This past working week, I have left the office at the following times:
19h00, 20h00, 21h00, 22h00, 15h30 respectively.
My boss asked me what I was still doing at work at 20h00 one evening, and I retorted cheekily with, "I could ask you the same question."
It just brings home how much Cliff supported me in such a fundamental way ... the reminders I had set in my phone, instead of having a "to do list" (because looking at all the chores at once is so overwhelming, I prefer to carve them up into more manageable chunks, i.e. one day at a time) were all bar one postponed till next week ... when hopefully, my working hours will be more earthly.
I had to drive home in temperatures of -5 degrees in my rear wheel drive on Friday night, and it terrified me. But I was a big girl and remembered Cliff's voice telling me, "don't worry about the person behind you ... if he wants to go faster, let him overtake." And that was the philosophy that I adopted for the journey. The full moon also urged me on ... I felt some comfort from it, hard to describe ... something to do with dragons and men that were fearless. I got home calmly and no tears were shed until I was safely inside my own front door.
It feels as though I've been juggling for so long. One man down. Something had to give, and this weekend it was my health. I got a sickness bug, and I swear it was due to being run down and exhausted. So, I dropped my balls. Cancelled all my commitments for the weekend, and stayed in my PJ's for the duration ... snoozing, watching TV, making plans (yes, can't stop myself) with realistic time lines this time ...
If I hadn't taken this time out, by Monday, I'd have been really ill. I know it's the right decision.
Yet, I still feel guilty.
Or, perhaps I am just worried ...
... that people won't understand. That they don't "get" that losing Cliff feels like yesterday to me. That they will misinterpret my appearance of coping as having "moved on", that they don't realize what it takes out of me to travel an hour, or clean my house, or ........
I'm not flaky. I just have my own limit. And I've reached it.
Yet, I still feel bad.
I had to cancel my brother-in-law coming to ascertain what he needs to do to finish off our home.
I didn't see my sister-in-law who was over from Holland
I haven't seen my other sister-in-law or my father-in-law since god knows when
I didn't visit my other brother-in-law either
I hope they know that it's not that I don't care, or that I don't want to.
Because I do.
But something had to give this weekend, otherwise everything would spiral out of control.
If I can keep work under control, this helps ... because my waking hours are mainly spent at work. If that goes awry, everything else is affected. I'm trying to stay stable health-wise, to not hit rock-bottom thinking about Christmas and the New Year ... for this year is going to be a lot harder. Simply because I understand that he is really dead now. I've made a plan for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ... and will be with my Mayhew family, sleeping over at one brother-in-law's on Xmas Eve, visiting my sister-in-law Xmas Day morning en route to Xmas dinner with my best girlfriend. I thought about spending it with my family, but it's a much longer drive (three times longer) with a higher risk of driving through snow and ice ... and it means less time separated from my shitheads/dogs. AND, less time to get home should I feel the need to run home.
See? I'm even juggling plans, things that haven't happened yet. Weighing up pros and cons, guessing my emotions on the days ahead.
The Santa's from two years ago are still up in my home. I think I'll plug them in this year. It's a step forward. I'm aiming to put up a tree next year. Not ready for it yet.
It's exhausting doing this without him. The simplest things. Let alone the holidays.
I wish I was a dog ... then all I'd need to worry about was ... well, nothing.
Thank you, my beautiful strong husband, you gave me 15 years of that. Living in my lala-land, without a care in the world. How I wish for those halycon days.