This week has been mostly a disaster but I don’t want to talk about it so I guess I’ll tell you about Tuesday.
On Tuesday morning, I got up at 4:30am like I normally do, worked my 3 hours and started getting everything ready to spend the day with my grama. The plan was to give her the best possible day, so we were at the flower shop I like right at 9am when they opened and we got her these flowers:
They actually look a lot nicer in person. That pic was taken with my phone, which, for an $800 phone, doesn’t have the best camera.
Then we drove a little over an hour & a half to Haugen’s and we got there before they turned on their “open” sign so I took some pictures. Here they are:
Greetings from sunny Manchester!
My mom said my grama was only “eating to please” these days and that they’d share a chicken and rib combo and my mom said my Aunt Betty would probably be there too so we got her a chicken dinner, then Blake also got a combo and I got a full rack of ribs, baby. AND a whole strawberry pie! If I were dying ALL I would eat would be Haugen’s ribs and strawberry pie from sun up to sun down. Anyway, that’s what we got and then we drove about 40 minutes to my Stouffville, got whipped cream for the pie on the way (and Diet Cokes) and then we went to grama’s apartment and in we went.
My mom told me to be prepared for the worst because my grama was having more bad days than good days lately but she looked fantastic! I mean, considering the circumstances. She cried when she saw me so I hugged her and I said, “what can I do to make you laugh? do you want me to fart cuz I totally can!” because apparently she finds farts funny these days and so she started laughing and I gave her her flowers, which she loved, and Blake and my mom and Aunt Betty set out plates and started dishing out the food.
Then we all sat at the table and ate and we just had a nice visit. I can’t even tell you the things we talked about, honestly, it was just a good visit. She was the grama I remember from when I was a kid, nice and cute and sweet and all of the wonderful ways I know she’s capable of being.
I know she’s scared of dying though. That’s where the tears are coming from. And most of her hair is gone, all that’s left is white fluff, like a newborn chick, but her skin was back to normal from the radiation and despite the fact that she was looking a little thin and the hair, you wouldn’t even know she was sick.
It was a good day though, my mom explained. She has chemo on Thursdays so by Tuesday the “poison” is out of her system enough that it’s just a good day. Or a better day than the previous ones.
After we finished visiting for a little while, Blake and my mom dished out the pie and I put the whipped cream on and everyone really enjoyed it and that made me feel really good, to be able to give her this fantastic day full of some of her favourite things. She needs more days like that, she deserves them. She worked so hard her whole life…
…she worked so hard her whole life, starting to work in her father’s furniture store when she was in high school and then running the store after he died. She instilled this fucking complex I have where I can’t do anything “just for fun” unless I do a bunch of things that are productive first and even then, I can’t just watch a movie, I have to be doing something WHILE I watch the movie and this sickness in me, it’s just so wrong. My grama worked so hard her whole life, waiting for that magic 65 number so she could retire and finally have had worked enough to be able to “earn” some fun and then this happens. Blake said to me the other day, “do you really think she’s sitting there at night thinking, ‘gee, I really wish I had worked more’?” The lesson in all of this is to enjoy life as it’s happening and you would think, having been on my deathbed and knowing what it feels like to die, I would know this but it wasn’t until Blake phrased it that way that I finally got it. And I think I can get over this complex of mine now. Or begin to.
I am successful in life. I do productive things. I put in my time at my job and with my family (not that the latter is really “putting in time” but sometimes it feels that way) and I have earned the right to spend 6 hours playing the Sims if I so feel like it. I don’t owe this fucked up debt of productivity that I think I do.
The week before last at CBT, they asked if anyone wanted to share any of their thought records and no one was volunteering for like, 5 minutes so finally I said they could use one of mine. So I chose this one:
(Click to enlarge)
And they were all like, “why do you think this way? this is crazy!” and I was like, “I know!” But I explained to them that in my family, everyone owns their own businesses and when you own your own business and you don’t have very many – if any – employees, you’re in your store like, 9 hours a day minimum. Every day but Sunday. So the kids are all raised IN the store – my mom and Aunt Sandra were when they were little – and after school when you get bigger, you work in the store. You spend your Saturdays working in the store. That’s the only way you get to see your family! And because all of these people worked incredibly hard, they set the productivity bar pretty fucking high and this is something that for YEARS my grama would point out to me, making me feel lesser, making me feel lazy. Fuck, TELLING me I was lazy, even though I’d done 60 hours worth of school work that week but I didn’t manage to get my laundry done so it wasn’t good enough.
And so I developed this full-fledged complex about productivity. And I need to snap out of it.
And you have to understand that my mom was SO young when she had me and that for all intents and purposes my mom and my grama co-raised me so my grama’s opinions make up a lot of the dialogue in my head and that is a really unhealthy thing. That’s why I took CBT, to change that dialogue. I’ve been wondering why I did CBT and there it is, it’s to change the voices in my head that sound eerily like the heinous grama of years ago.
So yeah…Tuesday was a good day for both of us. The rest of the week hasn’t been so great for me. I’m on the rag like, bigtime, for starters. But I’ve also spent so much of the last 2 days crying and I don’t even know why. I’m just crying over everything.
On Saturday it’s Maple Syrup Festival and I’m showing my work at The Conservatory but I don’t know which pieces yet and I don’t have any business cards to hand out because it didn’t occur to me to have any made. There wouldn’t have been time anyway. I have to work at 2pm until 11pm on Saturday so I can’t be there but I’m going to try and be there for the morning at least but I’m crazy nervous. Like, needing medication just to write this paragraph kinda nervous. Brian will be there and I know Rob so at least it won’t be super stressful…I hope…Someone at something similar to this asked me what inspired me to make my girls and the only answer I had to give was “Toddlers & Tiaras” which is such a durrrrrrrrrrrr answer so help me think of something better in case someone asks again.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac arrived this week (thank you Jessica!) and I started it the other night. It actually reminds me a bit of my own earlier writing, just completely stream of conscious. I like it.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say right now. I think I’m gonna go play Sims until my work meeting this afternoon but I’ll leave you with this awesome picture of Wes I took this morning, of him doing yoga in his sleep…I think he’s attempting tree pose, what do you think?
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