June.  When I get more done on it, I will talk about it.  I don’t want to diffuse my energy and focus by discussing it yet.  Suffice it to say, things are going.  Not as quickly as I would hope, but I am not losing confidence of the final result coming sooner rather than later.

Yes, my heart gets black and blue.  But, then I recall what I have survived and to what I have to look forward.  And my heart feels better.  Great thing about it, I don’t have to wait for the bruises to fade.  Just a moment and the miracle of Mercy can make it rosy red again.

There is one black and blue I love to look at over and over.  On a special day, in the middle of the ocean, where molten rock once met salty sea, I found a perfect black and blue: