Because some days just don’t seem to have enough hours in them, I wasn’t able to complete my October mind cleanup last month, so I decided to fuse it with November. And then November came and went, and suddenly we’re halfway through December.
Still, I think it is OK to share my Mind Cleanup for the past two months now. There is a real chance December and January will get to share a blogpost too.
October was a month that was characterized by a period of intense interaction between my parents and myself. I stayed on their premises for a few weeks and helped put some structure into their days, that were being dominated by ugly things like cancer, corona and quarantines.
They were very grateful. I felt useful and was glad to help.
My parents’ household has never been super tidy or clean (and that’s an understatement), but the different C-words made a stricter regime necessary. I managed (better than I thought I would), but did not enjoy.
That whole episode made me realize the luxury of the life I live: an easy house, a laid back partner, enough financial wiggle room to be able to order take out several times a week (or semi-prepared food with minor work involved).
Taking care of my parents also gave me a small peek into the life of family life. My mother in particular was quite “needy” making me feel the type of responsibility I imagine a child might also have. It is not something I want in my life.
At the same time I realize that if my parents did not have me, they would have had a very hard time getting the help they needed. So… what does that mean for the care I may need when my bones go brittle?
While caring for my parents I stayed in their guest accommodation, which is a cabin with a small kitchen, shower and toilet downstairs. Upstairs there is one room with TV and wi-fi, so comfortable enough. Heating comes from a woodstove, which was nice for the first couple of days, but at some point it started to bum me out.
Particularly on days that I was physically exhausted or emotionally drained, the idea of having to fetch wood from outside was quite a hurdle.
I would have been able to deal with it for months if needed, but after almost three weeks I decided to take a break and headed back home for a couple of days of simple urban life. If I hadn’t realized it before, I sure did now; I’m a pampered wuss (but I can deal with shit if needed).
The complicated relationship of my parents is something I will never understand. I was raised by them, so their idiosyncrasy shouldn’t surprise me, but it still catches me off guard sometimes.
How they manage to always rub each other the exact wrong way makes me laugh and cry at the same time. They step into every single trap the other sets up and constantly feed each other with ammunition for the next pointless discussion. And sometimes, one or the other just completely and unreasonably looses their temper… and then… nothing… they just go on with their lives…
After being in their presence for more than a week, I felt myself slipping into their pit of confused structures and engaging in conversational swamps that made me want to pull out my hair (or theirs).
Passionate. That is what I used to call it. “High peaks, deep lows” and the like. It has a romantic feel to it and I may even have believed that was actually the case at one time. I could fill several books with my analyses of what I think they do wrong and how they have gotten to this point (and which lessons can be learned).
It just takes so much patience. So much clarity of mind. So much time. And love.
Such a slippery concept! If you’re plugged into it, you can move mountains without even causing a tremor. But if its light gets cloaked by a cloud of something poisonous (fear for example) it is a manipulative tool and an absolute energy drainer.
And right in the middle of my stay with my folks, the US elections happened. I was completely over it before it even began. My dad still insisted on watching the news every hour. If only he knew then, it would take another month and a half (and counting) before there would be any definitive hammer blow on the matter.
And I still can’t decide if I should go for “let’s forget this ever happened” or “let’s analyze the shit out of what happened and talk about it extensively for as long as necessary to get tot the (real) bottom of it”. It affected all of our moods.
An alternative we would switch to every now and then was some episode or other of Anthony Bourdain or any other one of my mother’s favorite TV cooks… but watching that during a time that my mother could hardly bare the sight or smell of food was not particularly fun for anyone.
The British detective series which she claims to watch for the cute cottage scenes and sophisticated clothing gave her nightmares.
So, if you ever read this: sir David Attenborough, thank you for all the series you have made. Thank you for your lullaby of a voice. Thank you (and your crew) for the beautiful scenes you have captured and the lessons you share. Thank you.
About my 36th
It was also my birthday! I turned 36. Sagittarius in the house, woop woop!
Oh and remember that T-shirt I said I needed in my Axolotl-post? Well, somebody was paying attention and bought it for me for my birthday. So happy!
And my mother gave me Obama’s biography (part 1, apparently). I think I read about 100 pages so far (700 to go)… and yes, he really is an awesome person.
All the good things
With just a few weeks of twentytwenty-ness to go, let me tell you one thing. You can do this!
I wish you all the pretty colors, all the soothing sounds, all the warmth and all the cosy feelings.
Stay safe. Be kind.
See you in two-oh-two-one!