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Archive for the ‘It’s All About Me’ Category

There are 2 topics I feel I should write about: our first RV trip with my mother-in-law along and our upcoming 25th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, I feel unable to access my creativity. I’ve been taking an antidepressant since April 27th (the generic of Lexapro). Starting with one 10 mg pill a day and going up to 2 pills about a month ago. I can’t say I like it. It has been great for my anxiety and I don’t worry like I used to. I don’t get upset over little things. As I said before about the medicine, I’m still sad inside but it doesn’t allow it to surface. I’ve only cried maybe 3 times since I started taking it. It basically has leveled off my emotions so I am one level of emotion at all times. That doesn’t seem human to me. It calls to mind the Stepford Wives. In the movie, they replaced the wives with robots. Now they just need to administer antidepressants to them and they behave accordingly.

I know I’m not bipolar yet I’ve always felt things very deeply. I could sympathize with others more than most people. Grief over a pet felt like ripping my heart out. I always had boundless enthusiasm and when I was happy I was beyond joyful. Now instead of life being a series of peaks and valleys, even rollercoaster rides, it is steady like a flatline on an ekg. I believe all the emotions are there underneath but they can’t get out. They are being held in check, pushed down by an invisible barrier. I don’t have any of the energy the doctor said I would have. I’m able to function but concentrating isn’t any easier. I don’t feel inspired to do things or achieve things. I don’t care enough to fight or stick up for myself. I don’t dwell on unpleasant things and just try to get through each day. I have no expectations for myself or the future.

 

I normally have so much to say. Especially when I write. Surprisingly, as much as I’d like to write about the two above named subjects, I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING TO SAY!!! What the what?! How is that possible?

 

I’ve been trying to slowly lose weight and after a month (and being on vacation), I’m down 5 lbs. I ate lunch everyday on vacation too. I would be happy with the loss if I felt it or saw it. I don’t feel any different (even with a few lbs. I lost since Feb.) and for sure don’t look any different. I’m not letting it discourage me though. Hubby is losing slowly too and now has his diabetes where it should be. He is taking 80 ml of insulin every night and as he loses weight, the dose will be lowered. He’s seeing the doctor again July 6th.

 

The oddest thing about how I feel on this antidepressant is that things that used to bother me don’t anymore. I used to feel SO BAD because I didn’t have any family or friends. Now i don’t want any. I simply don’t care about it. It doesn’t matter to me and isn’t important. I find this very strange. In some ways, I feel like my personality is missing. This medicine has changed who I am and I don’t know if it’s for the better. I don’t talk as much. I sit quietly and am content. I have completely pulled back from social media. The medicine hasn’t given me the confidence I was lacking so I could share parts of myself without feeling like no one was interested. I don’t know what will become of me. I feel like I’m slowly fading away into the ether…never to be seen or heard from again…

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It’s another in a series of dark, rainy days. Gloom begets gloom. All my life, I thought I was a good writer. Not contest winning good but captivating. Someone able to hold the attention of my readers. A few months back, I read some of my earlier blog entries and my life story that I wrote at 21. It seems so mediocre to me. Not very good at all. Now I’ve lost my will to write. I don’t want to write emails, blog posts, Instagram posts, Etsy listings, grocery or to-do lists, etc. It could be because I’m grieving still for the loss of my mother. Or it could be that I’ve lost confidence in the only thing I was ever good at. The only thing I ever had confidence in to begin with. I’m not about to start day drinking although the though has crossed my mind. It gives me perspective. I always wondered at what point does someone actually start doing heroin?! A fully rational adult knows better but if life has no substance for them anymore, will they do anything to get their motivation back?! Before you start worrying that I’m on the verge of shooting up, I won’t. I can promise you that. Not just because I don’t care for needles or putting foreign substances in my body. Mostly because I already know it’s not the answer.

When Mom was alive and I was so busy taking care of her, I used her as an excuse. I couldn’t write more because I never had a block of time to sit down and write without being interrupted. I figured when she eventually passed, I would spend part of every day writing. I would either be writing a book or at least do regular blog entires. Instead I feel even less like writing. The truth is she never kept me from writing or anything else. I’m doing that all by myself.

My days are all a blur now. I no longer get up with my husband in the morning (7 am) like I always did until the first of the year. I usually get up by 8 or 8:30 am. I still walk the dogs every day except today because it is raining hard all day long with no break. I still cook meals and bake desserts. I stay caught up with the laundry. I keep my housework and hygiene routine. I pay bills on time. I still watch “Stories” on Instagram every morning and throughout the day. Snippets of other people’s full and vibrant lives. I feel almost paralyzed about sharing on social media. I’ve felt this way on and off since I first got on the internet 21 years ago. In the past month I’ve only posted a handful of pictures (mostly food). I’ve taken lots more and should be excited about sharing but feel almost afraid to share. I don’t know why but the more I need people, the more I pull away. I watch tv but only half-heartedly. TV was always such a joy to me. It was something I’d look forward to at night. Now I still watch the same shows (and some new ones) but most of the time I’m not giving it my full attention. I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone what happened in a particular episode.

