Swimming in Uncharted Waters


Swimming in Uncharted Waters

I pull into the parking lot of the nursing home and rehab facility. I feel tired and numb. A nagging cough has worn down my system allowing a fog to cover my thoughts and muffle my hearing. Robert is in room 105 of this facility. I push myself to open the door to the building, sign myself in and go to his room. He is not in his bed. A few doors down I find him in the physical therapy room. He is in no mood for a bright hello. I don't think there is any activity he despises more than physical therapy. Someone is telling him what to do and for how long and for how many times. It goes against his grain. He looks at me as if I have brought him into the castle of Atilla the Hun and I say something cheerful to the room including him. Robert struggles to conceal a snarl. He is out of his element in another and more powerful way. All of the therapists in the room are women. For Robert, feeling as vulnerable as he feels now, a group of women having a voice in his routine makes him want to bite nails!  

A week later: I thought Robert had given up on himself. He did not want to do the physical therapy or watch t.v. or open the door to the hallway. He wanted to sleep and be left to his own thoughts.

The medical staff discovered that Robert had a UTI and after a couple of days of antibiotics Robert was back, kinda sorta, agreeing to do p.t. and watching a little t.v. and strutting a bit of will to improve. 

Christmas is almost here and I have not done one Christmas thing; whatever a Christmas thing looks like these days. No tree because the cats would find a tree particularly enticing. No gifts because of no money. No people over or to visit in their homes because Robert is in the nursing home and no one has put forth an invitation to their home. No sorrow about any of this because Christmas is more than just one day of the year. Putting it in perspective, which I can do at the age of 66, creates a peaceful place in me. I get melancholy when I imagine life as it was or how I have crafted it to have been long ago. Life always looks better in the rearview mirror. Oh dear, that sounds pessimistic and I don't feel pessimistic at all. I feel real and I feel free of the burdens of recreating something that was meant for a time in my life but not for all of my life. I could demonstrate a different approach to Christmas. I could decorate the deck and bake cookies and any number of other things to celebrate the season. I just don't want to do those things this year and have not wanted to for a number of years. I love the decorations of other people and how they have hung lights from every available space in their yards. I love the coordination of song and decor so popular these days. I love all of it. I don't want to do it here. I have learned that I end up with piles of lights and screws, nails, a hammer, some tape and a partially wrapped deck when the mood goes away and the decorating grinds to a halt. 
If children lived here with us I would take another approach. If donkeys could fly...you get my point. 

Meanwhile, back at the home place, I settle down for a long nap and a few motivational thoughts drift through my mind. I shoot them down with my imaginary motivational thoughts gun and settle myself in freedom from unrealistic expectations.

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Amen to the peace that the ability \"to choose\" can bring. It's ok to choose nothing. Amen to allowing yourself that if that's what you want or need right now. Making a choice means you're listening, no matter how hard the message. Or for that matter, how easy.