Archive for March, 2010

work!

March 29, 2010

Taking care of grandma is work– no doubt about that.  But it’s not intellectually challenging work, or hard physical labor.  It’s emotionally draining work.  She’s got terminal cancer, is in pain all the time, and suffers from anxiety.  At least she is fairly well-medicated on the anxiety front.  The anxiety attacks and temper tantrums are in the past, and everything is more or less even-keel.  I sometimes check to see if she’s breathing during her naps, but she’s in pretty good shape, considering.

For myself, on the other hand, I’m mixed.  I don’t mean to be ungrateful for having a safe place, and an income, and being near to my family.  Oh yeah, and I certainly have my health.  But besides my days off– 48 hours off each week, separated into two shifts off– I’m here all the fucking time unless I’m driving grandma to an AA meeting or doing errands, and sometimes I get away for a brief jog.  She sleeps decently at night, at least, but I am technically working during that time, too, which mainly consists of helping her out of bed for the bathroom and medicating her once or twice.

I’ve been slowing down.  I don’t read much and don’t write.  I do sudoku, at least, while I’m half-watching court TV with her.  We watch NCIS, Star Trek TNG, and Stargate Universe.

I laugh at commercials.  (And totally have a crush on the Progressive Insurance Lady, Flo.)  (Fuck me!  I know her goddamn name!)

I didn’t realize how I’d changed until last week, when I met with an old friend for tea.  He was a housemate and I consider him a brother; we were close and he is dear to me.  He hadn’t really changed since two years ago when I saw him last.  But me?  I was stuttering, nervous, hiding my face behind my cup… and generally just not with it.  I didn’t get it when he teased me.  At least I didn’t cry.  And finally he teased me again, and I felt myself just… stall, for lack of a better explanation.  I tried to shift into Joking Around With Friends Mode and just couldn’t.  He finally noticed, and said, “Wow, you look so uncomfortable right now.”

Well, I told him, guess what.  I’ve been sitting with granma for two months, and before that I was a mess from divorcing.  “Exciting” for me these days is bringing a Cadbury Egg home, clucking like the Easter Bunny, and dropping it into granma’s lap.  (Actually was pretty funny, if I may say so.)  Let me warm up a little before you start treating me like a young member of the human race.

I did get up to speed eventually.  We went to hang out at his place, watched videos on youtube, guitarred and sang together, and I settled into myself again.

Then I got home.  And the next day I felt pretty weird.  Had to dial myself back down to 2 and not think about what kind of person I’m going to be when this is all over.  I do not want to be a boring person.  I do not want to be depressed.  I want to have a lively social life, go out dancing, cook my wierd ethnic food, have a dumb simple little job that gives me time to garden like a motherfucker, I want to have my alone time, I want to sleep all night.

I want to have interests that I can pursue.  And I’m not sure what “pursuing” is going to look ike when I don’t really leave the house.

So.

Reading and writing.  The point being, giving myself something to think about and then articulating my thoughts.

Watching must-see movies.

And figuring out what strategies I am lacking in sudoku.  Fuckin game.

Well, time to go start dealing with dinner.  Luckily, tonight grandma wants Clam Chowder from The Fish Market, so either I’m going to pick that up to go or we’re going to eat it there.

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Why I don’t have to obey the Ten Commandments

March 21, 2010

Besides the obvious reason of there being no gods, I mean.

File this one under deconversion, and, /facepalm

I think I have mentioned this before, but I just love the simplicity of it.

 First, a little trip to the Tanakh.  Deuteronomy 5, the Ten Commandments.

5:7: You will have no other gods before me.

Oh, wait.  I missed a good part. 

5:6 I am Yahweh, your god, who brought you out of Egypt.

By the way, humans, my name is Yahweh.  Nice to meet you.  Let me tell you what you’ve gotten yourselves into.  First, a few rules…

Doesn’t this story sound familiar?  “Sure, I’ll help.  Just sign here… that’s right…”  And then a few months later, out comes the fine print, all these rules! and your children are under the same contract!  Why is Satan the one playing this role in traditional Christian folklore?  It was Yahweh the whole time!

But don’t worry, Alice.  If your ancestors were not brought out of slavery in Egypt, you don’t even have to read any further.

If on the off-chance your ancestors were Jewish, well, guess what.  The text does say these rules are for the people who were actually brought out of slavery in Egypt.  So everyone on the planet now living is totally off the hook.

Wow, the Bible.  Good times.

regrets

March 14, 2010

I hate to have regrets, but I also hate not being honest with myself.  So I’m gonna call it what it is and hope I can get over it more quickly that way.

I forget if I have mentioned this in a previous post, but sometimes I get this feeling of anxious rage (mainly rage– the anxious part is because of the huge feeling overpowering me that I can’t control).  Sounds extreme, but there it is.  And I had it today, while watching some crime-solver-cop TV show with grandma.  It showed a little flashback for two characters, when they were in dating in high school and fooling around on the couch.  And I regreted that I missed that phase of growing up.  And I don’t simply regret it, like, oh, I carefully decided then, but I wish I had chosen differently.  I was so ignorant, so scared, so Christian, that I had not made an informed choice. 

So I tell myself, “Alice, if you’d done the standard amount of fooling around on couches, you’d probably have regrets about that.”  And I know it is true.  I calm down a little when I think that.  But I still can’t help feeling so cheated.  I’m scrambling around, almost 30 years old, trying to act my age instead of like a desperate divorced woman trying to make up for lost time.  The problem is that I never acted like I was 16 when I could get away with it.  I never had my 20s, my wild years, time to live alone, to get to know myself.  I did what was expected and what was easy all my life and now I’m paying for it.  I’m not even a Christian any more, so it’s not like I get points with Jesus for being a good girl. 

I know, I know– I’m disease-free, I’m child-free, I’m even paying-alimony-free.  Calm down, woman, Jesus Christ.

I’m starting a relationship with someone a bit older than me, so he’s giving me all this good advice, but I can’t help thinking, “I will not lose my 30’s too!”  But what the hell do I even want my 30s to look like?  Here I am getting into another relationship when first off, everyone knows you’re not supposed to do that right after a divorce, and second, I want to be my own goddamn person and screw up and make mistakes like everyone else does– not just follow advice and be safe and do what’s best all the time!

Gods, that sounds stupid.  But there it is.  Guess the 16-year-old Alice is still in there, after all. 

I’m going to my room.

change

March 5, 2010

I don’t really feel like reading any more, these days.  I’ve loved reading all my life, going so far as to take my undergraduate degree in English.  I just haven’t wanted to.  Books still interest me, but I just don’t enjoy reading like I used to.  I’m not sure what this signifies. 

If that wasn’t odd enough, I don’t want to write any more, either.  I used to enjoy writing about my day, trying to be witty and funny, expressing myself.  I still feel the urge to write.  But I just don’t want to any more.  I’m barely getting this post out.  I’d call it writer’s block, but combined with my disinterest in reading, I don’t know if that’s all it is.

Maybe I’m just changing.  It’s disorienting– to know myself and what I like, then to realize that I don’t like it any more.  I realize this is a symptom of depression– to lack interest in the activities that used to interest me.  But if that’s the case, what is the depression a symptom of?  If reading and writing don’t make me happy any more, then yeah, I lack happiness, resulting in sadness, or at least blah-ness.  So what makes me happy?  What do I want?

Fuck if I know.