I’m very short-sighted and impatient when it comes to getting over things. I like to forge ahead and get on with things. When I had the chicken pox at age 30, I was so afraid that the red marks left on my face (scars) would be there forever. I asked a coworker who had them in his 20’s if he remembered them on his face and he said yes. He said they go away over time. Of course, he was right. Everything goes away over time… A decade ago I had a medical condition I’ve never written about. Someday I will. It was so painful and kept coming back. I finally had surgery and it cured me forever. Sadly, for a few years I was petrified that it would come back. I mean, it was a daily worry that I’d have to deal with it again and forever. That was during the time I almost went on drugs for depression. I was making myself sick with fear. I couldn’t see long term. I never took the drugs and over time my anxiety about reoccurrence went away.

Now I’m back to that place again. The grief over my mom’s death has only intensified. I feel empty and alone. I feel sorry for myself. The worst thing is I’m worrying that this feeling will never end. Just through living all these years, I ought to know logically that I won’t always feel like this. However, I don’t know how long it will last. It could be weeks, months, years?! When I had Mom with me, I pushed myself to get things done every day. Extra things like listing things to sell online or just reorganizing things. Now I don’t push myself. I don’t know why. The only thing I can come up with is that “nothing matters”. It doesn’t make a difference if I do it or not. She’s still dead and I’m still here. I don’t even like posting about my grief on Instagram. People are so kind and wonderful leaving cheerful comments. But what it comes down to is there’s nothing anyone can do to help. It’s going to take time. I feel embarrassed that I’m not handling this better. I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I want to be strong and be able to just go on without being phased by the loss. April 7th will be 5 months since Mom passed away. It seems like it should be long enough to live like this. I’ve always hated “wasting time”. I know how precious life is and grieving this long feels like a waste of time. Maybe it’s one of those things that just sneaks up on you. One day, without realizing it, I’ll notice that I no longer feel this way. That I’m able to find joy again in life. Only God knows how long I need to grieve and when he thinks I’m done. In the meantime, I’m soldiering on.

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I should’t write today because I’m so beside myself. But that is precisely why I’m doing it. I was going to bake. I found the recipe and most of the ingredients. It calls for semi-sweet chocolate chips. I have every chip known to man except those. I have peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. But no semi-sweet. If I had a running car, it wouldn’t be a big deal. IF. My life is surrounded by IFs. Due to staying home so much with Mom, I hardly drove my car. On the weekends, I’d go out with hubby to get groceries and whatever other errands we did. Now that Mom’s gone, my battery is dead and won’t stay charged. It’s only a year and a half old, if that. I’ve even had the alternator replaced. It doesn’t help to keep it on the trickle charger either. I’ll have to spring for a new battery but am wondering if this cold spell we’re having will kill it anyway. We’re going away for Christmas so it won’t be run until the New Year. I feel like a prisoner and a child. I can’t even take the dog to the vet alone without a car. On the one hand, I could get rid of my car (it would kill me) but I like being able to run to the store or post office if need be. I would like to take a solo trip to Target which hubby doesn’t enjoy. Nothing is happening. I could buy a new car but why? To just let it sit most of the time? Hubby is racking up miles on his Jeep driving so far to work now that he’ll need a new vehicle soon. There seems to be no simple solution to anything…

So it snowed heavily on Sunday and the Directv satellite went out. So we haven’t had tv in 2 days. We’ll have to call and get them to come out on Friday when Greg is home. We can see the entire face of the satellite is covered in snow and we’re in the deep freeze. It’s too cold to even take the dogs for a walk. I had been doing really well with taking them for a walk daily until the temperature tanked. I guess it makes sense that I would go stir crazy. We’ve been having trouble with our Directv for months. It constantly shows lost satellite signal. It wants us to check the cables and cords for the connection. We do and it keeps happening. We’ve rebooted the system too many times. We both hate calling Directv because they are so unhelpful. That’s how we want to tie up one of 2 off days this week with having a service technician here or waiting for one to come. Oy vey.

Trying to get Mom’s estate cleared up. She had stock which I am trying to transfer to my name and it is turning into a nightmare. Years ago, they had demanded she mail in the stock certificates and they’d keep them online. Well she did and now they are asking for the certificates. When I told them they were mailed in, they act like I’m crazy. Greg remembers her mailing them in also. But they are saying they are lost and I have to pay $182.94 for each stock to replace them. Plus go to the bank and get some type of guarantee seal (insurance for the value of the stock). Greg is too busy to help me and this shit is so far over my head. So I’ll have to hire someone to help me do all that paperwork. I know that will cost a lot but I don’t have a choice. It is worrying me to no end.

