06 August 2012

Not so good at the day to day

I'm finally home after a long 10 days away spent driving and attending to my mother's affairs. I am distracted today, having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I keep thinking about something a friend of mine once told me. She said that if she were going down in a plane that was going to crash the one person she would want with her is me. This is not because we were incredibly good and close friends, it's because I have talents when it comes to a crisis. I must conduct myself with authority and calm and confidence. I think back to examples of crisis in my past and I think there is something to this. My best friend and I were tossed out of a raft at the top of a particularly gnarly set of class 4 rapids once. Our river guide explained the course we would take, going in through the Devil's Eyeball and then out through the Devil's Asshole. That was a pretty funny description when we were safe and dry in our boat but as soon as we shot through the eyeball every last one of us bounced right out of the raft.
We were hanging on to the boat riding the entire Devil in the water, me facing downstream, her facing me. Between being dunked and dodging rocks I had this awful visual of a nice size water fall we were about to go over: The Devil's Asshole! I remember calmly looking into my best friend's eyes and saying, "It's going to be ok," right before we went over the falls and then consequently under the water for a spell. I told her that because she looked scared, not necessarily because I believed it. Of course we were fine, all of us. My river guide friend laughs at me because I like to start this story out by saying, "So, Juli and I almost died on a river once." and he is always insisting that it was a nice big dunk, nothing more, no one was ever in any danger. Yeah. Ok.

There are other examples of me being grounded and centered in a crisis. I guess last week was one of those examples, only I didn't realize it was a crisis until I was in my car headed home. When I arrived at my Mom's house last week I figured I was there to move some boxes around and clean her dishes. I could see that something more, something bigger was needed but I had no idea how to be the catalyst for it. My mom was wasting away to nothing. She was stuck in a Lazy Boy recliner and couldn't get out, she'd been there for 2 weeks. And I guess something just clicked after being there for a few hours…the crisis mode fell over me maybe. Like a comfy sweater I put it on and sprang into action. I showed up to move boxes but by the time I left 4 days later I had moved my mother from her home to a hospital where she was finally diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, I navigated social services, medicare, medicaid, hospital supply houses, I helped her get moved to a rehabilitation center to start physical and occupational therapies, and I set up power of attorney and medical power of attorney.

Quite an accomplishment I suppose, but now I'm home again, sliding back into the day to day and it's taking every ounce of energy I have to convince myself to pay the bills today. I'm looking at my rugs that need to be vacuumed and I just don't know where to begin. This is the strange part: crisis I can do, day to day sort of stymies me.  Plane is going to crash? No Problem. Three year old spills cereal and pees his pants? Now we have issues. How weird is that? And what a strange dichotomy to spend time, thought and energy actively avoiding crisis even though I thrive when I am in crisis…or at the very least I am good at crisis. (I keep having the urge to knock on wood, I really don't want the universe to think that I'm calling out for more bad things to happen!)

Did I mention that now that the road trip is over I have to quit sunflower seeds and I'm going through withdrawals? Did I also mention that my boy grabbed ahold of me when I got home and didn't let go for the rest of the day? That was pretty cool.


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