Coming Around

Here’s what happens when a logical type gets sideswiped by emotional drain – damage.  Angry words.  Stiff-necked positioning.  Self protection.

In order to protect from any further impact, I put up the overall force field.  I lashed out at the hospice assistant who had repeatedly cancelled days and firmly stated don’t come here if I can’t count on you — I’ll do it myself.  I backed off family who gave me the response of being overwhelmed too — stop coming in early, come in later and I’ll handle it til then.  I held off my boss who said cut your help and began taking back tasks, cutting help hours.  Overwhelm on top of overwhelm.

The preface to it all was the final straw – the addict brother who has lost nearly everything, making another imposition, expecting that he could treat our home as his own, not asking – just taking.  That drew the line in the sand and we posted no trespass signs on our properties.  Then I told him to his face.  Then he read it on the private family blog to keep closest family notified of the stages my father is going through.  I am now enemy number one on his list.  Does he remember the times I faced down guns he held?  Does he remember putting my son at risk?  Does he recall that I took his babies and sheltered them for a summer?  No, he only takes and takers forget to pay attention.

So, the drama had unfolded, and I played victim.  Overwrought, feeling the approach of a total meltdown.  You likely saw the last post.  I had reached the end of my endurance.

Then we went camping, hubby and I.  Left on Friday afternoon, and by sundown had set up the camp and moved into full relax mode.  I enjoyed my first Shabbat since my dad arrived at our home three months ago.  It was simply wonderful.  Cooling breeze, sounds of leaves rustling and birds and insects fluttering and futzing about.  The lake water off in the distance and wafting sounds of people frolicking in the waters.

I have some reserve now.  A store of patience, and some energy reserve to see us through the next steps.

We have emptied the rental house of my dad’s belongings and will now begin the last steps to prepare the house for sale.  We will have to continue our day jobs and care of my dad as well, but once that is done, one major task is lifted from the plate of overwhelm.

We’ll get there, right?

Resentment

From the first moment that I awake and step from my bedroom space to the kitchen space to start the morning coffee…

At the last moment of the day, as I move to the bedroom to make my rest…

Every movement in between.

Watching, waiting, needing.

It’s hard not to be resentful.

I say to those around me – I’m breaking.

They respond – me too.

I don’t know how not to be resentful, when I’ve always done what I can when others were breaking.

Roles were cast at the workplace to assist with the overwhelm – and then they were removed.

This too will break me.  I don’t know how not to resent that.

The shards will fall.

They will scatter.

I imagine that I will find the glue to reattach the pieces.  Perhaps I will be stronger then.

There is a reason that YHVH created Shabbat.  One day again I will find rest.  For now, and since May, not a single day of rest has been found.

I imagine myself with no resentment.  But until rest comes, I am breaking.  And I resent that.

 

 

Appearances

The thing about dying is that it’s a matter of health.

My dad arrived at our home following a hospital stay during the peak of COVID regulations.  We could not see him during the stay, and we were harassed by the nursing staff for calling daily.  We did not find out until after he arrived and we reviewed the discharge papers that he nearly died there.   It’s a long story involving his care and I’m saving it for a very well put letter to the hospital authorities once I’m no longer seething over it.

He arrived with the appearance of death hanging over him.  I summoned the siblings and let them know we were on short time.  Then my husband and I set about the act of nursing him and caretaking his property.  That was 7 weeks ago.

He had pre-qualified for hospice before the hospital, but had refused to accept a terminal diagnosis, so had settled for home health.  We didn’t know this until we asked about getting some medical equipment.

Now he is in hospice, safely ensconced in a hospital bed in his new ‘bedroom’ which was once our living room.  We’ve changed up our furnishings and set up his desk and PC in the spare bedroom and handed off our main bathroom for his needs.

He’s gone from near death to being nutritionally balanced and hydrated.  Before the hospital visit, he had lost track of doing the basics – proper food and fluid intake, taking his meds timely – and was not in a healthy environment as he had fired the housekeepers that I hired to take care of his house.

He can’t fire me, he’s stuck.  Hubby and I have become the groundskeepers, nursing aides, financial advisors, chefs and housekeepers, with other duties as assigned.  We do have some family assistance as well.

Death is still looming, but it has been delayed.  There will be quality first, health.  The mental health has vastly improved with the improved physical nutrients.  Now it’s up to the disease.  Poor health conditions are no longer driving this bus.

It appears that we will have a resident here for a while.

