18 March 2008


Work has been really slow. It was crazy when I first started, so I've appreciated the chance to catch my breath, but I'm struggling to find ways to keep myself occupied and make myself feel useful. 

On the other hand, I've been able to take care of a lot of personal projects at work, which has been really nice, and has freed up my time in the evenings to take care of even more. In the past couple of weeks I have (in no particular order):

1. Started to sort out the last remaining retirement account of John's that needs to be transfered to my name, which means that I am one step closer to consolidating those accounts with the help of a financial planner.
1a. Had the services of a financial planner basically land in my lap through a friend; he's very busy with tax season right now, but it's on the radar that I will talk to him about my financial situation and how to best get it under control.
2. Made an appointment with the oncology social worker that I met with right before John died. I'm seeing her today and I also have an appointment set up with her for next Tuesday.
3. Organized all my digital photos of the twins to date and assembled the mini photo books through the current month. (Now I need to order prints and update the physical albums; I am ashamed to admit how far behind I am there.)
4. Started tagging stuff for my moms of twins club upcoming yard sale.
5. Sorted through a bunch of toys to determine what could get sold at the sale.
6. Found online retailers for the twins' cloth diapering needs and their preferred sippy cups; both retailers offer free shipping and have great prices.
7. Given away a box of cloth diapering stuff that was given to me by another twin mom but was already too small for M&R.
8. Continued to throw out or donate some stuff in my basement that has been hanging on for way too long.
9. Looked into upgrading my cell phone and straightened out the billing/name on the account.
10. Set up direct billing for my long-term care insurance.

Not bad!

I've gotten to the point where my evenings have really been my own for the past few nights. A lot of the items had been hanging over me for some time, and while some (like the photos and the financial stuff and the tagging for the sale) are ongoing, I feel like I'm making inroads and that I can breathe a little easier.

As a result, I've been going to bed earlier and getting more sleep, which is great. I've also been thinking of what I can do with my new-found time. Exercise is one thing. Still working on the motivation for that. I think I'm going to pull out my knitting needles and get to work on a knitting project. Not sure what yet, but I'll feel better about my somewhat pathetic reality TV habit if I'm making a sweater while I watch.

Speaking of reality TV, IDOL TONIGHT. More Beatles, which I'm lukewarm about even though I love the Beatles. Idol is one show during which there will be no knitting. And no talking. Only watching.

Not sure what the ultimate decision will be on the coffee maker, but thanks for all the input. I did go ahead and order the Senseo with the $15 promotion. I mean, for $15, I can hardly go wrong, which is the whole idea behind the promo, right? If it doesn't work for me, I'm sure I can find someone who would like to have it for free, so I'm just going to give that a try for now and see what happens. Four to six weeks for delivery, bah.

UPDATE: I just got an e-mail saying that my machine has shipped via DHL! So much for a four-to-six week wait. Yahoo!

I feel like I need to brainstorm a bit before my session with the social worker this afternoon. I was going to pen-and-paper brainstorm, but I'm sitting here typing already, so I figured I'd just share my brain dump with the Internet. You already know that I have old, yucky boobies, so really, we have no secrets.
  • how to stop being The Mom Who Yells
  • feelings of resentment, anger, frustration: where to put them
  • those feelings as related to John and the twins
  • guilt about resentment I felt towards John at the end of his life
  • not enjoying my life
  • not enjoying my kids
  • feeling like I'm doing the right thing--getting help from friends, getting out, finding time for myself, being kind to myself--but still feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and unhappy
  • learning to live in the moment
  • parenting issues: not sweating the small stuff, being more patient, letting loose and having fun
  • jealousy


Rebecca and Chris said...

Good for you for making that appointment with the social worker! My dad and stepmom were killed in a place crash in May 2004 (wow...I cannot believe it's been that long already) and I spoke with a counsellor for a while afterward. I know we're all different, but I found it really helped me to sort out my feelings. It was also nice to have someone who would just sit with you while you cried.

