Isn't this amazing? You can check out this photographer's portfolio HERE. I was just having a hot, sick of summer STILL moment and typed in "autumn sanctuary" on google. Wow. It was a lead to this photographer's work, and I thought the pictures were so beautiful. They DID become a sort of sanctuary for my spirit this morning. The name of the photographer is Francis Cailles, but I don't know anything more about it.
I'm part of the sandwich generation, I hear. Not sure if I like that label, but I understand where they get it... You know, I spent five years being really semi-retired. I mean REALLY. I didn't do anything I didn't really have to do or want to do. It seems I didn't want to do much because the contrast then with now is diabolical, nearly devastating to the soul. I'm in utter shock not to have hours and hours to watch my favs on tv, to read book after book--- to putter around and arrange fall decorations. To bake little treats for my "boys" and girls that visit here with my son. I am afraid this post will come across as whining, and I don't mean to... really, I don't. It is just a comment on the dramatic difference and vast veering my life has done in this past month. Half of it is due to being full time at school and having large classes all day long, filled with students who DO and DON'T want to learn. I'm having fun with all that, though. I have had a life long love affair of the heart with teaching, and I find I am not tired of these young people at all. I truly enjoy all of that work and it feels like 'not work' actually. It just takes up a lot of time. Then there's Mom. And she isn't really "work" either, but she is needy... in a non-clingy way. I don't want her to feel as if anything is difficult for me to do for her. I don't want her to feel any sadder than she does already. I don't want her to feel stupid for setting a pan of perfectly baked brownies on a burner that was on.... and burning the bottoms of the chocoloate MACADAMIA nut treats... I really don't. Because it isn't because she's older that she did that. Surely not since I set the perfectly scrumptious stuffing on a lit burner two Thanksgivings ago and ruined the whole thing.... It just happened. But I am going to have to try really hard not to try to FIX everything.
There is an author, Gwen Shamblin, who tells of the fixit-fox syndrome. I am a fix-it fox. I think our generation is all a bunch of fix-it foxes. We try to help our kids way too much, I think. We try to help our parents way too much. We are, indeed, sandwiches. Smashed ones. Oozing ones with drippy peanut butter and sticky, slimy, yesterday's bananas.... hahaha... Okay. Okay. I've gone too far. Maybe just a bit of gommy grape jelly????
I remember reading in books and magazines about women who were told to "carve out" a few minutes for themselves. Pamper me missions on Flylady and in other books were amazing to me. A few minutes? An hour a week or even a day? I was blessed with about eighteen "me" hours. Of course, now it is culture shock to have none. I'm more than amazed. I'm flabbergasted, appalled, and kind of sick to my stomach.
My shop is a mess. My home is a mess (remember the bed I removed? It hasn't been re-arranged by faeiries, I'll tell you. My mom is a mess. (She is grieving like she will and should about losing her life long soul mate). So.... deep breath... I'm into uncharted waters for me, at least. Part of me screams to be unselfish and give it all that I've got. Part of me whispers that She had her time like this and she, at least, had her life long mate who adored her (which I evidently am not going to have). Part of me wishes to high heaven I'd just stop rambling and spilling my guts out and be "perky," as I usually am...
So deep breath.... again. Enjoy the pictures and whatever season (busy or calm) your life is in. I'm going to read a new book today, so I'll let you know how that goes. Baby steps. Baby steps. And on top of all this, I, yes I... really miss my dad. Somewhere along the line of making Mom feel better and being all tough and cool for school and helping my son cope with some life changes... I have stuffed all that somewhere.... And it's slipping through the cracks in my self control.... and if I think very hard about not seeing him ever again on that front porch as I drive up.... it's gonna just blow.