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Tony Grist

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Anticipation [Sep. 19th, 2013|11:01 am]
Tony Grist
Ailz asks me how I feel about going back to my mother's and I say, "Well, it's the next thing that happens." And she says she's sorry I'm so miserable and take so little pleasure in life and I get all defensive and say, "But I do. I enjoy things as they happen- like woodpeckers appearing on the lawn. I just don't anticipate..."

At which point I go off at a tangent- interesting in itself (at least to me)- but laying a trail away from the thing at issue.

The best things in life, I explain, are mostly those that jump out and go "boo", and the things you look forward to- like holidays and birthday treats- frequently disappoint. I tell her I try and take things as they come- calmly, without too much excitement or dread (the second is harder- dentist's appointments cast a long shadow) and when the nice surprises occur- oh, look, a woodpecker!- I do a little dance.

And then when the bad things happen I go into coping mode. And often the bad things turn out- in the long run- to be the good things- the things you learn from. And that's life, all upsy-downsy and back to front.

(I could have added- and will here- that one of the reasons I keep this blog is to remind myself that interesting and amusing and even wonderful things are happening all the time. If I didn't- with my short term memory- I'd look back and see a flat undifferentiated plain and wonder where the time went.)

End of tangent.

Returning now to the question I didn't answer- what do I feel about going back? The truth is I could cry. I could stomp my feet and throw things. I could go to bed and refuse to get up again. But we've taken on the care of my mother and we'll carry it through- so resignation is the better option.  I like living in the country well enough, but living here- on a street in a northern town- is what I chose. It's no accident I ran away to sea to be a sailor  put over 200 miles between myself and my parents as soon as I could. I don't want to go back. But I suspect (see above) that it's good for me.

And there are bound to be woodpeckers and other stuff like that. We'll have plenty of fun- I don't doubt it- but nothing I can see on the horizon right now. 
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2013-09-19 02:11 pm (UTC)
As you know, I'm estranged from my own parents and have had to make it clear to my brothers that the oldest I may be and the only woman I may be, but they needn't expect anything when the time comes!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-09-19 03:36 pm (UTC)
I had no particular quarrel with my parents except that we had almost nothing in common.

My mother likes horses, dogs, gardening and afternoon tea and is (though she says she isn't interested in politics) a paid-up member of the Conservative party.

A family friend asked me why I didn't like gardening and I said it was because my parents made me pull up weeds when I'd rather have been reading books.

These days I have an affinity for weeds. My own garden is full of them.

God, but I'm contrary!
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2013-09-19 04:34 pm (UTC)
My mother was very ill the whole time I was growing up (although I didn't realize it). I put 2000 miles between us as soon as I could, and I didn't come back until after she died. But, of course, I was 18 then, and much too young to take on the responsibility of a chronically ill parent (especially since I had had that responsibility dumped on me at a very early age).

I can see you not wanting to go back. I can see all of the reasons why it would be a "good" thing to do, but I can definitely relate to not wanting to. My mother is dead, and most often, the emotion that I feel about that is relief. I wish I didn't. I envy my partner, who went back and stayed were her mother the last few months of her life. I envy that she had that kind of relationship with her mom. I didn't. I would never have made that choice. Not in a million years.

I am grateful I don't have to feel guilty about it now.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-09-19 05:31 pm (UTC)
My mother and I don't talk. We never did. When I was younger she had a way of choking off conversation when it became too intimate/demanding/questioning. The things that interested me didn't interest her- and vice versa. When my father was alive she saw it as her role to protect him- and that took up most of her emotional energy. When he died she lightened up and became quite good fun. Now she is fading...
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-09-19 04:40 pm (UTC)
One other general question: you don't anticipate joy or pleasure -- do you remember it afterward and take pleasure in the memory?

'Cause not anticipating and not remembering happiness (you can remember THAT you were happy, but not what it was like) are diagnostic criteria for dysthymia. Just sayin'. Dysthymia is one of those "not actually crippling, but definitely annoying" sorts of things.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-09-19 05:38 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think that's me. Right now I'm not so much depressed as angry.
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