I am finding it hard to concentrate on work today. Or perhaps I simply do not want to do the work that is waiting for me, because it is mind-numbing and I find it exhausting. As a child I loved playing the game Concentration and was very good at it – I do have somewhat of a photographic memory, so I was able to conquer the game and my opponents (usually my older siblings) easily, which, as the youngest was always the greatest victory.

Sometimes I think I remember too much. They are photographs in my head that will not go away. I am grateful for most – I am not a photographer, so in all of my travels a camera was not something I took with me. I used my eyes to capture the images I never wished to forget. Of course, this can be a bittersweet ability, as there are things my mind’s eye will never erase, such as finding my husband’s body. But for the most part it is a trait I love having, as if a fairy godmother granted it to me as a child, and it has served me very well over the years. If I have the Alzheimer’s gene that my mother carries, one day this could all be gone, and I cannot imagine the loss of it.

I started the day well. I woke up an hour early. I meditated. I exercised for the first time in weeks. Perhaps months. It was exhilarating. I am focused on having a positive day, even though I abhor the work in front of me, I know at some point I will make peace with it, dig in and get it done. Maybe tomorrow I’ll carve away at more of it, and by next week it will be done. I just don’t understand “busy work” and I think most adults would agree with me. It feels like such a waste of precious time.

My partner and I are having the distance issues again, already. We bicker daily. Not horribly so. Not to the point where I have told him to not call me for the rest of the day, as I have done in the past. But he is putting the pressure on again. When I complained about my computer not charging (again) and how I needed it for the work he and everyone else in my family want me to do to move closer to them, his comeback was I hadn’t even worked on this yet. At least not the newest round waiting for me in a queue. My brakes locked. I reminded him I had just gotten back from a trip, was trying to re-acclimate to the Swamp, and that it was something for me to do on the weekend – not when I am at work, and not after staring at computer monitors for 8 hours a day. I need to be fresh. He doesn’t get it which causes the arguments to begin. Then I begin to wonder what the hell is he doing to try and make this work? Where is his focus? I know he is taking care of his son, but jesus man, give me a fucking break and let me just be. Let me find my center again, so I can write the best damn applications possible.

That’s when he becomes a crazy-maker in my life. That’s when my concentration snaps and I feel the water rising higher, as I try and keep my head above the oncoming waves. I just want to be able to focus on the here and now, because there is a ton of stuff coming up where I currently work, and I have to focus on it while I am here. By the time I get home, between the hours of dealing with people and computer screens and the horrid heat that awaits beyond the windows, I am spent. And I just want to nap, relax, not think. Because oftentimes I think far too much.

I am trying to reign that in. The over-thinking. I am trying to just be. As I tread water, I am also trying to flow with the current to see what will appear, where it will take me. But the more pressure you put on me, the more likely I am to dig in my heels and resist. I once had a therapist tell me I was too much like a cat (sorry, cat lovers) and needed to be more like a dog. And I am like a cat – you corner me with too many expectations or demands and I will come out with my claws bared. And I don’t want to feel that way today. I don’t want to feel that way about him.

But it’s the distance. And neither one of us expected it to be this hard. We bicker when we first get together, as we need to find our happy medium of living under the same roof. We bicker when we’re apart, because we miss one another so much. My father always asks the most annoying question of all of us: “if you could do it all over, would you?” Yes, I would have. I would have come here. I would have left the horrid place I worked before that sapped every ounce of my strength on a daily basis. The only thing I do regret is that my partner could not move with me this time.

We’ve been fortunate up till now. I have been able to move around the country for jobs that seems appealing and further my career (or the career I once wanted) and he works for himself, so he can be anywhere. But now there is a child involved, one that needs a father as he is entering his teenage years and with an insane mother, having a father that gives him freedom and adventure is more important than his living here. I see this. As much as I never wanted children, I love this child and want only what is best for him. So if that means we cannot be together, then that is how it has to be for now. Until I leave. But I do not know when or how that will happen.

I want a vacation from everyone. From life. From expectations that others have for me and how they believe I should be living my life. I find it ironic, because I do not think I ask for much from anyone I love. Love and acceptance should be given freely. I do not want to box anyone into a corner. If you want my help, advice, I am happy to share it. But I will not bulldoze anyone into something they are not comfortable with – so I wish others would stop doing that to me.

What I need is space and time to regain my concentration. To find what really want and figure how to make it a reality. I am hoping I can stop the static in my brain he began this morning. I hope I can focus again. If not for the next 2 hours before I am free, then later, when I am home and the air conditioner fills the apartment with the white noise I love that keeps all other sounds at bay.

I feel I am growing. I feel I am finding that I can swim with the current and no longer have to tread water. How long will this last? That is anyone’s guess. Tomorrow I could wake up and all the pictures could be washed in black, but I hope not. It is not easy to keep the monsters, the voices, at bay. But I am fighting to stay in this space, where I have an outlet, a creative one, a place to get these emotions out and not harm myself if the negative thoughts return.

I just need to concentrate on the positive and the possibilities for the present, as well as for the future…

© Sorrow & Kindness


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