Well hi there, everybody!
As I wave hello to you all, Mr. Sunshine is smiling down on me for the first time in I don’t really know how long. And I am smiling right back, as my will to dwell in this most-of-the-time-covered-in-clouds city of Portland has been revived. And as for the loveliest Poor House in all the land, it has every door and window open, allowing all of the fresh cut grassy/fragrantly floral/energizing spring aromas into our space. Ahhhhh!
Speaking of aromas, have I told you that odor played an important role in our early love story? I am referring to Day 1- the day Ri and I met- the day I waltzed across the threshold of my future home, announcing myself to Ri, pausing for a breath, allowing an enticing aroma to fill my nasal orifice. I remember it well. It was distinct. Like a fine wine, complex. Full bodied. Familiar, yet mysterious. It was comforting, welcoming, and well, if I bottled it up I would brand my cologne HOME, by Poor House Love. And life is good like that because, as luck would have it, I now have the luxury of wearing this scent each and every day, just by lingering here in the place I was meant to be.
But here’s the thing, you guys. It would be like, fake news to exclusively report all things lovely and perfect in the Poor House- don’t you think? That is not the point of this and I don’t want my relationship to have that artificial perfectly scripted vibe lingering anywhere around it.
So I’ll be honest with you. The last few weeks were really kind of… Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Allow me to back up for a moment. Remember THIS POST HERE where I talk a bit about our “caregiver homeostasis?” I didn’t mean for it to sound so perfectly packaged, but it may have. I am guessing you read my words and afterwards thought something along the lines of- “Dang these 2 little lovebirds really seem to have their shit together! What a team!”
And we do. And we are. Usually.
We have mostly learned to take caregiver changes and challenges in stride. So it isn’t like it was a big deal when the caregivers dwindled from 4 down to 1 over the last month or so. In fact, it was a decision made with my full support.
Maybe (probably) it was the rain, or maybe it was work pressure that I chose to carry on my shoulders. It likely had to do with caring for our poor pup Quill with the broken and then amputated toe. It was houseguests, training new employees, and the general chaos of life. What I am trying to say here is- I admit it- I got kind of stressed out. Rephrase/confession- maybe I am always a little stressed out.
I typically love this Poor House hubbub. The buzz of activity over at our place feels homey, warm, and busy-busy, but busy in a good way. But I am very human and if I suffer from lack of sleep, hormonally induced irritability, or some other something that turns my perspective askew (if it happens in combo we are really in trouble), the usual welcome and gregarious atmosphere around here feels straight up oppressive. The incessant cycles of comings and goings make my head spin. And the transparency that I willingly accept within our home begins to feels like this big old spotlight illuminating everything about me that, in those moments, I just want hidden.
And here is where it gets complicated. Here is a fact- I live a charmed, able-bodied life (and will hopefully continue to for a very long time). I have the advantage of 2 working legs and 10 agile (albeit surprisingly small) fingers to provide me with absolute physical independence. I can use them to take me places- to physically de-stress. This is a luxury that Ri currently lives without. Ri cannot physically escape my mood, his mood, his caregiver filled reality and all other stressors of life. He can’t just walk shit off like the rest of us can. And while I am sure his will was always robust, this reality has made him so incredibly strong, so mentally resilient, and, at times, a bit walled off. It is true and yet, in all fairness, I can be a real handful in times of stress and that dissociative technique makes absolute sense- what else can you do when negative Andrea vibes, opinions, and anxious energy are heading directly for you? Either run or go inward- Ri’s only choice is the latter.
I am writing about all of this because I recently had a realization about me myself and I. At the ripe age of 36, I still do not know how to properly self soothe. I rely heavily on the comfort of others, or the refuge of my home (which can’t always be a refuge because it is also a place of employment) to help me cope with hard situations. Upon reflection, the former is probably an unfair ask, especially if you, say, work a full time job, manage employees in your home, deal with physical disability related stuff, have many types of relationships to maintain, and in general have a plate piled high to the sky with the complexities of life.
So as far as I see it, I need to add some new tools to my toolbox. Maybe they are in there and I just need to whip them out in the right moments. And maybe this medicinal sunshine could do me a favor and shimmer down on my soul with more regularity. Either way I am really excited and will keep you all posted!
And thank you, Riboo, for always helping me grow without even saying a word or expecting that I do so. Our relationship shines rays of light on these hidden parts of myself- parts I didn’t even know existed but am so glad I get to learn about because, ultimately, they are teaching me the most about who I am and how I show up in this world.
Bye Bye for now and thanks for reading my blurbs!!~~