Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Better Day Than Expected

Today was a better day then I expected.  I started the day with a work schedule full of meetings - five hours of meetings, from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, so I knew that I would have to settle in for a long day. I think that is one area where our expectations can come in handy. 

Since I knew what the shape of the day was going to be, I was able to prepare, both physically and mentally, and as a result of that preparation the day itself went pretty smoothly.  I even managed to finish an audit task that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish this afternoon, and then promptly volunteered to help another employee finish the same audit task, which I will wrap up tomorrow morning.  I thought about doing it tonight from home, but decided that I would not push it - it was a good day, I will accept that and move on. 

My plan tonight is to read some more in The Pattern Scars.  I am about two thirds of the way through the book and probably two or three hours of continuous reading from the end.  It has been an interesting story, but it is a little slow and meandering at points.  I think that is a risk in fantasy and science fiction novels - sometimes the author just gets wrapped up in describing the world they have so lovingly constructed that they forget to move the story along.  To me, it is all about the story - tell me a good tale and that forgives many sins.

It was a beautiful and balmy day here in California.  Tonight is simply gorgeous, about seventy five degrees right now, an hour after sunset.  I've got the patio doors wide open and the windows wide open and a single fan spinning in the hallway to insure a smooth flow of air through the entire apartment.  Even though the weather is so nice, we are still in winter here - and we'll most likely get two or three more rain storms before we reach spring, but the plants, trees, and flowers are already rushing toward spring and blooming.  Like I said, simply beautiful.

Lately my dreams at night have been full, dense and crowded.  I would not call them anxiety dreams - more like they are simply very complicated.  I wake and all I remember are dream fragments.  My subconscious is definitely churning in frenzied circles and we'll see if the dreams take any coherent form over the next couple of days.  Though the fragments are interesting, like stories, I much prefer the dreams that have a strong narrative center.  I guess I even prefer life to have a strong narrative center now that I think about it.

I spent about an hour on the phone with my step-dad tonight.  He is in the final two weeks of his stay at the convalescent hospital and he should be released to home sometime around the 20th. He is looking forward to it and he is definitely in much better shape then he went in.  Hopefully he learned the all important lesson about staying on his medications and watching after his own health. He and Mom are seriously contemplating moving into an assisted living facility there in Winner and I am all for it.  It will allow them to keep their independence and yet at the same time have some services provided to them or available to them.

The whole question of aging parents is a difficult one for me, as well as for many people. My instinct is to charge back and to take charge and help - but, I am fortunate enough to realize that isn't the solution.  Yes, I am prepared to give them whatever assistance they need, including moving back to South Dakota - but at the same time, it is not something that you can force on them, they have to choose it, and it would doubtless involve some complex negotiations on the part of all parties because they are not yet at the point where they need someone to run their lives for them, All they need at this point is some assistance - and being headstrong, like we all are as a family trait, that assistance is going to have to come on their terms.  As much as I'd like to make decisions for them, I can't and I shouldn't.  As John-Roger said, "We must allow other people the dignity of their journey."

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