Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Three Week Marathon

A sprint, not a marathon, for me please. I'd much rather grit my teeth and get through something self limited than steam ahead on a seemingly endless and exhausting moving treadmill. Yesterday marked the end to my three week nose-to-the-grindstone, work-like-a-dog (who is that working dog, by the way?), date with a mixed up stew of responsibilities and tasks.

I'm settling in to my second day off, at home, free of my paying job and trying to ignore the non-paying jobs as best I can, I'll take a stab writing about what went on in these three weeks above and beyond wine, chocolate, coffee, red bull, imitrex, tears, and curses.

Photographing Everything
MM and I tackled and made a decent dent in the enormous task of sorting through and archiving items at the house on Arapahoe. Our goal is to get the house ready to sell although we've lots more to do before that can happen. She was here for 10 days and we worked together most days; sometimes for 8-10 hours at a time, sometimes for just a few hours in the evening. I had three full days OFF of work to really dig in. MM took hundreds of photographs from furniture and wall hangings to treasured family dinnerware, decorative plates, and crystal; the basis for a master spreadsheet for the extended family to view and choose what they might like to inherit. We also donated at least four carloads of stuff to charity and generated bags of trash and recycling, Hand sorting and making a decision about every single item is emotionally draining. Hauling box after box of archived family papers and photographs into the car and then into my basement was physically exhausting. The work was important. We knew this down to the bone.

Living Room at Arapahoe

Happy 24th!
Laura and Scott breezed in for less than 48 hours the weekend of her Birthday in the midst of the Arapahoe project. We jam packed their hours with good food, drink, conversation, and of course hauling boxes out of Scott's car and back into Scott's car for their trip back to Spokane. Sometimes it seems as though we move STUFF from one location to another continuously. STUFF; the things that begin to weigh us down and take over our lives. There is a theme here, people.

Then came my ill advised 48 hour trip to Spokane to visit Laura a week later. I drove the 285 miles each way, listening to audio books and stopping regularly at Dairy Queen franchises for soft serve cones to fuel the journey. I agreed to make the trip because she wanted me to see her new apartment and......she was alone for the weekend and felt like company would be nice. In her defense, I think she anticipated tackling a few small (sorting/organizing) projects but, NO.....over ambitious Mom was in high gear and ready to work relentlessly on a life-long project that, unless I consciously put a stop to it, will never (ever) end. She and I are both too old (in different ways) to be doing this dance. She ends up frustrated. I end up frustrated and things go to SHIT before long; usually by the 24 hour mark. In retrospect, her apartment looked better for my visit but at what cost to us both?  Live and learn over and over and over again.

Baby Noni?
Top this exhaustion off  with a legitimate allergy to guinea pig urine (I've learned it is not so much dander as it is urine that morphs into aerosol). That's gross especially for me, a Nephrologist who loves urine. Within a half hour of arrival at Laura's new digs, I could feel the familiar itchy throat, raspy voice, and the start of chest tightness. The rest of the story involved an albuterol inhaler, zyrtec, wide open windows that allowed stinkbugs free entry into the apartment, and frizzled nerves all around.

The not so good news about pulling into Seattle late afternoon last Sunday was the looming 7 day on-call week starting bright and early Monday morning. Couple that with a 95 year old father who hadn't seen me in a week. The final seven days of the marathon seemed like impending hell. In the end, it was half easy:half hard and I lived through it.

I'm taking these two days off to do exactly what I want. Oh, and a few things I don't want to do like clean the house. Denny's wonderful about cooking and laundry but as for cleaning? That's mine.

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