Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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A Day in the Life

The many hats I wear can be exhausting. Sometimes it’s the number of hats, and sometimes it’s the number of times I have to change them. And sometimes it’s how quickly I have to change them.

Doorbell rings. It’s my 18-year-old college student I have been hiring to help me with the yard work. The yard work has been overwhelming this year. That is because of the debacle with the neighbor in November which resulted in the privacy fence being put up, and other fencing coming down. Lots and lots of plants and bushes had to be replanted. She starts another job next week so I am trying to get as much done as I possibly can while I have her. I give her two or three jobs to focus on and then run off to do what else I have to do.

Computer work. Check all the emails. Ask clarifying questions about upcoming meetings. Quotes on Facebook for the business. Follow up on leads for the book and speaking engagements.

Dad pulls in. He has the picnic table he is giving me because he is hoping to move soon. Stop the student. Refocus her. Move the old picnic table, clean the new one. Yep, do that first because otherwise Dad might try to do it and he really shouldn’t be lifting things or carrying things with his balance issues.

Keep Dad busy. Give him the dreaded basket full of socks that need to be matched.

Back to phone calls. Dad wants to move. After months of trying to persuade him to downsize with seemingly little effect, he now is ready. And he is ready right now. Can’t happen fast enough for him. I try to get him to catch his breath. Let’s not just make up a number. I have calls in to my mortgage friends I trust. They give me the right direction which now involves more phone calls. Waiting for calls back.

Client comes. Put my focus on. Go in and talk to them and be fully present for the things they are struggling with. Actually like this because it involves a full hour of one thing and one thing only on my mind.

More computer work. I’m scanning lots of documents and pictures I found at Dad’s house while we were cleaning out Mom’s closet and bedroom. Send emails to my siblings and ask them what they want. This goes on throughout the whole day because I scan in between everything else. Can’t get rid of the large pile for a week though because one sibling is camping and has no internet access. I have to wait an entire week before I get an answer. That’s ok. I will just add it to the 20 or so boxes of stuff of Dad’s that I have been trying to sell. So far zero success. Haven’t sold one thing.

Student ready for more work. Damn, she’s really good and pretty quick as well. I have to keep her busy though while she’s here so out to the yard again for the next set of directions.

Holy cow, I am going to sell a bench. Back and forth text and emails several times, but she is coming to buy it at 6 PM. Have to remember she is coming. But we actually sold something!

In comes Mark. He is working on fixing the ceiling in the office. He has to be there when I don’t have clients. He has a few other things to fix too but I’m not sure how much he can get to in the limited time he has.

Surprise! Matthew (my step-son) shows up with my granddaughter. She is delightful and I wish I could scoop up every second with her. But she is terribly attached to her daddy so there is about 20 minutes of piercing screaming until she gets used to being with us again. We wait it out and eventually we are able to interact with her. I put everything else aside for the time being because she is my priority. I can’t get the cutest video ever to load on this so you can check out my Facebook page if you want to see her.

Dad asks if I am ever going to put those socks away. Really? Really?

I have another client coming but I am now filthy and have to jump in the shower. No shampoo. I call for Colin. He goes in the storage cabinet and there is no shampoo there either. Are you kidding? How did I let that happen? Luckily, the boys have some upstairs so I can actually finish my shower. Gotta remember to get to the store.

There’s only a hundred or so other things I did but don’t have the energy to write them all. It’s a new day.

My student has arrived and I send her to Home Depot with a list of things we need to keep going on the lawn. Then my brilliance kicks in and I send her also to Dollar Tree to get me five bottles of shampoo. Should have gotten 10 probably.

I start my blog but Dad is up and wants to know if we are out of cereal. I find some in the basement. Phew. Phone rings. Another realtor call. Left several messages for the place Dad is waiting for an apartment. I’ve left four so far but no response.

I let out a heavy sigh. Writing is almost done for today. Tonight is Frankie’s Jr. National Honor Society Induction. Can’t miss that. Because oh yeah, I’m still raising kids. LOL. Just means I had to reschedule clients for Friday night. I don’t normally work on Friday nights but tomorrow I have five at night, one in the morning. Sigh again.

Not really trying to complain. It isn’t that. But sometimes people tell me not to be stressed. Sometimes they offer to help. But they really have no idea at all what is happening in my life. They couldn’t possibly begin to understand or even manage half of it. Summer and I talk about this because we have similar amounts of responsibilities. The best is when other people act like we are the crazy ones who stress ourselves and then everyone else. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What we need is no critics, and people who will actually help. Follow through, be there even when it isn’t convenient.

Regardless, I will keep doing what I can do and somehow try to take care of myself in the process. I do a lot of mind gymnastics where I convince myself I can only do what I can and that is good enough. Period. And I really am ok with that.


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December Madness

Who doesn’t have a bit of lunacy in their life during the month of December? I know I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. This morning I woke up and thought I must have burned my proverbial fingertips from doing it one day longer than I could handle.

Thanks to Snovember (actually, my friend said it was more like Snopocalypse) the last couple of weeks have lots of added time spent in cleaning up the messes. Trying to clean up frozen leaves and repair frozen lawn patches was pretty much futile. The inside of the house has been chaos. You know how it is when you are doing repairs. Drop cloths, pans, brushes, sanders, blah blah blah are everywhere.

While I was looking for supplies, I realized I had about two million paint cans in my basement. In all my brilliancy, I thought it was a perfect time to get those organized and patch up all the spots around my house that I’ve ignored. I patched about 10 nail holes in my stairway, sanded, patched, sanded and was finally ready for painting. Yippee. But then I discovered the paint had dried up. Now I have big patched spots that can no longer be ignored.

That’s ok though. An organized, Type A like me has dutifully kept a computer record of every freaking paint formula that has ever been used in my house. I just dreaded making my 60th trip to Home Depot for the week. Guess what? They have changed over paint systems. Doesn’t matter how much information you have, the formulas and names have all been altered so there is no way to re-create the color. Are you freaking kidding me?

Poor Colin had to dig through the garbage and find the can. While I was out doing other fruitless, dead-end errands, he brought the old can to Home Depot for me. When I got back there, I found out they were able to dig up enough old paint to do a color match. Still haven’t done it even though I have the paint now. I can’t believe how the days fly by. I am busy from 6 AM til 10 PM every night but the list never seems to get smaller. Can you relate?

That’s just one story. I could write about a dozen more. So on top of Christmas shopping, having Christmas at my house this year, repairing the house and yard from storms, and owning four businesses, I also am trying to release my second book. You may wonder why I would time it for now. Am I glutton for punishment? Well, considering that my original release date was in March, I’m just a tiny bit behind the eight ball… LOL.

The graphic artist is changing the last five errors I found now as I write. Still hoping to get it downloaded before the 5 PM Friday deadline. Otherwise, they are closed on the weekends so we are looking at next week.

But hey, I am an expert on cutting and pasting, so all is not lost. I have very long to-do lists that I know how to cut from today’s date and paste them on tomorrow’s date. Is that skill marketable?