Sunday, October 10, 2010

reality list

The other day I wrote out my whine list - an effective technique I use to get all my complaining out in one sweeping gesture.

It helped.

Today I'm trying something along the same lines although I'm not whining. I'm stating. It's a reality list and I hope by getting it out instead of holding it in, somehow I'll feel not quite so overwhelmed and helpless and lost.

I am the oldest of 3. At the moment my 2 siblings are in 2 different hospitals on opposite ends of Manhattan for 2 completely different kinds of things. Neither situation is curable. Both are manageable and at the moment teams of people are working around the clock trying to figure out how to best manage. There are bright moments and times it all feels bleak. For a person who desperately needs to make people feel better and fix whatever possible, there's just about nothing I can do for either one.

Other people in my family aren't handling this well at all and I could expect nothing less to be perfectly honest. But, sadly, I can't take on that too. I'm learning there's a limit to how much drama and disaster I can handle at any given moment. I've had to shut it off at times, to maintain my sanity.

My kids are having a hard time with me being so distracted. I don't blame them in the least. This is scary for them too and I'm often not entirely present, or even here, to help.

My body itself is a mess. My MRI for today got cancelled last night as my doctor's office neglected to send in a referral. I can't lift my right arm. My left leg is still bruised and swollen. My left palm can't support any weight. Such small things compared to what I'm watching others go through, but it makes getting through the day all the more difficult.

My apartment is bordering on disaster. I have more laundry to do than I can possibly carry. And I volunteered to take on my sister's apartment as well. I feel like if I had a trained team of 10 I might be able to pull it off. But, it's just me and I need to whip things into shape by the time she gets home.

There's still the puppy, the PTA, the 4 projects I'm supposed to be working on. The day to day homework, cooking, kid juggle. Science projects. Family history paper. Halloween costumes (which are never taken lightly in my house).

But last night, as I struggled through a yoga class, the teacher said something that resonated deeply. There's nothing you can do but be. Ride it out. Let it crash over you or carry you to the tops of powerful waves. You can't control things. You can't change them. But you can breathe through them and know it won't stay this was forever.

When I was in labor with Jack—no drugs whatsoever—my mantra was "it's only temporary." I'm holding on to that today.


juliemangano said...

Your yoga instructor is very wise.
"You can't control things. You can't change them. But you can breathe through them and know it won't stay this was forever." Just breathe, Elissa. BTW, the pedicure was a FABULOUS idea! xoxo

Elissa Stein said...

Thanks sweetheart. And it was a great idea—I tried dark purple polish and it's pretty fall fabulous.