I wanted to write a post about how I’m dealing with things since Mom died. That will have to wait. I have other things that I’m alarmed about. Right before we left for Thanksgiving, Greg needed a refill on one of his prescriptions that had no refills. I called the doctor’s office and found out that our doctor was out on medical leave and they didn’t think he’d be coming back. At all. EVER. This floored me. I asked if a different doctor could call in the refill. It was a lot of rigamaroll with them having to call back. Finally the nurse said none of the other doctors there knew him so wouldn’t authorize the refill. We were leaving in 2 days and he’d have to come in to see a different doctor after working a full day. It made no sense to me. We’ve had the same doctor (Dr. J) for over 20 years and he had given us his home phone number (cell) but we’d never used it. We didn’t want to abuse it. I hated to call him when he was out sick but did it anyway. He answered the phone and sounded quieter than usual. I said hi and told him my name. He asked if I’d heard what happened to him. I said no. He told me the end of May (we’d seen him earlier that month) he’d gotten very ill. He ended up having a heart attack. This kind of freaked me out. He’s only 6 years older than me, 5 older than Greg and 60 years old! Then he told me that he had another heart attack in June. Whoa! He said he was later diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. Of course, I didn’t know what exactly that was until I looked it up later. I knew it sounded serious and pretty darn bad. He said he’d had surgery to take one of his lungs out and was going to be having another surgery soon. He said he wouldn’t be back to work ever. I told him what a great doctor he was and how we’ll miss him. He said maybe down the line we could get together. We are more like friends after all these years. After talking a bit he was like, “What can I do for you?” I felt terrible bothering him with the refill but he was glad to take care of it for us. He said he still had access to the files online and I could tell he was sitting at the computer already. He texted me back that it was sent through and I called the pharmacy and it was! Since Mom was his patient too, I mentioned that she had died a week ago. We had always talked about our mothers since they were the same age (95). Then he said his mother had died a week ago! I asked him when and he said Tuesday morning and he asked when mine passed. I said 10:40 pm on Monday night. So they passed within a few hours of each other. He said he’d just gotten back from her funeral in PA (where he grew up) a few days ago. We talked a bit more and he told me of a friend of his who’s a doctor in our area that we can go to for our new doctor. I don’t want a new doctor but will definitely go to the guy he recommended in Jan. or Feb. Ever since I got off the phone with him, I can’t get Dr. J out of my head. That he is so seriously ill at such a young age and he’s a doctor!! It was a real wakeup call for me and Greg to try to keep our health for as long as we can.

Last Thurs. we took 6 hours of our day off to call relatives and tell them that Mom died. You’d think we would’ve done that sooner but you’d be wrong. Greg didn’t want to tell his siblings and mother for fear that they would descend on us. We wanted a month to grieve privately. We were also pretty broken up and didn’t want to have to get into details with people. We kept trying to call Greg’s mother but the calls kept failing. We found out later that she’d been having problems with her phone for a few days. She’d had the receiver off the hook! We started with Greg’s older sister Linda but she was at work. So we talked to her husband Ken and told him. He had Linda call us when she got home and we filled her in. Then we called his brother John, then we got ahold of his mother who promptly started with, “Now that Irene has passed, maybe you can come for Christmas this year.” Hubby told her no, we’re actually going back to Tunica, MS for the holidays. Then we called his brother Dan and talked to him and his wife Kris. Last we called his little sister Colleen. The only sibling we didn’t call was his brother Brian who had the brain injury a few years back. I finally emailed 2 of my half sibling who were Mom’s stepchildren. My brother Gary and sister Dianne. It was good to have that over with.

I’ve been working on Christmas cards this week. We just got some cheapies at Menards. I sent them to Greg’s mother and siblings and some of the friends I got sympathy cards from. I had to watch it since I only had so many stamps (not even Christmas ones) and knew I would’t get to the PO. I haven’t done any Christmas decorating which isn’t unusual. Since we’ll be gone, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. On Saturday we went to Randolph Street Market for the first time. It’s a once a month market in Chicago that carries antiques and handmade goods. Someone on Instagram told me she’d put us on the guest list but they couldn’t find us. (Turns out she thought we were coming on Sunday so hadn’t put us on.) I dropped her name and we got in for free anyway. Admission is like $8-10 each so that was great. It was a ton of jewelry and clothes which isn’t my bag. Not much Christmas items which surprised me. Only one book vendor and I ended up getting 4 old books and paid more than I normally would. Greg also got an old crucifix with the skull and cross bones on it. It took us just under 2 hours to make it though. We went to one estate sale after and it sucked. Lately the estate sales are not even worth going to. The weekend before last we skipped them the entire weekend. We finally got rid of our gigantic couch (took apart in 6 pieces and put it at the curb) and brought in the formica tabletop we found curbside and mounted it to the Singer treadle sewing machine base. We put the table in the LR which look odd. I wanted it to work on projects and write cards at. We’ve got the wrong chairs at it which makes it suck. Nothing is turning out the way I’d hoped. So it’s looking like we’re going to give up estate sales so we can pare down our hoard. After the new year, I’m going to get up and running again with selling things. Might even do eBay again. We’d like to get the house where we could entertain again. I don’t know how long that will take. Possibly years but I doubt we’ve got that much time. By summer, his family will be making excuses to stop by.

