This picture above is where I create my artwork and edit my vocals. You do not see a couch. But this is my living room, and it truly is in a completely literal sense of the word. Recently my oldest son has decided to live with me during the week. If you look carefully, you can see him sleeping on a futon right next to my computer desk.
My 22-year-old son has told me that nothing will wake him – not even the light being on when I start working at 6:00 a.m. He says it is a result of hearing constant train noise and sleeping on the floor where his father lives. I’m thankful I could provide a place for him in my tiny apartment. During the day, he has been searching to find a job. I know he will find one soon.
So now I have all three of my children living with me most of the time. And we all share one tiny bathroom just like when I was growing up.
Aside from one big blowup between both my sons versus my daughter, things have been going well. I’ve finally learned to let them work things out.
I’ve discovered that is far better than getting involved with their problems. In my former life, I was a “fixer.” But when I get drawn into drama, I usually end up being a target.
On most weekends, my sons leave to visit their father. I do notice a different feeling in my apartment with fewer bodies around.
And here’s a confession: On the weekends if I’m alone, I’ll find myself singing and dancing naked through my apartment!
My life has been busy. I am juggling several illustration assignments and adrenaline is pumping through me. It sure feels great to be working as an illustrator again. So many times, I have written off my art career.
But suddenly, I am back in business.
When I used to have long breaks between assignments (sometimes as long as a year), my confidence as an illustrator went below my ankles. Also, throughout my career I’ve experienced performance anxiety with every job.
But for some reason, that anxiety is gone now. I am simply elated to know that I have the ability to earn money as a single woman.
Nothing is simple, though. Two days ago, our air conditioning stopped working. Then today, my daughter informed me that our shower wasn’t working. My oldest son turned it on to demonstrate. He laughed as I was soaked from the water spraying everywhere. I should have known better than to fall for his trick. My daughter had clued me in when she moaned, “I’m late for work and had to rinse my hair in the bathtub!”
Buying a new shower head went to the top of my errand list.
Today, I was simply amazed how I juggled everything. I wrote for my blog, worked on artwork, fit in lunch with my mother and took care of having those broken things fixed.
I even found time to sing vocals for half an hour before the air conditioner repairman showed up! Every minute of my day was touching and carried meaning for me.
When my mother came into my car today, I gasped when she said hoarsely, “How’s your work going?” For some reason, I am never prepared for my mother’s occasional clarity.
Only that morning, my mother had a chest x-ray because her cough was worse than usual. I received another call from the nursing home just as I was leaving for lunch. They wanted to inform me that my mother had another large bruise on her leg.
When I saw my middle brother, he asked me how my eyes were doing, I blinked and told him, “Crappy.” It was true. I saw blurs and spots, and dryness was a constant source of discomfort. But I was grateful that I could still create artwork and music. I wasn’t going to allow my eyesight to distract me from enjoying my life.
I regaled everyone at the lunch table with stories about my illustration assignments. There were so many funny anecdotes that I wrote another story, which I’ll share soon.-
I beamed and smiled throughout our lunch. Music filled my heart and I was bursting with joy over where my life was going. I especially was eager to hug a certain waitress at the restaurant. Her name was Melissa.
She read my blog and I had shared CD’s with her. Anyone who listened to my music or read my words were connected to me. My heart was open and I just welcomed them into my inspired and beautiful world.
In our brief interactions, I knew Melissa’s mother-in-law was mourning a daughter who had recently died. Melissa had a young son who had undergone heart surgery. And soon he was going to be five years old.
In only a few weeks, it would be the twenty-first anniversary of my son, Jason’s death. Jason died at the age of five and would always remain that age for me.
I asked Melissa if we could take a picture together that I could share on my blog. She happily obliged.
As I ate my lunch, I noticed my mother’s alertness had vanished and her face was placid. I tried to include her in our conversations, but dementia had once again stolen her away. She was coughing a lot, which exhausted her. Now she was silent and remote.
Suddenly, I looked closer. My mother’s dull eyes were staring and expressionless, but a huge tear was rolling down her cheek. I watched as the tear dropped down onto the table. I looked over to my mother’s companion, Miriam, who was sitting next to her.
I said, “Miriam, why is my mother crying?”
Miriam leaned close to my mother. My mother whispered something I could not hear.
Miriam said, “Your mother just said she was crying because she is so happy to be with all of us.”
Just last week, I received a question from my friend, Steve. I want to share my answer here.
On Sep 6, 2013, Steve wrote:
On your last post you mentioned this sentence: God channels songs to help a sad, middle-aged woman.
It seems more appropriate to someone who is really religious. (God channels….) Would you consider yourself a “happy person” with your eye problems and still seeing a hypnotherapist weekly? And seemingly only happy when writing or listening to your own music?
I do feel very inspired by God – so that was an honest statement. I’m extremely spiritual without entering a temple to feel that way.
I’m usually smiling and walking with a dance in my step whether I have music on or not. I always hear it in my mind.
I still see my hypnotherapist, Connie every week. I adore her and feel like she’s a great friend. She’s such a positive person and has helped me through so many tough things.
I love writing and where I’m living. I have some challenges with my kids, but usually I can work through everything. Divorce is never simple, but I feel like I’ve come through the worst.
My eyes are often cloudy, blurry and foggy. They get dry.
But I still stay positive and smile.
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