Tuesday, July 05, 2005

First, The Whining (Mine, Not The Kids')

I have not been motivated to blog much recently. I always think that summer will bring me loads of free time in which to knit and play, forgetting that I am no longer eleven years old and heading off to four weeks of sleep-away camp. (Which I did not appreciate Nearly Enough at the time. Can you imagine, as an adult, getting four weeks a year in which you do nothing but swim, play, drink Kool-aid margaritas, tip over in small sailboats, play cards, read, and hang out on the beach with your friends? Incomprehensible.) I forget that summer actually means packing picnics and packing beach stuff and keeping track of children at the beach and then unpacking the remains of picnics and unpacking the sandy beach stuff and then bathing the overtired children and vacuuming all the sand they just tracked into the house and then washing all the towels and bathing suits....and that this is all done several times a week, on top of all the regular laundry and cooking and cleaning and shopping and childcare and going to work. I am so good at blocking this out for nine months of the year. (This memory loss goes along with my fantasy of vacations-with-my-children as vacations, when, in fact, they are actually parenting in a different place without all of the stuff that I need. I so look forward to vacations in which I actually get to sit down once in a while.)

So summer, in all it's hot and sticky glory, is not conducive to knitting/blogging time at this stage in my life. I still love summer. And I won't complain (much) about the heat or the humidity because, you know, I live in New England, and I sure do love summer weather more than I love snow. So I'll save my diatribes for the mornings that I have to shovel the driveway.

So what's to whine about? First, I can't seem to shake a bit of post partum depression. (And lest you point out that my "baby" is now eighteen months old, so the post-partum phase should be, um, over, let me remind you that my "baby" JUST started sleeping eight hour stretches at night, and that she is still up at 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., and that I have not had ONE eight hour (or longer) stretch of uninterrupted sleep in nineteen months. Sleep deprivation is not a pretty thing, at least not in my head and my household.) So I'm feeling rather blah in general. Not miserable, not suicidal, no need for anyone to get too concerned, but I've got a good case of the tired and overwhelmed blahs. I'm sure that some of you have been there, and I'm sure that it will pass in good time. (And I'm a therapist, and I know that there are medications that can help, and they have helped in the past, and they may help again, but for the moment I'm doing okay. Thanks.)

Second, I spent this past weekend visiting my family. This, in and of itself, is a wonderful thing, as I am blessed with a great family and I enjoy spending time with them. But I had not seen my ninety-three-year old grandmother since last Thanksgiving, and she has "gone downhill" a bit since then. She is actually in reasonably good health for someone who is ninety-three, and her mind is pretty darn sharp. But she had a bad fall a few months ago, and it really shook her up, and she has not felt well since then. She has always been a petite woman, somewhere around five feet tall in recent years, but she shrank a few more inches this past year and she is now down to eighty-five pounds. She looks like someone in the end stages of anorexia, with every bone clearly outlined and every vein showing. I was almost afraid to hug her for fear of injuring her. I was sad to see her looking so vulnerable, as I know she hates every minute of this stupid aging business. And today she told me that she wished that she could be around for another twenty years so that she could see my children grow up. I'm not sure if she saw the tears that sprang to my eyes.

My grandmother has ten children (all of whom are still living and who mostly get along with each other), almost thirty grandchildren (all but one currently alive and healthy), and over thirty great-grandchildren. She remembers everybody's names AND their birthdays. She has had a very full and blessed life, and--with luck--she will eventually die peacefully of "old age", without any extended nursing home stays or invasive medical procedures. I am thankful for this, but it is still hard to see her and to know that I may not see her alive again. Soon she will no longer lavish praise on my knitting and brag about me to her pals at her weekly Bridge game. Already her vision is failing and she has difficulty reading my e-mails. My children will never play cribbage or Scrabble or cards with her. And so, today and probably for a few days, I am feeling genuinely, honestly sad.

Moving on from the depressing things that actually matter, but keeping with my general lack of knitting motivation: what's up with the latest issue of IK? Blah blah blah. Not inspiring at all. Even the latest issue of knitty did not cheer me, as the man in my life would not wear a single item that was shown. (I applaud the creativity of some of the patterns--but they just won't work around here.) I must find some inspiration somewhere. Maybe in the package that will arrive later this week? Hmm...more details to come.