Greetings All! I have been away for awhile here, attending to things at Hacienda Del Chaos. (aka My Life) July was insanely busy with amazing social events, including but not limited to 2 weddings and a family reunion. Then I also managed to get sick; which as my British friends might say, took the starch right out of my knickers. The amount of tired I have been is unmeasurable. We also have several extended family members who are quite ill at the moment. Last summer was much worse in terms of stress and family illness – but I could certainly do with less of that this year – and all the years to come. Sadly, I am also sure that will not prove to be the case…..
I have been too busy or worn out to feed my muse lately and she has begun screaming at me so I think it past time to unlock her from the padded cell again, 😉 I do feel better – connected and grounded somehow, when I write or work on my photography. So this post is going to be about whatever pops into my head – just so I can get back into the swing of things. The girls have been busy this summer spending less time at home and giving us a dress rehearsal for the empty nest looming on the horizon. Not sure I’m liking this, but it definitely serves as a prod for me to develop and nurture my hobbies and interests. Hello! I will need something to do when they move, right? I may be entering some photography contests or local exhibitions during fair season this fall – not sure yet.
So what keeps us going when life gets so busy? I find myself more and more just moving through my daily routine without much active thought. My goal is getting through the day so I can collapse on my couch or in my bed at the end of it – thankful to have a place to lay my head down. If I have to guess in a word, I would say the answer is “Relationships” That connection to others. And relationships are hard work. Like gardening, we need to water and feed – develop, maintain, and enhance. Sometimes, we also weed and prune; reassess , re-categorize, or just move on.
Most always, the process of staying connected takes relatively little time – a shout out text or email; a quick note or phone call; a sit down dinner, a sofa or pillow conversation is generally all that’s needed to maintain the status quo. ‘Whats up with you? Hows it going?’ and then listening. Generally, the person on the receiving end of your communique will be delighted that you thought of them and glad to hear from you. I do try to stay connected to my friends and family regularly. Most often, this involves a phone call, but texts and emails work as well. My immediate family ( The Viking and The Girls – we are all pretty good with the communication dept for the most part) So what happens when things break? When you send those texts/emails and make phone calls/leave voicemails and hear nothing back for weeks at at time (if ever)? This is especially hurtful if you value that relationship considerably. Or, you drift so far away from someone you don’t know how to reconnect – or even if you should?
Let me tell you a true story. I had a dear friend at one point a few years ago. A long time friend. The type of friend you speak with every morning before work, and generally chatted with several other times during the week as well. The kind of friend you were matron of honour for at her wedding. Whose daughter is your goddaughter and who was flower girl at your own wedding. We had our arguments, but patched things up fairly quickly all in all. Her dad got sick with that long slow journey into darkness (the dreaded A- word) and she moved in with him to take care of him. I had issues with my family, including the death of my father in 2007 as well. She and her husband came to the wake. Our daily conversations became weekly, then sporadic, then practically non-existent. I’d periodically think “I really have to call her and catch up”, but something always came up that needed my attention immediately, and by the time I thought about it again it was well past an acceptable time to pick up the phone. At the time, mornings with a high schooler and a middle schooler were (and probably still are) not conducive to telephone conversations – so our former pattern was not an option. Then, I ran into her daughter and granddaughter at the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Town Square a few years back. I asked her how her mom was, and how her grandfather was doing. She looked at me funny, and then told me Pop had died the previous year. I was dumbfounded. No one had told me, and I don’t get the paper or read obituaries online. Of course, karma being what she is , I turn around after mumbling some very embarrassed and extremely belated condolences, and my friend was standing right behind me…. I offered my condolences again, saying I’d no idea he’d passed away. They were accepted quite frostily – and that, as they say, was that. Can’t say I blame her on that one. I run into her daughter occasionally and we chat. I do miss my friend, but I have absolutely no idea how to fix this one – or at this point if it is beyond a fix and I should just continue moving on…. The whole situation saddens me immensely.
In other relationships, for example – the actions of my toxic monster in law; and the sister in law I’ve never met in the 29 years I’ve been with my husband; have made the choice to stay away from them super easy- breezy. I guess there’s always at least a few in every family. And conversely – in every family I’m sure there are members we would love to stay in closer touch with – but for whatever reason(s) we are not. I would be interested to see how you all address these issues, particularly with a view to reestablishing and reaffirming broken connections with valued others. So please feel free to comment, and take my poll!