Friday, February 10, 2012

Time off for good behavior

Today, this week, my exhaustion is complete. It's physical, it's mental, it's spiritual and I won't bother to mention that it is also financial. I've talked about that enough for you to get that without me even having to say it.

This week has been particularly challenging. I suppose it was inevitable that at some point, my system would shout, "Enough!" but the trouble with caregiving, is that there are no breaks. Even when you can't do any more, you simply have to do more. That which needs to be done won't do itself apparently. I told my sister the other day that even criminals can get time off for good behavior. Caregivers, not so much. This makes me wonder if being a caregiver is even worse than being a criminal? That right there is a philosophical debate for which I haven't the energy. I don't have the energy for much of anything right now.

The cause of my stress this week is pretty simple: I've been facing the real prospect of having to help my mother with more of her personal hygiene routines. That's about as delicately as I can put it. Let's just say that there is evidence that that time is coming. Whoo hoo!! Just the thought has run me into a brick wall of despair that I'm finding difficulty working around. (The best I've come up with is natural drugs: two workouts a day should generate enough serotonin to get me back on even keel. We shall see.) Even as I face that reality, I have to keep in mind that my life is a coin. On the one side stands Liesl the caregiver, who simply does what must be done, even to the point of assisting with personal hygiene and whatever else arises. On the other side, stands Liesl the job seeker, who must remain bright, articulate, engaged and engaging if she is to find work that will allow her to use her mind for something other than planning an outing to the doctor's office or figuring out how to make $1000 out of $5.

I shouldn't be surprised that I'm at this point. It's been two years of unrelenting pressure. There was the reconstruction of the house (with all its glorious decisions and challenges); gaining access to Mummy's resources; finding resources!; getting a new Will and POA (US); the POA (Trinidad) and more recently, the Committee (Trinidad) and now I'm trying to  finalize Mummy's Executrix responsibilities for my grandfather's almost 30 year old estate because she didn't do it when she was competent. And this may yet be the most taxing and personally challenging task. Just writing the list is tiring me.

I've juggled so many balls over the last couple of years that I've often said if I let one fall I'd end up with a concussion, there were so many of them in the air. Somehow though, I've managed to avoid the concussion(s), and many of those balls are, at long last, no longer in the air. The 'to do' list is now largely 'to done'. Bless the name of Jesus! (That's not proselytizing or anything, that's me saying "Thank you Jesus for sustaining me through it all".) So I'm nearing the end of this 'set up' phase of the financial aspects of caregiving and transitioning to the execution phase. Hallelujah, but who knew it would take two years? Raise yuh han' because I surely didn't.

I can't wait for the day when all that's on my mind and in my hands is TODAY and things are settled and working smoothly in anticipation of tomorrow. Oh what bliss! Then there will finally be an opportunity for time off, good behavior or not. I might actually get to, I don't know, rest, maybe get in a hammock and swing? I can only pray.

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