This has probably been the most difficult Mother’s Day that I have ever experienced. No need to pick out a card, or flowers, or some thoughtful gift. My mother has been in the hospital in intensive care the past three weeks, on a ventilator and for the most part unable to respond. She seems to recognize me when I talk to her, and follows me with her eyes, but otherwise is just too weak to interact. This has been extremely difficult, as before this hospitalization, she was relatively well and independent.
So I spent my Mother’s Day sitting at her bedside, holding her hand, and thinking about our relationship. Our relationship has not always been easy. We have had our ups and downs, but recently we have been on an upswing. We have been able to spend some time together recently that has been quite positive. She has been less critical of me, and I have been more open with her. Apparently she told a close friend that she had enjoyed the time we had spent together. That makes me feel pretty good considering our current circumstances.
I’m grateful for this bit of time I could be with my mother. We might not have another Mother’s Day together.
I have been incredibly busy the past six weeks with my new job, hence the dearth of blog posts. I must say this is the very first job that I have had that has been such a positive, uplifting experience. I look forward to each day (despite my lack of morning person-ness) because I know I am going to work in a positive environment.
My boss is the biggest influence on the work environment. He always greets me with a big hello and a smile. Work is about collaboration, not subordination. I feel he respects me and values my opinion. And he is generous with feedback and tells me what a great job I am doing. I don’t ever remember being in such a welcoming environment over my entire 21 year career. Sometimes I think I’m dreaming.
Some people say it’s easier to work for a male boss, which may be true. But being a highly sensitive person, I think it is more than that. We share similar values about work, we interact effectively, quality is important to us and we want to help others in a meaningful way. I hope to learn much from him, and I also hope I can share things with him as well.
Hey, the glass is half-full for a change, and I must say I’m quite pleased about the whole thing. It has made a great impact on my mood as well. My boss sees me as a positive, likeable person, and I’m glad to be feeling that way again. It means all that hard work is paying off.
Now if I can make some progress in other parts of my life….
Wonder if he ever thinks about this day? We would have been married 21 years if he had been able to handle my Depression. Sadly, instead of supporting me in my darkest hour, he selfishly got involved with someone else. Looking back, perhaps our relationship would not have lasted because he has always been an essentially selfish person. But the trauma of how our relationship ended and the years of acrimony that followed have contributed to the chronicity of my illness and my negative attitude toward relationships.
I think by this time that dates should mean very little. I don’t really have any “feeling” about this particular date. Although I truly don’t appreciate that he chose to have his second marriage on the 31st of December either. He is just that selfish and insensitive. Just like I don’t really think about his birthday or any other date. It just happens that so many negative things have occurred around the Christmas/New Year holidays. We split up at this time of year too.
What I do recognize and acknowledge regularly is that something very special came of those circumstances. I am blessed with a son, who is now maturing into a young man. He has been my challenge and delight, and I love him more than anything. So regardless of any bad memories or emotional pain I have suffered, I know that my son was part of the plan. And I can celebrate that.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. —-Marcel Proust
My journey has been punctuated by attempts to change things around me…change jobs, change houses, change styles, etc. Probably trying way too hard to change other people. Trying to “fix” them. All I needed to do is change the way I see things. What an epiphany! Not really, but so much harder to put into practice. The other things are easier to blame and alter than to work on myself. Besides, why don’t other people with serious issues have to work on them, especially when they impose on me (that’s a seriously rhetorical question)???
Working on my new eyes connects with my vision of a different year next year. I have to change how I see things as well as change things in my life to achieve greater happiness. So, where do I trade in these forty-ish eyes for a fresh pair? If I get to choose, I want eyes of wisdom, all-knowing and all-understanding. And it doesn’t hurt if they are stunningly beautiful either. Perhaps a pale blue, or cat-eye green. It will definitely be a challenge to see things differently. I imagine it will take practice just like any new skill.
