I feel like I’m in survival mode right now. The other day, I wondered, How long will it be until my first thought upon awakening will be a pleasant thought instead of an anxious one? Yes, I know that I need not be anxious about anything…I’m talking about the thought that pops into my brain the moment I reach consciousness and I am, as yet, unable to control it. So much is going on in so many realms of my life that I am just running on adrenaline.
I have been resisting the urge to blog about everything that is going on because: 1) I think that the only people who read my blog regularly enough to read this are smack in the middle of the whole melee themselves; 2) I hate weird drama on blogs; 3) I want my blog to be more craft-focused than it currently is; and 4) I don’t want to come across as gripey.
But, I think that it is cathartic for me to organize my thoughts in writing and this is my chosen forum. So…. The last couple of weeks have involved a great many Optional Life Activities AND Non-optional Life Activities. I guess that’s how I’ll organize my thoughts.
Optional Life Activities have mostly involved 4-H. The Family Mission Statement that Joey and I wrote many, many years ago, now, basically states that we intend to be a UNIFIED family, to God’s glory. Consequently, over the years, we have chosen activities that unify rather than divide our family. I love 4-H as one of these activities because the kids all have the common experience of participating in 4-H while nurturing their own particular interests within the organization.
Despite all kinds of concurrent Non-optional Life Activities, we barreled on through with 4-H projects this summer, as usual. Maybe because 4-H is the usual, the normal, the somewhat predictable, we felt a need to participate as always. And, you know, it still serves us well in the unification department. For example, experienced-but-retired-4-Her, Amelia, was ready, willing and able to sew with Margaret and Eleanor. They completed garments that they enjoyed taking to fair and I would think that Amelia was somewhat as pleased as Margaret and Eleanor were at the special styling recognition that they each received for styling those garments. Similarly, Clara, Jacob and Tim helped out with the photography projects, Jacob helped with the dog project, Amelia helped with the cake decorating, etc., etc., etc.
However, we’ve now spent four weeks pretty well wrapped up in 4-H activities–getting chickens washed, photos printed and matted, paintings and drawings framed, hats and gaiters and wrist warmers crocheted and knitted, duds decorated, styling accessories purchased, more photos printed, cakes and cookies baked, posters made, mobiles hung, dogs vaccinated and groomed, plaids matched and every dang “i” dotted and “t” crossed according to the strict 4-H rules–and I’m tired. I’m glad fair is over. And I’m glad that State Fair is still a few weeks away.
As for Non-optional Life Activities, well…today I’m feeling pretty tired with respect to those, too. Of course, the biggest Non-optional Life Activity is Dad’s admittance to hospice care a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad that Mom and Dad are able to move back here to be near us during this time and that the hospice care is so good. I’m super-grateful that Levi is around and is genuinely willing to provide the kind of physical support that he can as a CNA. Yet, this time is also very stressful. How do you ever get used to thinking that your father is going to die sometime soon?
And the other big Non-optional Life Activity involves trying to find a residential treatment facility for Peter. Peter’s behavior continues to negatively impact the family every single day. We have an interview for a facility that we think will be a perfect fit for him. We are just so, so, so hoping that he will get in.
Then you add in that our Suburban died and Clara and Levi’s car was out of commission for awhile and poor Stephen and pregnant-and-morning sick-and-hot Amelia (and Harriet) are still having to sleep on our hide-a-bed in the middle of the living room to keep cool every night (the good news on that front is that they will probably be able to move back into their house this weekend!) and that we still have a bakery business to run, well, it all contributes to being in survival mode.
And now that I have all of that out of my system, it’s easier to remember the positive things that have happened lately…like, Mom and Dad’s generosity, our overall health, the bakery’s summer successes. Maybe there is some hope of being out of survival mode. Eventually.