Krissie: The Hills Are Alive

So Terri got it, of course. I thought I was being a lot cagier.
I just wanted to be a nun. I have a thing about nuns, always have. Turns out I’m Sister Margaretta and I have more lines than any nun but the Mother Abbess. It should be a hoot. I don’t get stage fright, and I’m basically just a very big personality, plus I can sing a bit, so it should be lots of fun.
However, I just got the rehearsal schedule, and it’s brutal. It’s 10 to 12:30 and then 2 to 5 every single day, with about half a day on Sunday. I already figured out how I was going to write — just get up at seven and write for a couple of hours before going to rehearsal. And I figured I’d visit my mother during the lunch break, because rehearsals will be nearby.
But that’s all changed. They found a bed in a rehab center in Barre, about 40 miles away, and I’m driving her there tomorrow morning. She’s fine with going, which is a relief. It means no quilt show for me (probably). I’ll take her over in time for lunch and get her settled, and there will probably be tons of paper work and maybe meetings and stuff.
So I know I should quit the play. It’s going to be crazy trying to visit her — I’ll have to go in the evening after a full day of writing and rehearsals. I don’t know how I’ll manage to bring her home (if I have to) before a bed opens up in the assisted living or nursing home. (Vermont has a strong program to help seniors stay in their homes so maybe they an help in the interim until a bed opens up). They’re going to want to meet with me, I’m sure, and I’d be tied up with rehearsals. It even cuts back the time I can spend with Alex (my fears were for naught (nought?) but I can work around that.
I’m crazy to do it, and I should back out right now.
But I don’t want to quit! I really want to do this – it’s something for me, something frivolous and fun and (gasp) social, which gets me out of the isolation. Oh, and I’m letting my BFF down, when I promised I’d write and sew with her every day to help her transition back to VT after spending the winter in NJ.
So I should drop it so I can do all these things for everybody else.
And I don’t wanna! I’ve even come up with a great justification. I think using that form of creativity will open up and feed all the creativity in my life. I think it will expand my writing, help me see new things. But you know, I don’t need that excuse. I just want it.
It would just be so much fun.
Richie’s all in favor of it. And I”m guessing the rehearsals aren’t really all day every day — the nuns are only about 1/4 of the play, if that. And it’s over by July 26, and I can get back to doing everything for everyone.
It would just be so much fun, being on stage in a nun’s habit, singing my little heart out.
I think I’m going to lose it, though. It requires a huge amount of strength and determination to hold onto this, just as it takes a huge amount of strength and determination to hold out against social workers and doctors who think my mother would do fine at home with me rushing there at all times of the day and night, doing everything for her, taking her everywhere.
So I don’t know what’s going to happen. Can I be selfish for once in my life? (I have lots of faults but I’m rarely, if ever, selfish).
We’ll see.

63 thoughts on “Krissie: The Hills Are Alive

  1. German Chocolate Betty says:

    YES, you CAN be selfish! We all give you permission.

    And we definitely outnumber the opposition…

    So go sing down them that mountains, Krissie.

    And if your BFF is really a BFF,she’ll understand..)

  2. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Oops… “them THAR miuntains”…

    (Got part of my right hand back, thumb us still splinted, though. And three wks of no movement means fingers are stiff and oints painful, with reduced flexibility all around. But I can now use one finger on the right to help type, whick makes life somewhat easier, if not more correctly spelt…)

  3. Reb says:

    Do it!! Look on it as a vacation from most of the rest of your life. I’m sure you’re due one!

    You could still write with your BFF. She could come over and join you first thing in the morning.

    Visiting your mother will be hectic, but you don’t have to feel obliged to visit her every day. In fact, she might settle better if you don’t.

    So go for it!!!

  4. Taking care of yourself is NOT selfish. How can you do everything else for everyone else if you’re not well mentally & physically?

    I hate our society when if a woman doesn’t sacrifice for everyone else, she’s selfish. That’s a load of hooey.

    DO FOR YOU.

  5. Tricia Halliday says:

    Don’t give up on it. It sounds like this is something you have been wanting to do. With everything that is going on with you right now, you need this!

  6. Diane (TT) says:

    You’re supposed to love your neighbor as yourself – and if you never show any love to yourself, you’re not going to have much to give to your neighbor! Go for it. Busy people organize and plan and get things done – people who don’t commit to things (like me, at the moment) fritter away the time. It’s a month. Make sure that you’re set up to do stuff (maybe telephoning or forms, or maybe stuff you like) when you’re not needed on stage (so you don’t fret about wasting time) and Just Do It.