On a sad note, I had 3 loyal followers to my blog. THREE. That makes each one incredibly precious to me! I have about 100 subscribers to the blog but only those 3 were regular readers and commenters. One was in Australia, one in Canada and one in the US. The one in Australia has disappeared and I fear illness or worse. I’ve tried contacting her via email many times with no answer. I am quite worried but doubt I will ever find out the true story. The one in Canada had a major life event a few years ago and her blog was wiped out. She hasn’t started up again and for the most part has given up reading blogs. My US friend (Hi Heather!) is still with me which makes me happy. I grew to really care about the people who bother to read my blog. I don’t know if others do this. Maybe if they have a ton of followers, they can’t.

Blogs seem to be obsolete. I still see the value in them. I’m so glad I have this safe place to come and vent my feelings and share what’s going on in my life with those I know have open arms, ears and hearts.

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I’ve been so absorbed in social media lately and yet I haven’t wanted to get on here and blog. Like sitting for hours and watching Instagram Stories. I don’t know if I like them or not but they keep me coming back for more. I know it’s my dislike of the new laptop and the difficulty that arises from using it that keeps me at bay. Last blog post I published was on my iPhone which caused other problems but may be the way I have to post for awhile. The entire week I’ve been like a zombie since Greg started his new job on Monday. We’ve been getting up at least an hour earlier than we used to and going to bed an hour earlier but still don’t sleep well. At first it was the anxiety of the unknown but now it’s just going back to a 5 day work week after many years of a 4 day one. I’ve tried to keep my yap shut and keep the complaining down to a minimum. I’m really dreading winter for his travel to and from work. He also doesn’t have much to do which he knew would be the case but it’s still hard to go from being busy almost constantly to trying to find things to do.
Wed. Aug. 17th was hubby’s last day at his old job. They had a going away party for him with pizza. He was given an eagle trophy and a challenge coin for being at O’Hare airport for 12 1/2 years. One of his coworkers has a jet airplane chocolate mold so made treats for everyone. They turned out really cute! Now I want to make some. I’ll add it to the list of 5 million other things I want to do. Which I can squeeze in between the 3 thousand other things I’m already doing. Sigh…


I have an inordinate amount of things to tell so will shorten them beyond what I usually would. August 4th I got my hair cut short. It didn’t turn out to be as short as I wanted it. Or as short as the other 2 times. I like it but I can see how very soon it will be getting unruly because of the natural curl. I got 16″ cut off and the salon I went to no longer sends in the hair or gives a free hair cut. I wish they’d told me on the phone when I made the appt. It was no big deal though. The haircut was $25 & I gave her $30 with the tip. Then we took the rattail home and boxed it up and mailed it to Locks of Love. I had them notify me of receipt via email instead of mail since it takes so long. I already got the appreciation certificate whch was nice. Since Greg was off, he came along like last time to take pictures. It was so sweet and I told him not many men would do it. He said he didn’t mind since it was only once every 3-4 years! Ha ha.


Next step was getting my eyes examined. Lens Crafters had just gotten this Clarifye machine in 3 weeks before. It takes a snapshot of the eye and supposedly gives a more accurate exam. My eyes hadn’t changed that much but they are so bad (6.25 & 6.50) that I never feel like I can see good. Even now with supposedly 20/20, I can read things at a distance but it takes some time for my eyes to focus. One of the downfalls of getting older, I guess. I didn’t have as much trouble picking out glasses frames as last time. I tried on like 6 and narrowed them down from there. I had Greg take pics of me with them on plus Lens Crafters has an ipad like device that takes pics and you can put them all on a page and compare you wearing each of them. I really like my new ones. I’m surprised how much. They are Vogue brand and made in China. They had a 50% off lenses sale so the total for one pair came to $389. The machine that makes the glasses was broken so instead of an hour, they said they would take a day to make them. They weren’t ready the next day like they promised but I picked them up on Sat. Aug. 6th. They needed some adjustments and sent me on my way. Then I noticed something on the left lens near the nosepiece. It was like a piece of glue or something that wouldn’t come off. I didn’t want to take them back but they were so new. I figured I better. So I went on my birthday to Lens Crafters and the woman there at that time knew right away it wasn’t glue. It was a nick that the person adjusting had put in the lens! They had to remake the lens and I had to give them up, use my old pair and come back again the next night. So I was at Lens Crafters 4 times in 4 days. <eyeroll>


Sunday Aug. 7th (my actual birthday), we got pizza for the 2nd time this year and brought it home to eat. We got 2 since the 2nd was half off and there’d be leftovers. I never take pictures of the pizza but figured I would. I took the one pizza and then when I went to take a pic of the 2nd, it fell on the floor face down. Gah! It wasn’t as bad as it sounds but not ideal. 


For a special treat for my birthday, Greg took me to his office. I’d seen his 2 previous offices but not the current one which is SO NICE. It’s a new building and the cubes are HUGE. The size of a NYC apartment!! In Feb. he just moved to a window cube and has a lovely view too. If it were me, I wouldn’t be able to give it up! (Now at his new job, he has a much smaller cube with low walls. It’s also in front by the supervisor’s office where everyone has to walk by.) So that was really fun and then we went to this waterfall in Rosemont and walked around and took pictures. It’s a touristy thing to do but since we’re local, we never do it. 

