My parents are in town, so my wife, my daughter, my parents, my sister, my daughter’s friend, and I all made a trip up to Duluth to see other family members. Technically, we made two trips because everyone except my parents and me headed north on Friday. My parents drove me up Saturday. The weekend has been fun, but as always travel is exhausting for me. I am more than a little worried about the impact of driving up on Saturday, seeing lots of relatives, and then driving home on Sunday at midday. Given my stress level from the past week at my job, my time this weekend might have been “best” spent collapsed on a couch in Saint Paul. Because the intensity level in my classroom will only increase in the coming week, I will no doubt pay for pushing my body on the weekend too. I certainly am feeling far more tired today than I have on many other recent Sundays. And, we still need to get in the car for the trip beck home. I will do my best to stay low key today, but there is much to be done in the house too. It has been great to get away, but I hate that life with narcolepsy makes even a weekend trip overwhelming. The other piece that makes a weekend like this tough is that no one in my family fully “gets it.” My wife does have the best level of understanding, but even she had a list of chores I needed to do before leaving for Duluth on Saturday morning. My complete lack of energy on Friday meant that I needed to work like mad on Saturday before my parents arrived. I did a good job of cleaning, but was sweating profusely by the time I finished. For my parents and my Duluth relatives there are always a lot of questions, which I appreciate because it shows that they all care, but narcolepsy rarely makes “sense” to anyone other than other people who live with the condition. I need to get ready to head home now, and tension levels are rising in the hotel room, so ending this post is definitely in my best interest regardless of how tired I am.
Category Archives: Cleaning
The day was definitely low key at my house today. My daughter had a friend here over night, and the two of them had fun creating a movie on my MacBook Pro. They also played air hockey, goofed around, and enjoyed the Wii. My wife spent most of the day resting, but is getting to some of the chores now. She is definitely feeling some pressure because we are leaving on vacation this Thursday. Thus, we need to get the house cleaned and have a number of ducks in a row before we hop in the car. Not only is she thinking about the work at home, but also she needs to get a number of things done at her office. Plus, her husband with narcolepsy is not a big help in crunch times – oops!
I spent the day puttering, but I did get some things done. I washed some dishes and finally cleaned off our dining room table. I am still hoping to get a couple more things done before I head to bed. More than anything, though, I used the day to recharge a bit. I tried to let go of my worries, appreciating the things that I did get done. Hopefully, my lack of fretting will continue throughout the week, allowing me to maintain my energy and to accomplish a few more tasks in the process. I definitely need for that to happen, but sometimes my body and my narcolepsy make their own plans. It does not help that I have two six hour meetings on Monday and Tuesday up at school. In the end, though, things will be what they are, and we will still leave on our vacation regardless. Life is funny that way.
I chose not to push myself at all today. While I desperately want to be more productive, I knew after yesterday that I would be a fool to drive myself today. Thus, I got up slowly and thoroughly enjoyed the long “talk time” with my wife. It amazes me each week how wonderful it is just to spend time in honest conversation with her. I also know that those exchanges are a huge part of why my love for her deepens every day. After we finished, I attempted the crossword and finished the sudoku in the StarTribune. Then, I played some Animal Crossing, which is rapidly becoming my favorite mindless past time.
My wife asked me today how I can enjoy it because there is no “objective” to the game. But, I think that is what I like about it. Before my narcolepsy became intolerable, I enjoyed fishing. What was good about it for me is that I could sit and do nothing, but not get stressed out. Ordinarily, lounging causes me immense amounts of stress because my brain wants me to do things. In fact, it uses quiet times to inundate me with a myriad of unfinished tasks, but fishing WAS something. I could be focused on the process of casting and retrieving, blocking out the normal litany from my mind. Animal Crossing definitely fills a similar role, partly because I spend a decent amount of my time in the game fishing. I will need to be careful of my time with this one, but it is a good way for me to use my downtime in a restful way.
