It’s Friday morning… it’s been a busy week. Today is my birthday. I have not been blogging much. I guess I have just been busy… happy… momentarily less reflective and needing to share. I did go to a workshop in downtown Seattle last weekend that I thought about sharing about… I convinced my friend Sandy to go with me. I get tired sometimes of always doing stuff alone… so it was nice to have someone to share the experience with – LOL.
This week one of my nephews was drafted by the Astros. I have learned some things about baseball and the draft process and how things in that arena work. His parents are having a big celebration for him tomorrow… so I ended up getting called first thing bright and early Tuesday morning by my ex-brother-in-law again to say “Help me… My office is a disaster again and we are having a big party and I have to pull it together but I’m too busy to even see straight.” I threw on some clothes and went right over.
As you may recall from a previous post not that long ago, I recently unburied him, so it wasn’t as bad as it had been but was out of control again. He had tubs of miscellaneous stuff dotted with receipts all over the family room and piles of paper in his office again… along with golf clubs and tools (he has been doing some remodels as part of his real estate business) and “Oh by the way” he says, “I have about $60K in outstanding reimbursements I need to somehow find the receipts and make reimbursement requests for before my wife divorces me.” Day one I dove right in… 12 non-stop hours of controlling his chaos. Around 4pm both of them poured drinks and kept offering me wine or whisky or a margarita… both of them shocked because I continually declined. Every time I am there, they try to give me alcohol… I’m not there to party – LOL.
Day two I told him something I had wanted to for a while now… I told him “Ed, I know that change is a big deal for you. I appreciate that, but are you aware not all real estate brokers are drowning in paper? I, for one, am completely digital when it comes to my real estate business. I don’t have to file mountains of physical paperwork anymore unless I come to your house. You know everything is energy, right? All these up-files and overflowing file cabinets disrupt the flow of energy. This computer you have… with a rat’s nest of cables and cords… and multiple monitors (so 2005) and peripheral pieces of crap everywhere… it looks horrible and is a mess and not even efficient. They have these wonderful computers now with all-in-one systems and over-sized screens instead of multiple monitors… with much more memory and so much speed… you need to move all this paper out of here, get a new computer, and quit printing every little thing. By the way – this printer you have is wireless, you are just using it wired because your computer isn’t wireless, and they also have wireless keyboards and mouses also (I resisted the urge to say mice). I’ve been mostly paper free with my business for 10 years now.” He surprisingly agreed to all those changes. So, I carefully boxed up and removed a ton of old, dead weight from his office and helped him choose a new laptop and a new desktop computer. Mostly I had to box and move everything by myself because his wife was having a very bad day, feeling stressed out and screaming at him every time he came within 10 feet of her. Plus, he was still juggling deals and coordinating contractor things while doing other chores in preparation for the party. Another 12 non-stop hour workday… with no food (must remember to keep a protein bar in my bag).
It’s not comfortable to be around people fighting. But I have known them for 37 years. I’ve been in this spot before. Even when he was gone running errands, she was still pissy and saying things out loud (LOL) like “I’ve put up with this shit for 30 years. I’m sick of it. I don’t want people coming over seeing everything torn up (they are in the middle of a kitchen and master bath remodel) looking like “white trash” with lumber in the yard and tools in the living room. I’m tired of his bullshit promises and never finishing anything.” I tried to soothe her occasionally by pointing out the things that are going right… “It’s getting cleaned up… we are making progress now… you guys have a lot on your plate” and the like. It did no good – but what can I do other than try to soothe her? Meanwhile when she would snap at him over this or that or go off on a tangent at him dredging up things from 20 years ago, I would tell him “She’s stressed… just soothe her, tell her she is right and you are sorry – even if you don’t really think she is, or you really are because you can’t reason with or have a rational conversation with someone this mad and stressed.” At one point she was out back with a pressure washer, and they were arguing about if and how it should be used. He came in shaking his head and saying, “What the fuck?” I did tell him I know she is not feeling appreciated based on many things she said during the day. Don’t forget to tell her you appreciate things she does to make the house and the family work (they have three mostly adult now children) and the fact she does all those things while also being a loan officer – she doesn’t have someone who does her laundry or makes her a meal like you do… You get your sense of worth from being a “provider”, but she is also over-worked (because that’s the way modern life is) and needs you to appreciate her so she feels self-worth (wrong… but a fact). I took her a big, cold, glass of Rose to drink while power washing which calmed her down a bit, poured Ed a whiskey, and called it a day.
Day three I got all of his new computers up and functional with everything he needed. Put his email on his iPhone for him because he had gotten a new phone a few months ago and for some reason couldn’t figure out how to do it (??) and I rearranged his drop box to make it all more user friendly and explained you never want 15,000+ documents you have to scroll through… we use folders and sub-folders (Wish my laptop had emojis – need a face slap here!). When we went to pick up his new computers, we talked about the previous day’s issues with his wife. He shared she remained unpleasant all night and today she was being quiet. (Quiet is not always a good thing when it comes to a spouse…) I am not a screamer. I always approach things rationally, but for some reason many women do not… we talked about that and how she might be feeling and what he might do to improve the relationship. I refrained from talking about her drinking – although it crossed my mind… very much NOT my business… but I have thought for a long time she was self-medicating other things with too much wine and that creates other issues… especially with communication and processing of stuff and having a healthy relationship with your spouse… but again – NOT my business.
Today, since it’s my birthday, they are on their own. I am spending the day with two of my daughters on a boat that belongs to one of them. We will have a fun and relaxing day. But I did wake up thinking about being 58. There was a time (feels like yesterday) when I thought 58 was really fucking old. I know my daughters think it is (LOL), The youngest spent time researching and scheduling doctor’s appointments for me yesterday for some reason… I’m not sick, nor do I “need” anything – LOL. She scheduled a physical, an allergist (she seems to think I will have a big allergic reaction to something in Europe – I have no idea why) and indicated she wanted the doctor to give referrals for other things (I have new health insurance) and scheduled me for my second Covid booster for tomorrow. I appreciate (I think I do… LOL) that she wanted to do this for me… “un-asked” for… I guess she likes me and wants me to stick around. Also, since she is immunocompromised, she knows a lot about the health care system and getting things done. We lovingly call her Dr. Chelsea although she is not a doctor because she knows so much about everything body and medical related. She recently requested and read her father’s autopsy… 26 pages… she was (I think) looking for clues about her issues since they evaluate every major organ when they do an autopsy. He died of a heart attack at 53, but there was information about his fat (only 4% – note: skinny does not equal healthy), his liver, kidney, lungs, etc. I think she was hoping to find some little thread to follow to give her doctors information so she can get resolution to her medical issues (she has Cushing’s disease and a brain tumor).
Life as a 58-year-old woman does not look quite like I had envisioned. I have a lot of thoughts about that… but choose to find positive things to focus on instead. Although I come from a line of women who live to be in their late 90’s, realistically I have between 10 and 30 years left here this time. I don’t really want to be 90 something and all that entails… after caring for my grandma her last years, I know I don’t really want to be trapped in a body that doesn’t want to cooperate. (I will be back for another life – it’s okay – LOL) I do truly see the mortality in this life experience… I don’t want to waste the time that’s left… it goes by so fast… there are so many things I still want to do and see… especially before I get “too old” to really enjoy them… I want to be one of those 80 something year old women who still do yoga and move their body… and have a zest for life and a twinkle in their eyes… and maybe a little child-like wonder left.