Monday, January 21, 2008

i guess it never ends.

i have been avoiding looking my finances, and my mom's finances, squarely in the face.

the combination of the holidays, the wedding, and then leaving for new york right after new year's, has left me in a total state of panic, as far as my office is concerned. i mean, the physical environs are revolting, also, but i was meaning the paperwork and details contained within my office. bills needed paying, calls needed placing, filing needed was really disturbing. every time i went into my office, i would just end up backing out slowly, so as not to alert the mess of my presence.

so, i spent most of today working on that stuff. things aren't entirely up to date, and in many ways the problems and concerns have only been compounded by addressing them (instead of leaving them in a haze of confusion) but at least i'm not beating myself up for not doing this stuff.

i spoke to a tax preparer about my taxes and my mom's. even thinking about taxes makes my guts twist up with anxiety. after years and years of making so little money that i didn't have to pay taxes, suddenly having to deal with 2 monstrously complicated filings is enough to send me to bed for a nap. the tax preparer had a lot of questions, only some of which i knew the answer to, but at least the ball is rolling, i guess.

i finally called the company mom has her mortgage with, to get a quote for paying off the year, and was informed 1) they're pursuing her/us for collections and we need to contact them immediately and 2) their office is closed today. awesome. so, i get to call back tomorrow to them. also, i need to ask the mendo county assessors some questions about some stuff they sent me, and to see if i can get a new death certificate for mom, since the one they sent us has the wrong social security number on it.

seriously, it never ends. i received a bill from my lawyer, for $1300, shortly after finding out that i'd somehow bounced my last check to him. also awesome. on the same day, i received a bill from some pump place for $800ish and i still am not sure what's going on with that. why wasn't the well coming on? does yumi even have a well? and, more importantly, where am i going to get the money to pay these bills?

i took the weekend off from working out, and it felt really good, but i also feel the beginning of the 'i-don't-wanna's coming back. i've already put off going to the gym today for a few hours and now i'm considering just doing my cardio and not my weights. i totally dropped the ball on my eating today, left it until too late and then got so desperately hungry that i ended up heating up two pieces of VERY left over pizza, which makes me feel terrible about myself because i know better. i haven't taken my supplements in a few days.

sometimes it's just so hard to keep everything moving forward, you know? it's like juggling or plate spinning, where one slows or drops so another thing can be picked up. if i'm taking care of myself emotionally by resting more, then my gyming drops off. if i'm spending time with friends, my paperwork drops off. if i'm doing my household chores, i don't call anyone. i just can't manage to keep everything going, at least a little bit, all the time.

i keep feeling like i'm 'back to normal' and should be taking on a more normal workload, and being surprised all over again by how not over my grieving i am, and how much i still need to moderate my workload. i'm tired of it. i'm tired of that being the excuse for me still being out of synch. even though everyone else moves their focus back to their lives, and my drama/loss gets moved off the front burner, *i* am still stuck with this, not just on a front burner, but covering my entire stove with sticky, oily residue. i imagine other people tiring of hearing about it, or talking to each other about how 'kira keeps trotting out that same old excuse. when will she get it together?'

i know that i talk about this a lot, and i know that other people's feelings about the duration or intensity of my grieving don't mean anything. i mean, i can't and won't modify my process to make other people feel better, and when i really think of it, i doubt that other people are really thinking that. i'm just hearing the things i'm thinking in other people's voices.

when will kira get a job?
when will she stop pretending to be a housewife and pick a direction again?
when will she quit complaining about how hard it is having this inherited money?
when will she learn how to manage her time, get her things done, her bills paid?
why isn't she over it yet?

i ask myself these questions all the time.
i watch myself struggling from afar, forgetting bills, avoiding making calls, ashamed to call people after being out of touch, waiting too long to clean the house, too tired/lazy/sluggish to cook dinner like i said i would, and i just get so sick of it all.
i know that part of it is the grieving, and it will last as long as it lasts, and i can't do anything about it.
and i know that these are things i have always struggled with, and that my mom struggled with in her adult life, and i feel silly for thinking that i should suddenly have them figured out when i have always had a hard time with them.

i feel so much more confident, in general, than i ever have. confident about my abilities, my strengths and weaknesses, my Path...i feel more comfortable in my skin, both literally and figuratively, really, than ever before.
and yet i have no idea what i'm doing and i feel like everything is falling apart and it's all my fault.

i have been daydreaming about binge-reading, or taking myself to matinees, or spending the day out at the ranch with gina, riding bikes and hiking.
i think that in my head i decided that the time when those activites are acceptable has passed, but my actual situation just doesn't match that.
i'm not ready to be done grieving. i need more reading, more relaxing, more naps, more kindness to myself.

why is it so hard to be vulnerable, even in my own head? asking other people for permission to take a break is pretty hard, but asking myself for permission is almost impossible.

