Hello everyone and Hello to 2024!
Welcome back to Write of the Middle and #WWWhimsy after a 4 week break over the Christmas and New Year period.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and managed to have a bit of a holiday or at least some rest and recreation! Some of you may still be on holidays or may have just gone on holidays!
It only seems like the other day I was saying Hello 2023 and here I am now saying Hello 2024. The years are flying by far too quickly!
I’ll fill you in briefly on my Christmas and New Year and then I’d love to hear about yours in the comments and hopefully I’ll read more about what you’ve been up to in your posts. I was focussed on being present and didn’t take many photos of interest so apart from the photo at the top of this post, this will be a rather imageless post!
I hosted Christmas lunch here again this year for my family. My sister and her husband picked up Mum and brought her so it was the first time Mum had been taken out from the aged care home. I think she enjoyed it very much! It was such a hot day here Brisbane that day but thankfully I have ducted aircon so we were quite comfortable indoors. Most of us chose to spend the majority of the time inside in the aircon but some sat outside and took advantage of the pool and had a swim. All five of us siblings were together on Christmas day which was nice, particularly for Mum!
We had an early Christmas with The Tennis Player’s family a few weeks prior to Christmas day.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
We had The Tennis Player’s family over for NYE – a swim in the pool, drinks, nibblies, pizza, desserts, coffee and cake! I tell you what I have ‘rolled’ into the new year and I need to get back on the straight and narrow with regards to my eating routine asap!
JANUARY SO FAR
I’m not going to lie, January has been, and will continue to be, a tough month for me. Me, the one who has the ‘Gems of Zen‘ series, the zen seeker, is far from zen at the moment. I am stressed, rather emotionally exhausted, overwhelmed, and I am grieving. I start to kinda feel like I’m getting a grip – acceptance and fortitude – but one step inside our family home of 60 years and all of that seems to melt away and Mum is not doing so great lately, so I need say no more. There’s been a lot of major change and more to come, and still there is worry.
Let’s talk first ‘briefly’ about why I’m grieving.
I’m grieving the loss of the Mum we used to have. Mum has alzheimers and it is absolutely heartbreaking watching her slowly fade away from us. Actually it’s not so slowly lately which has been very confronting and upsetting.
I’m grieving the impending loss of our family home. Every time I walk into it I’m hit with waves of grief that takes the breath out of my lungs. Times I’ve been there alone I have sobbed like a baby. Times when I’m there with others I often have to leave the room to get a grip of myself. This is a huge two storey house within which a family of seven resided and have lived for 60 years (not all 7 for all those years of course). My grief includes 1) knowing that our family home of 60 years one day soon will no longer be ours and we will no longer have access to the home that has been the holder of our childhood memories and our haven for all our lives, and 2) the deconstruction of the home from how it’s always been to how the real estate agent now wants it to look for sale. Last time I was there with the agent I didn’t enjoy the ooohing and ahhhing over the gorgeous mid-century features of the house and the contemplation over what to leave and what to take out for styling and photographing and selling. I felt protective and possessive which is not at all helpful.
I’m grieving the horrible fact that we have to go through all of Mum and Dad’s things and decide who wants what and what happens to the rest. I can’t explain how awful it all feels.
The house is full of happy family memories. We were blessed with a wonderful childhood and wonderful parents who were totally devoted to their five children. Mum and Dad built our home and moved in 60 years ago in 1963. There was an extension done around 1976. Mum was very house proud. Her home meant the world to her. Everything in the house is Mum. Dad too! It feels wrong being in the house with neither of them there. My heart lurches everytime I walk through the kitchen and Mum isn’t in her corner there cooking up something fabulous. The front slate stairs and lots of the external tiling and paving was done by Dad and I still see him in my minds eye outside raking up all the leaves or sitting in his chair reading or watching TV. Dad’s chair has sat empty for six years and now Mum’s is sitting there empty. We didn’t expect all this so soon after Dad. It’s very, very hard. Listen to me talking about Mum in past tense when she is still here and very much alive, but yet she’s not here – the cruelty of Alzheimer’s. We are very grateful though that she still knows who we all are and seems to understand what we are saying to her. If only she would pick up and be better than she currently is.
I’m stressed because aged care arrangements are full on – Government forms to be filled in, lots of finance stuff to sort (not my forte) and we have to sell the family home. There are loads of decisions to be made and the second guessing you do in your head about whether you’ve made the right decisions and choices can be torturous and keep you awake at night. There’s always more stuff to be done. It honestly never stops, but I won’t be boring and list it all. This month is supposedly all about clearing out the house and preparing it for sale, but my head and heart is more with being sure that Mum is happy & well and I’m not feeling that right now.
I’ll stop there because I truly don’t want this to be a ‘downer’ kind of post when it’s a fresh start to a beautiful new year. It sucks sometimes to be so sentimental and an INFJ empath to boot, however I think that how I’m feeling would be how anyone would feel in the same position regardless of their personality type, and I think that you will all understand how hard this is for me (and my family) right now.
THE YEAR AHEAD
I’m hoping that by March or April I might be through the worst of what has to be done and maybe I’ll have found acceptance and more inner peace. Maybe even enough peace of mind to do some art again. I think though that this might be wishful thinking, because Mum’s condition will most likely continue to progress but I do hope she picks up from how she currently is because that is making me very sad at present.
In May this year I will be turning 60. That is so hard for me to believe. It only seems a short while ago Mum turned 60. I remember the night we all went out to dinner to celebrate so vividly. We had a ball. We were all laughing and half sizzled. The photo’s are the evidence of a wonderful night out. We all have our heads thrown back in unabashed laughter in every photo. I remember the little sparkly 60’s scattered all over the table. For my 60th this year, we have booked a one week holiday in Fiji which is at least something on the horizon to look forward to. I might do a family celebration either before or after we go as well but will wait and see what is happening in my world before any plans are made.
The first two or three months of this year though are going to be tough ones for me, so please have patience with me if I’m slow to reply to comments or to read and comment on your blog posts. I will do my best though. There may be points of time where I might call on some assistance with hosting the linky if I’m too snowed under or dealing with emotional/tough stuff to get posts ready. I know some of you have volunteered to help if I need it and thank you so much for that. I might call on you over the next couple of months. I’ll see how I go.
NEW YEAR’S INTENTIONS
Love. Acceptance. Fortitude. Resilience. Self Care. Self Love. Trust my intuition. Look after the inner child who is struggling. One day at a time.
It’s unfortunate that my first post of 2024 is not a happier one … but I have always promised myself that I’ll be authentic and real on the blog and anyway, this is life! This is what I’m currently going through and I can’t pretend otherwise. Hopefully your authentic state of mind is totally blissed and chilled out after a lovely Christmas and New Year Break? If so, please do tell me what you’ve been up to and hopefully some of that bliss and peace will rub off on me too! If not, then at least my post will let you know that you are not alone in your struggles. We can do this!
Ciao for now,