 

Struggle Bus

I don’t know what to say except that there’s always another something to take your breath away.

Retreat necessary for me, as I expect to be quite involved with end of life care for my dad.

I recognize that as painful as this is, it is an opportunity for much – and I intend to do this as best as I must.

I hope for this to be the absolute most pleasant option for him.

Peace out!

 

Breathe Through the Storm

Spring has sprung and the fireflies have arrived.  It feels early.  It’s only been days since the last freeze. . .

I watched one alight on the garden bed beam, and as I peered closer, it flashed wings at me with agitated antennae.  I took the hint and retreated back – and it was gone in that moment.  Absent.

We are in the midst of this storm of no precedence.  The unknown.  Varied in strength and strike and form.

The storm activity has been one of ‘take shelter’ here.  In tornado country we know how to be prepared for a short and harsh duration that may cause a term of duress… but this. . .

Prepare for taking care of family – too many in the scary category to comprehend.

Prepare to be home for extended periods…  write lists, revise lists, check lists.

The theme has been prepare.

Work was deemed essential.  Many hours were spent by the team to set up and roll out that particular preparation.  I and my office mates are nearly full remote now – a jerky transition wrought with change and chaos and frustration – then sprinkled with joy and anticipation from my perspective.  What I have oft longed for is now short term reality.

And so, after so many means of preparing in and around my own realm – I recognize, once I’ve slowed down, that I’ve gone bouncing and careening along this whole storm prep while moving over and through several stages of grief.

My emotions must also have been setting up buttresses of potential realities and … well … here we are.  I imagine you or someone you know has been staging through grief steps as well.

Fireflies have been spotted.  So have asparagus beetles.  I’m awaiting a particular wasp to cart in luggage and set up home base.

It’s been a while since I’ve been ‘present’ here.  I’m surprised to recognize that.  If you’ve been along for the telling, we moved a few years back, leaving established garden spaces behind.  But we’ve been busy here, building new spaces and options… and I had opportunity to .. inhale it ..  breathe it in.  Absorb it.

It’s good – we’re a good building team.

Greens are growing.  Life is abounding here.  Breathing space exists and just in time.

I hope this finds you well.  Recovering, or surviving, or staging the grief steps – no matter where you are, I hope you find well ..  are well, .. will be well.

Peace out.

Disconnected Hebrew

I am trying to reconcile life.  It’s going to get a bit messy in here, I’ll warn you now.

My last post (mere minutes ago) was about those considered essential workers for essential businesses in the good ol’ us of the a.

Feeling betrayed, seething with an underlying resentment.  I now understand why my recovering sorta alcoholic has resumed a pretty high daily dose of his favorite drinky-drink.  Why discussions are less comfortable and so we retreat to our spaces as his buzz wears off, hoping that I’m not falling asleep before we can have a comfortable discussion.

It’s not terrible.  Honestly.  We’re loners, both of us, so we do retreats well in our house.  Then we share space and chat, working through the daily grind, and sharing perspectives, sometimes debating, often agreeing… Good stuff overall.

Back to the point, back to where I was heading with this – divisions.  Resentments.  Differences.

Today, I am looking back.  Reading Exodus (Shemot) and thinking about the history, the story of the Hebrews being released, rescued from bondage by their Almighty, YHVH.

Much to think about there.  Instructions.  Inclusion or exclusion.  Divisions.  Consequences.  Definitions.  Schedules.  New normals.

And I mesh the news that I read this morning, the catch up information I received last night, the things I’ve seen and felt and overheard over the past week.

Churchgoers in my state are pressing against the gathering confines to be able to assemble in large groups on their holy day, my guess is that they are thinking themselves exempt from what may befall them should there be a shared germ amongst them.

I live in a state that is predominantly catastrophe denounced.  Most of the population that I have experienced are treating the current situation as an overblown attempt to control them, and so will not give space to those who are trying to be safe.  Their leader taught them well and they are holding fast to the early sermons from that pulpit.

And so my initial thought is – fine, let them assemble.  Germ in, germ out, populations decreased, so be it.  Because I am a witness to hearing a child two fences over  – who in the midst of playtime with other kids announced “I wanna be Hitler!!!!”

But that was a fleeting thought.  Because who am I to judge, truly?  And the child may grow up and realize the truth of the past and be truly remorseful for childhood play actions.

Who knows?

Here’s the serious part of my ramblings though – if you’re still here to read, and haven’t denounced me as a hate-filled anti-christ.

