Today I was blessed in that my mother-in-law took Maddy for a good part of the day. I've been accustomed to having help with Maddy 2-3 times a week so I can work (thanks to a teenage family-friend we pay as a "mommy's helper!"). But this is the first day in a week and a half that I had a long break from Maddy during the day, and I think I really, really needed it.
But I do tend to be an overacheiver. So of course during that long break today, I completely cleaned my house and accomplished a lot for my business, instead of giving myself any kind of breather.
I tried to take some time this evening for myself, but even that wasn't really working. Maddy kept interrupting, dishes still needed (correction, need) to be done, and I was still trying to be "productive" by catching up on correspondence while watching my show. It was 9:00 at night, and I still felt like my to-do list was piled up against me.
All of that was enough to make me cranky, and not really enjoy my show, and just generally feel a bit resentful. Because I just wanted an hour to do what I wanted to do. Ad for some reason, I had a hard time communicating that need to my family, and I didn't make it happen.
About the time I should be going to bed, I see that I have a message. It's a heart-breaking message because it means that a sweet friend is now on the same journey as me. "Does it get better with time?" she asks.
With all my heart, I want to just scream, "Yes. Absolutely. Time will take care of it and make it so much easier!"
And maybe other people are able to give that answer, but I just can't say that unequivocally.
In some ways, yes, time has made it easier. In other ways, no, the passage of time has actually made it harder.
I wrote much more to this friend, but I think this just about sums up how I feel about time and grief . . .
"Grief is still there, but it has changed. It is my constant companion. But it's something I'm learning to try to live with like an old, worn-out friend whose company I must patiently endure, rather than as an evil foe whom I must swiftly conquer. . . .
"I'm learning to navigate this journey better, maybe just because I am quite familiar now with the feelings. They aren't as scary as they once were. I'm learning to recognize them for what they are. And recognize what I need in that moment to get through it."