I was walking through the house doing some catch up chores like spot cleaning rugs and cleaning cupboard doors and suddenly I blurted out, “I want my life back”. Because for the last almost two months, my time and efforts have been usurped by the chaos of my mother’s crumbling life.

I tried in vain for years to get her out of her house. And I resigned myself to the fact that she would die there alone and be eaten by her cats before she was found. But her circumstances took such a turn for the worst that suddenly, I had to take control and move her out and find her a new home.

I want my life back on Shal;avee.comThe details between the lines are the parts that have exhausted and traumatized me. She has never been mentally well. And when we extracted her from the house, it was squalorous and reeked of cat urine thanks to unneutered male cats running free. Her hoarding tendencies made it beyond difficult to get rid of anything, much of which had no business being moved.

The stress and fear made her even more combative. And we were just entering the holiday season. Were it have been March or April, it would have been easier. My obligatory chores to take the best care of her also felt like a flaming car wreck with no end in sight. And even after I’d moved her into an apartment that I’d miraculously found available, there was still so much to be done, at the same time as Christmas was barreling down on me.

I want my life back on Shal;avee.comWorldwide, women are the ones who generate the event and the magic that is Christmas. The wonderfulness of it all is because of their devotion and tireless efforts to make it so. To have both of these events happening simultaneously was almost too much. And yet, I just kept doing what needs to be done. I know eventually, we’ll be beyond this point.

I know that I’ll do the best job I can, but I truly can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to a dull quiet January. To just be instead of going, doing, doing, doing.

Here’s to the space to find my way back to myself and regain the perspective I so desperately need to begin hoping for a new happy path. To get my life back, that’s all I want for Christmas.

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  1. Sandra Henry-Stocker Reply

    Shalagh, you have expressed where you so powerfully. I hope you will find the path back to *your* life soon and give yourself as much love and care as you have given to your mother. Though I have not been in a situation nearly as demanding as yours, I have “overheard” myself saying “I want my life back” more than once, maybe more than a dozen times, in the last year. May we both find our way back to the kind of self-care that is required. <3

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