I know my grandma means well and I know she is trying to help . . . but I have reached the point that I dread talking to her most days.
If it is a day where I am dealing with a lot of pain, if I don’t sleep well or if I sleep really well but the fatigue is getting the best of me, if the brain fog is in full swing, my anxiety or depression is winning that day or if the heavens are smiling down on me and it is a “good” day . . . WHY? There has to be a reason and “just because” is not a good reason, neither is “I don’t know.”
Why is the pain worse, what did I do to make it worse? Why didn’t I sleep, what am I worried about, what or who upset me? If I have been sleeping better, what have I been doing different so I can keep this up? Regardless of how I am sleeping, I can’t give in and take a nap, what can I do to keep going, don’t sit around - that just makes things worse, keep busy and I won’t think about it. Why am I anxious or why am I down? What is going on, what am I worried about, who or what upset me? I need to not watch the news so much, then I wouldn’t have so much trouble (never mind that I seldom watch the news), I would probably sleep better too then.
Having a good day doesn’t halt the questions either. Why am I having a good day? What have I been doing to make it a good day? What can I do to keep having good days?
And now today, we added a whole new nightmare to the equation. For nearly a week now I have been working on my pantry - reorganizing, cleaning and all that. I do not have that big of a pantry really, but I divided it into sections and I have been working on a section each day. Today my grandma informed me that when I get the pantry done, we are going to start tackling cabinets, closets, etc. and she will help me go through them and I can weed out and get rid of everything I don’t use. She is convinced that the reason I can’t keep up with everything is because I just have too much stuff, so if I get rid of things it will be easier for me. I tried to tell her I don’t have a lot sitting around that I don’t use but it fell on deaf ears.
She is going to be 90 in February. She is in a very different stage of life than I am. She is a card-carrying minimalist without even knowing what that means. She doesn’t want to burden us with a lot of cleaning out when she is gone so she has divided up most things amongst the family already. For the non-family everyday “junk” - if she decides she doesn’t want it or hasn’t used in the last 3-4 months, she gets rid of it. And she is convinced that everyone else should do the same.
She was wondering today why I keep my canning stuff - I should pass that all on to my daughter - it just isn’t worth it to do the gardening and canning for just me. The idea that I want to do it, she just couldn’t understand - it would be cheaper to just buy it at the store. And it is a lot more work than picking up a can at the store, but for me it is more than that. If I can keep some chickens, raise a bit of a garden (even if it is just a few plants in some buckets), if I can put up a few jars - it is one way that I can win. It is one way in which I can say that while I live daily with the pain, stiffness, fatigue and all the rest - that is not me, it is a part of my life, but it is not my life. The day I give those things up, that I quit fighting to keep what I love in my life; when the pain, stiffness, fatigue and all the rest become my life - that is the day I lose life. I may not die physically, but I won’t be truly living. I will only be existing.