Quick truth – the same as I am not anti-social, but rather reclusive (assemble, I don’t mind – just don’t expect me to be there).  I am not anti-christ, rather I believe that the worshipped beings are false gods, of no worth or purpose and that only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the True God, Almighty.  One.  But I don’t have any problem with others worshipping their version of god.

So.  Again, the serious part.

Economy is only kept alive by the standard of debt.  An economy will only survive if peoples, companies, entities, feed the debt burden.  That’s economy in a nutshell.

So why is economy so important.  Consider that.

Why is safety not as important as economy.  Consider that.

Why keep the masses in debt and call it the health of the nation?

Barter.  Learn to garden, learn to barter.  Self sustenance.  Back to simpler lives, simpler times.

An extreme period of duress, for certain.  Hard changes, hard truths.  Hard struggles.

Hasn’t it already been hard amidst all the fineries?

Peace out, again.

 

Strangeness and Mind Struggles

Word on the streets is a “new norm”…

Normal redefined.

I pause.

I construct my ideal new norm.

It consists of working remotely, with the ability to step into my own garden two or three times during the workday, to reset my brain.

A bit of respite from the turbulence and chaos and mind-spinning element that work has become.

I am peacefully enchanted by the possibilities…

And then I get shaken with the jolt of reality from my spouse, my dearly beloved.

He shares his nightmare with me – a waking thing, a thought that consumes him.

His new normal is going in to work in a place, a space, an essential business factory environment where the ‘non-essential’ staff has retired to their own safe and comfy little spaces.

He relates that he wanted to solve a problem, where a unit of measure was incorrect in their ordering system, and so the 12 units they were ordering hit their department with a cost of $2400 because one unit in the system equated to one pallet, when in actuality, when he ordered one unit, he received one item, not a pallet.

So, he had the computer open to the issue.  (he’s extremely low-tech, so had no known method to share this information).

He took the laptop and walked to the office of the person who could help him solve the issue.

Abandoned.

A non-essential who retreated.

He was resigned to the fact that he had to continue to deal with a problem that could not be resolved by him.

He had no support.

And so, his nightmare thought – he and the workers alongside him are ‘being fed to the wolves’.

They are the cattle being forced to endure, out there, with no support, bringing in their own germs and attitudes, with no respite except to return home at the end of a long and mentally demoralizing day.

Feeling used – abandoned.  Left to be the slaughter for the safety of the non-essentials.

New Norm.

Fuck no.

Let’s look at the whole picture folks, not just the one we think fits us best.

 

Peace out.

 

Day by Day

Every day is a new day, a new opportunity.

Leaders are not who we think they are.  Leaders are those who are courageously facing their fears, expressing their concerns, and bravely moving step by step through each day with resolve.

Leaders tell it like it is.  It’s not what everyone wants to hear – it can’t be if it’s real.  It’s what everyone needs to hear.  Without facts, who can accurately determine what choice they should make?

For a long time, divisions have been festering.  Divisions of race, divisions of wealth, divisions of politics, divisions of geography, divisions of religion.

What has not been divided is the air we breathe, the ocean midst, the seeds carried on the wind, the clouds dispersing moisture.

Every day, there is an opportunity to find your own space.

Every day, there is an opportunity to find your own voice.

Every day, there is an opportunity to learn.

Every day, there is an opportunity to be kind.

Every day, there is an opportunity to determine who is leading and who is not.

What is the truth?  Who is dividing?  Who is self-promoting?  Who is blame-shifting?  Who is courageously saying what needs to be said?

Who are you?  Are you a leader?

One day at a time.  If we are honest with ourselves, and aware of our surroundings, our heartbeats, our earthscape, we’ll get there.

Peace out.

Fence Straddling – Coping with Pandemic Concerns

Oft-times I ‘bury my head in the sand’.  I’m not quiet about this – I make no apologies for it.  This is my thing.  I avoid information and futz about in my own world, making pleasant thoughts and activities my norm, keeping out the clutter of (insert paranoia/drama/unknown reality here) what’s happening in the world at large.

It’s a cognitive bias of my own making, and I’m quite aware of that.  It is also conducive to my mental health, as I am overly devout at researching information from multiple online sources once my attention is piqued.  My work over the years has included the thorough research of regulations as they apply to workplaces in order to assist in compliance.  I have some history in this arena – while not a professional, I am experienced.

And so we arrive at the global announcement of pandemic.

Awareness seeped in to my consciousness in early January.  I poked around a bit, just enough to see the initial news reports and rebuffs, the blame and blame shift, and then the acknowledgements.

