Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cleaning and getting ready for vacation

We are going away for a week, to see the moms - and between working hard this week, and getting-ready-to-leave- stress and just regular life-stress - I started to feel disconnected and slightly nervous.

So, I started cleaning and rearranging. When I first noticed this pattern in my behavior, I thought it was destructive - in that I put things away and shove artwork into drawers, and hide my yarns. What I've learned this year is that cleaning and arranging is my way of trying to take control in a world that often feels so out of control. So I try to channel it into a more constructive manner, tackling things that I've put off for a long time, or making something that I've wanted to do for awhile, or finding/making a new place to put yarns and craft items.

Alot of this nervousness and anxiety has to do with Bella husbands death. I don't know Bella well, just a bit from IF. But it doesn't matter, she seemed like a nice lady, and her art is good, - she seemed to have a happy life. What is so scary is how a happy, even keeled life can change in an instant with the death or illness of a loved one. I know it happens every day, in war and in peace. I know that life appears to be unfair and shocking and frightening at the same time that it is wonderful and lovely and a gift from the gods.

But what I worry about is the randomness of it all, and the question of how to live your life as a human with wonderfully high and woefully low emotions - enjoying everything that you have - yet allowing your human-ness to exist. Should you count your blessing every minute? Do you go thru the day being a complete saint (not me) and never letting anything petty get you down? or do you worry about the toilet paper being on the roll backwards and yell upstairs like a fool when the seat is left up again. How does the saint and the sinner co-exist?

In terms of resolutions to be a better person, I made a vow a long time ago to give DH a good bye kiss every morning, even on those mornings that I wish I hadn't made that vow. That small gesture seems to tide me over for the day, whether I'm angry as hell for some reason, or goofy in love, or just having a normal human day. It's a small "thank you" to who-or what ever for the blessings that I have. Then I tromp off to work and get annoyed at the slow traffic, or pissy about some imagined slight - or whatever. How petty it all seems!

I certainly don't know the answer. My heart breaks for Bella and for other friends who have had similar losses and pains.

But my house is cleaner, somewhat organized - and I feel a bit calmer.

11 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Cleaning and straightening is a great way to channel nervous energy.

It is so sad to suddenly lose a loved one. Your life is never the same.

My Uncle's wife died suddenly of a brain aneryism (sp) we are all still trying to deal with the feeling of sudden loss. It does make you thankful and want that last kiss.

Lynn said...

Well Mim, I read this and got up to go kiss my DH. He was walking into the kitchen to tell me that he had gotten a letter from the school district saying to expect a possible cut in wages.
I kissed him and said: "Oh well, I guess I could go back to working on Fridays if need be." Me, I'm just happy he was there to kiss.

I know what you mean about all of it. I do try to be aware of the blessings a good deal of the time.
I'm just thankful for each healthy moment.

Getting ready for our travels too.
Glad we are well enough to do it.
Some of it will be sad...honoring DH's ma's death in Jan.; but most will be fun and joyous if we make it so.
So...I will make the most of it...
and probably leave my house in disarray...trying to get as much done in time as possible...

Let's all hold hands and count our blessings...

and my condlences to Bella and to Lisa, and to another friend whose BIL died of a brain tumor this week...and, and and and....
those dying in Iran protesting for peace...
Hugs to all

ElizT said...

You do it well, give yourself credit, woman!

soulbrush said...

cleaning and organising my stuff does give me a feeling of control and peace.as i lay there in the hospital yesterday ready for a minor procedure and that needle came towards me to send me into oblivion, i thought 'what happens if i don't wake up? i think death is never far from any of us. have a good trip and love and be happy.

Artist Unplugged said...

Very normal feelings I think...whether to fear happiness being fleeting, wasting time bothered by the minor things. I look at it like a walk through mountains and valleys with times of handling it well and not handling it well, but you learn and grow from it all. Having faith to support me is what gets me through. It is best to live in the moment with some common sense plans for future. It is so difficult to lose a loved one and probably putting the things around us in order helps us feel more in control. Okay...didn't intend to write a speech! Wishing you a safe, enjoyable trip Mim!

Teri C said...

Oh gosh Mim, you brought back a memory that visits me every now and then. When I went to bed one night I did not kiss my DH goodnite and he died during the nite. It is hard to forgive yourself for an omission like that.

On a lighter note, I know when I have nervous energy because I find myself in closets cleaning! lol

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

No you never know what tomorrow or the next minute will bring so live each day like it is your last and enjoy what you have. Have a great safe trip.

studio lolo said...

It's refreshing to know you're human! We all have faults, wishes, gripes and blessings. One of my favorite quotes is " We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience."

I have panic disorder that at times is crippling but I've done my best for the past twenty-somthing years to manage it. (Thank goodness for drugs.)
I've noticed though that more attacks are breaking through and that I'm not handling stress in stride these days. I try to diffuse it by redirecting it, much as you do with your nervous energy.

My DH and I smooch every day, not as a routine but as a conscious act exactly for the reasons you've mentioned above.
And as we get older we start to think of our own mortality. I hate that, but that's what happens.

I'm trying to enjoy the ride while I'm here, but every now and then I get knocked off my bike.

xo

katie jane said...

I always try to live in the moment. It's all you really can control. My take on life is: whatever happens, happens. Make each moment count. My husband always wants a kiss goodbye in the morning and a kiss goodnite before bed. I sometimes forget, but he comes and finds me. As for cleaning and organizing, well, I try to do as little of that as possible!

kj said...

dearest mim, i will think about what you've said here because i've already been thinking about it. for now let me just say i know what you mean (you probably know i know already, right?--because we are connected in some way...)

i say a dozen 'i love you's' every day.

when i go on vacation, i tend to "finish' things i've put off for months. i like a clean slate. i think that's because i like to get my work out of the way so i can PLAY.

love you, (# 5 today, stella got 2)
kj

Anonymous said...

Hi Mim,
I find the old be here now philosophy has never let me down. The only times that I have really faltered was when I tried to find a way to control things. From a scientific point of view, Chaos Theory is oddly comforting. The "existential dilemma" never goes away but there are tricks to keep it at bay.
I find this blog very useful and practical in a day to day sort of way.
http://www.happinessproject.typepad.com/
Hi to Roz and Tony. Miss you XXOOHIlary