Saturday, February 19, 2011

When do I get a minute?

Well, tomorrow I am planning my first day off since Thanksgiving. Well, actually I cleaned and cooked all Thanksgiving day, so maybe "day off" is not the right terminology. I am exhausted beyond belief, too tired to face much of anything.
And of course, a low-grade fever, fibro flare, and coughing and congestion really make me want to crawl under the nearest rock and not emerge for a few weeks or months.

This has been a hard week. My younger daughter has been really ill with yet another set of ear infections and I have been powerless to help her in any way. I went ahead and took her to the ER, and so without health insurance we now owe the local hospital over $5000 for that visit. And then we were given an antibiotic that cost almost $200 so we could not buy it for her. So after the $5000 is paid, she still won't have an antibiotic or treatment. And people say we don't need to change the health care system in this country. Of course, those are always people who have health care.

Then my older daughter drops the bomb that her grades are cruising into the toilet. She is highly intelligent, a great writer, and very wily, so I am kind of shocked. However, she has been spending way too much time worrying about spending every spare moment with her friends, and has been posting from her cell phone to facebook when she is at school. She blames her worst grade on "not having time" to put her assignment together. So that tells me that time management is chiefly the issue. As a parent, I get to be the bad guy again and adjust accordingly.

Otherwise, nothing changes at Chez Terre. (house of dirt, how ironic.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Checking in....

Being busy is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I am blessed to have something to do, and to get paid to do it. Especially in these tough times when lots of people don't have jobs. It also keeps me from obsessing, over-analyzing and basically hanging out too long in that scary neighborhood that is my head.
On the other hand, being busy seems to bring out my innate, inane and useless character defects of PERFECTIONISM and IMPATIENCE.

I am a perfectionist. The reasons for this are many, and start way back in my childhood. However, looking back and getting stuck in overanalyzing it doesn't really do anything good for me. So I will not go there.
However, my perfectionism makes me even more impatient that usual.
I am least patient with myself.
And then I take it out on everyone else - and myself.

I have noticed this week I am very much into my disease of compulsive eating. At the end of last week I decided to "go on a diet." Every attempt to stick to that plan of eating has just triggered more and more (unhealthy) eating. This, in turn, has triggered me to be more critical and impatient with myself. And then I take it out on others - and myself.

So I am going to do more reading, talk to my sponsor, and otherwise try to get my side of the street clean.

I don't know the next right thing beyond that.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Here comes February.

The weekend delivers me, gives me a respite from running ragged. Right?

Well, not if you are me. On the weekend, I do the housecleaning, catch up on paperwork, try to figure out how to cram some kind of personal life into about 4 or 5 hours for the week, and mull over and try to prepare for the week ahead.

I would hazard to guess that many people I know do exactly this as well.

But does it really get me anywhere, except the corner of Bitter Blvd. and Exhausted Ave?

Regardless, I am still glad for the weekends. I get a few less calls, usually, and I can relax somewhat. I can determine when I do things, but I still am unclear on delegation at times. When I hand things over for someone else to do, I really don't hand it over. I still micromanage, and then end up doing the task or redoing the task myself because the job someone else did does not meet my standards.

Already, before 8AM, on my day off, I have taken out the trash, collected dishes to wash - as the dishes have not been done for a few days, and determined that I've got to clean the kitchen, do all the floors, and do at least ten loads of laundry, clean both bathrooms, and assemble a shelf that I bought last weekend that we desperately need in the bathroom for storage, but that is still in the box propped up on the dining wall. I also have to carry the stuff up the stairs to the kids room that has been collecting at the bottom of the stairs for the last three weeks. And clean Tara's room so if I can find a bed for her she can start using her room. Could someone else do these things?

Of course.
Will someone else do these things?
Not without my asking repeatedly to the point of nagging.
And nagging leaves me bitter and angry at everyone I live with.
And sometimes nagging and begging someone else to do the basic maintenance tasks of life is as hard as just doing it myself.

So, I have worked the program on this.
I'm lowering my expectations.
I'm doing alot of the stuff myself.
I'm not arguing all the time. Many times I am closing my mouth, when all I want to do is scream, "You want me to handle that too?"
And I am not jumping to provide all the creature comforts that are demanded by those who have grown to expect and have used me to enable their issues for so long. I am still expected to buy cigarettes and devote at least $25 to habit I don't have. I still am the emergency person when someone else fails to do something, I have to swoop in and save the day, no matter how many other things are on my plate to accomplish that day. But these things are going to have to cease if I want to keep my sanity.

Basically what I'm saying is that I am going to have to shore up my boundaries. Include time in my schedule to handle my responsibilities if they are truly mine. And if it is work-related, I need to delegate more. If it is not work-related, I can relax my expectations somewhat. And still delegate.

And most importantly, stop taking care of others so much that they lose all impetus to take care of themselves. Stop providing everything so they are provided the necessity and opportunity to step up and take an active role in their own lives by providing for themselves somewhat.

By doing this, I am allowing others the same opportunities I have been given to develop and prove themselves responsible, autonomous individuals. I also show them I trust them enough to handle this stuff, and believe in their ability to do it. I empower them to do it.

And maybe, just maybe, I get a moment of peace myself.

"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet." - Mahatma Gandhi