Last weekend didn’t go as I expected.
I’ve lost none of the stress weighing on me.
And the world, which had already seemed crazy, has gotten a little darker and a little more worrisome.
I’ve been thinking about my Nana a lot lately.
My Nana is and was my Dad’s Mum. A devout Catholic woman with six kids, thirteen grandchildren, and a wicked sense of humour.
Being the youngest of the thirteen grandkids, I didn’t get as much time with her as I would have liked. Nana had two strokes and passed away when I was 10, but I have a lot of memories with her when she was still in good health.
I was lucky enough that my folks lived very close and so I spent a lot of time with her and my Papa when I was a kid, though Papa and I didn’t really get to know each other until after she passed.
I always thought she was bullet proof, partly because when you’re a kid everyone seems that way and partly because she always seemed so matter of fact about things. Some of that is probably just my kid’s perspective but it’s how I remember her.
She was always doing something. Weeding the garden or her flowerbeds, harvesting vegetables from the garden, hanging clothes on the line, making bread or pie. The yearly dusting of her literal hundreds of salt and pepper shakers.
I think about helping her with those things now, though I’m sure I wasn’t much of a help, and I’d give anything to be able to sit in her kitchen.
If I think about it, I can smell loaves of bread dough rising on the table as the wood oven goes to get the damp out of the kitchen, despite the fact it’s freaking summer and already hot. I can smell the dishsoap she used and see myself drinking a glass of well water that always tasted different than our well water is a pleasantly musty kind of way, while the plastic on the kitchen table (that I never saw without plastic on it) sticks to my arm, and I can smell the ghosts of her cigarettes.
I want so much to sit there with her (though if the bread was rising it was more likely she’d be sitting in the living room and watching the Young and the Restless) and ask her how she got through the hard times.
I’m not sure she’d talk about it, though. I have a distinct feeling her answer would involve God and I think she’d probably be horrified by my opinion on that matter.
I’m also not sure she’d have advice any different from my parents’, both of whom seldom have answers beyond my own when it comes to ‘what should I do?’ type of questions.
I feel like the world has sped up considerably and left some of us a bit behind. There’s so many different unspoken rules about things, and all of them vary depending on who you talk to, and everyone has this ridiculous assumption that everyone is on the same page and if they aren’t, then that is somehow their fault rather than just simply a fact of life.
I think maybe the reason I’ve been thinking about my Nana so much lately is that I want to go back to that feeling I had when she was still in good health and we would spend time together.
I was the thirteenth grandchild but Nana never made me feel unimportant. She made me a part of whatever she was doing, she made space for me, and she never had to tell me she loved me because she showed it in the way she’d stay with me till I fell asleep and treat me like a person instead of just a kid.
It’s that last part that’s the most important.
I think it’s easier when you’re dealing with kids because kids haven’t quite grown into all the complexities of a fully grown person, but I think people tend to fail to treat others like people.
I don’t feel like a person a lot of the time. I, most often, feel like people are talking to an image they’ve constructed of who I am and when I don’t fit into that mold, I get slapped.
In fairness, I tend to try to fit in whatever mold I think people see me in. Which isn’t fair, to them or to me, but I can’t seem to help myself. I think it’s probably a defense mechanism.
I try really hard not to view people as something in particular, but I know I’m guilty of it too. It’s hard not to fall into that habit because we’re part of a society that has taught us that given enough information, we know everything.
That’s bullshit, by the way.
There’s still so much we don’t know.
It just feels, at least to me, like we’re all under constant scrutiny. Everyone is always watching and there are all these expectations.
I am so tired.
I’m tired of constantly trying and failing to be whatever it is people think I’m supposed to be. It’s like charades where you don’t know what you’re supposed to be acting out and every once in a while you get exhausted and act the part badly only to get stuff thrown at you from your team members.
I think I’m rambling at this point but all my thoughts lately are in a scrambled mess, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
When it comes down to it, all you can do is the best you can do.
I’ve done and am doing the best I can with what I have.
Posted on July 10, 2016, in Serious Life Stuff and tagged afraid, anxiety, appreciate what you have, Be yourself, Do what you can, Do your best, emotion, emotions, Fear, life is scary. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.