Friday, July 30, 2010

Gaining Perspective

Long, rough day at work yesterday which found me at the grocery store at about 8:30 pm with a short shopping list that included a different brand of toilet paper! Goodness sakes, that Scott stuff was like construction paper. I bet I'll pay more attention next time.

I did find a solution to my "bread" problem. Joseph's Flax, Oat and Whole Grain pitas. 60 calories a pita and they only come 6 to a package. I had one last night and it served it's purpose - something different and sort of sandwichy, but not so good that I'm going to eat the whole package. I grilled 4 ounces of steak, cut up some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and a splash of oil and vinegar. Very good.

I got another call from Mom while I was at the grocery store. An uncle has been hospitalized in pretty serious condition - she's quite upset about it, naturally. But she and I have very different views about end-of-life care. Of course, yesterday was not the time to have that discussion. As a matter of fact, there is no time to have that discussion - it's just not somewhere that we can go. And that wasn't even the point.

I was fortunate enough to see that she is just scared. Scared for him and scared for her. I need to keep in mind that most of the time, she's not doing anything TO me. She's just behaving as she has always behaved. My reaction is what I do to myself.

One of the big lessons that I hope I've forever learned since moving to The Closet is that life is really complicated, but it is possible to still find joy, peace and happiness among chaos, fear and uncertainty. Yes, crap happens, and I could choose to concentrate on that, but I could also choose to focus on other things and not stay wallowing in situations that I probably have no control over anyway. So what's the use? I by grabbing a little peace, perspective and serenity, I can recognize more opportunities for more with each passing situation.

The second point of the conversation was more about house repairs. Apparently now there is a leak somewhere in the kitchen (or has been), as the floor is bubbling up. For those new to the game, Reata South is a mobile home in a rural area on some acreage where I lived for 20 years. My Mom and sister now live there. So this particular problem has now bubbled up to the top of the priority list. I'll try to get out there and see if I can figure out what caused it.

Today promises to be difficult, as I got about two and half hours of sleep and a lot came down yesterday, but I shall concentrate on things minute by minute and not allow myself to get overwhelmed or anxious. One thing at a time, one minute at a time.

I am so looking forward to attending a concert tonight with friends and going for an early morning bike ride with my kiddos.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find a way to gain a different perspective.



  1. It really is all about choices. And perspective for sure. I often wonder how I would relate to my own mother if she were still alive. I see my friend's and I wonder if my way is easier.

    Who are you going to see tonight? Have fun with your kids.

    Thanks for this insightful reminder.

  2. Wasn't Reata the name of the house in the movie Giant? oh well, trivia....James Dean.

    You rock when it comes to taking care of yourself. my idol.

    We got called in to a problem with hubby's hermit father as he is the only adult child of 3 that will speak with him or go see him. He has to take a visit and assess the situation / do we need to committ him type thing? family crap.

  3. Relationships with mothers can be so difficult and sometimes not for any apparent reason. Just off and odd. Glad you have your perpective glasses on and are practicing seeing clearly.

    I hope the day doesn't turn out to be as hard as you think. Enjoy your concert and time out. Here's to a really peaceful, sleep-filled night for you tonight!

  4. "Yes, crap happens, and I could choose to concentrate on that, but I could also choose to focus on other things and not stay wallowing in situations that I probably have no control over anyway."

    Thank you...with all my own "crap over which I have no control" I needed to hear this today.

  5. I'm especially impressed at how you are handling things on so little sleep...that's when I usually lose it. Good luck with the mother stuff...

  6. "My reaction is what I do to myself." Seems like everything is so much of a head game, yes? At least you can see that the real head job isn't coming from your mom. Others may be crazy as fruitcakes, but the component of suffering I experience when sensitively react to them or their behavior is entirely optional.

    I hope today is lighter than you're expecting, and that your weekend is downright peaceful.

  7. I really liked/loved this post. I like to think I have a different viewpoint on the end of life (care) too. Listened to Fresh Air yesterday (npr) and Terry talked to Atul Gawande who wrote an article in the New Yorker. The program was very interesting. Maybe you'll listen or read when you're in The Closet with the joy, peace and happiness. People often say "why does this happen to me" and I think (to myself) because this is life. It's not all fantastic. It's up and down...
    Your dinner sounded magnificent.

  8. @Dana - I'm going to see

    @Ms PJ - Yes, we have a winner. Reata was the name of the ranch in Giant. That's where Bick got him moniker as well. Loves me some Ferber. I feel ya with the family stuff.

    @Helen - you know, my day was been very good. I've done some tough things, juggled some chainsaws, and had a few laughs.

    @Grace - I hope you are feeling better. I think I like my crap better than yours today.

    @Shelley - I'm beginning to decide that I'm about as lucky as I choose to be.

    @Leslie - my day was way better than I thought it would be and it's not over yet!

    @Janell - as I emailed you, I read/heard that article on end-of-life care and treatment options. Very moving and powerful stuff. It's one of those situations where I really like making most of those decisions now and spelling them out as clearly as possible.

  9. Mothers and daughters--complicated relationships--yet some can be rewarding. I am fortunate with my daughter and charitable with my mother.


We'll try this for a while.