On my side of the family, everyone is living more flexibly for the time being. I am sad to report that my nieces husband who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer back in early spring, has not responded to any of the treatment. The decision was made to focus on pain management for however long he has. He and my niece chose to stay with his parents, more help for days when hospice isn't visiting. The kids are staying with my brother and sister-in- law who has taken a leave of absence. DD2 was on call to help with the kids as my sister-in-law and brother may be needed elsewhere. She spent several hours on Friday, and rearranged a practice schedule with her violin partner to Sunday, so she would free up more time to be on call as the kids are spending a long weekend with their aunt (my other niece), uncle and cousins, for hopefully a bit of fun respite. A family friend is drawing up a schedule/rotation of what needs to be done such as caring for their home, mowing grass, meals, and other parts of life that just need to keep going on. Having a large family, plus a network of caring friends, means we can all divide and conquer, giving them space they need.
In thinking about what I should set for goals for August, I decided to focus on just living a good life. I'd like to get to September, look over my notes in my calendar, and say, "that was time well spent." For now, that means I want to appreciate every moment of every activity I do.
- I'm super excited to meet in person Sluggy, from Don't Read This, It's Boring later today. I'm one of her stops on her home route of her cross country road trip. If she is 1/10th as fun as she comes across in her blog, it will be a good visit. I spent some time on Sunday baking and preparing some food, a little tidying, though I have been pretty honest in my housekeeping skills in my blog, so I hope her expectations are low. I would have liked to take the day off, but I am in meetings until 1:30, and then have a stop or two to make on route. We haven't finalized a specific time yet.
- As much as I get annoyed with my MIL, I am aware she does have incredibly lonely times since my father-in-law died. I hope that we make her birthday weekend next week special. I have a very cute picture of DD2 and my nephew that I'm going to get printed for her, but not really sure what else. I might order her mums from DD2's show choir fundraiser.
- DD2 and I are going on her first college visit next Friday. The next few years will be a mix of excitement and bitter sweet. I am excited to see her react to what she sees and learns as she makes her decision on life after high school.
- I am working two events for work, the state fair, and the open house weekend for the unveiling of the renovated Minnesota State Capitol building. I could look at both as a burden on my time, or choose instead to view as an experience networking with colleagues and community, celebrating our home state. Heck, I get two t-shirts out of the deal!
- I'm determined to get that first light of morning walk in each day, both for the exercise physically, but for the mind cleanse to start the day. Knowing pup will want to tag along, I'll not be bothered by his many sniff and pee stops. Several acquaintances have lost their fur babies recently, and I need to cherish every annoying minute we have him.
- Even with my budget challenge, I want to savor the simplicity of the meals I prepare, and use the time to teach DD2 better kitchen and budgeting skills.
Speaking of the good life, I'd like to recommend a book to you all. It is quite old now, but I had bought a used copy some time ago and came across it recently. Loving and Leaving the Good Life is Helen Nearing's memoir about her life with her husband Scott, after living together for 53 years, building a life of self-sufficiency, generosity, social justice, and peace. Scott died at age 100 in 1983; Helen 12 years later at 91. I want to reread this month and bolster my mind set on what living a good life truly means.
|Photo and book from Amazon.com|