    I promise that the world will keep on turning without you pushing it.

    Have fun and congratulations, Sister Margaretta!

  7. Hmmm…seems to me that if your mother is in a safe place being well taken care of by a staff of people that you DON’T need to rush over there all the time. She may even settle in a bit better if you DON’T.

    Take that advice how you will. I sometimes feel like the queen of selfish.

    Don’t give up the play. Yes, it will be a lot of work, but it will be FUN work. Your own little mini-escape from reality and well worth the time invested.

  8. Carol-Ann says:

    Go for it – that look of glee on your face in yesterday’s photo says it all really. It’s only a month, you’ll manage and have a great experience to look back on afterwards. Then video it and post it here for the rest of us to watch 😉

  9. Rachel says:

    Do it, it’s hardly being selfish. And I have discovered that when I slack off a bit on doing for others, to do something for myself, no one really notices. So all of that extra time and angst and guilt I expend is often a storm of my own making. Even my five year old son will come up with scenarios in which ‘Mommy can have some time to herself’, and he can visit a toy store with someone who will buy him a toy. Win-win. So you go win one for you.

  10. stephanie says:

    I hate to be blunt about someone else’s family but age is not your mother’s only issue. It’s not like she just turned 65 and you’re trying to tuck her away and she needs the state to protect her. She’s older and she has health issues – some that she’s had for years and some that are complicated by age.

    If she isn’t able to take care of herself, by herself, anymore [which is evidenced by the fact that you do a heck of a lot for her] then some other solution needs to be put in place. It’s not failure. It’s just another option and one in which she may actually enjoy and thrive.

  11. Kieran says:

    Sometimes we gotta let it all hang out and to heck with obligations. It rejuvenates the soul. Last night I was karaoke-ing at midnight and at one point doing Rockette kicks with an adorable guy I’d never met (with Down syndrome) to “New York, New York” at a hole-in-the-wall beach bar. And now I feel better. I was in a rut of my own making, and this morning I’m able to flip the bird at my worries.

  12. WTHey. I didn’t hit submit. LOL! This is your life. You don’t owe it to anyone else. I’d do something like this in a hot minute. I can’t sing worth a flip but I did a musical in HS and I’d do it again. It’s one month. People can survive without your full, undivided attention for one dang month.

  13. I think it’s probably necessary. You’re going to kill your writing if you keep sacrificing yourself so that you won’t feel guilty. If your mother is in care surrounded by people, it’s ridiculous for you to see every day. WHY? She’s fine, people are taking care of her. You don’t owe her fealty, and whatever peace of mind you get from not feeling guilty about not seeing her is going to be wiped out by your resentment and your frustration.

    Doing things you don’t want to do for others who don’t need them is just dumb. I know I’m supposed to be supportive here and tell you that you need to take time for yourself, but honest to God, Krissie, get off the damn cross your mother built for you in the back yard. She’s in care. If you don’t want to join her, take your life back.

    This has been your kick in the butt for the day.

  14. OMG, of course you got the part! How wonderful! And you don’t need any justification to do something for yourself. You’ve been giving and giving and giving to everyone else FOREVER and you know what? It just makes them entitled and you exhausted. I’m so proud of you that you’re doing this! When is the show? I don’t know how we’d make it out there for the show, but if we can, we will! The kids would love to see Aunt Krissie on stage!

    Yay! I’m sorry. I can’t help it. The exclamation marks are attacking. 🙂 CONGRATULATIONS!

    Quit over my dead body.

  15. Deb says:

    Congratulations on Sound of Music! I think it’s great and for God’s sake don’t allow yourself to be guilted out of doing this for yourself. In fact, I think you should still go to the quilt show too.

    Just a head’s up on something that we went through when Gram was in a rehab facility. They’re supposed to do an evaluation form on the patient’s abilties on entering the facility and again on being discharged. Make sure that you read it carefully and insist that it is accurate. When Gram was discharged they completely misrepresented her abilities to the point of saying she was capable of using the restroom herself, bathing herself, grooming herself, dressing herself, and light housekeeping. Completely inaccurate as Gram couldn’t even stand up without assistance–much less bathe, dress, or cook.

