on a hamster wheel
Several sites going, several reports due, one big project (over)due, bookkeeping to finish so the taxes can be done, billing to get out, files to be sent, logins to be tested. Another big project to start, a database filter to figure out and entry form to design. Spring cleaning barely started (but at least it’s started), seeds to start, yard to clean up if the weather gives us a break this weekend. Car needs to go in for a checkup (that damned “check engine” light is on ... ) Brunch with a friend, dinner with another friend, calls and email to family. Dog to be dosed daily and back to the oncologist on Monday (she’s still doing really well and the bill is up to more than $3K). Diet is going well (more than 20 pounds so far!), exercising needs to begin. Lots and lots of little tasks to take care of. Three books half read, two crossword puzzles nearly finished, ten rolls of film that need developing (at the photo developers less than a mile from here). Trip to U-Mass Amherst soon to take Kate out to dinner. If she has time for us. Watching the cat stare at something only cats can see. Taking care not to watch the news too much so I can avoid the rage at the damage and the stupidity. Relief that a loved one is not as sick as we thought he might be. Too much clutter—where to begin? Need more sleep; lately I’ve been falling asleep at my desk but very productive when I wake up (prompted by guilt at napping, maybe? Whatever works.) Right now, laundry to finish.
And daily I fight the cats for my fake suede and cat-furry office chair (click to enlarge):
We just have too much stuff—I have a strong urge to declutter, to pare things back to that the only things we keep are our books and artwork and collections of things that mean something to us. There are too many pieces of paper taking up space here. I don’t want minimalism in my home, I just want less stuff. After I file our taxes, I am going to get rid of paperwork that I really don’t need to keep “just in case” dating before 2005. Oh, and obsolete manuals for software that we stopped using two operating systems ago. And clothes I never wear.
It’s just starting that’s the hard part.
Sometimes I wish I could just turn the thinking, thinking, thinking off. I was halfway into this article: A Disease That Allowed Torrents of Creativity before I realized I was in this weird sort of denial that I was reading an article about frontotemporal dementia, the disease that is stealing my mother, slowly, but unremittingly. I read the words “frontotemporal dementia” and saw the abbreviation FTD and was annoyed because I didn’t know what they were talking about. But I did. It was so strange.
Several months after the definitive diagnosis, it is still so painful to me that my stomach clenches and my eyes tear up. Grief at the loss that is and loss to come. Rage at the asshole in the White House for hampering stem cell research. Worry about my father, who has to deal with this every single day. And having those times when I’m just pissed off at the universe. I still can’t watch reruns of “The King of Queens,” or anything with those actors, because my mother’s insistence on watching reruns of this show a couple of years ago was when I knew, without a doubt, that something was very wrong.
Okay, the hamster wheel has stopped long enough ... I don’t want to think about it any more today. So I’ll go hang my t-shirts to dry and then go to bed. Yeah, that’s the ticket ...
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Much belated, but so sorry about your mother’s condition.
Have you made any progress on the decluttering? It can be so difficult to begin, but so cathartic. Letting go of stuff can often be the first step in letting go of emotional clutter as well, leaving one open to a refreshing of the spirit. Best wishes.Posted by Alice J. Sweeney on 02/12 at 11:22 AM
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