Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Silent Blog

My silence over the past week or so is not meant to offend in any way. Nor have I decided that blogging is not for me. I'm trying to keep up with everyone else and commenting where I can. But the reality of spending 11 1/2 hours away from home is that there is less time for everything. And in terms of relative importance, blogging falls well below spending time with my youngest, and caring for my oldest as she recuperates, but somewhere above cleaning the house. Who needs to clean, anyways?

It's late Sunday afternoon, and the sun has just set. I still love snow, and it's a good thing, because it's like January outside right now. November is usually a combination of grey and white, snow flurries and frost on the roof much of the time, but interspersed with the first chills of winter and depressing rain. Not this year. We've skipped autumn altogether and moved straight into winter. More than two feet of snow fell in St Marys on Friday night, so say my parents who hesitated to come up yesterday for my daughter's birthday celebration. Thankfully, there's not so much here. I like snow and all, but I have no winter boots yet - only my hikers.

My oldest daughter is holding her own. Our insurance claim has provided her with some relief. She will start getting home care for several hours a day on Monday, because she can't function all alone in the house. Her leg is not casted, and she can't weight bear for another six weeks, so she needs assistance to do just about everything. Fortunately, her boyfriend has been as supportive as can be, but even so, my workload at home has increased. I'm doing all I used to do, looking after her, and realizing how much she was doing around the house in the few short weeks that she was home before the accident.

Her 19th birthday is on Friday. In Ontario, that's the equivalent of a 21st birthday in most states in the US. She's a little bit bummed - her words - because the outing her uncles had planned for her has been postponed indefinitely. But I'll take her out, she can order a drink, they'll ask to see her ID ( I hope that having her mother along won't deter the server from his or her legal obligation). And she'll be "officially" 19. One drink is all she gets - shiny new wheelchair rental or no, she needs to be able to navigate on crutches at the restaurant and at home.

I can't believe that I am the mother of this beautiful young adult:

Maybe it's because I'm single this year, and feeling younger than I have for a decade (losing 120 pounds has that effect), but I can't be a parent to a grown up. Can I? I've barely grown up myself.

N and I are working our way through the ups and downs of separation. It's a good thing we like and respect each other, because we've seen and talked to each other a lot the last two weeks. Between M's insurance claim, planning for a lawsuit, and talking about what to do with the finances in general, and the house specifically, we've had a serious discussion almost every day.

It's not easy. We agree on most things, but everything is still up in the air. All we have is a general sense of where we are going financially. I'm someone who likes to know what's going to happen and work for it. Of course, I'm the one who turned my own life upside down, but I had to, despite all the unknowns that I now face.

I wrote a post last Tuesday that will never see the light of day. It was completely morose and self-pitying, written in the throes of yet another depressing moment. I think fatigue is getting the better of my common sense. I'm tired all the time, and as the week wears on, I get more and more fatigued and irritable. By Friday I am a walking zombie, having had 11 1/2 hour days, plus all the parenting, cooking, cleaning and general stuff to do when I get home.

Writing? Who has time to write? I manage my morning pages because I have time to do them at work. I plan on spending a few moments today with pen and notebook. The house is empty for the first time in two weeks.E is at her dad's. M's on an outing, and I have some badly needed "me" time.

I have mentioned the long hours twice, but I have a half-full glass, not a half-empty glass (although I may think differently on Wednesday night at 10:45 pm when I'm still emptying the dishwasher at home and I have less than 7 hours before I have to start another day). I really like my job. A lot. The long hours are only temporary. By January sometime I should be working a regular shift. I like my co-workers, our non-profit employer treats us with respect, and the kids are great. It's also nice to work in a place where there are sufficient resources to meet the needs of the kids. And the food...a local Mennonite-run restaurant caters the food, it's fabulous, and if there are leftovers we can take them home. I would rather do this job, at this child care centre with long hours and everything, than take another job with regular hours somewhere else. For one thing, I'd likely suffer an unpleasant pay cut. For another, I've worked in a few child care centres in my 16 years as an ECE, and there aren't many that have the right philosophy and working conditions to meet my standards. This centre does.

Emotionally, as I mentioned, I am up and down. Mostly okay, sometimes not. I've always had body image issues. Losing 120 pounds has helped in some ways - hey, I look good in clothes, and I never did before. Not ever. But I am 43, and I've had kids, there are saggy and wrinkly parts of me, there are more imperfections than I would like to see. And there's some disassociaton - I still don't get that the person that I look at in the mirror every morning is me. So many angles instead of curves and heaviness. Healthier. Stronger. But somehow, not yet me. I will grow into myself, at least I hope so.

Then there's this whole "I'm gay and I've never been with a woman and who wants a 43 year old 'virgin'" thing that I've got to get over before I can really move on. The thought of being with anyone scares me silly. I know I'm not ready. But I want to be ready someday.

And last, but not least, there are still family members to whom I have not yet come out, who deserve to know who I really am. I must find the time and space to come out to them, so that I don't waste anymore time pretending to be someone I'm not. I can't be authentic, I can't begin to live my life until they know. It's time.


greg said...

You are dealing with sooo much, it's quite ok to not be able to write that often, especially when what you do write has such heart, such as this post. To me, that matters so much more than quantity.

Your daughter is quite beautiful - happy "big birthday" to her!

Sinnerviewer said...

Don't worry about the frequency of your blog posts. Just write when you can. You'll be glad down the road that you took the time. My BFF always tells me that my blog is like a rock-n-roll version of a diary. Keep your chin up! And there are LOADS of women who'd be thrilled to be your first love.

Earth Muffin said...

You've been missed, but it's totally understandable that you're too busy to write at the moment. Don't ever feel "blog guilt"!

Your daugher is lovely. Wish her a happy 19th from Earth Muffin.

Maria said...

When I started my hectic new job, the blog went on the back burner and it has stayed there every since.

They do fine when you only tend them sporadically and most readers understand.

Happy birthday to your daughter and many happy returns of the day.

Avril Fleur said...

Yes, M has turned out to be a lovely young woman for sure, but she was a cute little girl too. Glad to hear she's getting better. 19. Yep, that's a big one. Have fun when you take her out for her first "legal" drink! lol! ;)

Margo Moon said...

You mean with all we're paying you, you can't blog more often than this? Outrageous!

Actually, whenever you start feeling guilty about the blog, try to remember it's supposed to be FUN. Right?

(Oh, and the same line of reasoning applies to the being a lesbian thing. Just sayin'.)

Camlin said...

I don't really feel guilty...I just miss it. I think about things I want to write and then I never actually get there.

AS for the fun part of being a lesbian, when that actually all will be the second to know.

Writes Like A Girl said...

Again we have similar stories. I so remember looking in the mirror and not being sure who I was seeing. You will get there, it will feel natural and relaxed and good. And when you are ready you will meet a wonderful woman and have loads of fun. I love your blog.