Sleeping through the night

It does occur to me that life intrudes... just when things are going well, there is the unexpected bump, the urgent interruption, the necessary halt to make things right again.

I think the reason I have not posted as much has less to do with design and more to do with being overwhelmed by life. Not beaten down, mind you, but shaken to make me understand what is important.

I am certain that my sister and brother would agree that taking care of a parent is not always convenient but always necessary. In my case, my mom lives in Philadelphia- about a 2 1/2 hour drive from DC. Mom is a feisty lady, an artist who understands the demands that one's passion can make on one's time. As a ceramicist and glass fuser, there were many times where my mom had to stay in her studio and finish a project. It took me many years to understand this, and as a 16 year old girl I was not the most patient person in the world. But the payoff is that my mom knows how important my creative time is to my health and well being.

My mom is 88, in amazing physical health, and bound and determined to age in place, and we are committed to see that this happens. Ah, but saying it is so much easier than doing it. As my mom's capabilities get diminished it is harder to arrange things from afar. So I travel the I95 corridor and my sister flies in from Ann Arbor, and my brother routinely takes my mom on walks and to family gatherings. Yet, we are getting to a time when soon that will not be enough, and I know it occupies much of our collective brain space and energy.

On the other end of the spectrum, at a recent vet appointment we found out that our beloved Golden Retriever, Barley has an inoperable cancerous tumor in his anal sac. It knocked the wind out of Dave and me, and took a few weeks for us to collect our wits and spring into action. He is on oral chemo three times a week with frequent vet oncology appointments- and the great news is that so far he seems to be doing fine.

Sometimes I can channel my anxiety into work, but this time I am afraid that I am just sitting with it and stewing. It results in some sleepless nights where I fret about life and my work. Nothing worse than staring at the ceiling at 1am wondering when my body will finally give in.... actually more like my brain give in. Racing thoughts prevent any sustained sleep and so I am sometimes groggy and short tempered in the morning. That is actually a good time for me to sequester myself away and listen to audio books and music and work.

Today I am going to the first of two openings. I am trying to remind myself not to be hypercritical of my work, the venue, the opening. I am trying to remind myself to enjoy the moment. I will call my mom at the opening and give her an oral description and send her pictures and fret that I did not drive to Philly to pick her up. I will return from the opening and give Barley a nice long walk with Dave.

And who knows, maybe tonight I will sleep through the night.

by JudyK