Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some natural shocks I have been heir to . . .

I've just sent a long-ish email to a friend in Colorado, who was kind enough to send me some gifts to help me cope. And since I'm not blogging very often right now, I thought I'd use some of what I emailed her as an update.

It's been a rather hard week, in which I've been dealing with some burnout and depression. I'm glad to say I'm feeling pretty good this morning. It seems that the more I "plant myself" in this apartment and just spend time here, reading and watching movies, the more grounded I feel, and that helps a good deal.

Taking care of my mother has has some frustrations this past week, both because of things she's doing/saying and because of her medical situation. Her primary care physician has ruled out surgery to remove the skin cancers on her scalp, which may mean she'll have to live with them for the rest of her life. He says she can go to a plastic surgeon's office every few months and have them "shaved," and I'm awaiting a phone call with more info on what that actually means.

I took Mom on a tour on Saturday of the new facility I want to move her to, Covenant Home of Chicago. She liked some things about it, and not other things. I'm going to ask her a direct question about it today when I see her, and if she says she's willing to go, we can start working toward a move-in date.

I'm looking forward to being within walking distance, though the walk from my apartment to Covenant isn't all that relaxing, since I have to cross Western Avenue, a 4-lane street that's pretty busy.

I've been doing my best to go to Curves more regularly, though the Curves I belong to is in Evanston. Transferring my Curves membership from Colorado to Evanston was incredibly slow and frustrating, so I may just stay in Evanston for a while, where the staffers are very friendly and where they turn down the music sometimes if people ask them to.

I've been getting traffic tickets, which is frustrating and such a waste of money. Every month or two, Chicago cleans its streets, which means everybody has to avoid parking on one side of the street between 9 and 3, and last month I got a $50 ticket for parking where I shouldn't.

My new apartment has a mechanical hum in the livingroom that I think must be the heat, because the heating plant is in the basement below me. I wish I'd known that when I moved in, I might have chosen the other available apartment. I really hate anything that tempts me to plan to move again in a year, I've moved so much I'm very weary of moving.

I'm trying to get back to my "ritual self," the part of me that can do rituals to get in touch with my spiritual side. It takes initiative and calm and groundedness, and I'm generally rather burned out on taking initiative and low on calm and groundedness, so I suspect it will be a while.

In the past I've been inclined to believe that my life will generally balance out, so that if something really wonderful is happening, I'll also have something rather awful happening to balance it. If that's the case, then that would explain the natural shocks I've been heir to since moving here, since the work I've been doing with Mom really is wonderful most of the time and one of the most satisfying things I've ever done. There are few things more meaningful than alleviating suffering. When I arrived in May, Mom was spending most of her time lying on her bed crying. She is now sitting up with light in her eyes talking about the world with me, and reading novels and doing crossword puzzles. Big difference!

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