There is a life I want to lead, a person I want to be, and there is reality. The two seem to be growing farther apart, which has my inner perfectionist freaking out and ripping things off the walls. So to speak.
Part of this blue weather can be explained on my recent dose of Phoenix sun. In Arizona, my calendar is full. I’m surrounded by friends who love me enough to shake me when I’m being ridiculous. And of course this time of year, the weather was glorious. Nelson pranced around the park as if to say, “DUDE! NO SNOW!”
He’s eloquent that way.
This holiday was miserable for my family. Truly, painfully miserable. My grandparents aren’t doing well and the stress of their on-going health issues made my parents sorrowful and despondent. Seeing my dad this sad shakes me. Knowing there isn’t a damn thing I can do fills me with useless, bitter rage. My mom’s sadness comes out as frustration. Pair all of this heavy emotion with a freak winter storm that kept my parents holed up in a cheap motel en route to Tucson, delaying their arrival by more than a day, and you can imagine how fun Santa’s arrival was.
The person I want to be would have wrapped my arms around my parents and told them how very sorry I am they are at this point in life. That watching their parents age and be sick must be so hard. That their sadness was my sadness and it was a pity our time together — one of two times a year we typically see each other — would not be ruined by the circumstances.
The person I am moped and played martyr. Once again, the only grandchild to show up for the holiday for either set of grandparents. Once again, the responsible one. Once again, the one who doesn’t run away from the sorrow of the situation, but doesn’t know how to deal with it anymore than anyone else. Because I’m not unbiased. I too am watching those I love slowly, painfully decline. I don’t know how to comfort my parents any more than I know how to help myself.
I do know the ways I have been trying to cope aren’t working. There is much to change in 2012.