Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Relaxing Weekend Chez Bossydog(s).

Today, Girlchild and I rented a 14 ft. U-Haul and cleaned out the assisted living apartment. It was hot, humid, and we moved heavy furniture for hours. At 3:30 I was done, but Girl wasn't - she's moving out of her rented house and had still more loading to do (she had a male friend/neighbor on standby to help her load, so mom was free to bow out).

So my mother's assisted living apartment is now tidily packed away in a storage unit, and I am sad. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours packing up small stuff, and when I opened the door to her apartment I was struck by how cute it was, and a wave of sadness hit me - I wanted this to work out. I still walk in the door and think oh, I could so totally live there. It still might work out, of course - we are joking that now that we've busted our asses like this, she will rally and in two weeks be fighting to get out of the nursing home. I talked to two of the nurses while I was packing and moving, and both missed my mother and said they wanted her back. Two residents stopped by to ask why she was being moved out, and wished her well. And she was only there a few weeks, and sick much of the time - the people are so nice. I'm so tired of this. We are in, what, month four? five? of not knowing what the hell will happen next. I am tired, and so sad that the best laid plans all went straight to hell.

So, it's Sunday evening and I'm 50 years old and sitting on a ripped couch (the fabric has given out - I know how it feels) in a house I really can't afford anymore, and I'll get up tomorrow to drive a long way to a job I still hope will become good, but isn't there yet. Kinda sad for a college graduate with a good resume, but welcome to Florida. I take some comfort in the thought that I'm not alone in this - everybody I know is either where I am now or even worse off.

I am dealing with more "challenges" and drama at various levels than anyone should have to deal with at once. I try to just think about and make progress on one issue at a time. Put it all together and I'd go crazy. I have become an expert at compartmentalizing, and eating the elephant a bite at a time.

And speaking of crazy (here's a graceful segue): I got myself into another discussion on Ravelry, on the infamous BID board. I didn't start it, but I did dip a toe or two in, despite my better instincts. Whenever an issue of weight and fitness arises there, a couple of usual suspects can be counted on to respond with the same opinions, outrage, and victimhood. Christ. Victimhood, about their weight! I've been the Universe's punching bag for the last 7 years - dying husband, dead husband, dying father, dead father, three hurricanes hit my house, my employer shut down, and that's just the off the top of my head highlights! [Edited - oh, yeah, there was that pesky brain aneurysm thing too.] The rest of my life has the same home repairs and flat tires and such as everybody else, but they are barely a blip. The Mama Drama is an ongoing saga that apparently should be an excuse to quit watching the size of my ass, because I have STRESS and I am a VICTIM and, oh, you know the song.

Here's how I look at it: There are few things I can control right now, but all of the insanity has had an upside - it underlined with clarity that there are things I can control, and how I take care of myself is one of them. I know this is true: I have to take good care of myself, which includes taking off pounds that stress my body's performance, because if I don't, the insanity wins. And today, when I was hauling a double dresser down a U-Haul truck ramp in blazing hot sun and heat and surreal humidity (sweat doesn't evaporate here), after hauling an apartment of stuff out of the apartment and onto the truck, then off again at the other end, all in miserable heat, I had a real appreciation for my body, and how it has bounced back from the aneurysm and responded so well to a healthy reasonable diet and exercise. I know for a damn fact that my knees and my back wouldn't have been able to do what I did today Before. Losing even a small amount of weight, combined with the exercise I was doing already, has made a visible difference in my stamina. I am sitting here now and I am mildly achy and I know tomorrow I will be hurtin', but mildly hurtin'. My knees aren't bitching, my back feels tired, but not sore. I am a 50 year old brain aneurysm survivor with bad knees and a bad back and mild heart problems and fucked up vision and, oh yeah, carpal tunnel syndrome. And here I am, in the heat, with a double dresser strapped to an appliance dolly, doing what I have to do. If I let Stress and Drama become an excuse for not working to take care of myself, I couldn't live my life. Then what?

So yeah, when the usual suspects who jump into every discussion of weight and health start spouting off with their defensive rationalizations, I can only sigh. And continue to do what I'm doing, because even modest weight loss has had visible, significant changes. And my ass is smaller and perkier. This is also a Good Thing.

But, you are asking: Does She Still Knit? She does. I made a sock - finished the whole damn thing! It's a sock for me, because I can't find the right pattern for Boy's socks. So I pulled out some Koigu from the Rainy Day Stash (it's freaking pouring all the time now) and cast on a basic sock for myself. I love, love, love the colors. I promise a picture when both socks are done. I cast on the second as soon as I finished the first. But sock two will be a bit slower, because after intensive size 1 needles, my right hand is not happy. Need bigger gauge, soft wool, relaxed pattern to balance it out. Good thing I have stockpiled a nice yarn stash, because I really need to replace this couch.

I also need to make a nice little carrying case for my iPod. I have a sport case I use for walking and such, but it's a pain to operate. I want a basic soft pouch to carry it in my bag, for the times that the sport case is overkill. Again - yarn stash, don't fail me now.

And tomorrow is Monday again. Cousin C is pushing for me and the Murphinator to visit her next weekend. If Girl can pick up her dog between now and Saturday, I may be able to spend at least part of next weekend on a pool float with a beer in my hand.

Also edited: I'm so jazzed that Biden is the VP choice. He's a riot, and a fellow brain aneurysm survivor. He had surgeries for TWO!


ChelleC said...

You are absolutely right about the food choices/exercise being one of the few things a person CAN control if they choose to.

So sorry that your Mom's AL apartment didn't work out. Glad you and Girlchild got that apartment and moving trial over with this weekend. Hope next weekend with Cousin C is a relaxing, enjoyable trip. And maybe don't pick up the phone when Mom calls next weekend? Could you perhaps take 2-3 days away from her to relax?

k said...

When I quit smoking, I elected to not worry about my weight. I gained 40 pounds, but I quit smoking. Now I've changed jobs, and am in a very physical job, and dropping weight and toning up. As a choice. So, yeah, it's a choice.
And that was the first thing I thought of when I heard about Biden - that he was like you!

Catherine said...

Let's see, Irish Catholic, working class, outspoken, smartassed, lost a spouse, brain aneurysm, yeah, he's my older twin. I have always liked the guy - I don't always agree with him - but I am thrilled that Obama has a smart, funny pit bull at his back.

Catherine said...

It is a choice. Sometimes the weight issue isn't that important. I totally understand people who say
"Screw it, I love food too much to worry about this!" That's an attitude I can respect, and as long as you're healthy, that's totally okay. I just can't wrap my brain around the victim of food thing. On the scale of things we CAN control, food is well within our grasp, and free sources of smart ways to do it are out there. Food should not totally fuck up your life. It's not easy, but if you really are upset about your weight, there's a ton of help available. For free. If you would like a list of things that you can't control that will fuck up your life, please, follow me around for a week. I can show you three before noon on day one. ;-)