i know what mom would say. she'd tell me not to be so hard on myself and that i'm doing the very best i can, and it's important to keep being kind to myself. she'd cluck her tongue, and tuck my head under her chin, and say, 'oh, ma bebe...' and she'd pet my hair.

you guys, i miss her so much. so so so so much. and i'm tired of her being dead, and me having to learn how to grieve, how to manage my new VASTLY more complex finances...i'm sick of it. i'm sick of my new maturity and life feeling like i'm wearing a sweater that's too small. i'm sick of boxes full of stuff from her house waiting for me to look at them, an attic full of stuff to go through, a bead room to sell, allen to deal with. i'm just so tired, physically, mentally, emotionally.

i slept so much this weekend, and i'm still exhausted.

but still i'm going to go to the gym now, because if i don't i'll add more self-loathing to the sadness. i may not set any records for cardio amazingness, but at least i'll have gone. that'll be something.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

so much.

i have been really wanting to write a blog, but i just never seem to make it happen, and now is no different.

i have a bunch i want to say, but i have to go to the gym now, before it gets to late to go.


i just wanted you to know that i've been meaning to check in and i am thinking about it and it's bound to happen soon.

okay, time to change into gym clothes. after my punishing training session yesterday, i am surprisingly less sore than i thought i would be. i did drink a butt-load of water, all day, so maybe that's it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

new year, new (old) me.

2007 was a year where i relearned who i am.
obviously the stuff with mom opened the door to skill sets that had thus far remained dormant, but i'm talking about more secondary stuff than that.
i learned that i really, really, really like working out.
i've been doing personal training, twice a week for a couple of months. i've been averaging cardio 3 times a week. and the simple act of working out has become the most important part of it, not the results. i've always gotten frustrated at how long it takes to see results from working out, and have never really developed that fire for it. i don't know if the one causes the other, but they've certainly both been true in the past.
this year, since mom died, i suddenly get why everyone likes working out so much.
it's because it's fucking awesome.
i've never been sporty and have never really had a strong relationship with my body, in the sense that athletic people do, where it's your mind and your body kicking ass together. but i get it now.
i'll get so stoked during my cardio that i'll start laughing.
i'll grunt and groan like a real weight lifter.
i look forward to my training sessions with mingled dread and excitement, every time, because i know that he's going to make me do things that are unbelievably uncomfortable, but that i'm going to be able to do them, even when it seems like i can't.
i hit a wall during my training today, and i came really close to asking my trainer to cut stuff short. the second set of exercises he had me doing were crazy hard, and i was feeling tired and weak. but i didn't ask, and he didn't offer (because he's awesome) and i pushed through that resistance into that thing we call The Second Wind. i ended the session feeling stronger and more focused, happier, lighter...just all around better.
you guys, i can't overstate what a huge transformation this is for me.

another thing i learned about myself this year is that i am way less willing to sacrifice my physical comfort for style now. i have been wearing a pair of my mom's dansko clogs a couple of days a week, and while i still don't think they're necessarily cute, i find them tolerable, which is not something i would have ever imagined myself saying. also, they're so comfortable, it doesn't even matter that much. i went to shoe pavillion the other day and i bought a new pair of fake uggs for new york and a pair of birkenstock slip ons, like the pair i have already, but in bright yellow patent leather. so cute. but i would not have guessed that THOSE would be the shoes i would leave with. not heels. not fancy flats. comfy shoes. also, i bought a polar fleece zip up at REI because new york is going to be crazy cold and i need to be prepared. these things are also huge transformations. i have always been so judgmental about clothing and really focused on what looks cool, and while i still think about that stuff, and try to mix in the comfy stuff in a way that doesn't make me look like a jammie monster, i am more comfortable with being a jammie monster.

i learned that i'm not afraid to try new things, the way i once was. i was almost paralyzed by fear of trying new things, specifically skills, but this year that just kinda disappeared. suddenly i'm cooking and teaching myself the autoharp, working out, slogging through french language magazines. i just don't care whether or not i'm the best anymore. i just want to try it out.

i realized i'm an artist. i'm a writer. while my dad and mom would roll their eyes and say 'duh' about this, it's a huge revelation for me, and fundamentally changes the way i look at myself. suddenly i'm part of this community of people who struggle with their creative demons, battle a sense that they're fooling themselves to even try this, self-analyze, but ultimately breakthrough their own mental resistance to create things that are Theirs. that's me. that's what i do. after years of paddling around in the baby pool of academia, i am suddenly edging myself into a deep end that scares the pee out of me. but is also exciting.

i'm not going to say that the good stuff makes the bad stuff worth it, because that's a bunch of crap. the good stuff makes the bad stuff tolerable. nothing makes it worth it. but i am thankful for the things that happened this year that acted as sugar in my spoonful of harsh, sad medicine. many of you were part of that, sugar cubes that sweetened my life, and i am grateful for you, too. i meet 2008 not with defiance, because i learned this year how hard times can get, but with steady acceptance. whatever happens, i'll be okay.