I’m naturally a person who likes to have a few things on the go at once. Hence I’m currently combining solo parenting and John’s various activities, studying and a pregnancy, plus involvement at the leadership level of a community organisation.
I’d not say I’m making a success of being busy (2 finals this week and I am WAAAAY under-prepared), but I like idea of having things that need to be done and places to be. It stops me from feeling unproductive and lazy.
You’d have thought the crash-and-burn of trying to maintain a similar load in the first 9 months after Ian died would have taught me a lesson in moderation.
I distracted myself in that first year, pretty much. Kept working, picked up studies at the 9 month point, stopped working not long after on medical advice. Kept the studies going, because I needed SOMETHING to sink my teeth into when I felt like it.
I initially ignored, then finally dealt with the physical/medical issues that arose from not dealing with my grief (recurrent sinus infections – funnily enough hitting around anniversaries). After a second round of physical/medical issues that made themselves known (adult onset asthma), basically waving a big red flag saying ‘deal with this’, I sought the counselling I needed and feel like Ian’s death has morphed into a background hum to my life, rather than the front and centre clanging it was.
But I’ve still kept busy.
Which is rather different from how I managed after my Mum and Step-Dad died within six months of each other. My retrenchment from work was effective within days of my step-dad’s death, so I simply took six months off and did pretty much nothing. So I know I can slow down and stop when need be.
I just didn’t do it/haven’t done it since Ian died… Keep busy, even though you can’t busy yourself through the grief.
Right now I’m dealing with a physical exhaustion rather than emotional.
Three more days till finals are over – but a stack of prep to do in order to pass them.
Four more weeks, and I’ll have finished studies for a period of time at least after a two-week intensive subject.
Seven more weeks and baby is here.
Studies off the burner for a while, pregnancy over and an opportunity to delegate on the community work. It’ll just be the parenting component left 100% on my shoulders.
Maybe then I’ll get a chance to slow down again.