Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Check

   I carry around a mental list with me everywhere I go. Do you? At points I need to write it down as well. Sometimes the act of writing words on a page changes the dynamics of it. I remember names better when I see them written and better again when I write them myself. Same thing with a list. Good thing if I make one, better if I write it down. It stays in my memory and gains significance. I can weed out what isn't so important or place it further down the list and pop more pressing issues farther up on the list. After my hubby died, I had to have a list, as my brain was mush. I was constantly barraged by grief images, so other things did not stand a chance to get recognized or dealt with unless they were written down and looked at. At that point my lists involved many appointments with lawyers, financial consultants, social workers/grief counsellors, as well as the myriad items necessary for the bathroom renovation that I took on (compliments of my father-in-law) immediately following Brad's death. While you may wonder at the timing of such a project, it was a necessary and helpful item to jam into my thoughts. It gave me other focus, aside from always being rocked by grief. The bathroom was terribly ugly, so really and truly needed a face lift. And the bathroom held a fresh and heart-wrenching vision that I could not live with. It had to go. Hence a project and lists of everything from;
  • toilet
  • paint
  • bathtub
  • flooring
  • wall tiles
  • vanity
  • etc, etc, etc
These items needed to be written down, as sometimes there were even little items like grout, toilet paper holder, tile edging, nails, etc. I was familiar with living in the midst of renovations and did not mind the chaos. My brain held more chaos, so it fit that outside of my brain also matched that. The point of the renovation though was to create a new fresh space that held beauty. Once it was finally done, it was a beautiful thing. I loved it. It was the first thing that I tackled all by myself, as far as decision making went and I certainly questioned why I was doing it when faced with picking out exactly which toilet and bathtub would be the best fit for my tastes and my budget. There had not been I or Me for a long time and those words felt poisonous in my lungs. I got through it though.
    Today, I still have my lists. Often, I can function with mental lists and can rhyme off half a dozen items that will need attention at some point in the future (ie. roof, floors, master bedroom). I still tuck renovation projects into the list, as you may remember from last month's endeavours. Other life items take precedence in my mental rotary file though (ie. book birthday party, wrap presents, schedule swimming lessons, pay bills). Last week, a couple of items got crossed off my list. Birthday party for my eldest was booked and invitations were handed out today. Swim lessons were debated and booked, but with complications that will hopefully sort themselves out. A big item that has been on my list for probably the better part of a year was finally addressed today as well. Why I have had such a hard time with it and fought the effort mentally I know and do not know. It is begun though. Yes, today I registered my children for school. I will still continue to debate exactly what the best course of action for both my girls with all of this is, but I took a major step. Life moves forward whether we like it or not. In September, my girls will enter the next phase of their lives. The school bell rings and I must stand outside and watch them go. Check something off the list...

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