Posts Tagged With: coping

how do you choose to cope

Yesterday YBW was standing at the kitchen sink washing out the coffee pot and he said, “I thought this would last two weeks and it would be over. I need to get into a routine like you.”

I think he’s realizing how unprepared we all were for the situation in which we find ourselves. In the beginning he likened it to being snowed in, we hunker down, stay put for a few days, then life resumes its normal pace.
Let me be clear. I am not saying he doesn’t take it seriously, he is acutely aware of the seriousness of this time of extended self quarantine.
It’s more like I’m in ECE mode and documenting his development. I am watching what he’s actively learning through his immediate and authentic experience. I see how he adapts based upon what he’s learning.

He saw me up, showered and dressed and going about the things. It seemed to me he realized the importance of these behaviors. I see he’s realizing how simple it is to stay in one’s jammies and be at the computer or in front of the TV all day long. How doing that helps create that snow day mentality.

Y’all, I made a concrete decision to get dressed every day. And I’m wearing jeans at least three times a week instead of comfy, around the house clothes like yoga pants or leggings. I’m doing the work-y things at the beginning of my day before I do the lounge-y things. This is how I’m choosing to cope.

I talked with him about why I made this decision. I did it because I want didn’t want my life to feel like one extended snow day. It’s easy to sit around in my jammies day drinking and eating all the live long day. I knew that would be bad for me. I chose to live differently in this time.
I know my limits. I know within which parameters I function best. So, I created this routine to keep myself safe and sane.
With nothing to break up the monotony of being stuck in this house, this routine makes every difference.

YBW is currently in his jammies drinking coffee in front of his computer. So, maybe the routine isn’t actually necessary for him. I mean, he does have his normal routine every other week. His regular life, in which he gets up, bathes, dresses and goes to work. So maybe for him the home weeks feeling more like snow days are what’s keeping him safe and sane?
He spent all last Friday pressure washing the deck. Yesterday, he patched a hole in the ceiling where Thing G’s shower leaked. So, he’s doing the things even if he’s doing them in his jammies.

Each of us had to adapt to the best of our ability to do what it takes to get through this while remaining safe and sane.
For some of us, that is day drinking.

Crowley is my spirit animal

For some of us it’s as much exercise as we can cram into a twenty-four hour period.
For some of us it’s cooking or baking.
For some of us it’s sleep.
For some of us it’s Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and Disney +.

Whatever you’re doing to keep yourself safe and sane in this time is none of anybody’s damn business. I mean, unless it negatively impacts another.
So if what keeps you safe and sane is locking someone in the closet, maybe you want to reevaluate. Unless they’re up your ass about some store brand cookies. Then I say, you do you.

I’m choosing to do what’s best for me. I’m aware my choice has no or low impact on others. I’d like to keep it that way.
But you know, I get antsy. I want to throw a temper tantrum now and again. Maybe that restraint is what’s keeping me safe and sane. I can only do me.

What routines are keeping y’all safe and sane in these unprecedented times?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

hearth-fires and holocausts

Thing 2 is here!
It’s been really positive and she’s enthusiastic about starting over. She decided she was ready to go back to proper brick and mortar high school. (This was a difficult choice for her as she has to be a junior again instead of being a senior. But she made it and she’s feeling strongly about it.)
We went back to school clothes shopping and got everything she needed from skivvies to sweaters. Shopping is interesting with Thing 2, I always learn something new about her and we have hilarious dressing room conversations!
She got a job today and a brand new do. Things are certainly going her way.
We go tomorrow to register her for classes. She’s picked out what she’s going to wear and has a notebook and pens in her new school bags.
It has been VERY positive. I overheard her tell someone she was so glad she was here and it was a good choice.

And then…
She just came downstairs with tears in her eyes and told me she was going to bed. I asked if she was OK and she just shook her head. I asked if I could help and she shook her head. She headed back up the steps and I asked if she needed to talk about it. She called back, “It won’t help.”

My initial inclination is to rush to her and work my ass off to make it better for her. But something strange is happening. It occurred to me that she needed to feel whatever it is she’s feeling. She needs to mourn the loss of her friends. She needs to shed that old layer in order to feel at home in her new environment.
She can cope with sadness. She can cope with feeling stressed about all the change. She can even cope, albeit not really well, with the anxiety of starting a new school.
It is extremely difficult for me to “sit this one out”, but I can’t fix this for her, I can only be available when she needs me.

