I’m not feeling that inspired to write anything, but I figure I ought to check in, just to exercise that blogging muscle. When was the last time I blogged?
January 24th? Well heck. Time flies when it’s standing still.
My life isn’t actually boring, I’ve been busier than ever. I picked up a couple more people who need help and that’s been filling up my days. I’ve been especially interested in an elderly man I’ve started cleaning for. He’s in his 70s, a fairly recent Boulder transplant, and hasn’t seen anyone for months. I answered his ad on Nextdoor and we hit it off immediately. He doesn’t have a beautiful home, he isn’t one of Boulder’s rich, and I kind of love it. There is no tiptoeing around his house, worrying that I’ll somehow break something precious or disrupt a cherished routine.
Nope, I just get in there, clean his apartment – chatting with him the entire time – give his German Shepard some attention and a grooming, and talk about ways we can improve his environment, maybe give a little dating advice. He is so open to my company, I don’t have to disappear around him, and I can tell that I make a difference in his life. I care about him and he knows it, I feel his gratitude. His problems and concerns I can relate to and I can help. It has made me think about what I want to do next and I’m thinking of pivoting to elder care.
A friend connected me with a woman who did elder care in Boulder for years before recently moving. She spent a long time with me on the phone, sharing her marketing strategy, discussing her best practices, giving me advice and allowing me to ask any questions. And the more I think about it, the more I think this might be my next move.
I was a really good personal assistant but I felt like I cared too much about my client. She didn’t need a friendship with me, except when she did, and I often felt brushed away. We had a connection, but it was always clear that she was the boss. I want to work with people, not for them. I want the emotional investment I make in people to matter, and who needs that more than the elderly right now?
My friendship with Marcia wasn’t my first experience with befriending my elders. I remember being in the first grade and going over to Lulu and Peggy’s house on the corner in Salt Lake. I liked stopping in and saying hello. I even liked my elderly piano teacher even though I hated the piano. I remember the woman who had a couple teacup poodles on the way to my usual hike on Pleasant Street, I stopped by frequently to visit with her.
I even liked working as a home healthcare aid back when I was married to Pablo. It was a short stint, I was trying to make some extra money but already was working at CU so it didn’t last long, but I loved getting to know the people I was assigned to. And here I find myself again, considering how my time can best be spent, how I can afford to work part-time and feel good about the work I do.
I’ve been looking into some elder care certifications and am building a business plan. In a perfect world I would work part-time which would allow me to enjoy my life and take on writing assignments as they come to me. This feels right. This aligns with my personality and if I can keep it part-time, I won’t burn out.
Taking care of Anita was a challenge, but I did it while running my house and working. I think if it hadn’t been my life I would have enjoyed just sitting with her, playing cards, reading and doing puzzles when I wasn’t doing things for her. The dynamic with her was different, I felt abandoned to my task and I had my hands already full. Had she been my only “job” I think it would have felt different, especially if it wasn’t a 24/7 thing.
Anyway, this last year-and-a-half has been one great big experiment as I have tried to pinpoint what it is that I want to do when I grow up. Personal assistant, executive assistant, corporate America, writer, housekeeper … it keeps changing. All I know is that when I’m working for my elderly client, I actually feel good about myself, I feel like I matter, like I am doing something worthy.
So there’s that, and it’s positive. Aside from that, my boys are doing fine. I’m trying to get Micah back into in-person learning starting next quarter. BVSD wants to go back to 4 days-a-week and since Boulder is now “yellow” on the Covid map, it seems like it is safe enough.
Casey can’t go back until Fall because he is committed for the entirety of the 2020-21 academic year, but hopefully Micah will get in. He’s currently on a wait-list. Either way, it won’t be long until this semester is over.
I decided to pull them out of summer camp because it got crazy expensive. In the past it was $4000 for both boys to go for two weeks. Now it is $8000 to go for three. I understand why it costs more, but geez $8000? Instead I am taking them to Hawaii. For less than half that I can get tickets to Kona for the three of us, a cheap Airbnb for $80/night (glamping!) rent a car and have money left over for food and activities. We are all excited at the prospect of getting out of town and having an adventure.
I’ve never traveled alone with my kids and I relish the idea of not having the space be affected by other relationship dynamics or my anxieties about being judged or having my children judged. I want to be relaxed with them. It won’t be until August and everything is transferrable or refundable so I won’t be out anything if I have to change plans. I sincerely hope that by then at least I will be vaccinated and travel will be okay.
My sweetheart and I are doing great. I won’t lie, we’ve had some bumpy times but we have really gotten through it. He has shown a deep commitment to us and a lot of patience.
I’m in therapy which has been great, but also challenging. I often dial in for my weekly appointment not knowing what I’m going to talk about, and then …
Last week opened a can of worms that left me feeling so raw. The next day I found myself bursting into tears and wondering how I was going to process my feelings. That’s the problem with therapy, 50 minutes is rarely enough time. Fortunately a new friend happened to check in with me on that day and was so gentle and compassionate with me. She told me to trust myself, that I didn’t have to “do” anything, that it would work its way through me. She was right.
I think this work has helped my relationship. I spend a lot of time acting/reacting to present situations as if they are destined to play out like things in my past have. It makes sense to examine my feelings around them, to ask questions, to ask my sweetheart if what I am imagining is true. It is challenging, an occasion I must constantly rise to. He has his work as well but for now we are in a really sweet and lovely place. We are enjoying our own flavor of domesticity, creating routines that feel like a celebration, and are organically growing closer.
At first I felt like I was grasping for intimacy and knowledge, fearing empty spaces and silence. Now I’m feeling more comfortable and even enjoying my time when I’m not with him, rather than be caught up in anxiety. It makes all my moments feel better.
This post hasn’t done much to put those important (to me) pictures and memories up here, but at least I’m writing again.