(I didn't mean this to be such a depressing comment! I have wonderful memories of my dad and stepmom and that is what I remember the majority of the time, not the bad way that they left us.)

mlg said...

Snick you are such a good parent and person. We all feel guilt and have our worries, but you are so hard on yourself. I am also an expert on that, so I know that pattern. Be sure to give yourself credit for the amazing things you do too!

Good Luck with your appointment. I hope she is able to offer you some relief somehow. The fact that you have gotten so much done recently is an awesome thing. I had a turn around like that after I started taking the Vit. D. It feels great, hu?

Mama Nabi said...

My list looks a LOT like yours...

I am not big on hearing amateur versions of The Beatles. And I am a BIG fan... I really liked "I am Sam" soundtrack, though.

As always, *hugs*. Hmmm, so when we come to visit, will we have to duke it out over who gets the first cup of coffee? :-)

Anonymous said...

One of the things I say over and over (but haven't yet said to you, since we don't know each other well yet...) is that I find it so frustrating that healing isn't linear.
I get indignant when I have a setback--when I feel worse one day than I did two weeks earlier. I get pissed that something can scrape open the scab, because I think, "Holy cow, why is that STILL a scab? Isn't it supposed to be a SCAR now? Aren't I supposed to be tougher & stronger? Haven't I moved past this yet?"
Which is all a long way of saying that I'm so impressed with all you've done and all you do, and hope that you will give yourself a little room for the setbacks, the tough days, the process.
Have you already read the book TODDLER, a collection of essays about parenting toddlers? If not, I'll loan it to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker and have been reading your site for a while and think of you and your precious children. I have the Senseo machine and love it! I also got it with the promotion. It's great if you just want 1 or 2 cups of coffee.

Anonymous said...

ANy hope of leaving us the website of the online retailer for cloth diapers? I'm on the lookout for some!


yatima said...

I am the Mom Who Yells, with far less ambient stress than you're dealing with.

Thinking about you a lot as the anniversary of John's death approaches.

Cancer is stupid. I hate it.

winecat said...

I'm so proud of you for seeing the social worker! I find it's always a benefit to have outside eyes to help look at your issues.

Anonymous said...


With regards to a knitting project: There is this ministry called The Prayer Shawl ministry, run through churches of all denominations; I'm sure there are some in Cambridge. The pattern is very simple, you knit a large shawl/blanket on very big needles and then the person who has organized the ministry gives them to people who have cancer, are recently widowed, in need of any kind of comfort. My cousin knit one for my mom when she had PC and I have it now. One of the churches in our community (not the one we attend) has this ministry and I've knit several for them. It's easy knitting (great to do while watching TV) and has great meaning to the recipient. If you google "Prayer Shawl Ministry" in your town and state, i'm sure you can find one nearby.


Keen said...

Mmmm...Idol night! Two deliciously indulgent hours for me tonight.

Good for you for getting so much done, especially the unpleasant stuff that is easy to put off. The appointment with the social worker sounds like it will be good, and I have to say that sorting out my own financial situation and going on a strict budget was so, so liberating.

You are definitely hard on yourself. I admire you so very much, and I don't mean that in the "Gee, I don't know how she does it" kind of way. Just for who you are.

Anonymous said...

Good on you for not only making the appointment but making a list of what you want to deal with.

Something I need to do.

Anonymous said...

Here's my take on the 'I'm doing all the right things, but I'm still stressed & overwhelmed' (which I can totally relate to).

Grief is hard, as you know. Even when you do it 'right', it's still hard. So you can do all the right things, you can win Griever of the Year (I'm in the running, too), and it will STILL be hard. Add in twin toddlers, and well- I will let you come to your own conclusions.

In my grief support group, we always get a little quotation to take home at the end. Last night I thought of you, because it's by Madeline L'Engle:

'But grief still has to be worked through. It is like walking through water. Sometimes there is an enormous breaker that knocks me down. Sometimes there is a sudden and fierce squall. But I know that many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.'

Keep on keepin' on, Snick.