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.
The heat drains the body’s energy and smothers the mind’s thoughts. I try to keep going. My heart aches for those who work outside and those without the benefit of air conditioning.
I suppose if I worked in it all day, it would not hit me so hard. I am not conditioned to it. If one can be conditioned to Southeast Texas in August at midday? Long after sunset the heat lingers.
I have so much I need to be doing. Inside and out. After getting in a car that has been sitting in the bald open parking lot all day, the last of my will power seeps through my pores and puddles in spots or soaks into my clothes.
I arrive home just wanting to sit quietly and drink a sweet iced tea.
Yesterday, somehow, I did get a few things done. I stopped by the hospital to see about a friend. I did some wash, some mending, repotted (hopefully did not murder) an orchid. I got the outside plants watered. I put fresh sheets on the bed. I helped him put out hay.
Today, I have been again to see about a friend in the hospital. I have the dryer going. I chopped up some cooked chicken in preparation for chicken and cheese quesadillas for supper. We will be attending the evening Bible study at our church a little later.
I say all this to remind myself that the Texas heat has not defeated me. Though my mind is sluggish, I am still attending the keyboard. Good food and clean clothes are at hand. I am eternally grateful for the central air in our home.
I love summer. I plan to ask for a boat trip to go fishing and swimming this weekend. I’m not sure what is on his agenda. I want at least one more run before the dog days end. Him, me, a fast boat and a cold river. Especially him.
I spent the day at home. Took a day of vacation from the 9 to 5. I sat on the deck in the heat most of the time. I would come in and cool off and get something to drink occasionally. Crazy. Yes. I know. Southeast Texas in July is hot and humid. Sweltering is a good word to describe the heat. I needed to be outside.
I have been battling the abyss some this summer. Sitting outside detoxes my mind and spirit. I spent some time reviewing my resource notes. I like to use my birthday to reflect and assess my situation.
I am pleased at what I found when sitting and listening to my own thoughts. I am not as down as I thought I was. I have had a few days of aggravation at the 9 to 5 and in dealing with some things at church. The frustration was at my own performance and attitude rather than other people. I complain about others when it is really myself with whom I am angry. I think I have let go of the irritation and I am already feeling better about things.
There was a special set of events today that had a profound effect on my well-being. I got to enjoy the gazebo he put together for me. Our son called and we had a great visit. Our daughter called and we had a great visit. Our daughter-in-law called and we had a great visit.
Another great thing for my birthday-I had an iPod that had become like an IV for my soul. I had my music with me any time I was not at the 9 to 5. Then, I broke it. I have had a difficult time since. I stopped walking at the track. I feel down more than usual. I was simply crushed without being able to listen to Dean Martin or Martin Denny whenever I wanted. But, he presented a small package to me last evening. A new iPod!! I am so grateful!
Now I have to figure out how to make it work again. Our daughter advised me on what to do. I want to wait until I have a clear head to fool with it. But, I have hope for music again. I did not realize how critical music is for me until I had it at will then lost it.
I found another gift today. As I was sitting outside, I noticed a tell-tale purple petal on the ground near the porch. The banana tree has baby bananas! Year before last, we ate a couple from our tree that produced late in the season. They were very small. They had a pleasant and less sweet taste than the store-bought variety. These have developed in time to perhaps have a full hand of them to eat later this summer.
Our daughter had sent books and movies from my Pinterest wish board earlier this month. A card and perfect gift from him. Calls from my beloved children. Time at home feeling Texas summer to my bones. No cake or candles. No happy birthday song. None needed. Happy Birthday number 51 to me! Thank you to the family for making it wonderful. Thank you to Him for making it wonderful. Thank you to him for being wonderful.
I love East Texas summers. I really do. No sarcasm. I love the warm, moist air. I love the steaming, hot air. I will sit outside in the shade during the hottest part of the day just feeling the heat and the dampness.
I love tropical plants, too. I have a banana patch outside the porch windows. I love looking at the huge bright green leaves. Cannas, or flags as I grew up calling them, are one of my favorite flowers. Many varieties of brightly hued flowers atop large leaves with different colors to choose from with them as well. Green, maroon, purple, variegated. I am trying to get a collection going.
As I sit here this Monday morning, the light is gently growing and illuminating my banana trees. I could sit here all day listening to the birdsong and gazing out the window. Sometimes……I do.