In the past few weeks, I’ve made 4 batches of homemade spaghetti sauce. The tomatoes started coming in the very end of July which was about a week early. When I originally started this blog, I was thinking of making it all about cooking and recipes. I was far more into it 6 years ago than I am now. I still enjoy cooking but don’t have as much uninterrupted time as I used to. Plus Mom used to encourage me to make various dishes. She would tell me how delicious things were that I made and have 2nd helpings, etc. Now she still eats well but never tells me she likes something or to make it again, etc. If I ask her if she likes her dinner, she doesn’t answer. It’s hard to get enthused about cooking when the ones you lived to cook for don’t take any interest. Greg still likes my cooking but I don’t think it matters too much to him what I make.


The weekend of my birthday, Greg found a vintage formica kitchen table top at the curb. Someone had put it out for the garbage in our neighborhood. It was the best gift I could’ve gotten even though it was free. Or maybe because it was free?! I’ve wanted one for a long time. Never mind that our kitchen is not big enough for a kitchen table! I grew up with a kitchen table and dislike not having one. It didn’t matter that it had no legs, we knew we would figure something out. After much thought, I came up with the idea of using the vintage Singer treadle sewing machine base Greg got at an estate sale. It’s so beautiful and he had a piece of redwood fitted tot the top of it but not screwed down. He was going to treat the wood and now we have to find something else for the redwood to go onto. We are going to try to dismantle the loveseat in the sunroom and put the table in there. Ideally, we will remove our large couch in the LR that has been trashed for years and throw it away. Then put the loveseat from the sunroom in the LR. If it sounds confusing, that’s why we haven’t done it yet. It involves a lot of moving and lifting and making way to carry things. Plus the weather has been scorchingly hot and we try to avoid doing that type of thing in the heat.

The same weekend, we found an old ALL detergent metal bucket and 2 pieces of vintage enamelware. Two different size white pans in very good condition–one is round and the other about twice as big and oval. We haven’t had luck finding anything curbside in a long time even though our neighborhood usually throws out nicer stuff.


Sunday Aug. 21st was the only Sunday off hubby had this year since he was transitioning between jobs. So I decided it was high time we go to Vintage Garage Chicago. It is a once a month vintage market in Uptown Chicago (north of downtown). They set up in the first few levels of a parking ramp. It costs $5 to get in and you walk around and see everyone’s wares. We had to park several blocks away & I got a blister on my heel but otherwise it was fun. I doubt we’ll go again but I’m glad we went once. 

Hubby found 2 cool things there. The first was an aluminum P-38 box airplane from the 1940’s. It looks like a hood ornament but it’s not. There was a booth to get a free appraisal of a vintage item. They weren’t busy so I told Greg we should take the plane over there. We got a good laugh because we know more than they do. They had no clue & only knew how to search on eBay. I hate to brag but in this case I will. I know way too much about looking things up on eBay!! 😇

The other thing Greg got was a Weston voltmeter in its original wooden box! Inside the lid of the box is the paperwork dated 1912! So much fun to find something we’d never seen before & might never see again! I got 2 books & a small planter. I’m just not seeing the appeal in a lot these days…

Hubby smoked his first pork loin last weekend. He used cherry wood chips & it turned out great. The “bark” was kind of hard & hubby lost a filling eating it. 😩He had to go to the dentist even though he’d just been there for a cleaning 2 1/2 weeks ago. 😐 It’s been so blessed hot and HUMID, we’ve had the air on for like a month straight. I hate having it on for more than a few days but we’d die without it. I wonder what kind of winter we’ll have?! Sorry this shortened post turned out to be long. 😬 It’s been a crazy month! 😜

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As I sat down to write a blog post about sharing, I have realized I’m not as good at sharing as I thought I was. In my own eyes, I thought I would share most things with most people without thinking about it. But after reflection, that’s just not true. I might share some things but I’ve always been very stingy with my time. Maybe because I feel like there’s a finite amount of it. Or could it just seem like most people aren’t worth the time? When I worked for the Post Office, there were people I knew that I didn’t mind talking to at work but if I had to do it on my own time, it wasn’t happening. I felt like every second I spent on someone else was taking time away from the 2 people (& one dog) that mattered most to me–my mom and Greg.

I don’t know if this came from having “old parents”. My mom was 41 & my dad was 48 when I was born. Back in the early 1960’s, it was a big deal to have parents that age. My mom used to tell me everyone thought I was her granddaughter. It never bothered me to have older parents. In fact, I kind of liked it. I felt like they knew what they were doing by the time I came along. It always made more sense to me to wait until you’d lived some before you raised kids. I was my mom’s only child and my dad had 4 before me with his former (deceased) wife. I was a bit obsessed with them dying young. I was afraid something would happen to them (like a car accident) and I wanted to know what would happen to me. My mom wanted me to go live with her sister (who was 4 yrs. older than her) and her husband. They had 2 daughters who were grown. They lived in a suburb of Detroit, MI and I wouldn’t have minded living with them. My dad wanted me to live with my brother and his wife. They had 2 children (the first when I was 10 yrs. old). I wasn’t wild about that idea but it sounded like the one they were going with. They were afraid my aunt and uncle were too old to take on parenting me.

