Tag Archives: Frustration

Tonight’s Trifecta of Frustration

My house smells like teriyaki and garlic oil, and it’s all my fault! No, this was not a grand cooking experiment. Nor was it delivery or even DiGiorno. This was frustration and anger greeted by pay back. And the payback smells like teriyaki and garlic oil.

I have not been feeling well lately. First, I’ve been down and feeling exasperation at my efforts, especially with my CBD business. Second, I’m back on the merry-go-round of doctors with new ones that I have to train about the peculiarities of my body. And finally, my home doesn’t feel like my home anymore. It hasn’t for a long time. It’s cluttered with the physical memories of people I loved, cluttering my mind and my heart and enveloping me in a dark cloud of inertia. I’ve been better. I’ve also been worse. Much, much worse.

Tonight was the last straw in a week filled with frustration.

Andy and I came back from our weekly trek to the grocery store. As we unloaded groceries, I took some food down to the freezer and tripped on my pant leg, almost taking a tumble down a flight of stairs. I caught myself, but it topped off my anger tank. It was the cherry on top of a mountain of garbage that had had my head and my heart spinning for a week.

Still ticked off by the near fall, I unloaded some more food. Stuffing a bag of noodles onto the back of a lazy Susan in a higher cabinet, I guess I was a little bit rough wrestling it into place. The next thing I knew, CRASH!!! A large bottle of Teriyaki smashed onto the floor, spilling its contents, forming a sticky river of brown as it Tilt-a-Whirled its way across the floor. It spilled a four-foot path of Teriyaki on my kitchen tiles, creating rivulets along the grout lines that spread out like tributaries of Oriental flavor. Not content to keep to the floor, it covered my lower cabinets in spotted vengeance. This was not a quick mop job; this was a full-fledged mop emergency, like a last minute Sunday night school assignment that was due first thing Monday morning.

That was it! It was all I could take! Frustration reared its ugly head like the Hydra! I slammed the cabinet door. Hard! It ricocheted back open, ejecting a hefty jar of specialty chopped garlic in oil smack onto the floor. Glass everywhere! A glob of chopped garlic the size of a fist splatted out, daring me to figure out what the hell it was. Only the smell gave it away. I didn’t even remember having a jar of the stuff, so it looked like a foreign glob of beige and green chopped up plant guts. Oil, garlic guts, Teriyaki … ugh, what a mess.

It was then that my husband noticed another bottle of specialty oil by the kick plate of another cabinet, slowly oozing Italian dipping oil from the cracked lid into a puddle of pungency. Teriyaki, garlic and Italian spices all in an oily mix of fluids and smells. I had created a frustration trifecta!

So, the clean-up began, my supper taunting me from the table. The paper towels came out first to soak up most of the garlic, oils and sticky brown fluid. I scooped up broken glass (not without a minor painful incident, by the way) and deposited it in a plastic bag. Towel after towel after towel, stemming the flow of the errant liquids, I sopped and mopped on my hands and knees. Finally, it was time to pull out the big floor mop, some Spic ‘n Span and get to work.

Now I have a floor that feels like the back of a postage stamp. I have to re-mop tonight to try to get rid of the stickiness. If that doesn’t help, I guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

Sometimes, when we bring on our own problems, it’s the clean up that makes things better. I’m still not happy that this happened. I’m still not done with mopping it up. It’ll get another rinse before I go to bed. But, you know, I’m kind of feeling better now. I don’t recommend the way I took out my frustration. I brought it on myself, and I own that. Slamming a door does nothing but shake up what’s inside. My excuse is that it was just the culmination of a week of being “off,” but even that is no excuse for a temper tantrum. The good thing is that I can start tomorrow with a clean slate if not a clean floor. For now, I’m going to take couple of deep breaths, grab my mop and go at it again with some clean water one more time before I go to bed.

At least, I have one cupboard that’s less cluttered now. Maybe some other things, like my mind and heart, will follow. A final mop and then off to bed. Tomorrow’s a better day.

Cubby Holes

I’m sitting here, staring at the cluttered computer screen, as a project awaits completion. I feel like I’m letting down the people to whom I owe this project. I’ve been struggling with it. Normally, it’s not that hard to complete, but for some reason, this month has had its challenges. Personal issues have gotten in the way. I’m not someone who can compartmentalize easily. I wish I was. I’d like to just stick whatever’s bothering me into a cubby hole and let it rot there. Unfortunately, any cubby holes that I have in my brain are more hole than cubby. If I do manage to put a problem in a compartment, it falls right through the hole in the bottom, tripping me whenever I “take a stroll down memory lane.” In other words, I can’t keep things compartmentalized. They stay in my mind, no matter what I’m doing.

Right now, the thing that is stuck there is my mother. I love my mom, but I also live almost 700 miles away from her. I don’t see her much, even though we talk on the phone when she’s feeling up to it. Even if I did make the trip back, there’s simply no place for me to stay at her small house. If she were healthy, I’d either be able to stay on an air mattress in the living room or in her bed with her since my daddy has passed. However, healthy she is not. She has a hospital bed set up in the living room. A good bit of her living room furniture is now in her bedroom on the bed. There is, quite frankly, no room for me at her house.

In some metaphoric way, there’s no room for me in her life anymore, and that about kills me.  She loves me and I love her, but she is no longer concerned about me. Her life revolves around the nurses and care workers from Hospice that come in. I listen patiently. But only on a good day, do I get to share with her what is happening in my life. Am I selfish to want this again? Maybe. Am I realistic enough to know that, for the most part, those days of happy conversations are gone? Yes. Mentally, she is all there, but her world is small now, and I’m on the periphery. Perhaps I’ve started grieving already.

I’ve caught grief from people who see her once and think that they have a handle on the situation. Because I’m not there, I guess in their eyes that makes me not a good daughter, doesn’t it? They don’t understand that I’m well aware of what is happening with her. I’m in frequent contact with my brother, who is her main caregiver. While I get conflicting reports, depending on whether I’m talking to him or my mother, I know and care deeply about her condition and about her. She was the best mother a girl could have. We have always been close.

Perhaps that why this hurts so much. She had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I found out only recently that this was THE diagnosis. I had heard it bandied around for a while, but my brother confirmed it this week. It makes sense. This diagnosis answers a lot of questions, but it also presents a new dilemma for me. How do I keep it in its place without obsessing?

If you ask my mother, she doesn’t believe it. According to her, she will walk again, drive again and resume her normal life after she gets over this little hiccup in her life. Parkinson’s took my wonderful father-in-law. I’ve seen what it can do. I don’t have her optimism, as misguided as it may be, but I can’t take away her vision of her future either. I’m not that cruel to say, “Sorry, Mum, it’s not going to happen,” when maybe it’s that very thought of a normal future that makes her okay with how she is living. So I have to wonder why I’m obsessing over things I can’t change. I do know that I’m not good at hurting; I bleed all over my cubby holes.

I guess it’s time to clean up the mess and get back to work on today’s project. I can at least do something about what’s in front of me, even when I’m feeling so helpless about my mother. I’m having to relearn some lessons from the past about how to deal with this. It’s taken me a while to get there, but thank God for God and keeping my problems where they belong. I’m better for now, at least until the next refresher course.