In February, I began a more thorough approach to my information gathering.  I’ve read news media, government regulations, pubmed reports over several years, and radiology and autopsy reports, genetic structuring, zoonotic diseases, RNA and ACE2 proteins.

I consider myself educated enough for my own satisfaction, but likely missing details for a thorough discourse of the whole situation.

**Strong Disclaimer:  I am not an authority on any medical, political, protocol or other issue **

Thus said, I am straddling the fence on what to say, how to act, shows of empathy, assistance to needy, and generally how to feel about those who I feel are making extreme errors in judgement calls.

So what I’ve decided to address here is the basics, a focus on being a prepared individual in any given circumstance, and how an overarching practice of empathy and sound rationalizations and judgement could be the world’s best approach.

COVID-19

Borders do not define or confine the situation currently in play.

The standard protocols of ‘herd immunity’ are for known virus strains, and this is an unknown – reports show that recovered patients have relapsed and become ill again (some instances, not all).

This virus originated with bats, a specific bat, in a specific area.  But the transfer from bat to (variable) to human was unknown when I last checked.  Similar to MERs or SARs, the bats host the virus and transfer.  How that transfer occurs is also unknown, but it is possible that it is via guano, making a possible case for a fungal virus.  How do you treat fungi in the lungs?  Not easily, and certainly not viably if your lungs are already damaged.

Children do not appear to succumb to the virus.  However, they may be carriers, shedding virus cells while toddling around appearing to be well – or negative for the strain.

Social and Geographic

The media, both social and news, have bordered on the ridiculous in the downplay of attention on the new virus.  Ridicule for preparations, ridicule for regulations, ridicule for responses, ridicule for origination – what does ridicule solve??  When has ridicule been the overall answer to a problem??  Does verbal lashing at people you cannot see face to face make one feel like a better person??

I challenge every person to focus instead on empathy, on a bigger picture than what you feel, or what you think, or what you may be afraid of.  I challenge you to focus on how to wake up every day and resolve to do the best you can today.  On whatever level you need to improve — except improving your tongue-lashing and witty cutting remarks.  Leave those behind and level up, make your voice a mature and informed one.  Make your actions reflect what you might profess as your personal code of ethics, and be the decent human beings we all have the ability to be.

Regulations and Preparations

With national declarations being made, education and self-regulating are a good approach to ensuring your personal comfort.

Seriously, would you rather limit your personal encounters to avoid contracting or spreading the virus (or the flu, since that’s being touted as a more pressing disaster)?  Or would you prefer going about as normal and awaiting the Command to Cease and Desist?  Be aware that the declaration has made such a command an imminent reaction, should the peoples not comply on their own.

With any oncoming storm, any perceived large situation, it is always wise to prepare.  Some people are naturals at this – having been extremely poor, I have been known to take a depression-era styled approach to keeping my family supplied.  I’ve had bare cupboards, bare refrigerator, been on a substandard and college style diet while raising a child.  I know duress.  Those in this situation may run out at an alarm situation and purchase items in abundance and without a cohesive plan.  Have you walked in their shoes?  No? Then shut up about how they act.

Back to prepare – as you are able, continue to purchase a few extra items at each trip to the market.  Get yourself prepared to isolate.  The storm is coming.  Panic will only put you in stress mode, making your immune system more susceptible to anything floating around – you don’t need the flu while you’re preparing for COVID-19.  Be safe, be calm, be logical.  What will you and your family eat?  Don’t purchase what you hate.  There’s no need to spend your bare resources on things that will not be used.  Breathe.  Make a list.  Make a plan.  Do it now and not later.

Think about the people around you, your family members and those unable to access resources.  Make a plan to assist them.  Talk to them and see what they may have already planned.  Communicate and calmly determine what needs to be done and what does not.

There may be a need to isolate and self-care for up to 30 days.  Know your resources, calculate your needs, and plan.

Summary

Be a decent human being

Stop bashing what others think, feel, say and do.  Unity in caring for personal needs should be your focus, not what others are or are not doing.  Accept that we are not all going to think, feel, act the same – but we are all living beings.

Prepare for changes.  Be flexible enough to change some things, to know when you are still under your own self-regulating scope, and when that scope will shift.  Know that the scope may shift.

Breathe.  Find your calm.  There is no need for stress-inducing panic, your body needs to be strong to handle the changes.

Peace out, y’all!

Stripping Away Cultural Inheritance

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