    Our fault, we should have read the paperwork carefully. (We were rushing to get out–Gram was in a facility in Rutland and we were driving her home to just south of St. J.) Anyway, whether or not the rehab unit was deliberately falsifying the paperwork, we could have been totally screwed if we had been trying to get her in a long-term care facility and had signed paperwork that had her evaluated as being able to care for herself.

    Not to load you with more responsibilities. Absolutely let the rehab place do their job. Just don’t be pushed into signing anything that you feel is inaccurate and really be firm about what care you feel is necessary.

    Sorry, don’t mean to lecture. I just don’t want you to get screwed over.

    Oh, and a final thought…..Does the doctor know you are a writer? He’s totally being an ass….but I wonder if he thinks that you being a writer means that you’re home anyway and not doing anything time consuming so you might as well take care of your mother. Don’t let the jerk bully you.

  16. Yeah! What Lani said! I’d love to come out and see you too! Promise, with all your heart and soul, that we will get video of this, okay?

  17. “I promise that the world will keep on turning without you pushing it.”

    And yet we women are made to feel as if the world would crash if we don’t ‘do it all’. Annoying.

    Did I mention my brain is quirky? After I read that, the song near the end of “My Fair Lady” when Eliza is telling off Prof. Higgins started playing in my head…

  18. Rehearsals won’t be that intensive; and you know what? If you have to leave early or not show, they won’t kick you out. It happens all the time. So do the show! You’re right, it’ll be a blast to your creativity.

    Plus – do you have to visit your mom every day in the hospital/rehab facility? Do you?

    Sending lots of love…

  19. So happy you got the part! I agree with everyone else that 1) you don’t have to visit your mother every day; and 2) you need to make sure that she isn’t sent back home, so start talking to state agencies and care facilities and whoever you have to to make sure that she doesn’t end up home alone with you running yourself ragged again.

    You aren’t being selfish. Would you accuse your sisters of being selfish in the same position? Of course not! You’d cheer them on. Remember that.

    End of assvice. Take good care of yourself! And have fun!

  20. julianna says:

    It’s just a month. Everything can wait for a month. Plus, there will be downtime during rehearsal, so you can bring stuff with you to work on during the downtime.

    When’s the last time you gave yourself permission to do something just for yourself? In fact, haven’t you written several times about how you need to find something pleasurable that isn’t food and doesn’t cost money? Well, you found something — now do it!!!

  21. Congratulations on getting the part! Do it and enjoy yourself. Feed your soul.

    I think a reality check for word definitions is in order: Selfish. Someone who only cares about their own needs and wants. Would you call anyone you know or care about selfish who does all that you do for others and thinks about others as much as you do?

    I think it’s important we not throw a word like that around without being clear about its actual meaning. Using it incorrectly distorts our thinking. We think, “Selfish is a bad thing. I must not be selfish. Therefore I will do X and Y instead of A and B.” But if your behavior doesn’t actually fit the word, then that judgment is completely incorrect. Is it possible you are listening to someone else’s definition of the word? One that’s more like: “You (as in, Krissie) are being selfish when you do not dedicate your entire life to meeting my needs and wants.”

    Well, that’s not what the word means. Don’t buy someone else’s definition.

    I really believe it is vital that when you consider who you are, you use words that accurately describe your behavior, your wishes, your intents, your life. Make judgements from a place of clarity.

  22. Anjemon says:

    One of my hobbies is stage managing or backstage work for plays/musicals. I’m a details person, which makes SMing a perfect fit for me.

    But the point is, I’m fairly certain you won’t need to be at every rehearsal. Usually in things like big musicals they split up rehearsals early on to focus on specific scenes or groups. One of my jobs in some plays is finding which scenes go with which groups so the director knows who to call. He or she doesn’t want to have 40 people just sitting around killing time. It makes them unhappy. Towards show time they will call everyone for run throughs, but then I suggest just taking a book or some knitting. I personally love knitting/crocheting backstage because it still leaves you open to chat with people. But I have totally just brought a book and tried to huddle near a light.

    And I can echo how I sometimes feel guilty about the large amount of time I’ve pledged away. But it’s always so much fun. There’s nothing better than feeling the rush of this thing you’ve toiled over coming alive on stage and hearing the audience react. Take the time, it’ll be worth it.

  23. Jane F says:

    I think Reb makes a good point. Take a vacation!

    If your friend is an early riser it might be good to have you write together in the mornings. It could help make sure you get up and write.

