I turned the page on the calendar and I asked myself if I had turned one too many pages. July 1? That just can’t be! Half of the year is over and I feel like it just began. Why is it that as we get older, it feels as though time goes faster? We plot and plan and then we turn a page on the calendar and realize we flew through another month and didn’t make a dent in the ‘To Do’ list.
May and June are a bit of a blur, as usual. My whole life really is a blur these days. I told a friend last week that I was exhausted with stress. ‘What are you stressed about?’ she asked me. It wasn’t that she didn’t think my life warranted my exasperation, it is just that she knows my life is always a certain fever pitch that I just kind of roll with it. What she was trying to get me to analyze is WHY does it feel worse now. The answer I came to is that recently we have had a few experiences that have left us emotionally drained. Being emotionally drained is a VERY different thing from being physically tired, or from having a packed calendar. Emotionally drained takes a little while to recoup from. I will work through it, but it will just take a bit. Sometimes those highly erected personal boundaries crumble and you end up having to rebuild that wall so that you can remain emotionally healthy. The past month due to a series of difficult encounters and exchanges, my wall has a big hole in it. I am working on plugging that hole, but sometimes it is tough.
The last year plus Dean and I have been involved in a start-up nonprofit mission based organization. We were first approached by the founder and his wife over a year ago. We were excited at the planned focus and potential and opportunity. We quickly signed on as initial Board members and we got to work. We have spent countless hours working on the organization’s framework and structure, brainstorming, planning and dreaming of what this organization had the potential to accomplish. There were ups and downs, which were to be expected, but over the last month we have been asking ourselves some very difficult questions as to where we felt the organization needed to focus its efforts and resources versus where the founders wanted to focus time and energy and funds. We were growing increasingly uneasy with how things were being said and done and prioritized. Finally, we felt that we needed to step down from our roles and move on. It was a difficult decision but one that has been reaffirmed repeatedly since making that decision. Again, a wide range of emotions that has left me feeling a little drained.
So, yesterday was July 1 and we have a lot going on. Last night I was cranky with Dean and I felt bad. It wasn’t his fault, I was just really tired of his preoccupation with classes. He is enrolled in a program through UC Berkeley and lately it has been a bit all consuming. He has been doing this for quite a while, but this time the class work has a definite schedule and I’m missing my partner. I miss his undivided attention. Selfishly, I miss his time for housecleaning duties. PLUS it is summer so he only has time for either outside work or inside work and the last couple of weeks the time has been spent outside. The yard looks good, but the dust bunnies are starting to multiply! We have a deal in our marriage, I do the meal planning, shopping, cooking, laundry, financial management, and general tidy-up duties and he handles the yard work, home repair and maintenance, and all the housecleaning (except for dusting before planned company—I cover that one!). It is a good system and I like it that way. Lately though we have both fallen down on the job. I lost track of how many times we have had frozen pizza the past month. Oops! I’m trying to get back on track, this morning I spent an hour going back through recipes and making a meal plan for the next few days. I was glad to see that the ‘produce’ section took up most of my grocery list! He promised me this morning that tonight he would spend cleaning house (we are getting overnight guests in a couple of days!) Back on track?? I hope so!
Annika left Sunday for the month of July. On the one hand, I was anxious for her to go because I know she will have a fabulous time and it is always a little bit of a breather to have one less person in the house. She is our easy one these days—but knowing that we don’t have to be home or check in with her does give us a little more freedom which is nice sometimes. On the other hand though, it is weird to not have her around AND to not have her continual texts and questions and her company. When Dean is up in his office studying she and I spend a fair amount of time together. So it is strange when she isn’t there. It is also strange that her room is spotless and her bed is made! I know the month will go fast, but it is still a little strange. She hasn’t been away from us this long since she was in Utah. She had a little bit of apprehension when she was planning to go this time, and verbalized that she was worried we would move all of her stuff out of the house when she was gone. Funny how far she has come but yet there is still that inner abandonment/rejection fear deep in there. I guess we all have that to a certain extent.
Kirsten is home for the summer. I should say that Kirsten and James are home for the summer. When you have 1, you have the other! We cleared out her dorm room 3 weeks ago tomorrow. We drove the stuff home and unloaded it into the garage and into her bedroom. It is still there. In her defense, she was home for a couple of days and then left for 2 weeks of camp. She came home from that Saturday and then they had a softball tournament this weekend (they play together on a co-ed team). Yesterday she worked, so today she was going to tackle the bags and boxes and baskets of stuff that is overflowing everywhere! I see that she just posted at 1 pm that she hit her snooze at 10 and had just gotten up. So much for a full day at home unpacking! I can’t wait to get home and see how far she got! Oh and then let’s not forget that there is a wedding to plan! Yikes! The planning has gone well (considering she has been in college and buried with school work). Some days I feel very comfortable with where we are at and then other nights I wake up in a panic obsessing over some minor detail that she needs to address. Someone told me recently, ‘it doesn’t really matter, at the end of their wedding day they will be married and that is all that really matters’. She was right, who will remember what the guest favors were, or what kind of cups and plates we used, or, or, or???
Josh and Evy. They are 2 months away from their 1 year anniversary. Now THAT seems really crazy to me! We get to see them on a somewhat frequent basis which is always great. In another week they will move into a new apartment which will be a little closer (it is right down the street from my office!). The new apartment has its own washer and dryer though so I think their overnight visits will probably stop. Maybe, maybe not. They liked to show up with a car full of laundry and stay overnight so they can get it all done. They are still not sure exactly where life is going to take them (they are still trying to get their Peace Corps applications finished!). For now, Josh keeps working at Target and Evy is doing her final internship to complete her college degree. What will happen next is anybody’s guess.
So, life is a blur, but overall it is good.