A Mental Vacation from Memoryland

resting woman

You have probably noticed that haven’t posted for awhile. Several friends have emailed to make sure nothing is wrong.

All is well. Everything is fine and as normal as Memoryland gets. No crises. While the slow drip of slippage continues, a little more silence here, a little less appetite there, there have been no significant changes in Ralph’s cognition or his mood. At least none that I’ve noticed.

Really, the truth is I haven’t been paying as much attention to him as I usually do. I was about to add as maybe I should, but the truth is, he seems to be fine without my hovering. What I have been concentrating on instead is

  1. The practicalities of re-directing our lives as I look forward to a move: Dealing with realtors and financial advisors. Overseeing what’s left of our business. Considering needs like doctors and bank accounts that I need to re-order. Wondering how to pare down 40 years of a life to make it transportable to a smaller footprint.             At first I was too overwhelmed to think about, let alone write about, the plethora of business decisions I have to make (ie which of the properties Ralph bought at the end of his career–when his cognitive powers had already diminished–to sell, how to move quickly enough to find a new home if I sell the farm faster than I expect, how to move at all if the farm doesn’t sell in a reasonable time). But while I’m still anxious, I’ve begun to enjoy the challenge of fitting the pieces of our financial jigsaw puzzle into place.  I enjoy the number crunching and I definitely enjoy roaming through realtor.com to look at houses for sale…
  1. Myself. Yep, I admit it. I have been wrapped up my own life.  I’ve been working with a growing roster of clients in my new mini-career as an editor (work I can do as easily from Nola as from here), I’ve been traveling to see kids and grandkids. I have started a drawing class and can’t stop drawing whenever I have a free minute. I’ve been promoting my friend photographer MaryBeth Meehan outdoor outsized portrait project Seeing Newnan, which has the community buzzing. I’ve been writing on my own.

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Of course, I am getting Ralph to his doctor appointments. Keeping track of his meds and his food. Writing his daily life list that seems to be getting longer as I add more activities in danger of being forgotten if I’m not around to nag, like showering. I just have not been obsessing about him while I can afford not to. It’s almost as if I’ve set up a savings account with the energy I don’t need to expend now and may need to call on later. At least that’s what I tell myself when the guilt starts rising.

8 thoughts on “A Mental Vacation from Memoryland

  1. I find myself looking forward to your posts more and more. My husband is in that “limbo land” of mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia. I haven’t shared with many people – with those I have they always say how great he is doing. They don’t understand that he is at his best in those situations but that at home I am making every decision (financial, medical, social…) for the two of us. I think it is hard to understand what this is like without living it. That is why I find yours, and others, communication so important.
    I am glad you are finding some joy in making plans. I am trying to do the same. By sharing our positive moments also it gives each of us “permission” to make the most of our situations. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and writing me. It is an odd limbo/purgatory isn’t it. So glad you too are recognizing the importance of finding your own joy.

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  2. Your honesty is incredibly refreshing, and it’s just a tricky thing to write about – on the one hand, you care about your spouse, and on the other, it is a long, long, difficult haul that slowly dissolves the relationship you had and loved. It’s really hard to figure out what is the right thing to do. Reading other people’s blogs helps a LOT. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. You are so right about how tricky the balance can be and how the length of time erodes aspects of the relationship. Glad I can be helpful……

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  3. Good to see you back and what a great post. I love the idea of a savings account for energy to use later. Re-directing your life with the sale of the farm and moving sounds to me like it takes a lot of energy but you seem to have plenty left over for your own projects. I didn’t know you were an artist. Mary Beth’s outsized portrait project is amazing. Such a happy post.

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    1. So glad you went to the Mary beth site. This has been a massive project and is having a real impact drawing people into all kinds of conversation. There had been fears among some that it was too controversial for a small southern town but the reaction has been remarkable. ps I am Not an artist, lol, have never painted or drawn, but I’m loving pushing into a whole new realm of expression.

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  4. Those mini- me vacations can feel guilt laden but also sanity protective.
    I, too, needed to stop noticing and did so almost to the point of neglect.
    Regardless, the house stood, and everyone was ok.
    We all weave and bob as we tweak a life of balance. Enjoying life instead of house arrest is the only way to make the long haul- in my opinion.

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    1. Thank you so much for writing. It really helps to know others go through the same experience. I often pause when I’m about to write a truth of my life in fear that others will judge me badly, but a note like yours reminds me how important it is to be honest with myself and others…..

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