    (I don’t know if this is a problem for you but I often have trouble carrying out my “get up early and work” plans.)

    Granted this assumes you won’t distract each other (too much).

  24. I think Skye brings up an important point. If it were someone else’s need for a personal joy, you’d tell them to go for it.

  25. Eileen A-W says:

    It’s not forever and you sooo deserve something for you after all the giving you’ve been doing. You might have down time at rehearsals to do some “portable” stuff. Take care of you!! Who knows when another opportunity like this will come up.

  26. Alice says:

    You know in terms of scheduling, it shouldn’t be super bad actually. There will be days when they will work scenes with no nuns (ie all of the stuff with kids) so you probably won’t be there every day, you just need to hold that time slot open (like wait until you get the schedule for the week before making plans during that time slot).

    Also, if there are issues with needing to do things for your mother like meeting with people at the nursing home that conflict with rehearsal, talk to the stage manager. The stage manager is the one who does the scheduling and he or she should be understanding about a one or two time conflict. Well, so long as it’s just once or twice.

    I’m a professional stage manager and I think theater is good for the soul. So I’m so glad you’re doing this!

  27. Krissie, congratulations on getting the part! Now do it! I know I don’t post here often, but I read every day. Seeing you try to make yourself feel guilty over this, my fingers got twitchy.

    Your mother is currently in care. Let them do their job while you do yours. And to any care-worker who asks, YOU HAVE A JOB! It doesn’t matter what you do (and they have no right to ask), and they don’t get to make judgments on how many hours you can spend taking care of your mother. I know from experience with my own mother that the doctors, social workers and nurses will almost always opt for the easiest solution for them, which is to dump it all in your lap. You need to advocate for yourself even more than for your mother. You have a job, and that means you cannot take care of her needs, so they need to do THEIR jobs and find her a place to live. And lest you try to tell yourself that putting this task in the hands of others means you’re not helping your mother, don’t even go there. Putting this challenging task into the hands of professionals is how you’re currently helping her.

    As far as your commitments to others, your friend can visit you during lunch breaks between rehearsals. Alex might enjoy seeing a rehearsal or two. And as you said, this is only for a month! Let everyone else work around your life for one month. You sure do enough of that for all of them the rest of the year.

    Good luck! My fingers and I are going back into lurk mode now. 😉

    PS: If you absolutely, positively need to justify this for yourself — which you really don’t — tell yourself that if you drop out of the play now, they’re going to have to find someone to take your place, and that will shake up the rehearsal schedule. So you’re “sacrificing” yourself for the cause of fine arts in Vermont, and that’s a wonderful thing.

  28. Maria Powers says:

    Why do so many women think that doing something for themselves is selfish? It isn’t. It makes you a better caregiver, a better wife, a better mother, a better friend, etc…. You aren’t being selfish and if this were a friend with the same dilemma you’d tell her to do it. So just do it. As for you BFF, I am sure that she will understand and encourage you. She should. You needing a friend didn’t stop her from going to New Jersey. She had to live her life and you have to live your life. Perhaps she can join you at the rehearsals.

    On the other hand, if guilt is going to kill you, then it won’t be much fun either. I still say lay the guilt down and just do it.

  29. Yayyyyyyy! Krissie. I’m so happy for you.

    Now STOP questioning everything. Just do it! Forget everything else, mother, house, friends, writing, and go refill the creative well. You deserve this month of fun, and you will return to life’s duties refreshed and energized. And mother might even make some new social contacts if left to her own devices, of course while being cared for at the same time.

    It’s a win-win.

  30. Barbara Cameron says:

    I think it’s interesting that this acting opportunity came up at the time it did. I don’t believe there is any such thing as a coincidence. It’s a test to see if you think you are important to yourself and deserve to do something you want to do.

    My ex once said he didn’t like me so much after I went to therapy because I became selfish. Well, I went to therapy because I was not recovering from some serious surgery. The ex and all the family were being very selfish with me and did little to help me recover — but they kept pressuring me to do things for them. One night I became utterly despondent and didn’t think I could go on. The thought of leaving my two small children kept me from acting on these feelings. I picked up the phone and called the community mental health agency and got therapy with a wonderful psychologist (even got a reduced rate for therapy). She made me realize I had to stop being there only for others — particularly selfish others. I started taking care of myself and am convinced everyone benefited from what I learned to do for myself.

    I say go for it and it’ll work out. Remember that old but gold phrase: “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.”

