Monday, April 27, 2009

Coming up for air

I've heard the term "sandwich generation" but never fully appreciated what it meant till it happened to me. With two teenage sons, and all that comes with parents teens, and two ailing parents, and all that comes with that, I'm feeling like not enough butter on toast. Well, I was feeling that way. But I'm starting to come up for air. Here in no particular order, are some thoughts.
  • I'm uncomfortable writing when I feel as undone as I do right now.
  • Everyone should have their kids EARLY! That way the kids will be out of the house when you're needing to help your parents. Ok, so maybe this won't work for everyone, and certainly it didn't work for me, as I didn't get married till I was 28, and had my kids at ages 32 and 34. But I can make helpful suggestions, can't I???
  • Not exercising is not a good thing when you're stressed. I'm starting back to running after taking some significant time off, and boy oh boy am I feeling old and slow! It really feels like forever ago that I ran a marathon. (Did I actually do that???) But progress has been made, as last week I was feeling so low that I would see people running and think, "Why do they even bother?"
  • I've wanted to do a cleanse of some sort but can never find the right time to do it. Decided that today I'd kind of do the "Urban Detox" from the book Super Cleanse. So I did the hot water with lemon and cayenne. Then I juiced the celery, cucumber, ginger, and other stuff and had that. Later I had a Diet Pepsi. And a couple of fun-size candy bars. Then some carrot-apple juice. Then an Amy's frozen Indian dinner (YUM!). And I'm actually honestly ok with all of this. Because as contradictory as it might sound, I had some good nutrition today, mixed in with the other choices. (That's not all I ate, but those are the highlights!)
  • The doctors think my dad's had a small stroke. His memory is affected, although he's getting better each day. He takes care of my mom, who never leaves the house, and would never leave her bed if someone didn't wake her. So this time feels really scary. I grieve for my dad who has a doctorate degree and retired as a Captain in the Naval Reserve, who now can't get his brain to work right. I continue to feel so sad for my mom, who I'm sure never wanted her world to be so small. My conclusion from all of this? Growing old is NOT for sissies!


Jennifer said...

Oh,Leslie, I can't even imagine how worn out you are! I've been a bad friend and not e-mailed but I've been praying my little limp-along prayers for you and hoping things are going as smooth as possible. Please e-mail if there's anything I can do to help--even if it's just listen to the venting.

Diana said...

And they say running a marathon is hard. Taking care of elderly, sick parents or any family member just sucks the life right out of you without even knowing it...but that's what we do because it's family and family is always first!
Hang in there, hope it gets easier!

courtney said...

I've been thinking about you, Leslie. All I can say is that I'm sorry you're going through a rough time. It's good to see you posting - I'm sure it helps you sort out your stress a little.

Elizabeth said...

Lurker here... just wanted to say your family (both parts of the sandwich) are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your dad recovers -- it sounds promising that he's getting better each day. Many many prayers for you all.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to the aging parents part of the sandwich. You're in my thoughts... {hugs}

Ron Middlekauff said...

Just read your blog for first tie in awhile... so sorry to hear about your folks. I am going theough simular issues with my parents too... though not on the scale of what you are doing. Just know that I am thinking of you. From all I read here and onb your FaceBook, sounds like you have a great support group in your family and friends and that's great. Plus you run! That has to be theraputic!

Take care of YOURSELF too... that is VERY important.

Best Wishes.... Ron Middlekauff

Irene said...

I sooooooooooooooo understand! I'm right there with you and going through the same stuff! Hang in there with everything.


Colette said...

Wow, so sorry about your parents. Growing old just sucks to be honest. As I watched my grandma for over a year not having any quality to her life, I thought this is NOT what I want...let me go in peace. Now, grandpa is still going strong at age 91, so that is how I want to be.

Your a good daughter and I hope you know that. {{HUGS}}

Ruby said...

Hi Leslie my heart goes out to you. Your parents are lucky to have you.

Anne said...

Might I add that not only does it help to have children when you're younger, but it's a big boost if you have a lot of brothers and sisters to help with the parents. I hope everything works out for you and your parents.

I caught up on your posts but am folding all the comments in this one. Hope Disneyland was a lot of fun, especially with Mom.