Saturday, October 30, 2004


I could have lied...

...when my mother remembered this year, today, in fact, after being reminded by the news that tomorrow is Halloween, that Halloween is also my birthday and said, "Well, we should go out to eat, then, celebrate." I could have lied and said, "Nah, I let's stay home and see if we get any trick or treaters," or that I simply wanted a quiet evening at home or something like that.
    I didn't. The truth is that two weeks ago I was reminded of a small, local gourmet restaurant (that serves something besides "everybody's hometown" food or chain food or steaks) and thought, yeah, I'd like to go there, and my birthday would be the perfect time. Mom would like it, too. The restaurant has narrow hours so last week I made a reservation for tomorrow. Then, as the days continued, as I journeyed through my caregiving tasks which remain intense and continued avoiding some of them that would probably be beneficial but aren't absolutely necessary, avoiding them because I seem to have lost my motivation somewhere and haven't yet discovered where I last put it, I'd think about going to the restaurant and realized that, well, this is how the day would go:    No, I decided, not on my birthday, not this year. I'm too tired to do that. Yesterday I cancelled the reservations. I'd not mentioned it to her, anyway, because I'd begun to have reservations (forgive the pun) immediately after calling the restaurant last week.
    When Mom remembered my birthday and suggested an on-the-town celebration, I said, no, and I told her why. Everything I wrote above, including that I didn't want to spend my birthday this year doing all that. I just don't.
    She was very disappointed. Saddened, even, although she forgot both quickly. I'm neither. My recovery from the intensity of August 1st through October 5th still isn't complete. As well, I have no idea when or how, I pulled the back of my left knee and that's been a bit of a trial although it's getting better, slowly, with the help of occasionally wearing a knee bandage and taking lots of ibuprofen. Staying off it is not an option.
    I don't know. I guess this last month and probably the next is my way of taking a vacation. Dropping things here and there like recording stats, recording in this journal, having Mom do therapy exercises, badgering her to stay up more, thinking of things to do to keep her up and engaged, making appointments for her for physical therapy and acupuncture, taking her with me when I go on errands...I've let all these fairly-non-essentials slide. Still, almost every waking moment is filled with observation of my mother, taking care of my mother. Very little is left for me. All the things that I did without a thought before are presently feeling, like, hmmm, like personal encroachments.
    A week or so ago it occurred to me that maybe I need to re-up my intake of Black Cohosh. That seems to have helped. I decided a week ago that during the month of November I'm going to work on a project that will take a fair amount of time each day and will be only for me. I've been preparing for it and am ready to go. Nothing, I know, nothing will deter me and maybe doing this will get me back on track, on all my tracks, happily, even my caregiving track. We'll see. I have more to write on this but I am very tired and am going to go to bed.
    I'm not much of a birthday person when it comes to celebration, etc. But this year for some reason, well, this year I could have used some sort of celebration that didn't involve keeping an eye on someone else, some sort of clear, unencumbered diversion. This year it's just not possible and, this year, I'm not taking it well.

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