I did manage to help clean our kitchen. I even put away a few of the piles from our dining room table. Hopefully, I will have a bit more energy tomorrow. The most important aspect of the day, though, is that I am at peace with what I did and what I left undone. Much of my stress earlier this week centered on what I have not finished yet for this coming school year. The reality is that I still have time to get things done, and I am a part of an amazing team. We made significant strides on Thursday and Friday. I am willing to guess we will have even more success on this coming Thursday. I need to remember that I have already been more efficient this summer than I have been at any point in my teaching career. I still want to do more, and I will. But, I deserve congratulations for the work I have done thus far. Plus, it will do me no good to make myself sick well before the school year begins. Summer has to be about me regaining energy so I can be effective during the school year. I truly do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I will do my best to get one or two things done, and I will make sure that I continue to take the breaks that my body needs to rebuild my reserves.
The hour is late. We just got home from the set strike from my daughter’s play. Technically, my wife and I got home just now from set strike; my daughter just got home from the cast party. Today was an insane whirlwind of activity. After having the first full night of Xyrem after three days of half doses, I was slow to rise this morning. I eventually got up and let my wife and daughter sleep. They were both wiped out after the stress and the exultation of yesterday’s performance. I played a little on the Wii, did the crossword, and got a couple of things together for my MOONS-MN gathering. Then, when my wife did wake up, we had our weekly “talk time.”
I truly enjoy our weekly ritual, but today was extra special because we basically talk about how much we both enjoyed seeing our daughter perform. Soon, though, I needed to get ready for MOONS. I got to the MOONS meeting early because we had to use a different room this time. Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital was doing maintenance work in our usual room. The new spot was tough to find. I did try to put up some signs, but then stood near the entrance to the hospital to make sure people knew where to go. I also wound up going up and down the stairs repeatedly because our usual meeting room is down one floor. Thankfully, I spotted most folks and got them to the room. The afternoon was a blast because we had 11 people there simply sharing their stories and chatting about life with narcolepsy. One of the best things was the age range. We spanned from 21 up to 80. I have high hopes for the direction that MOONS continues to take.
After the meeting broke up, I had to hop back in my car to get home. Traffic was rotten, so I got home at 5:05. Fifteen minutes later we were in the car heading for my daughter’s show. My wife and I helped clean the floor before the performance because there was still popcorn crumbs in many spots. Then we did other odd jobs. The performance was even better tonight, and our daughter was radiant yet again. I am thrilled that this was such a good experience for her. Finally, our daughter got to hang out with her friends on the cast, while my wife and I helped get everything in order.
Although it is late, and I will definitely pay for the energy I exerted today, everything was worth it. The time with my wife and the MOONS meeting would have made for an awesome day if only one had happened. But the fact that both took place today, AND I got to see my daughter light up the stage yet again, makes this a day to remember. Crazy and chaotic though it was, the day was glorious.
>The last day or so have gone decently for me. While I do still feel adrift, I am having spurts of success when it comes to knocking one or two things off my ever-growing list. Beyond the finances, I filed somethings in our office, and I managed to get some tasks done for MOONS-MN. Most importantly, I got invitations out to others for the MOONS-MN gathering this coming Saturday, July 18. I definitely hope that a few people can make it. We are trying to have a few gatherings that are more social in nature because we know that many people want to have MOONS be more of a support group.
The best part about getting the emails and the U.S. Mail sent is that I will not feel any guilt or shame now, regardless of the turn out on Saturday. Had I been unable to accomplish those tasks, though, I am sure that I would have blamed myself for any failures (real or imagined) that might have happened. I definitely wish at times that I did not have this overdeveloped sense of responsibility. The reality is that I can only do so much, and I am honestly putting forth my best effort. I also feel good that I am making progress in helping get MOONS more organized – many hands truly do make light work.
One goal that I do have for today is to put closer to one thing around my house. I am not sure yet whether that will be our office (or at least the clutter on the desks – since there is MORE to do than I can accomplish in a day) or cleaning the kitchen completely. I feel like I am slowly wrapping my head around the idea of chipping slowly away at my many tasks. That is just one more piece of the lifelong journey that living with narcolepsy gives to me. I also know that I will need to spend some time this afternoon resting. My sleep last night was limited. Although I intentionally worked late, I still managed to fall asleep (post-Xyrem) in our office. Fortunately, my wife rescued me and brought me to the bed for a couple hours of decent sleep.