Why am I doing this again?

I started to type this up in a Facebook post, but it doesn’t make sense there and I’d just lose it in the shuffle. Here I can at least have some hope that it will be there later for me to use as material, because, as with childbirth, these kinds of traumatic experiences tend to get swept under the mental rug, just when you need them for a bit of writing and context. So here it is….my early evening stream of consciousness as I try to summon the strength to get through it. Hasn’t been edited for typos, so just ignore them. This is me on a really bad day.

I’m so tired that I am sitting at the dining room table weeping, and I really hate to admit that my “tough guy” persona is often just that – a persona. The reality is that I’m still trying to recover from 14 months of chemo and radiation – and oh yeah, surgery. I don’t know how long that recovery is “supposed to” take, but I know that my body is working on its own timeline. I’m amazed that it has hung in there with me through a couple of solid weeks of sorting and packing, through taking down curtains and moving furniture away from walls before the painters come. Every time I move something that hasn’t been moved in awhile, I’m reminded of what housekeepers don’t do. They don’t dust the curtain rods or behind furniture. And my dust allergies are affecting me.

I have finally had to say, “The painters will just have to work around the blinds and a couple of things I could not take down without more help (and some nice friends have helped with some things already).” I HATE asking for help, and I hate even more asking friends to come over and see the chaos that my house is in right now. So I keep plugging away at it.

Contractors were here last week and the week before, fixing the things that needed to be fixed. The wood stove is gone, but man, that was a process, and we’re very lucky no one ended up injured. That thing was massively heavy. (I meant to call the contractor to make payment today, but oh yeah, there was the little matter of work. And it was very busy today. I’ve pretty much lost my voice from being in meetings all day. So it’s on my list of first things to do tomorrow morning – along with a long list of other things.) Closing on the new place is 2 weeks from tomorrow. I’ve had to tell the realtor and lender that either they need to let me have Sean act as power of attorney or do a “mail away” closing or move the date of closing to 7/5. I simply can’t make two trips down and back in a short span of time. I’m not in my 30s anymore.

And I still need to contact the electric company and water department to start my account and set the date of the move. The internet is supposed to be ready for me to hook up to on 7/5. I haven’t listed this house just yet but am signing the papers to do so tomorrow. After the painters leave (Wednesday evening), I’ll start trying to put things back where they should be – to a point – and continue to get rid of stuff. I still have the basement and a couple of closets left to take care of. (Are you starting to see why I feel like I’m going to collapse?)

And there was the little matter of my reaction to the booster shot. I’m running a fever again this evening, but I couldn’t take today off work. I had a lot of commitments.

So when I met with the first moving company via Zoom at 5:30, I was already close to dropping. When I found out that it would take 2-4 days for my stuff to get to the new place, I wanted to cry (so I did…after the call). I’m going to interview a couple more companies, but all I can think about it – “Hey, I have a dog and 2 cats. No hotel is going to allow the cats, and if I stay at Sean’s for a couple of nights, where will Margaret sleep?” Because she’s very nicely offered to drive down along with me in her car to carry some of the stuff that won’t go on the moving van and to allow me to stop and go to the bathroom during the trip, because I can’t take the animals in with me and can’t leave them in the hot car. It’s all a house of cards I’m trying to balance.

It’s damned hard being single and in not such great shape when you’re trying to move across states. Honestly, a part of me wants to cancel the whole thing, because damn. This isn’t easy.

I talked to the guy at the moving company, while giving him a walkthrough of my things, about doing that last minute packing for me. The kitchen, at least one closet, and my hanging pictures. I don’t have an appropriate box for those. And oh yeah, all those glass shelves that need to be bubble-wrapped and carefully taken from point A to point B.

This is really going to cost me.

Lest I sound like I’m just whining for the sake of whining, let me tell you – I have a lifetime of stuff that I still need to downsize. The basement makes me want to throw up. And it will be more blasts of dust. I’ll wear a face mask, but that doesn’t cover my eyes, and it all still gets up in the air.

Then there’s the little matter of not being hungry until I’m famished. I haven’t been great at feeding myself lately, but I’m drinking a lot of water and Gatorade to keep going. I’ve dropped 5 lbs. in the last two weeks. Dropping weight that fast is scary. In the past, it was my first and only cancer symptom (until I found the lump). I know this is from stress and not eating right, but it’s still scary. I just have to keep going.

I have miles to go before I sleep. At least my Apple Watch is happy with my “workout progress.” All I want to do is eat something, which tonight will consist of a frozen dinner, and go to bed. But I can’t do that yet. The painters will be here at 7:00 tomorrow morning, and I still have curtains to take down and baseboards to dust. And one of the cats nailed the carpet in the corner of my bedroom yesterday after I dared to move their litter box. So I’m going through multiple rounds of cleaning it with Nature’s Miracle. Stanley Steemer will be coming in on the 17th, so it will all get a good deep clean. But meanwhile, I need to get the scent out of my room. I’m very sensitive to it, and yes, these will be my last cats. I just can’t do this to my body anymore.

My God, this is a rant, but it’s the rant of a tired woman. I really want to call the whole thing off. I just want to return to life as usual. I want to rest. My son is so busy with his life that he can’t come up and help. And every time I turn around, I’m having to shell out more money. I feel like I’m in a perfect storm and I’m going down with the ship.

If I can ever finish, I know that the end result will be better…well, at least that’s what everyone I trust is telling me. Closer to Sean and in a smaller house. If I make it. I’m going to take some Tylenol and heat up that frozen dinner now. If I’m lucky, there might be some salad in there that is still good. And then, after I get a little food in me, I have to haul the trash to the curb and come back in to do the rest.

I’m not crying anymore, so I guess this rant has helped. Or maybe I’m just so overwhelmed that I’m unplugged. Either way, time to shuffle on.

Thanks for listening, Jude

One response to “Why am I doing this again?”

  1. I’m so sorry this is being so hard on you but man can I relate. I always wear a tough face also and now that my wife has no memory at all I feel I have to be there to care for both of us. What no one knows because they wouldn’t understand is most days I was barely hanging on each day since my PE and often cry myself to sleep because I’m not able to do it all. I have the opposite of you my son doesn’t call for months at a time and if he does it’s because he needs something from me. It wou;d never dawn on him to check in to see how things are going. For you I’m sure when you get through these weeks things will turn around for you. Peace and strength to you these next few weeks.


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About Me

A writer and solitary soul in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

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