Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just When I Think

I am so so so tired—tired of being brave, tired of being resourceful, tired of fighting for each toe hold of territory that I stake claim to and inevitably lose. The very labels that people use to admirably describe me have become a millstone. I am worn wafer thin by this new terrible eye pain and the chutes n ladders changes in strength; by the unrelenting financial pressures; by battling with doctors; by having this oddball, hard to diagnose/explain/defend form of an already baffling disease. 
It all is much too much.
I am not known to be an enthusiastic pet person. My husband attracts strays and would probably happily tote home the leftovers from the Ark, if only I would agree. Over the years we've always had pets, but they were clearly 'owned' by the men in the family and fond acquaintances of mine. Last year, a coworker of my hubbies, first introduced us to Sophie, a little rat terrier who had lived with a disabled lady all of her life. Sophie somehow worked her way past my natural pet reserve, and my deeper hesitancy over tiny dogs and now provides me with constant companionship, snuggled under my left arm, she is tuned to my moods and movements. Yesterday I learned that instead of the youthful five years old we thought she was, she is actually just about 13. And, her breed usually lives only into their teens. Unbelievable. Somehow I have to prepare to lose one more precious thing in my life. Now, our long-term family dog is elderly, and our new dog is too. I guess the three of us can sit around and wonder who is going to deteriorate fastest. 
It all is much too much.
When I am asked why I haven't been writing in my blog for the past few months, my instant answer is the up tic in my illness. The truth is closer to say that I can't seem to find words or inspiration. I find myself running through ideas that are either too mundane (managed to brush my teeth today and only dropped the toothbrush two times…); too personal/medical/boring (yesterday was day seven with no relief for constipation, finally called the doctor,…) or too grim (read this post). It isn't that I feel that I need to protect others from the realities of my life—more that I am not certain I want to memorialize it.
It all is much too much.
How then, do I stay sane and keep going? My answers range from the simple sweetness of dark chocolate and the satisfaction of winning at Scrabble to the savory richness of a 25-year partnership with a great guy that was honored by the amazing gift of our son. And, if these things weren't enough to live for, I am anchored by a faith that is both simple, satisfying, and so profound that after 30 years I feel like I only have a child's view. Right now, my faith life is akin to a barnacle on the side of an oil tanker. I can't really do much more than hunker down and cling to that which is known and solid. I can't see the vessel, or know where I am headed. But, I do know how to be a barnacle.
And that is enough.