This summer has not only been a time of budding new plants, vegetables, shrubs and trees, but also a time of growth for me. As I grow older, it becomes easier to notice the changes within myself. Maybe because I take certain things more slowly, react more cautiously, contemplate more deeply and feel on a totally different level. Whatever the reason, there are times I feel as though I stand outside looking in, watching my interactions and hoping now that I do the right thing.
It’s been a challenging week. There was a difficult interaction with a co-worker, one who from the very first day has had difficulties with me. Her own demons make trying to do right by her almost impossible (try as I might), so after eight years I’m frustrated, exhausted and ready to be done with it all. When you’ve hit a wall with someone, enough is a enough. There is so much wasted time at work fixing mistakes, smoothing hurt feelings, mending gossip and defending myself. I simply can’t take much more. And with little support from management, well, it’s been tough.
In the past, I would engage with this co-worker and loop in my own head. But this time I was able to keep my cool. While the dirt was tossed at me, a calmness swept over me and I could see through what was going on and did not let myself be pulled into the maelstrom. Instead, I stepped away, got my documentation in order and instead will simply prove she was not telling the truth. It was oddly satisfying and sad at the same time. When dealing with an ill person it’s not completely gratifying when they get in trouble, but by the same token, the turmoil created must end.
On another note, the man my Mom has lived with for years fell on Thursday. It’s a long story, but he ended up breaking his femur. It’s not as bad as it could have been, but he will be in rehab. Luckily he did not need surgery. At 91 or 92, he never would have survived. The sad part is that now my Mom realizes he will have to go into an assisted living care facility after he leaves rehab–if he does leave. His dementia is getting so bad now and she just can’t handle it all anymore.
I was so happy that she and I have been talking again. Honestly, we’ve never been closer. And my oldest daughter, who can be distant from us, called her immediately upon hearing. She was kind and had a generous heart about it all.
Here too, I realized had I not backed down and reached out to my Mother, she would have been going through this alone. I’ve been hurt over the years by our relationship, but it was time to let it all go and live in the present. She stepped up too and we both decided to put the past behind and love today and it’s been a blessing.
And while I’m sometimes sad that my oldest daughter and I aren’t closer, it truly warmed my heart to see her care about her Grandma. There have been thoughts about her caring because she wants something from her, but I’ve grown enough now to see that this isn’t true, that indeed there is a closeness between them. My oldest is special to her and vice versa. It’s wonderful and precious.
Finally, my youngest told me last night while we were out to dinner that she is shy and has difficulty in groups. Funny, I always had just figured she couldn’t be bothered with my friends. But I learned something last night: that she takes after her father! Who knew? I just figured she would be like me.
So while it’s been a week filled with tough stuff, it’s also been one where I know I can handle it all now differently, maybe a bit better than I used to and learn from everything now. My growth is measured, just like the flowers in my garden. It’s noticed and felt within me. It’s also beautiful, bright and will happen every minute.
The fall and winter are coming too (the geese are flocking already), so growth may be more internal and quiet, but it’s never-ending. And I only hope it is making me a better person.