I should be psyched. It’s a beautiful day. My vegetable garden is in and I have riotously colored flowers set in planters where I can see them from the window. I even got the old tire spray-painted and filled it with a mound of various green ivy.
But not.
Each evening, after I sit and watch television with her for several hours, my mother asks “Where are you going tonight?” I’m not going anywhere. I have no where to go. “Are your friends coming over?” she asks/adds, ignoring the point of what I had replied. I have no friends around here, mom.
I don’t have the energy to go out there and make them. I feel the anger churning in my stomach. I want to go and gorge myself on Breyer’s mint cholocate chip ice cream. Or, even better, black rasberry chocolate chip.
I know where it all starts, this slumping. It all starts because whenever I take the time to really get into something, she interrupts me with her needs. I can never get up in a morning and look forward to a day of doing meandering “me” things. It’s always about her — at some point, usually when I get into some kind of zone — it comes back to her.
Yes, I know that’s the fate of a caregiver, and that’s the road I chose when I moved down to this mountain. Sometimes I actually can rev myself up and go out and garden (as I have done over the past several days). But when I get back inside the house, dirty and sweaty and tired, all I have to look forward to is making supper, doing the dishes, and keeping her (boring and addled) company.
I think to myself at that point in the evening — why don’t I try to play Bingo with her (“try” is the operative word here), or make an effort to interact with her somehow. But at that point I’m hating what I have to look forward to; I’m hating having to amuse her when I’d rather go to my own space and sew or read — anything but be with her.
It’s not that I don’t have options. There was a big ballroom dance weekend recently at one of the big hotels in the Catskills, which is not too far from here. But it would take an enormous amount of energy to get myself there. I would have to go alone; I would have to find something smashing to wear, and these days I don’t look smashing in anything; I would be there competing for dance partners with younger more smashing females. Scratch that option.
I just don’t have the energy. I don’t have the energy to go out and make the new friends that I yearn for.
I think it’s time to plan a few days’ visit with the almost-four year old grandson. Or maybe a day trip up to Albany to lunch with someone from the old girl-group. It would be worth the exhorbitant cost of the gas.
The one thing I’m looking forward to is my college class’ 45th reunion early next month. We were not a gung-ho class to begin with, so I’m not counting on lots of my close friends being there. But I’ve been in touch with some classmates who had not been my best friends back then but who have become better (virtual) friends since. I’ve even started a weblog for my Class of ’61 in hopes of stirring up……something.
Stirring is better than slumping. Stirring means there might be something to look forward to.
I need something to look forward to. But it’s hard to break out of this slump.

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