Stream of Consciousness and Relationships

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.

Back side of the Sunset August 2013

Back side of the Sunset August 2013

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!

After the Storm Comes the Sunshine - and the Rainbows

After the Storm Comes the Sunshine – and the Rainbows

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11 thoughts on “Stream of Consciousness and Relationships

  1. D, it is great to see your words and thoughts. On the poll, I was torn between the first two. I think it would be OK to write a handwritten note and say I miss our conversations and miss you. To not do something, will eat at you, so you might as well make a gesture. I hope everyone is on the mend. We now have two of our three away and a 16 year old HS Junior at home, so we are looking at colleges for her and are getting a sense of the empty nesting. Take care, BTG

  2. Well welcome back! Thought you might have withdrawn into a cave, never to be seen again.

    Relationships run a natural course, much like life. They begin, thrive, then, sadly at times, often pass on. Yes, I might try one last time to get back with your friend via a hand-written card or note. But from the other side, she well could/should have told you of her dad’s passing. So you don’t personally own all the guilt.

    We have been doing well, here so far. There was a very bad fire, over 20,000 acres called the Aspen Fire, that burned for almost 3 weeks. It was located only about 8 miles as the crow flies away in an uninhabited area, luckily, but in some of the roughest terrain possible. The smoke was thick as fog.

    I’ve been having coughing/breathing problems since May. At first they thought it was a collapsed lung, then an infection, then pneuemonia, then possibly cancer. The area on the lung X-ray was way too larger for it to be any of these choices, and me still alive.

    Pat actually found the most likely cause. One of the medicines I take for the heart actually has a side effect, after a year or two, of severe coughing, enough to cause Bronchitis. Now they’re pretty sure thats what it is. My care was still outstanding, and they kept trying everything they could.

    Glad to have you back, and hope that things are continually improving. And as far as family goes, that gives no one special rights to be an ass. You might cut them a bit more than usual slack, but in the end, you always need to take care of yourself and your family, first!

    I speak from experience; I’m in possession of a very cruel, “Tell a lie, even when the truth is easier” sister. Haven’t spoken for quite some time, and frankly, I don’t miss the pain one tiny bit.

    Well, that’s way over my 2-cents worth. Glad to have you back, you are back aren’t you???

    • Nice to read your thoughts again. LOVE polls!
      Relationships aren’t one-sided. I agree that often there is a natural ebb/flow, and that no one person needs to take the blame for a natural happening. Who knows? You two may be great friends again in five years, and any time you’ve put into regrets/guilt will have been wasted.
      Good health to you (and Barney, too!)

      • Thanks Marsha! Great to hear from you as always! There is a season to everything I believe. And you’re right, I don’t own all the guilt here. It does seem a shame to just leave it like this though so I will be composing and sending a note in the very near future. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! D.

    • Yes, I’m back. I find my writing far too therapeutic and cathartic to give it up now. Things have just been so darned busy this summer and then getting sick as well ( Bronchitis too). Plus, I miss my WordPress friendships. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so ill. But so glad you are on the mend. And I heartily agree that shared genes don’t give anyone a free pass to be an asshat. Fortunately these types are few and far between in my family. Some families aren’t as fortunate in that regard. I will be spending some time composing a note and sending it off to her. We’ll see what happens. And I’ll shoot you an email and catch you up with everything. Great to hear from you. Take it easy buddy! Hugs! D.

  3. I wrote a note around 2:30 and posted it to you. My belief about relationships is simple. People have to work on them. Things can change over time, but people usually don’t. A person is what they seem to be, and you can’t hide it. I have gotten to a point where, some relationships in my life have changed and I’ve accepted that. I do find the space where they once were, empty, but I will survive that, too. Love, Auntie H.

  4. I am glad you are feeling better. I think you should send your former BFF a letter apologizing for letting the day to day mandates of life distract you from knowing about the death of her father. I think what you did is forgivable and understandable. But like you, understand where she would be hurt. When you ran into her it was probably impossible for you to give and her to accept a proper apology. So I think thoughtful letter telling her how much her friendship has and continues to me to her would be a good starting point. From there, it’s up to her. But for your part, you would have offered peace and hopefully restored your own.

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