28thDecember

Get UP!

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and I’ve done nothing.  I got up at 10:00 and had to take Jake and Scout home at 11:30 so I just sat around and played games on the computer until it was time to take them home.  Got back at 12:30 and checked my e-mail, Facebook, and store website.  Played a few more games, took a couple of phone calls and then realized that it was 2:00 and I hadn’t done anything.  I literally made myself get up from the computer and take my shower.

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  I played my workout music and worked really hard on the kitchen.  I made some low cal soup for dinner and fixed a salad.  My salad had baby spring mix, sweet cherry tomatoes, and a few slices of Asian pear. I topped it with lemon vinaigrette and was surprised at how good it tasted to me. I haven’t been eating fresh foods for a long time.

I have another soup planned for dinner and more salad.  Right now, I’m going to turn on the music and get to work.  I’ll make a commitment to log on this evening and do an update.  That may give me some incentive to get something done.

In preparation for beginning to work out again, I downloaded an album from iTunes.  Looked under the category “workout” music and bought an album with 55 songs that are fast paced remixes of current hits.  I had problems with my iTunes account yesterday because my purse was stolen last month and I had to get all new debit cards and credit cards.  It took forever to get my account set up again.

It took so long to get everything done that I never got around to working out yesterday. I considered it a victory just to get the damn music burned onto a CD.

This morning I got up and sat around playing games on the computer for an hour or so and then decided to see what the album sounded like.  I started playing it and then found myself getting up and scrubbing the kitchen cabinets.  That led to scrubbing walls and that led to scrubbing counters and cleaning out drawers. Before long, I found myself doing low-impact aerobics to the music for a while.

Upbeat music has always been a vital part of my exercise program.  It makes the exercise seem more like dancing that working and I’ve always enjoyed it.

I haven’t done much in the way of cleaning the last couple of years.  More like continual “straightening” and things have really gotten out of hand.  I used to scrub my house until it sparkled.  I find it hard to really care about that anymore and it shows.  David encouraged me to make changes after Donnie died in an effort to keep me occupied but it reached a point where there were too many projects started and very few finished.
Rooms are half painted, the baseboards are off in a few places.  They were stripped and stained and never put back up.  Lots of half finished stuff and I just couldn’t find the energy or desire to do anything about it.

Today, the music really helped me.  I made a list of all the things I need to do to get the projects finished and plan on checking them off as I do them.  I cleaned and organized for five hours and was totally focused on the task at hand.  I never go to bed with dirty dishes, always change the sheets weekly, never eat in bed or leave dirty dishes around the house.  Those things are just habit.  Still, the last couple of years, I’ve just given everything a quick straighten and haven’t really cleaned for ages.  The floors gets swept and mopped but they don’t get waxed.  The bathroom gets a quick going over with scrubbing bubbles but it doesn’t get a solid cleaning with scrubbies and old toothbrushes.  Clutter is everywhere.

I feel good about what I did today.  At least half the kitchen is sparkling again and I’ve spent hours organizing some of the clutter.  The outlet covers have been off the walls for weeks and I found a screwdriver and put them all back on.  I’ve even made a decision about what to fix for dinner.  It will be a low calorie Italian soup that we all really enjoy.

I feel pretty good.  I’m really trying to do better and get a grip on reality.

25thDecember

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I’m home again and it’s Christmas Day.  We drove back from Miami and got home Monday night, rested up and unpacked Tuesday and then had Jake and Scout over for Christmas Eve.  I got Jake a cello and a bunch of odds and ends he wanted and a Wii system for Scout.  David got them notebook computers and phones.  They were thrilled and it made me feel good.   Stacy didn’t put up a tree or get them any presents at all.  She told them they might go out and pick up a couple of things after Christmas.  I don’t even want to go there.

My Christmas present to everyone was the cruise.  I paid for everything for all of us.  I thought it would be easier to get through the season if we had something special planned.  I had hoped it would ease the holidays for all of us.  I suppose it did.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.  I really tried to be upbeat and fun but it was so difficult.  Donnie and I took the same cruise last November and, as with everything, I was constantly reminded of him everywhere we went.

I had prayed to ease Donnie’s suffering.  Asked God to ease his pain and let me take on the suffering.  I like to think that’s what happened.  Donnie passed away so quickly.  We were on a cruise in April, going out and doing things in May and June, and then he got weak and tired and died so quickly the first week of July.  I’m so grateful that he didn’t spend months and months lingering in pain.  I tell myself that I’m glad it’s me that has to bear so much pain and not him but I know, in my heart, that God doesn’t want me to suffer for the rest of my life.  I know Donnie wouldn’t want me to feel this way, either.

