In times of trouble

My Dad told me one time that when my Grandmother had troubles and couldn't sleep, she'd get up and scrub the kitchen floor on her hands and knees.  In the past, I have actually gotten on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor with a brush until I forgot my troubles and was able to make a plan.  Now, I start a new project.  It's much more fun than scrubbing the floor,  but it has the same effect (except I still have a dirty kitchen floor).  It gives my hands something productive to do and frees my mind up to think through whatever problem I'm having and come up with a solution.  To the untrained eye, I knitted almost all day on Saturday, despite it being a beautiful day outside.  But on Sunday, I woke up with a plan.  

A co-worker wanted to learn to knit and signed up for a class.  And, she hated it.  I think she had a bad instructor and that the project she picked was too advanced (a baby sweater) and she got frustrated with not being able to do it and every time the instructor walked by, she'd look a the work, take it off the needle and pull out yards and yards of yarn.  At least that's how my friend described it.  Anyway, she gave up and gave me all her stuff.  It was four skeins of yarn, two multicolor and two that were chosen from the multiple colors.  There was a beginners book and some sets of needles and a "starter kit".  I incorporated it into my supplies and looked through the book and found a pattern for a ripple afghan.  Now, I didn't think you could knit a ripple afghan, so that got my attention and I bought a couple more skeins to go with what I'd been gifted and packed the project up with everything I'd need and set it in the studio closet for "some day".  And Saturday was that day.  

Like all ripples, you add stitches on the hill top and take stitches away in the valley, but on the needles, you're working with a straight line.  I have to admit that this beginners pattern stumped me, and I had to start it over a couple of times.  That let me vent some frustration in a healthy way and in the afternoon I got it figured out and I was off to the races.  It's not something I'd normally have picked as a project, but for a stress project, it's working out pretty good.  When I'm done, I'm going to offer it back to the friend that gave me the yarn and if she doesn't want it, I'll send it to Project Linus.  

Yesterday, I was even more productive and tired my body out as much as my mind.  

I cleaned up in the greenhouse.  I''m going to need to fill it with plants soon and over the summer, I'd covered every inch of space with "stuff".  I took this opportunity to bring everything back together, finding a place for the tools and clearing out and throwing away a lot of junk and trying to get all my trays in one place so I'll be able to find them when I need them, and lots and lots of sweeping.

I found this in the greenhouse while I was out there.  It was a very pleasant surprise.  

I came in and we had lunch and I baked bread.  I kind of needed a success.  I baked bread last weekend and it didn't rise right and it's very thick and dense.  Not being willing to waste, I was eating it, but not enjoying it so much.  I'm going to dice that bread for this week's stuffing.  It should be perfect for that and yesterday's loaves came out perfect.

October for me is "doctor month" or "Doctober".  I see them all.  Well, except the optometrist and I need to schedule with her.  Except for my dentist, all my doctors are women and I feel very comfortable with them.  This year, there were conflicting and unexpected lab results.  Nothing serious.  Just a little "out of whack" and it was different than the normal "all's well, see you next year!" that has been my office visits for years.  I also found out that my Mom's dementia is progressing and I'm likely going to need to get more involved in helping her out.  I'm not sure what form that's going to take since I'm 450 miles away and not "boots on the ground".  I'm not sure what I have to offer that my family will accept.  And, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to being more involved in their lives and they in mine.  Their lives are so different than mine and it's like walking in a mine field to keep from offending one or another or all of them...or them offending me.  But my sisters are going to need help and I'm going to offer it and they'll have to decide whether to take it.  This is what "adulting" is all about.  And nobody "adults" better than Rob and me.  In a crisis, we work in tandem, like a well trained team of show horses, helping one another and pulling whatever load we have to bear.  Together.  

I'm not worried about being able to do what needs doing.  The things I've done make me confident that I can do what I'll need to do.  And, the first step is making a plan.  And, that means getting my thoughts out of the way so my brain can figure stuff out.  And, if that means I start 17 things and leave them all unfinished, then that's what it means.  And it's okay.

Be well!  Hug someone you love.  Take care of yourself as much as you take care of others.  



cbott said...

Been going through the boots-on-ground helping-the-parent(s) since August 2020. There's a sibling living a day's drive away, with a job and a husband on the cusp of needing to be moved to a Memory Care facility. Because she obviously couldn't drop everything and rush to help, her most-appreciated contribution was level-headed input when a hard decision needed to be discussed and thought through.

Those doing are sometimes so caught up in the minutiae of the doing that they either can't see beyond 'what's always been', or haven't 3 continuous minutes of peace in which to ponder thoughtfully. You've got the outcome of those peaceful minutes to share with them.

Hoping for a solution that does everyone good,

Carolyn (in Oregon, transplanted temporarily from your neck of the woods)

Anonymous said...

Any family should welcome at this time of need a compassionate caring member who has so much kindness in them like you do and I hope they appreciate what they have in your level headed common sense approach. You are grounded and know thru work experiences that solutions will be the main talking point in getting the deserved care your mother needs. Enjoy your Thanksgiving as we are blessed to be alive through all this upheaval around so grateful means a lot this holiday season. Kathy

Anonymous said...

Your greenhouse looks peaceful, even this time of year. I think you are well grounded too and often take your advice after reading what you’ve posted. Yes….bread for stuffing….then task Rob to dig The Swag out…yippee! Almost time to put that up. Thanks for sharing. Mary

Suzanne said...

My spouse and I live hours away from our families, and we have done so the whole 16 years we’ve been married. Most of our siblings live near our parents, but my husband has one who also lives far away from where we grew up. Is it coincidence that those of us who live far away seem to know how to "adult" best? I keep thinking maybe it’s because we live far away that we figured out how to adult. Or, maybe we had it in us all along, so we had the confidence to move away. At any rate, I’m always impressed by you and your positive, can-do, will-do attitude!