She’s anxious about meeting people. “Cool people, not because they’re popular, but because they look like cool people I’d like to hang out with.”
She’s a bit of a hipster, that Thing 2 of mine. She wants to hang out with quirky people like her, but not end up in social Siberia. She doesn’t want to be popular, she wants to be real. She likes to play D & D. She likes eclectic music. She’s got a sassy personal fashion style. She wants to be engaged while functioning through her own special brand of awkward.

I want to go up and get all snuggly in her bed with her and feel as though I’m helping her feel better. I think that’s about me.
I trust her to sort it.
On the other hand, she’s been left to sort it for the last year all by herself.
So, I can offer love. I can listen. I can encourage.

When I think of my baby, I am reminded of Jimmy Stewart’s beautiful words in The Philadelphia Story: “You’re lit from within. You’ve got fires banked down in you, hearth-fires and holocausts. You’re made out of flesh and blood. That’s the blank, unholy surprise of it. You’re the golden girl. Full of life and warmth and delight.
I believe there is a part of her that realizes this about herself.
I aim to make sure of that.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

wondering how you are

My friend and mentor texted me this morning: Wondering how you are.
Four simple words made the tears come.
And I’d been holding it together pretty well. (Or I’m getting really good at fooling myself.)

The funny thing is…earlier this morning I was thinking how much I missed Thing 2’s little face, and then it hit me, what I miss most is hearing her voice. Especially her giggle.
That kid has the most infectious giggle you’ve ever heard! Thing 1 once said that if she had to lose one of her senses, she wouldn’t want it to be her hearing because she didn’t know if she could live without hearing Thing 2’s giggle.
(In fact, Thing 2’s giggle is one of my four favorite sounds; the others are Thing 1 saying, “mommy”, the crack of a baseball bat making perfect contact with the ball, and a sound YBW makes when he sleeps.)

But I digress…
My friend and mentor asked if I had video of Thing 2. It’s curious, I have all the photos, but her dad has all the videos, so no, I don’t.
But then I realized I had a 55 second video on my phone of Thing 2 and my niece, Girlie Thing being goofy one afternoon in August. So I rubbed salt in my wound and watched it and here’s what I discovered:
1. Thing 2 sounds quite a bit like me. No longer does she have that squeaky little girl voice, but a strong, rich alto. I was surprised by how much she sounds like me.
2. The giggles you hear more than anyone’s are mine.
3. Girlie Thing and Thing 2 were destined to be in each other’s lives.

Thing 2 and Girlie Thing were being silly and I was so amused, I began to film them.
Thing 2 caught me and said, “Stop filming us!”
She flashed me the ‘double finger’ and said, “Ha! Now you can’t post this!” Then the fingers again.
I laughed and said, “I’m just keeping it for fun.”
“To watch when you’re sad?” She asked.
I giggled and said, “Yes.”
Girlie Thing said, “Yeah, save it for when you miss me.”

Um…are these girls psychic? Am I? Did we know the world as we knew it was about to implode?
No. We were just having a fun afternoon hanging out…each of us thinking it was one afternoon out of the hundreds to come…
It isn’t. There aren’t any more coming…at least not yet.

YBW was ironing new dining room curtains (I know! Isn’t he the BEST!?!) while I was on the phone with Thing 1 the other day. When I hung up, he said something to the effect of, I noticed you didn’t say anything to Thing 1 about what’s going on with Thing 2.
My reply was, “It’s not my story to tell.”
He seemed to feel very strongly it was and was all, next time you talk to Thing 1 she’s going to be like, Mommy why didn’t you tell me about Thing 2?
I don’t know.
Thing 2 might not have the balls to tell her sister.
Or my real fear: Thing 1 will applaud Thing 2. (Does that make me paranoid?)

My darling sister-in-law texted me expressing her love and support after she read my last post, and asking why I didn’t call her with this news.
I don’t know.
I’m still figuring out how to function with it.
I love her so for reaching out to me when I know how hard it is for her.

I packed up all Thing 2’s belongings from her home here and sent them in a box to her home there. Good God, that was painful, packing her meds and clothes and special stuffed animals. I almost kept her favorite special sleeping lovey, Lamby. Not out of spite, but because I felt I wanted to keep a precious part of her. I even wrote her a note explaining why I kept Lamby and sealed up the box. It rode around in the backseat of my car for a week before I actually sent it…and in the meantime, I wrote a new note and put Lamby in the box. Lamby belongs to her, not me.

I am overwhelmed and I feel quiet.
I should be finishing up a paper for school as my term ends next week…I don’t want to write about American History, I don’t want to think about Economics. I want to hug my sweet baby and hear her voice.

As Grandaddy would have said, “You’re old enough for your wants not to hurt you.”

So I’m going back to work…then I’m going to snuggle on the sofa with YBW.

Categories: loss, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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