I wish I could pull out of this but I just don’t know how.  I look in the mirror and I don’t even recognize myself.  It looks like I’ve aged 20 years.  I tell myself that I have to work to be happy again and I really do try but there’s an underlying depression and sadness in me that underscores everything.  I know I’ll get better with time but I don’t think I’ll ever be the same person I was and I don’t like this new person very much.

I looked up a recipe for Christmas on here and when I entered the search words, it brought up some old posts.  I didn’t even recognize myself in them.  I was so happy and upbeat and fun.  I want to get back there so much.  I’m tired of having no drive or joy in my life anymore.  I made a commitment to myself that I’m going to start eating right and exercising tomorrow.  No sense in waiting for the new year because one day is just the same as the next.

I’m going back to the routine that used to work for me.  Writing down everything I eat and exercising every day.  Maybe changing myself for the better physically will help me change emotionally.

In previous years, I would have been shopping, decorating, cleaning and cooking for weeks leading up to today.  The tree would be up in the living room and it would feature special ornaments hand picked over a lifetime.  I’d unwrap an ornament and say, “Look!  Remember this one?  It’s the one we bought in Hawaii with Santa on a surfboard!” or, “Here’s the Grinch ornament that we got when the movie came out.”  When David was a toddler, he fell in love with a small stuffed Raggedy Ann that a friend had.  She stuck it in the tree at Christmas and it’s been a tradition to place Raggedy Ann in the tree each year.  David is 42 years old now, but he still looks for Raggedy Ann every year among the branches.

By now, the presents would be unwrapped and we’d be scrambling to get the mess cleaned up before hosting Christmas dinner for 14 to 20 family members.  I’d be preparing everyone’s favorites and trying to maintain my sanity while timing things so that 10 or 12 recipes get finished at approximately the same time so we could all sit down to eat.

Today is difficult.  It’s Christmas and it’s not like any Christmas we’ve ever had as a family.  Darryl is in North Carolina with friends for a month.  David is off but Stacy has the boys today.  There’s no one here but Andrew, Steven, David and me.  I didn’t put up the tree or any decorations.  Didn’t wrap any gifts.  Didn’t cook dinner and don’t plan to go anywhere for dinner.  I’m going to take Andrew and Steven over to their mother’s house in a little while. She has presents for them and she’s cooking a small dinner.  She invited David and I and I know we’re welcome but it hurt so much to be there for Thanksgiving that I don’t want to do it again.  I’ve always been the one to cook the big dinner and have everyone over and I didn’t do well with Thanksgiving over there.  It felt horrible. I felt useless and detached from the entire event.

Instead, friends have invited David and I to go to a movie this afternoon and then go over to their house for drinks and appetizers.  I know it’s not very Christmasy but it will get me through the day.  Maybe I’ll look back on this post next year and things will be so much better.  I hope so.

14thDecember

Orion

Everyone seems to look for and find the Big Dipper.  You’re supposed to use the North Star for navigation.  I can’t ever find either of them.  I just see Orion.  I can look and study and try to find the Dippers and other constellations but Orion has always been right in front of my eyes.  No matter where I go, no matter how far, I’ve always been able to step outside and see Orion without even looking.

We’re in Key Biscayne.  Leaving on a week long cruise in the morning.  This trip has been difficult for me.  I thought it would be better to get away for Christmas.  Darryl, David, Andrew and Steven are with me.  The four constants in my life.  And still, I see Donnie everywhere.

We drove down to the cabin on Thursday and every curve, every town, even the sunset brought on fresh pain.  He is absolutely with me every day.  Perhaps every minute.  Never far from my thoughts.  It was so hard to visit the cabin where we invested so much time, money and dreams.  Difficult to sleep in the king size bed without him.  There was a Diet Coke bottle left upstairs on the nightstand that he must have forgotten the last time we were there.  I walked out to the meadow after everyone was asleep and stared at a million stars and Orion looked down on me.

Now we’re in Key Biscayne and I just walked out on the balcony and there he is.  Always constant.  Always familiar.  Always watching over me.  I like to think Donnie is one of those stars now.  Perhaps one of the three stars that make up his belt.  I just know he’s there, somewhere.