Yet I can’t escape the changes required in my landscape either. That I addressed in my last post. I should probably make a list of what I don’t need to change, it would be a lot shorter. I have a heck of a lot to do over the next few weeks to get started.
Or, How do I want my life to be different next year from this year…
This post isn’t about making new year resolutions. This is a serious proposal from my therapist that I am contemplating about making changes. Sounds similar, but I think I am supposed commit to long-term change in behavior, particularly in my relationships. That’s a tall order. What do I want to be different? I always joke about wanting a “do over” of the last 20 years. I think I would have done many things differently. But now I’m just trying to live in the present and accept circumstances as they are, and make the best of it. Sounds sooo simple, haha.
One of the things we talk about is happiness. I should be looking forward to being happier than I have been this year. Not sure that I’ve been very happy at all this year. A number of things have contributed to this, some of which I have already discussed on this blog. Yet I fear change as much as I welcome what it could bring. Primarily I fear the confrontation and discord that will be the result of implementing change in my relationships. Inertia is soooo much easier to maintain. I’m afraid of hurting others, because I know what it’s like on the receiving end of that kind of emotional pain. But things just can’t continue this way for me. Courage, cowardly lion!
Besides changing relationships, there are likely other areas I could be working on that would contribute to my happiness. I have neglected my spiritual life as of late, and would like to address that too. Not necessarily religion per se, as I’ve become rather jaded about hierarchical patriarchy style organized religion (did I qualify that enough to confuse even myself?). I imagine I do need some structure of sorts, but I’m finding it very difficult to find a place to “belong.” That’s kind of a universal theme for my life!
I’ve decided not to buy into the fallacy of “work/life balance” because it doesn’t make logical sense. Who wants to spend an equal amount of time at work as they do outside of work? Particularly when we have to spend nearly half that time sleeping??? I think I’ll focus on controlling my work hours and not “donating” my time to my multi-million dollar employer. Salary shouldn’t mean sacrifice! My current/new job seems to fit in realistically with my philosophy of “work to live, not live to work.” Now to keep it that way.
It’s all sounding more and more like resolutions as I commit to, well, not paper, but to blogosphere. But I think I still have more soul-searching to do on this topic. I’m off to cogitate on my future happiness!
Blue Morning, Blue Day – lyrics by Foreigner
Out in the street it’s 6 am, another sleepless night
Three cups of coffee, but I can’t clear my head from what went down last night
No we won’t have our own little ways, but somehow we keep it together
You hear me talk, but you don’t hear what I say, I guess it don’t even matter
Blue morning, blue day, won’t you see things my way?
Blue morning, can’t you see what your love has done to me?
Sometimes you can be with someone and still be so alone. So contradictory but what I am living now. And apparently I’m the only one who sees it or sees it as an issue. Terribly frustrating. I feel like I have failed at intimate relationships as well, since I seem to make such bad choices, and none of my relationships have lasted past 6-7 years. I want to move forward in a number of ways, and apparently I have to do it on my own.
When I’m feeling bad and want to wallow, there is certain music that accompanies that mood. Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morrissette carried me through the dark days of my divorce proceedings. Literally carried at times. Oh, the nineties were a special time in women’s music. Sarah suits the melancholy broken heart, as does Sheryl. Alanis is the one to call on for the days of being not just sad and broken, but definitely that angry edge. Even if she and I have both grown up over the years, We can still belt out “You Oughta Know” in the car together.
When I’m feeling particularly down on myself, Garbage fits the bill nicely. The heavy beat and grinding guitars are good for numbing out, especially to titles like, “I’m Only Happy When it Rains.” In spite of the recommendation to avoid alcohol, I sometimes indulge in a glass of wine or two as well, since I’m already having a bad day. Again, my philosophy is sometimes you just have to wallow for a day or two and get it out of your system and move on.
However, of course there is plenty of music for good days too. But this blog is about depression silly. Please share your favorite melancholy music too.
I’m Only Happy When it Rains by Garbage