I did something amazing this last weekend. I went to Las Vegas for a Xango convention. The MBA that pays me. I walked through crowded casinos. I sat in a room with thousands of excited and noisy people where there were flashing lights. I ate in a crowded and noisy food court. I had only one really serious anxiety attack and crocheted half a cat and 15 flowers. And I met this guy. Isn’t he cute?
We are a core family of five people.
I have lived in a multi-generation household for the last 13 years. We have had as many as four generations together under one roof. Currently there are only three: My parents, my sister and I, and my daughter.
My parents are getting old and not in the best of health. My sister and I spend a lot of time driving them to doctors, taking them to run errands, and running up and down the stairs to their master suite. I have taken over managing the household. My sister has taken most of the driving. We have a good synergistic setup. Things are relatively calm and we are all happy with how things are.
Of course, this is when life usually throws a curve ball.
The Curve Ball
For those who follow my blog you know that my father has had serious health issues this year. We have been fighting for his life and had resigned ourselves to his passing on more than one occasion. My mother finally asked if he wanted to stay or was he ready to go? Most of us had already given him permission to go if he felt it was time. Daddy decided that he wasn’t ready to go yet and was tired of messing around. He went back in the hospital two weeks ago to get the infection in his body under control and to regain the ability to eat and walk. He is doing well enough now that they have moved him to the specialty rehab hospital. Again. He is actually in the same room as his last stay.
If anything happens to my dad, our income is cut in half and we need to seriously downsize. This means selling our 6,500 sq. ft. home, decluttering and having an estate sale, buying a new home, moving and creating a new dynamic for our family group.
Time To Make Changes
Well, here are the changes that need to be made. I have financial responsibilities that are growing. I have things to put in order in preparation for my parents care. I have goals that I would like to accomplish. I want to go back to school and get a degree in business, but since I can’t do that I will get the MBA that pays me. I own two businesses that I would like to make profitable to support me through retirement and allow me to get off disability.
This is where things get challenging. I NEED a quiet, stable, low stress atmosphere to keep the fearsome foursome quiet. I NEED them to be quiet so that I can stay out of the black hole they create. I NEED to stay out of the black hole because it sucks all the light out of my life. My life is currently at a higher stress level than is healthy for me and change will add more stress to my life. Higher stress levels irritate the dragons. Irritated dragons stir up the twins. Excited twins make it impossible for me to function. What to do?
My Action Plan
First and foremost I need to create balance in my life. I need activities and space that will offset the increased stress. I have to have time for let down and rejuvenation. I definitely need Eleviv and dark chocolate. They seem to make my medications more effective. Continued in Balance On A Roller Coaster.
Second, I need to be organized so that I am more productive with what small amount of time and energy I have available. This includes scheduling the “balance” time. Continued in Herding Cranky Dragons.
Third, I need as much of my work to be portable as possible so that I can get things done while I am waiting for my parents at the doctor’s or the hospital or where ever we happen to be. Continued in Working On Dragon back.
Lastly, I am taking a leap of faith. I know that God will not let me fall if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
I Am Terrified
Of course I am terrified. How many times do you have to burn yourself before you are afraid of fire? Once (hopefully). How many times have I been burned by my dragons? More times than I can count. Will I allow myself to be trapped by my fears? No. I am doing better than I have in three decades. I am currently fairly stable and able to deal with the regular stress of living. Life is full of so much joy that I don’t want to lose what I have. I want to more. I want to create, share and have joy in my life.
I know that I:
- am a recovering obsessive-compulsive perfectionist overachiever.
- have a tendency to get overly focused.
- can be a control freak.
- can be unrealistic in my personal expectations.
This is not a new process to me. I have tried this many times before and been eaten by my dragons. I have spent weeks, months and years recovering from over reaching myself.
I just keep reminding myself that I
- have value to myself.
- have value to those around me
- am NOT my illnesses
- am smart and capable
Will I fall? Most Likely.
Will I fail? Only if I refuse to get up.
Please do not touch the dragon.
For you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.