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Friday, March 12

when worlds collide

You can just sort of wander along, living your life, batting at deadlines and obligations, nonchalant and in control. Then you turn around and notice there was stuff following you and about to gain the lead. Oh man.

So, here I am with a week to show #1, feeling good about what I've made so far and what I have planned, thinking I have soooo much time to finish up. But, no. We have Mom patrol (more on that later), house stuff, long days at the theater, on and on. Not to mention needing to pick up supplies and have paper cut to size, laundry piling up. Sales tax due next week and I've lost my ledger. Struggling with a Zapplication that has a tomorrow deadline.

Now, I am the Queen of multi-tasking. OK, maybe the Princess. I parcel out the days in hours. I dedicate one hour to housework, then an hour in the studio, then an hour with TV or a book, then an hour cooking, etc. When you have a miniscule attention span, small nuggets of activity work best. And I'm realizing now that my supply of hours is smaller than I would like.

Some things take more than an hour. Like Mom Patrol. Mom was going along fine (for 87) until December. Up to that point, her increasingly eccentric behavior and fading memory were her worst problems. And since she didn't recognize them as problems, she was cool. Then an bad diagnosis of what turned out to be a massive bleeding ulcer, landed her in the hospital and deflated her a bit. They found a heart valve problem common in older folk, but other than that she should be fine now. But she's less than she was. She's smaller, somehow, her face bears a look of wary defiance. She confuses easily and has a mean ol' temper. My brother and I take her to doctors who assure us she's OK while she curses under her breath. I take her shopping, pushing her around in a wheelchair shopping cart while she points to what she wants with her cane. She is demanding and unreasonable most of the time, but we try to understand.

Now she wants to drive again. The snow is melting, she wants her wheels. She's not gonna get them. My brother and I talk strategy. This is gonna be ugly. I know that when I go there today it is going to come up. I want to crawl under a quilt and take a nap.

But I can't. I have to Zapp that app, do that laundry, make a dozen cards and prep some boards for covers. Then I put that hat aside, and don the daughter cap. That one looks like a battle helmet, I think.

It seems to me that if you make your living as an artist type, you should be able to make your life artist-like. But that never happens. Everyone I know in this business is juggling kids and parents and car repairs and leaky roofs and tiny bank accounts and unreasonable art show juries.

Better go back to Zapping that app. Took me hours to figure it out yesterday. Got one picture uploaded. Today should be easier, right? Easier than telling Mom she just can't drive anymore.

2 comments:

roller coaster teacher said...

Just found your blog via friend Anne Bliss :) Your writing and pictures are lovely and inspiring. We live with my MIL who has Alzheimers so this post was particularly touching for me. Hope you catch up soon! (Mimi)

Terry said...

Pat,
Great post, We are on Mom patrol most of the time, (Marion is 92) Betty has 4 sisters living in different states. One will not visit at all let alone help out, the other three vary from helpful to not so much.
It is a balancing trick to her semi-help for us to stay away on 'show trips'. Marion's mind is very good - she'd kill you at Scrabble - but she can be nasty to get along with.
We too have the driving issue to contend with.. She has had numerous fender-benders and of course doesn't want to lose her independence.. Hope things go better for you.. Terry