Sunday, October 25, 2009

Digging Out

Hello ... is anybody there? Pardon the muddle below ...

I feel a bit Rip Van Winklesque after this week of being ill, stuck at home and stuck indoors due to continual rainy, drizzly cold weather. I've made brief forays out of the bed, only to run back shrieking as the house is resembling Miss Havisham's mansion complete with a dark haired version of Estella. I'm not sure who I am in all this mess, but I'm hoping it is Pip.

On top of - or perhaps because of - this enforced pause in my life, I am feeling utterly overwhelmed, frustrated, tired and defeated. Are you glad you joined me here? It just seems like my life has run into a log jam and I am not sure how to begin clearing the clutter. And clutter is the word du jour. In less than two months time we will be moving my mother cross country and into an apartment in a retirement facility near to our home. We have talked about this for years now; we've been planning, preparing and getting ourselves ready for this change. And yet ...

And yet the reality of it all has been settling upon my shoulders and I am feeling very wobbly with the weight of it all. The transfer of roles from daughter to caregiver/decision maker is not a graceful one, especially for me. I realized I have lived my entire life far FAR away from my family for various reasons, but a major one being a need to enforce healthy boundaries. I love my mother and we have a wonderful relationship, but the boundary between where she ends and I begin is a blurry one. I am not blaming her; it just is what it is. We were very close while I was growing up and that closeness gave me a great sense of being loved, nurtured and supported. It also led to confusion regarding my emotions, my sense of what is mine to deal with and what is not my responsibility. The biggest muddle has been determining what are my dreams, desires and beliefs versus what I have absorbed from her.

A huge stressor for me is clutter. I struggle with the daily onslaught of mail, household debris and the infinite number of objects Cowgirl seems to attract to her like a magnet grabbing paperclips. I try to recycle, reuse or give away but at some point, the pile is so high only the trash can will do. And I feel guilty about the waste. Well, that will be nothing compared to the Mount Everest of stuff that will be shipped out here and left for us to shift through. My husband just spent 4 days helping my mom clean out papers and boxes of stuff still packed from her move 4 years ago. At 84, she is just not able or willing to do very much now. I don't blame her and being so far away, we have to just deal with it on this end. But to say I am dreading the task is a gross understatement. In addition to guilt over waste, there will be a Whitman's sampler box of emotions pouring through me as I work through the debris of my life. That's what it will be and more: 60 years of my parents' life as a couple and then a family all saved in boxes, drawers, filing cabinets and more.

I am trying to put things into perspective and adjust my attitude to one of acceptance and perhaps hopefulness for a chance to heal, understand and put behind me some demons that have apparently been nesting inside my head for far too long. This too shall pass ... but let's be frank: it will be a bitch, no two ways about it.

So it's been a major pity party in my psyche ... my mind is filled with things I want to be doing and yet I am too tired and feeling grossly lacking in ability and inspiration. Yup, those gremlins who feast upon creative insecurities are like tourists belly up at the casino buffet. All You Can Eat. Stay All Day. For some silly reason, I have been feeling like I should be further along - whatever that means - in terms of my finding my style or vision when it comes to photography and then I look at various photo pools and rather than inspired, I feel despondent. This is something that means a lot to me. A LOT. I have found my way back to my passion for taking pictures, for capturing a moment of being in that small window of the picture frame, sharing my experience and my understanding of my life, my world. And yet I feel I have fallen down somewhere, lost my stride, lost my confidence. I rationally know each day is an opportunity to learn more and see more but I hear those gremlins taunting me "who are you kidding?"

I started this all off with Digging Out and it sure seems like I am wallowing here ... but for me part of my process is to truthfully name what it is that seeks to trip me up. Seeking guidance, I drew an Oracle card and received the message: Be Yourself. I drew an animal card and picked Ant, representing Patience and Trust. I am also reminded that yoga teaches there are common obstacles that arise on the path to Self Realization, and oh my, guess what they are? Disease, dullness, doubt, lack of enthusiasm, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from ground gained (also on this list is carelessness and sensuality.) I then read this and find some comfort in this description: Many obstacles are purposely put on the way for us to pass through. They are there to make us understand and express our own capacities. We all have that strength, but we don't seem to know it. We seem to need to be challenged and tested in order to understand our own capacities. (Swami Satchidananda)

So while I am tempted to lay down and give up, today I will pick up my camera and keep moving, keep trying. Oh, and I did clean out one bag of clutter from Cowgirl's room, put some laundry in, started dinner and yes, this week I will tackle the cleaning. And my sense of smell is slowly coming back and just in time as one of my etsy purchases arrived in the mail ... yes, 20 small bottles of delightfully rich, exotic, evocative perfumes. I vow to wear a new one every day. What do you gremlins have to say about that?!

When the gremlins arrive, get outside for some Inspiration ♥

1 comment:

  1. Ugh. We all go through stages like this don't we? When abundance spills over into Too Much and we want to curl up and hide in bed. I hear you on the sorting though your mother's things - it would fill me with horror too. Too much! I think the only way to get through is teeny tiny steps with lots of breaks!
    I also hear you on the photography. I can easily fall into trying too hard so I'm just using my eyes for a short while - doing a 'reccie' for another visit with a camera. And Flickr really stresses me out some days. Again with the Too Much.I've been pimping this Anne Lamott article this weekend. It's good stuff:'ve been ill. Don't expect too much of yourself too soon. These things can wreak havoc on our mood.