The way most things go, none of us ever had to worry about any of that. Whenever you put a great deal of thought and worry into something, it usually doesn’t happen. It’s the thing you never dreamed would happen, that comes out of the blue, that catches you off guard. In any case, that wasn’t the end of me worrying about my mom dying. She’s always been healthy except for severe hearing loss (and now Alzheimers). Yet I was forever thinking if I did X (like went out after work with friends or on a vacation without her), something would happen to her while I was gone. I didn’t think I could ever forgive myself. Looking back on it, it seems ridiculous. I missed out on some things just from not wanting to be apart from her. Codependency at its best. I don’t think she ever cared one way or the other. I don’t think she appreciated me passing on opportunities to stay with her. I really don’t regret it but felt the need to acknowledge that it was a part of my makeup. That and the one thing I didn’t plan on (Alzheimers) happened on my watch. I wasn’t off far away living my life and checking in with her via phone. I was sitting a few feet from her as the memory stealer ravaged her brain.

Besides time, I don’t like sharing myself. The only place I’ve ever felt comfortable talking about myself (any part) has been on this blog. Besides having Selfie-Phobia, I think I have sharing phobia. Just sharing pictures (ANY pictures!) on Instagram feels like I’m giving away little pieces of myself. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to let others see my life. Staged or natural, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. What I do, say and show seems so irrelevent. So insignificant. I don’t know what to tell myself to make it easier to share either.

Not only am I at a crossroads, I am stuck in quicksand. Unable to move forwards or backwards. Unable to ask for help or help myself. This sounds way more dramatic than it should. I hadn’t even planned to write about this but it wanted to come out. So many subjects are inside me, yelling, “I want out!” They kick me in the stomach from the inside and let me know they can’t be kept in any longer.

 

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It’s amazing how I always start everything with the best of intentions and then it fizzles out. I’m gung-ho and don’t really think it through when I make a commitment like my last post. I was going to post a selfie every day for a month. Sadly, that lasted 4 days. I was already sick of it. I couldn’t think of any way to be more original or interesting when taking the photos. I figured if I was that sick of doing it, others would be even more sick of seeing them. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I didin’t just skip a day with the plan to start back up the next day. On the 5th day, I didn’t post and then said, “I’ve ruined my streak. I give up.” My selfie plan went the way of every diet I’ve ever started. I can do it for a few days and then it turns into too much work. Or too much of a bother. Or I don’t see results.

I was doing the selfie thing to try to get myself over my selfie phobia and self hatred. 4 days isn’t going to cut it. It just shows how lost I am with coming up with my own solutions. Now I’m even more embarrassed that I didn’t follow through. I should’ve known better. I have a history of terrible follow through. If I promise something to an individual, I move heaven and earth to keep my word. Of couse, I’ve pretty much quit making promises because I don’t like the pressure. But a promise I make to myself, I don’t feel the need to honor. It goes back to me thinking I’m not worthy of it. It’s a Catch-22. This seems to be a common problem. I see others swear an oath to a new start of “eating clean”, a “90 day cleanse” or working out daily. They post their meals and workout outfits like they were entering a contest. A week or so later, they’ve put it on the back burner and soon it disappears entirely. Then a month later, they are pledging allegiance to the same thing again. I can’t do that. I’ve failed at the selfie thing even though I had some wonderful support from people on Twitter, Instagram and the blog. Now I’ll just try to post a pic when I can force myself. But I know there’ll be days where I won’t want to. I’m not going to make myself. This brings my expectations of success in the final outcome way down. To the point of impossible.

My knee has been all hosed up. A few weeks ago I was squatting in front of the kitchen sink. It sounds like I was going to take a dump there but alas, no. (Blame my train of thought on hearing about people in Walmart and other stores dropping trou in public and doing their business. I can’t even imagine, nor do I want to.) I was trying to reach way in the back underneath the sink. Like doing the deepest knee bend ever. I’ve always squatted as need be, sometimes it’s easier than bending over because I can see things head on instead of upside down or sideways. At the time, I felt excruciating pain. Almost like a burning and tearing. I had to pull myself up. Both knees were sore for awhile but I didn’t think much about it. Then a few days later, my left knee was painful as heck. On the side and behind the knee. Going down into the calf. I have too much to do to just rest, so I walked the dogs, carried laundry up and down the stairs, etc. Just business as usual. Now it’s worse than it was a week ago. I don’t want to have to go to the doctor or have surgery. That’s not an option when I have to care for Mom. It just feels like another thing to add to my list of Reasons To Be Depressed. I’ve never been one to have knee problems. I guess that makes me lucky. It gives me new appreciation for my MIL & SIL who have had knee replacements. I don’t want a new knee. I just want mine to work again! I think I must be the most impatient person in the world when it comes to healing or being sick. Heaven help the world if I ever end up in a wheelchair because I’d have to do some heavy plotting to keep myself on deck.

