Sunday, April 22, 2007

Overslept on Earth Day

Happy Earth Day - whether you're on the South Pole or somewhere warmer!

Self Knowledge
I know certain things about myself;


  • I can't work until my house is in some kind of relative order (not perfect, just picked up.)
  • I like to have alone time every now and then to recharge my batteries.
  • I love my kids and want them to have fun.
  • Without friends I wouldn't be able to get through this - or any - day.
  • I hardly ever sleep in at home because I'm so cued to the movements of my family.

And for those reasons the last two days in a hotel (with frequent checking in and visiting home) were just what the doctor ordered.

The Yarnover was TREMENDOUS! I expected no less - Shelley & the whole MN Knitters Guild set the bar VERY high last year and all of them sailed over it with ease and grace this year! At least, they made it look easy - and that's the sign of a really hard worker!

I enjoyed my Keynote speech. I'm such a ham. I get a lot of my personal energy from others, from my in-person interactions, and hearing laughter from a group I'm addressing is like a boost of vitamin B-12.

My classes were tremendous. As with last year, I was totally blown away by the expertise and skill of my students here in MN - that was one of the things that made me realize last year that I really did want to move here.

One Year
It was a year ago that I started the ball rolling toward that decision. And now, here we are. It's a natural time to reflect on the year, on the wisdom of our move, and how it will impact our future. I've spent a lot of time pondering this lately, believe me, and I keep coming back to the conclusion that overall I'm happy to be here.

Yes, we would be more physically comfortable in our old house - it was bigger, had a laundry chute (never underestimate the importance of gravity) and I didn't have to duck my head when I went downstairs. But the chances are good - given Gerry's diagnosis - that we might not have had that house for long if we'd stayed in NJ. Given our NJ taxes and the cost of living there, we would probably be anticipating a move anyway.

At least this way we were able to sell and move on our own terms (and before the NJ flooding - I feel such pain for my friends back home who are STILL pumping out their basements!) That's a hard fact to face - we loved our home. But as with any breakup it's nice to leave on your own terms.

Here in MN we may not have physical space, but we have more breathing room. We have a lower mortgage, we have much better recreational & municipal resources (never underestimate the importance of busy, happy kids), and we have already made so many wonderful friends. Without realizing it, we were battening down our hatches and filling our metaphorical pantry when we moved. Amen.

I am hopeful that Gerry will be able to connect with folks - he's a little isolated now - but we just found out that a good friend from back home will be coming out in 2 weeks and that will be a blessing.

Speaking of blessings, although I'm not an overtly religious person, I appreciate the good thoughts that folks are sending and I am happy to accept good vibes from Vishnu, Jesus, Buddha, Great Aunt Mary and anyone else who is thinking lovingly of us. Thank you!

Any teensy bit of residual guilt I may have felt about staying at a hotel for 2 days just 20 blocks from my home were totally erased by the happy faces of my kids and their friend when they returned from the pool (THANK YOU CATHERINE!) and by the fact that I woke up after 10:00 am today. I haven't done that since New Years of 2006. And I needed it.

Rest For The Weary[ing]
Although I bought wine last night, and some of the teachers gathered in my room for a too-brief get together, we didn't drink (all I had was a beer with dinner - honest - but a nice, big Amber Bock!) but I slept like I had down a whole BOX of vino. I needed it. When I woke up I was thinking, "Damn, I wish I wouldn't keep waking up in the middle of the night like this!" Then I looked at the clock and realized it was the middle of the night in Egypt. And I was happy that I was able to sleep in. I needed this.

I have to rush home - not for any bad reason - but because CSpan is replaying the Gonzo hearings and I REALLY want to see them (so does Gerry) I am liking Cable very much. And we have a couple of friends coming over this evening for dinner, which will be great fun, so I need to pick up some stuff for dinner. Some pre-pared stuff.

Another thing I know about myself is that I really don't want to cook tonight.


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7 Comments:

Anonymous marie in florida said...

i took a week's vacation like that once. spent a week in an efficany type of hotel, still went to work every day, it was five minutes to work instead of an hour and half bus ride. 12 miles from home, five minutes from work. it was a real vactaion; so i get ya.

April 22, 2007 11:36 AM  
Anonymous PJ said...

Everyone needs to run away from home now and again to have a little down time! It makes us nicer people to live with! You need and deserve that time for your self, especially since you have your hands full with a job and family.
I am looking forward to the day that I am able to meet you and have great hopes that someday I will be lucky enough to attend one of your classes!!!!

April 22, 2007 1:13 PM  
Anonymous PJ said...

Here's some info for your disability claim - lots of things to teach you exactly what you need to include to verify Gerry's claim.
http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/13.00-NeoplasticDiseases-Malignant-Adult.htm#13.26

Hugs and prayers-PJ

April 22, 2007 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Lynne E. said...

After my husband had a disabling stroke, we attended a monthly caregiver/patient "therapy" group that was sponsored by a local hospital, for quite a while. There was a speaker each time, but often the program included group discussion. We also heard from, and met, a lot of people who were dealing with similar post-stroke issues.

If Gerry is feeling isolated, he might want to check out local MM/cancer patient groups. There are probably some that offer informational sharing--like the one we found--rather than "group therapy" ala Bob Newhart. These groups provide valuable social contact with people, even if one doesn't choose to participate in group discussions.

April 22, 2007 5:24 PM  
Blogger Tina in AZ said...

I'm in total agreement with lynne e., there will be things that occur (like chemo brain) that only another survivor/victor will understand.

If it wasen't for my support group (www.sunstonehealing.net) I don't know what I would have done. I also got a "healing guide" a mentor who was also a survivor/victor (they also have to have social worker/etc training)

So I strongly recommend goggling cancer support groups/centers in St. Paul. my friend you need a support group just as much as Gerry does.

When my mom was out here taking care of me, some good friends made sure to take her to lunch at least once a week. It helped her a lot.

Feel free to e-mail me with any other ideas.

Tina

April 23, 2007 1:10 AM  
Blogger Cheesehead With Sticks said...

It's good you got away. You have a lot on your plate! I was a bit worried because bloglines doesn't seem to be picking up new posts.

I am sending positive thoughts of any kind to you and Gerry!

I'll be seeing you on Sunday for a Combined Knitting class - yee haw!

April 23, 2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger mE said...

There is much to be said about leaving on your own terms (as many of us have reason to know).

I am SO glad that you took that couple days for yourself. A friend and I were swapping cancer and moms-of-special-needs-kids stories, and she made a good observation about being a caretaker of kids and/or ill parents/spouse. A situation that most women will experience at some point in our lives.

Which is a reminder that the airlines all tell parents of children to put air masks on themselves first, BEFORE doing anything for their beloved kidlets. It doesn't help the kids if the parent is rendered unconscious before the crisis has passed. This is true of any type of caretaker - if you don't take adequate care of yourself you cannot take adequate care of your loved ones. A totally depleted person has nothing left to give. And an ill person has better things to think about than their guilt over having (involuntarily) completely run their caretaker into the ground.

My guess is that Gerry is as happy that you took that time as you are. Keep it up!

April 24, 2007 6:02 PM  

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