Monday, April 09, 2007

Is this what relaxing feels like?

I spent the weekend repeatedly making myself sit down and do nothing - well, sit down and read for pleasure.

In the months since my husband died I've kept a small but steady series of balls up in the air. I have a list of Things to Do, large projects and small ones, long-term and short-term, for myself, for others, about the house, finances, disposal of things of my husband's in appropriate manners...I keep two or three of them going at a time.

It's not Avoidance (of the pain of grief: in evidence I offer the fact that I do feel it daily, write in my diary about it, talk about it, sometimes wallow in it for short bursts), (of loneliness: I have no troubles with being alone, but I do miss my husband terribly. I "get along" fine on my own, otherwise).

It's just that there are a couple of overarching concerns: #1 that I clear out what I don't need as soon as I am able, timewise, financially, or emotionally so that if anything happens to me, my son isn't stuck dealing with all that excess. God knows he'll have enough to deal with just with the stuff I want to keep and will use! #2 that I maintain the house & yard in good condition for future sale, most probably when I die or if I ever have to move elsewhere.

But last weekend I'd gotten to a kind of coasting place. The two or three Current Projects, I have to wait for others' actions or inputs. I know better than to start another one, that way madness lies. I was caught up with my financial info and obligations; the house was clean; I had no outside committments. It was time to practice Relaxing. Loafing. Sitting around. Reading for pleasure for long periods of time.

I've gotten out of that habit. I don't say that bragging about how hard I work (anyone who knows me that working hard is NOT something I would brag about, lol). It's just that for the past several years, while Hubby's mobility decreased, I picked up most of what he did around the house and yard so that by the time he went into the hospital last spring, I had been pretty much doing everything for a couple of years. I felt guilty if I found myself Just Sitting, because there was always something productive I could be doing. Then, when he was in the hospital those horrible four months, I added a daily visit (weekends: two a day) to the hospital on top of all the house stuff and job. And of course the first few months since he passed away, I've had a few business things to take care of, and to begin to try to figure out what my life will be like now, and in the future.

I've been striving so hard to reach certain goals. One was, get the house cleaned thoroughly, upstairs and down, and get caught up with the laundry. OK. That's done. I've got a baseline to re-start a cleaning schedule so that it never has to wear me completely out. I looked around the place Saturday morning and was a little taken aback: There was nothing much to clean! I went down to the laundry room. There was nothing much to launder! I went up to the den and looked at the hosuehold books. There were no payments due, no money stuff to deal with! It was Saturday morning! Whatever would I do all weekend???

I pledged to myself to Loaf. Read. Snooze. Eat. Loaf Some More. It felt VERY strange. It felt good. I woke up this morning more rested and relaxed than I can ever remember on a Monday morning. And it occurs to me. Life doesn't have to be all stress and pressure. I don't have to constantly feel rushed, obliged, booked, inadequate, behind, tense. Man. That's going to take some getting used to.

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