Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Monday, October 17, 2011

Done for the Week: A New Leaf on the Family Tree

My family contains one more person this week than it did at the beginning of last week--the first girl born into our extended family in many years.  I am ecstatic.  I am worn out.

The little one who was in such a rush to get here has left some serious turbulence in her wake.  In the midst of her joyous and disruptive arrival, here's what I got done:

Done for the Week:  Oct. 10-Oct. 16, 2011
  1. Continued 5K training with my youngest son, in preparation for his first race--Finished Week 7 of 9 Week Couch-Potato-to-5K program
  2. Ran once
  3. Read Murder Your Darlings, by J. J. Murphy
  4. Continued to work my two part-time jobs 
  5. Published 1 blog post
  6. Continued significant work on current clients' projects
  7. Attended second week of four week Run Better class with triathlon coach Lauren Jensen
  8. Became a grandmother for the second time, as my daughter's premature daughter entered the world
  9. Became a live-in Nana to my four-year-old grandson
  10. Gave nearly full-time support to my daughter and her family as they coped with early arrival of their baby, and my daughter's continuing health problems
  11. Dealt with my daughter's acutely ill dog
  12. Helped prepare my son to begin technical college later this week
  13. Went out for happy hour and a movie with my husband
  14. Did laundry
  15. Continued reading Elizabeth George's A Traitor to Memory aloud with my husband
Last week's "most important thing," hands down, was supporting my daughter and her family through the premature arrival of her new daughter, and her own continuing health problems.   The baby was born early Tuesday morning, at 31 weeks, and though doing remarkably well, is expected to be in the hospital for at least another 3 weeks.  My daughter is dealing with two separate complications and a preexisting chronic illness, compounded by exhaustion and the aftereffects of necessary obstetrical interventions.  Her four-year-old is struggling with the temporary chaos and emotional distress that has beset his happy, stable home life.  We are all attempting to deal with the strategic demands of tightly scheduled twice daily visits to the NICU; my grandson's part-time preschool schedule; my daughter's medical appointments, including yet another specialist to be consulted for a new condition; hot and cold running relatives--the various members of our complicated extended family, all of whom want to help, to visit, to be part of things, and mostly on their own terms; and my daughter's serious need for rest.  

I have adopted the attitude I found helpful during my father's extended illness and eventual death a few years ago--that our circumstances currently are more like M.A.S.H. than like Happy Days, and we need to lighten our loads and keep bailing.  Low expectations, clear priorities, and a healthy sense of humor will get us through.  In the meantime, I cling to my nightly glass of red wine.  For the heart benefits, of course.

My focus goal last week was to "make some time for resting and taking care of myself and my home, and staying loose about how that will get done."  I did manage to get to my running class; to meditate in the middle of the night while my daughter was in preterm labor and I couldn't sleep; to squeeze in a couple of latte breaks; to vacuum several large dogs worth of yellow lab colored hair off my living room carpet; to read an inconsequential mystery novel; and to spend a pleasant evening with my husband.  If I had to miss three blog posts, abandon my novel, skip workouts, miss yoga and tap class and sleep and showers, I did the best I could.  

This week, we can probably better anticipate what lies ahead.  We are starting to problem solve, and to martial additional resources.  My new focus goal is to fit in three runs, in preparation for Sunday's race.  The rest will have to take care of itself. 

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