Hubby went to a Super Bowl part after work on Sunday. I was invited too but had to decline because Mom can’t be home alone at night anymore. I didn’t pout but was hurt that there was a time when hubby wouldn’t have gone anywhere without me. I guess I shouldn’t take it personally? Maybe he’s sick of missing things too.

This blog post serves no purpose except to acknowledge my failure. I’m not going to beat myself up about it. If I had follow through, I’d be a millionaire, thin and have several published books. Instead, I’m just a regular schmuck who lets herself down. Maybe there are worse things to be…

 

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2016 arrived a month ago amid no real fanfare. A year can be very long or very short, it all depends on how you look at it. Time has always gone fast for me but now it’s at the speed of riding a bullet train and looking out the window only to register a blur of vision. One year has run into the next and I still haven’t gotten used to it being in the 2000’s… In some ways I feel like I’ve lost 15 years. I can’t even tell you where it went except at times it feels  like I wasted it. When I was younger I could remember specific years by “that was the year X happened” or “so and so got married in 19__”. I could look back at each year and something major would have happened that I could recall. Or maybe several big (not huge) things happened, spread out from season to season. Nothing stands out from the last several years. I don’t know if it’s because nothing of consequence happened (true) or if my memory is getting so bad (also true), nothing registers anymore. Now it’s more of “oh that’s the year X died” or “that’s the year the basement flooded and we had to replace several appliances”.

I am so distracted lately. I’ve been having trouble thinking of words or I say the wrong word. I can’t always string a whole sentence together that makes sense. It’s like, when did I have a stroke and how did I not notice?! My temper is perpetually short and I sleep very fitfully, if at all. I don’t know if it’s the Winter Blues again or just life in general and my circumstances in particular getting me down. I didn’t even get a 2016 calendar until yesterday! That used to be a big deal to me to get a new calendar. I looked forward to it and I spent time copying from the old to the new various birthdays and milestones. I always put myself last. First I was busy with vacation, then catching up. Then I didn’t want to pay full price for a calendar when the new year had already started. I did get it at half off but it wasn’t worth the anxiety of worrying I may end up going all year without one. It would bother no one but me if I sacrificed and gave up having a calendar. No one would care if I did without but I would feel terrible….

 

I’ve always willingly admitted I have trouble coping. Now it’s reached epic proportions. It doesn’t  help that I’ve had a bad cold for a week, then my period comes on and my leg has gotten so painful, I can hardly walk. Greg now has the cold as well and Mom seems to be fighting it off. We went to 2 estate sales on Friday and both were awful. We had to wait over half an hour at the 2nd one to get in and chatted with the gal ahead of us in line. Then when we were inside looking around, she runs up and tells us that she couldn’t believe it when she walked into the bathroom and it was FULL of chalkware fish and mermaids! She bought them all dirt cheap. I happen to collect those but also sell when I can. I just can’t believe my luck that she got to them first. This was a couple hours into the sale. I didn’t let on how upset I was but hubby knew. When we got to the car (after buying nothing), I told him it was bad enough she beat me to them but she had to come up and rub my nose in it! Hubby said she probably didn’t mean to do that but was just excited because she got such a great deal on them. Argh. My plan to achieve a Martyr Complex is coming along swimmingly….

 

My life is pretty much summed up in a couple of analogies. Hubby’s Jeep Grand Cherokee is a 2004 with 79.000 miles. He was going to wait until he had 100,000 miles before he even entertained the idea of a new one. With the ongoing problems he’s been having lately, he’s been thinking of purchasing a new one non-stop. This just fuels the fire of finances. Every time I think we might get ahead, something like that comes up. So there’s a couple of problems with his current Jeep. One is the ignition that sometimes he turns the key and nothing happens. No noise, no lights, etc. Other times it won’t turn at all with the key in. We’ve purchased this lead powder that you put into the keyhole and it sometimes works, othertimes not. Looking it up online, “they” said to tap the ignition (with the key in) with the heel of a shoe. As the passenger, I usually volunteer to take mine off to do it. Then there’s a wiring problem with a short in the driver’s side door. The lock won’t unlock using the remote or even the switch inside the driver’s door. The remote quit working except for the lock which works sporadically. Greg replaced the battery in the remote and that did NOTHING. A few times the window won’t go up or down but it’s mostly the lock. This short also affects it starting and a year ago Greg had to call AAA to get a tow. They got it working but talked him into taking it to their shop. He did and they never could figure out what was wrong.

 

The day before Christmas vacation, after Greg had brought the RV in front of our house from the place we store it at and towed the Jeep behind, he went to start the car and NOTHING. The gages were jumping and lights were coming on but no sound from the engine. He tried multiple times and then had to call AAA. This time they towed it to the same auto mechanic shop. He told us it would be a priority since we were leaving the next morning. Of couse, that seems to mean they drag their feet. At noon the next day, they hadn’t even gotten it into a bay to check on it. So we had to make the decision to leave it in their incapable hands for 2 weeks! while we went to Mississippi. This is the first time we’ve gone down there without a tow vehicle. We were limited to where we could go since we didn’t want to have to pack everything up in the RV and unplug to drive somewhere. We did that once when we went to the Dollar Store to buy period supplies. Yes, I did that over Thanksgiving vacation too. How does one get so lucky?! It’s not vacation unless i”m bleeding like a stuck hog. We went on Christmas Eve and there was a mob buying last minute gifts. We also went to the ATM at the bank, thinking we might need more cash (we didn’t.). Then we went over to Sam’s Town Casino just to eat a late lunch with our free points. It’s only across the street from where we stayed but there’s no way Mom could walk it and they don’t  have a shuttle or cabs anymore.

