It's been a busy, productive, frustrating, unexpected summer. It didn't turn out at all as I expected, but that's okay--much of it has been good--rewarding, even.
The girls' self-help skills have increased; Lily's become a tremendous help in keeping the house functioning--having learned how to vacuum, to do laundry, feed the cats, pour me coffee, make breakfast...what a blessing it's been for me and her both. The girls have grown even closer to each other, best friends without a lot of fighting. What an awesome thing--to always have that best friend right there, so close.
Bobby's continuing to learn how to make more meals--although his improvising can be less than successful--I stopped him in time from substituting brown and wild rice for Spanish rice and black-eyed peas for refried beans the other night. What a Mexican dinner that would have been! While I'm thrilled that the cooking duties have become his and Rick's responsibility, there are issues with Bobby's functioning that are concerning, but with no clear solution--I've often said he's unstuck in time, and that becomes increasingly apparent the older he gets--I'll catch him in the middle of a chore, stopped, just sitting there--mentally not present--none of his typical muttering indicating that he's "watching tv" in his head--just an absentness that leaves me worried and a little frustrated that I can't figure out a way to get him tethered in time.
I taught all summer and after I turn grades in tomorrow, I will have a brief week "off." I loved the students in both summer sections. They were animated, friendly, relatively prepared, lively students and I had a blast with them. If the fall goes as well, I will be truly blessed.
I was lucky to meet two wonderful people in May who are in the process of forming a local nonprofit, and over the summer, we've gotten closer and Dad and I have taken active roles in helping them out from a social media standpoint. It's kept me busy and opened more doors locally, not the least of which is the friendships being built.
I planned and carried out my second annual Beat the Back to School Jitters event, and was able to cover most of the costs with the donations from a new friend (thanks, Kari!), my parents, and Reach. We had an awesome turnout, and the pictures are up at Reach's facebook page. It was a rewarding experience--exactly what I hoped for--a pizza party where everyone seemed to have a good time.
Hospice volunteering was not as active as it's been, but I did have two patients, attended training, and made a few bereavement calls. I needed a break from dealing with loss, and this summer's busy-ness allowed me the opportunity for a little distance from direct loss. The longer I'm a hospice volunteer the more I admire those who work full-time serving individuals who are dying and their families. It's a continuing cycle of loss for those who become attached to the families--but it is some of the most important work we as a people can do for others.
So, overall, things are pretty good--I've been on medications for two months now for my diabetes, and it's coming under control. I've got to go see the endocrinologist for fine-tuning on my meds, and I'm waiting to see a pain specialist for my fibro.
But I still feel like I'm taking on water, getting overwhelmed with responsibilities and commitments and all I want is a week of quiet to restore myself--but with the three kids still home (well, Bobby's gone three days a week till 2 pm), I can't see that this week is going to be quiet.
I have things to do to get ready for the fall, plans to implement, things to write...
Reminding myself that a pause, a break, a lull, a pulling into myself so that I can once again give of my time and effort is something I have to get better at, especially before I am certain I am going under, having taken on entirely too much water.
The kitty boys definitely have that break thing down pat.