Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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The Frustrating & Wonderful Energies of Spring

First, I must give credit where credit is due. Darren came up with the title.

I know the first day of spring was actually March 20th. ¬†Heck, we are closer to the first day of summer than spring at this point. Typically though, the “wonderful” energies of spring are what we celebrate. When we start to see flower buds poke through, we breathe a happy sigh of relief. The end of winter.

Disney had it right. The movie Bambi introduced the concept of “twitterpation” which is about flirting and making babies. Guinevere had it right in Camelot with, “It’s May, It’s May, the lusty month of May.” Well, except for what happened with Lancelot. That didn’t end up so well.

I have to say, something in the air has changed because I have been a dating machine. Suddenly, men are coming out of the woodwork and asking for dates. Heck, they might even ask for a second date. And we’re talking actual nice, intelligent, handsome men. What is going on?

The end of winter.

But who talks about the frustrating parts of spring? Not many. Which is why I think this year I got caught off guard. Yes, the end of winter. But there is an element of winter mess that gets left behind. There are the remnants of death and cold that need to be removed.

As I was struggling with the overwhelming amount of things I needed to handle last week, one of my friends said, “Well, you were stressed out like this last year.” I wondered what his point was. Yes, obviously. I am well aware. You could take that to mean that I am the common denominator, that maybe there is something about me that causes the stress.

I chose to interpret it differently. Spring, with all of its promise, brings a ton of work as well. Anyone with a house and yard will tell you that. The yard work is never as demanding as it is the first two weeks you start. The weeds haven’t been pulled yet. The mulch hasn’t been put down yet. The rain comes. And comes. And stays. Which produces mud. Mud, mud and more mud.

This is the time of year that you approach all the bigger projects too. Now you can move things out of the garage. Or the shed. You open the pool and deal with all of the items that need to be replaced after the damage of the ice and snow. Let’s face it. Seeds have to die for those flowers to bloom. Spring is also exhausting and frustrating. Stressful.

Hmmm… Sounds like another example of bitter and sweet. Another example of the glass half empty and half full. Yep. The balance of life. No gain without loss and vice versa. It’s all there. Celebrate the flowers and the flirting, but it is also ok to drop with fatigue at all of the work. BOTH.


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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.