Letting the world get to me

I’m sitting here trying to center myself. I am scheduled to speak in a few hours at a big conference. It’s kind of a big deal and I was thrilled to get asked. I felt honored.

Today it’s hard to connect with that feeling.
My new job has robbed me of all the joy from this experience. From making me feel guilty for taking the day, to making it impossible for me to make it to the conference.

Just getting in to the conference was an exercise in frustration.

The nice volunteer who checked me in noticed immediately. She very nicely suggested I take a few quiet minutes to destress before delving into the conference. Ten minutes later I am much much better.

If I hadn’t taken her recommendation I would have gone around with a dark cloud ruining the day for me. And that really isn’t the way I wanted to go through today.

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Apologies are required

I owe you an apology, I know. I’ve rehearsed it in my head, the words I will use, the tone of voice and the subtle “I’m sorry” it will include. I owe you an apology, I know. But you’re probably never getting it.

My father used to do this thing where he blew up, he would make mountains out of molehills, leaving us baffled over his extreme reaction to small things. As I’ve grown up I’ve realized he was reacting to other things, but that was never any consolation.

He never apologized. He would be extra nice for a while, and we all knew why. He was trying to make up for whatever he said or did without having to say the words “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong.”

I guess I’m more like him than I thought.

I’ve previously written that my first reaction is something I’ve had to learn to ignore. My first instinct is to confront, argue, yell — never the reaction that will make things better, never the tone that will solve the issue.

Today I did that. I lashed out on something that wasn’t a big deal to someone who actually wasn’t really at fault. And I knew immediately that I was wrong.

I’ve been practicing my apology in my head all day. And that’s where it stayed.

I never said that I made sense.

* * *

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Hospice

I just learned that the doctors have given in — they’ve told my family that there’s nothing else they can do for my grandmother. She’s too weak to survive any more treatment or the surgery.

My mother is devastated, though she says she already knew this was coming. But I know that you’re never really ready for your parent to die.

My grandmother is being placed in a hospice for end of life care. They are going to try and “make her comfortable,” but they’ve told my family that they need to start making arrangements. What they mean is that we need to make plans for what happens when she dies.

I don’t know what happens in the meantime. I’ve offered and offered and prompted and bullied my mother to no avail — she says she doesn’t want to go see my grandmother while she’s in pain and so sick. And I keep telling her that I think she’ll regret that later.

What she feels and why she’s made that decision are personal to her, and not something I feel I can share here. They’re not mine to share.

And now we wait…

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