well, it’s no secret by now that i have been facing a series of challenges lately. it began in october with the demise of the retreats. that hit me hard… both personally and creatively and left me wondering what direction i should be going in.
|The ugly reality|
next was the finding of termites and mold in my little studio. it has been partially torn down and the contents and furniture piled haphazardly in the house, making it hugely challenging to stay organized, not to mention produce any real pieces of art. the re-building will be time-consuming and expensive.
|Leaving the hospital after 13 days|
|The happy reunion|
then on November 20th, life REALLY changed, when i became the full-time caregiver for my husband, who had double knee replacement surgery. man, was i clueless about what this would entail! you see, as caregiver, not only do you have to attend to the care, comfort and convenience of the cared-for person, but there is the re-arranging of the house and furniture, equipment set-up, helping with daily tasks and therapy, meals, errands, appointments, icing, medication, communication with all interested parties, AND attending to all the tasks, duties and responsibilities that the cared-for person normally does by himself.
the sad truth is that i was so blindsided about the ways my own life had been suddenly and negatively impacted that i wasn’t always a very cheerful and effective caregiver. i wasn’t coming from a place of strength. i struggled through each day, doing the tasks at hand, feeling depressed and disorganized. not the best cheerleader for a person needing hope and encouragement. 8=(
i’m not here to tell you that i now have the secret and everything is hunky-dory. it’s still a daily challenge. the progress is very slow and sometimes frustrating. my life continues to feel limited and chaotic, especially trying to deal with the holidays on top of everything else. but i have managed to re-institute some of my little personal practices. i am actively seeking out small moments of joy and it’s helping.
the days have been so beautiful and it just takes a moment to notice that. i am now responsible for long, daily dog walks and i’m actively trying to find the joy in that. friends have been so supportive and that’s a beautiful thing. and the holidays? they do have so much joy if you are open to it.
we all know in theory that adversity is our greatest teacher. in the midst of it, i find it difficult to be the student, but afterwards i am open to reflecting and exploring and i know i have many things yet to learn.