Totally stepping out of my comfort zone by writing this and posting it unedited. But given that Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I figured now is as good as time as any to talk about all I am thankful for. And maybe it will get my writing juices flowing again.
I have been seeing people create their “Books I’m Thankful For” blog/videos this past week. I attempted to write such a list, but I could not narrow it down. Because I realized I am thankful for books in general, not just any specific books.
I feel like I am now in a place where I am comfortable talking about this. But my mom has been in hospice since the week before Halloween. She has been ill for a decade and two of her major organs (kidneys and liver) are failing. Though my dad is taking half days at work, for six hours a day I am basically by myself taking care of my mom. My brother is autistic and there is only so much he can do/handle. It’s been tough; I’m starting to notice the affects the stress has had on my body, such as weight gain and my hair feels thinner than normal.
However, I tell myself that if I had a job right now, I would go crazy not knowing how my mom is. If she had to go to a facility, all I would do is worry about if she is getting what she needs or if she’s being ignored. For me, that is worse.
I’m not sure how, but I’m managing.
Despite my annual end-of-the-year reading slump, books have helped me get through these last few weeks. When I have managed to open a book, it has distracted me from all that is going on right now. On that note, I’m thankful for my local library, which is close to my house and their well-stocked supply of books.
Books have distracted me in other ways. I’m already making reading plans for 2018. The books I have on that TBR are making me excited for next year. I finally have something to look forward to.
One thing I have learned that is, in during times of grief, you learn who is there for you and who is not. I’m thankful I have a group of supportive friends, as well as a strong, caring community on Facebook. For the first two weeks my mom was on hospice, outside my family, I only told three of my closest friends what was going on. They were amazing, naturally, but I didn’t say anything on Facebook because I felt like I was looking for pity. Then, my friend urged me to do so, promising the community would be more caring than I thought.
She was right.
People were so supportive and caring and even those I barely spoke to asked if there was anything they could do. It was more than what my family got from some relatives.
After that, I didn’t cry so much. For that, for their kindness and my friends’ support, I am thankful.
Blogging has helped me get through this time, too. As I expected, my story writing took a hit. I got frustrated and distracted one day, then decided to put it off. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, but now I feel like I have to start all over again. On the flip side, focusing on my blog has helped a great deal. I’m drafting ideas for future blog posts, which distracts me and makes me feel relaxed, even for a little while.
No matter how bad a day might get, I tell myself that some people have it worse than I do. I know people in situations similar to mine have had the healthy parent walk out, leaving them the burden of such a responsibility, or worse, mentally check out and refuse to acknowledge it at all. I have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep on, and food in the kitchen.
Books and blogging give me happiness. My brother and my dad give me motivation to carry on, because I know they carried the brunt of this while I was in college. And, of course, many supportive friends and a few caring relatives.
Happy Thanksgiving! ❤