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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wind, wind, go away...I want to run outside...without fighting you...or freezing...

If I step out my front door the air is filled with birdsong--not just a wash of sound, but distinctive, lovely notes from all the varieties of birds migrating through our small town. They pause in my yard to eat dried crab apples and rose hips still clinging to bare branches. They fascinate me.

This happens every year; the birds and the butterflies migrate in the spring and fall (and so do the wasps--which I do not love). I've seen it repeatedly but it never grows old, just as watching my flower/herb garden springing to life never seems mundane. It's a renewal of sorts, I suppose, a reminder that change is constant but some things repeat habitual patterns, and even while there is "change" within the sameness, I can count on birds visiting and plants growing each year.

There is change looming inside of me. I don't know what it means. Always, when this happens, I feel it--I'm afraid of it. I find this phenomenon affecting nearly every aspect of my life in some way. I work harder while I yearn for rest. I cycle through odd dreams (last night I dreamed of making thick steaks in a new type of microwave--I dislike steaks so very much). I find myself running more often and for longer durations--or wishing I could when I'm busy with something else. My diet deteriorates--I find myself wanting to eat only cookies--or nothing at all. I become impatient with people; they feel alternately intrusive and needy--and they are neither. I am suddenly hypercritical about odd things--like whether or not my socks match perfectly, or making sure the quilt on my bed is straight, or freaking out if a closet, cupboard, or drawer is left ajar. I don't like this state of being.

No one enjoys my company when I am like this, and I include myself in the group that dislikes being with me. I drive myself crazy.

I'm trying to stay grounded--but I'm not sure how. Everything is in flux right now. Adam and Tabitha are finishing the school year and looking for summer jobs. Adam is starting new classes at the university--applying to become a licensed EMT, trying desperately to grow up as fast as possible. I keep reminding him that it's okay to be a kid--he doesn't have to graduate early--sometimes it's okay to take life in its proscribed course. He's not listening.

Tabitha is finally in a better place, emotionally. She's learning to manage the mood dips and occasional depression. She's learning that what happens to her does not define her and she feels better about herself each day. She's been a performer since her first recital at the age of three years. That all came to an end a couple of years ago when her anxiety disorder got the best of her. This year marked a return for her--she performed a violin solo at festival, finished and performed a killer piano solo, and participated in the orchestra concerts. Her room is clean for the first time in many, many years (and she has kept it clean for more than three months--a huge record), and she's become more interested in helping me cook, doing her own laundry, and cleaning the house with me (or even doing cleaning on her own). She's healthier, happier, and very settled.

Darrin has been employed for nearly six months now. He enjoys his job. It has hours he doesn't love--he starts teaching at 7:00 a.m., which means he has to arrive at the school between 5:45 and 6:00, which means he gets up around 4:30 a.m.. Darrin is not a morning person. However, I have yet to hear him complain about the early hours. He does whine about wanting to get to bed earlier--then he putters around, preparing his clothes for the next day, playing on Facebook, watching stupid television--until 10:30 p.m., at which point he gets crabby because he didn't go to bed. But in general, he's happy. There is a great financial "catch-up" going on in our home right now (a year without a job takes a serious toll), but I'm hoping in 2012 that will ease a bit.

My performance schedule is easing. Between mid-June and mid-August I don't anticipate any rehearsals or performances. I'm looking forward to it. I have two more major concerts (one is tonight and the other is next Monday) and then most of my rehearsals and performances will be quite small and fairly effortless. I'm teaching the summer music institute at the university in a couple of weeks, which will entail a week of auditions, judging, rehearsing, teaching classes (four hours daily) and private lessons, and a major performance at the end of the session. Usually I team teach this. I was supposed to do it with Lydia this year, but her health has not been good (pneumonia recurrences for the past three months), so I may end up teaching most of it alone--which I can certainly do, it's just a great deal of work.

So--all in all, there is much that is positive in my life right now. I have no reason to feel cranky and displaced. But I feel it. I don't know why.

Darrin believes part of the "problem" is that I've not seen friends, people who have been key in my support as I've worked through past issues, for five months and I've spent a great deal less time online or talking on the phone with them. Darrin, himself, has been largely unavailable to me as he went back to work and has been adjusting to different schedules and a new job. He believes I haven't talked with anyone, really, about the emotional growth, setbacks, and frustrations I've been experiencing during that time--which is sort of true. If I encountered emotional "stuff" which involved another person I usually talked about it with them. Darrin says this doesn't count. I've been talking with Therapist nearly every month (sometimes every week) about how to manage PTSD, failures and successes within that realm, family (extended) stresses, and other small difficulties for more than five years now. Suddenly, that has stopped. Darrin says I don't discuss it with him, either. Conclusion (according to Darrin): I'm not talking anymore.

I don't know if I agree. Darrin insists he's right. He was present for a phone call I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago. He said I didn't say anything. I talked about the weather, what was happening with my jobs, and I listened and asked questions a lot. And that's true--I haven't really talked about myself a lot lately. But I'm not convinced that I need to--nor am I convinced that there exists a receptive audience listening out of interest or concern, rather than just because we're friends and that's what friends do. Darrin asked if I listen just because I feel friendship-obligated. I said he knew me better than that. I'm incapable of listening for that reason. I think it's stupid. He said probably I'm shortchanging people again.

Sigh...I don't really want to think about this. I like to believe I don't ever need to talk to people at all. I do it because I want to--and I try to talk about things I think will interest us both. Darrin says I'm avoiding things that are important.

Tabitha sat down with me a couple of weeks ago and asked me to please schedule a physical and a mammogram and a dental checkup. She said she would go with me to all of those so I wouldn't have to go by myself. I laughed. She didn't. So I committed to make those appointments in July or early August (when my schedule is much less crazy). I'm not thrilled. I know I need to do this. It's stupid to mess with my health and I don't want to go through breast cancer like my mother did a couple of years ago. But I still don't want to. And Tabitha is NOT going with me. Sometimes it's okay not to see your mom terrified out of her mind.

Also, speaking of Tabitha, my daughter emailed our landlord (who lives in Australia) and asked for an exception to the "no pets" clause in our lease agreement. She stated that she's done copious research, created an environment, and located the sugar glider of her choice, and would he please allow her to purchase and keep the animal in her room. He said yes--but she has to catch the bugs herself. Tabitha will have no problem with that--she's my daughter, after all.

So we now have a pet. It has only escaped from the cage twice, and Tabitha and DJ are the only bite recipients thus far. Darrin and Tabitha have an ongoing cage-building/remodeling project, which they are enjoying immensely and one into which I got roped last night because they were taking way too long (it was 11:00--someone gets up at 4:30 a.m.), so I helped finish one side and cleaned up their mess so they could go to bed. I suggested the next major habitat overhaul wait for the weekend.

One more thing--Blogger did some maintenance recently and some of my comments were lost (Blueyedane--yours was one of them) so if you thought you commented and you don't see it now, please blame Blogger. It wasn't me.  :-)

And now I am going to go run. It's time.

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