 

Anyway, my llife is summed up by how difficult it is to do simple things. Like for Greg to open the Jeep, he needs to open the driver side with the key, GET IN, shut the the door and flip the inside lock on the door. Even to open the back of the Jeep. I feel like basically every aspect of my life is like that. My mom always kept her pots and frying pans inside the oven. I’ve always done it too. Except to use the oven has turned into a huge hassle. I have to lift all of them out and usually carry them to the dining room table. Then back again after baking. To get in the freezer we keep in the garage, I have to move a ton of empty spare boxes that we keep for mailing out things people buy on Etsy. There’s nowhere to put them but on the stairs behind me on the way up to the kitchen. By the time I get it all moved and get into the freezer, dig around for what i want and then put it all back, I’m exhausted. Same goes for using the crock pot. It’s already on the counter which should be the easy part. But there’s a ton of crap in front of it that has to be moved to the dining room table so I can clear an area around it. Then after using it, I have to clean it up immediately since I have to move everything from the table back to the counter before morning so Mom can eat her breakfast there. The latch that releases the dust bin on my 4 yr. old Dyson vacuum broke a few months ago. To empty it (which I do after vacuuming every room), I need to use a screwdriver to get it open. Life has gotten way too complicated…

 

Obviously we’ve got too much stuff. Our house is too small. But what is the solution? The thought of moving is daunting. It’s not even that I have this house exactly how I want it so hate to leave. It’s the amount of work and energy involved in packing and unpacking, let alone house hunting. Moving with Mom around isn’t an option. So we just keep on plugging along, wondering if things will ever get easier.

 

There was a contest on Instagram that I wanted to enter. They asked for you to write down a dream of yours. Sounds simple enough. Except I don’t have any. I used to have so many. I don’t even know when I went from having many to some, let alone NONE. I’m not just being dramatic. I feel like there’s nothing I can hope for. I used to want to go to Europe but then couldn’t afford it for so long. Then we chose having dogs over going abroad since we don’t want to ever put them in kennels. I used to want to live in California. No one else really shared my desire. They tried to humor me until I gave up. Mom and I were going to move to CA back in 1983 instead of Milwaukee but it was too expensive. Mom didn’t think we could afford it even though we’d been talking about it for years. When I met Greg I told him I wanted to live in CA someday. He would casually mention it like he remembered and it would someday happen. Now he’s made it pretty clear he doesn’t want to.

I used to want to be thin and gave up on that. That’s a whole other blog post for me to delve into someday. I used to want to publish at least one book. I see so many other bloggers getting published and feel no jealousy. It just doesn’t feel possible for me. It no longer feels like good things can happen to me. No, I don’t have the worst life. Or even a bad life. It just seems like there was more balance between good and bad. Now the good is so few and far between that maybe I don’t even recognize it.

 

My inability to share my life with others  has gotten worse. I can do it on my blog but no where else. I used to be able to share anything on Twitter and interact with others daily. Same on Instagram although I didn’t post selfies. Now I’m almost paralyzed and unable to post pictures since before the new year. Part of me feels like no one cares what I post so why do it?! I’ve always been worried about overposting, making people sick of me. I feel like I’m not getting anything out of social media anymore. I realize that you get out of things what you put in and I’m no longer contributing. I’ve been expecting someone to appear and take an interest in me and drag me out of my shell. That’s not happening and it’s unrealistic to think it would or could.

 

I’ve put off writing a blog post since I didn’t want to bring anyone else down with my current mood. It doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere so I have to do something. I can’t mope around anymore. I can’t wait for anyone else to take hold of my life and make things right. I’m sure a lot of this stems from my low self-esteem. I used to dislike how I looked outside but liked myself inside. Now I hate myself inside and out. Hate is not too strong a word. I don’t dwell on looks, my own or others so I don’t know why I’m so hard on myself. It’s not even a matter of being fat. I know I wouldn’t like myself any more if I was thin. I feel like people see no worth in me and have finally convinced me that I’m worthless.

 

I’ve decided to try an experiment starting Feb. 1. I barely look in the mirror at myself because I can’t stand to see myself. All I see are flaws and ugliness. I’m going to FORCE MYSELF to take a selfie every single day and post it. It will probably make me cry. I could cry now just thinking of doing it. I may not last the month but I’m going to try. I might have to try writing down one good thing about myself each day also. If I can think of any. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t know how others got such high opinions of themselves. I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. There are people twice as fat as me that think they’re beautiful. How does this happen?! How do you start loving yourself? Until I learn how, I’m fat on the outside and dead on the inside.

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