  31. Cindy says:

    Don’t give up your part. It’s not selfish. You need it. And I agree with everyone, your mom will adjust better if you don’t go visit her everyday. I’m very excited for you!

  32. Deb says:

    Not to keep beating this dead horse but I wanted to agree with JennK. There are some great doctors/nurses/social workers out there….and then there are the others. And they WILL try to guilt/browbeat/bully you into bringing your mother into your home and taking care of her yourself. Please, please believe in yourself and your needs enough to stand firm.

  33. JenniferNennifer says:

    “I just want it.
    It would just be so much fun.”

    IN the 6 months I have been reading ReFab, I have never heard this particular tone from you. It sounds playful and youthful.

    This isn’t something frivolous you are taking on, it’s THERAPY during a difficult time. Who can argue with that? Well, ok, it’s frivolous too, that’s why it will work as therapy.

    When I have taken classes, my husband is a little sad that I spend so many evenings not home, but he loves who I am when I am doing something I enjoy that much. Anyone in your life that this is not true of is not your friend, and you don’t need to listen to them.

  34. Marcia in OK says:

    Congratulations on the part Krissie! Yeah You!

    And, you are not being selfish, you are learning to practices self-care. It can be difficult at first to care for yourself if you’ve spent years having no care. You can do this!

    And, very glad to hear that things are looking better in regards to your grandma time!

    And, remember, you can do anything for a little while. A month will fly by as you rehearse and let your muse wander in the creativity.

  35. Theresa says:

    Stop it! It’s not selfish to want to do something for yourself! You’ll be happier, which means your have more to give anyways!

  36. Do it. Your mom will be fine if you don’t visit every day. My mom was in and out of physical rehab places for years before finally getting into nursing home care. I visited every day during most of those visits, spending time I didn’t have, wearing myself down. And you know what? Now I know I didn’t have to do that. Mom’s in nursing care now and I visit four times a year for a week at a time, plus do a weekly Skype call for an hour and she is fine. And I am better.

    Be good to yourself. Do things that make YOU happy. You have the right to joy. Exercise it.

  37. Hey, Deb, you live in my area! I vote you and kate come see a performance and report back.
    I’ll read everything. I was surprised by the stuff they wrote when they released her from the hospital. no mention of her spinal stenosis, saying she had renal failure (WHAT?) etc.
    I’m feeling really rotten though. She was so miserable when I left her. This is hard stuff.

  38. Caryn says:

    Don’t quit! Nuns have serenity and you are looking for some and the Universe just handed you a chance to practice looking serene.

    Your friends will be happy you have this opportunity. Once your mother is in a care facility you can visit once a week and leave it at that so you have time to (breathe) write and rehearse and spend time with R and practice looking serene.

    Those rehearsals don’t have you on stage all the time, so you may have time to write in between scenes with nuns. (Come see Scenes with Nuns!)

    We’re pulling for you.

  39. Caryn says:

    Yes, it’s hard. But necessary. You wouldn’t let Alex eat all the candy in the story; you can’t be responsible for someone else’s happiness, just yours. Carry a hankie and let her feel however she feels.

  40. Deb says:

    I’ll be there with bells on. Just tell us where the performance is. We’ll mob you at the stage door and clamor for autographs. You’ll have your own groupies.

    Definitely read everything. We found too many errors to be comfortable just trusting the professionals. And they ignored “episodes” passing it off as just age-related….but we later found were symptoms of the brain tumors. Insane!

    I’m sorry. It is rotten. But please don’t be hard on yourself. It is kind of like a toddler’s tantrums…the toddler is honestly miserable but that doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong withstanding the demands.

    If you travel to Barre by Rt 302, you’ve got an open invitation to stop by and decompress! Hang in there!

  41. Lois says:

    Here’s a quote I carry around with me: “If it is important to you you will find a way. If not you will find an excuse.”

    I watched my sister live an often self-less life. And then 4 months before she was going to finally gain some freedom in her life she got a malignant brain tumor and died. I have learned to be much more ‘selfish’ since then.

    Please do something fun for YOU! Block out those rehearsal times for the month and then if you don’t have to be there – yeah free time!
    I had wonderful nuns in school. I can’t remember names but I do remember the joyous look on one’s face as she sang and shared music. Let that be you 🙂

  42. I didn’t even finish reading the post, much less the comments, and I’m sure they will all say the same thing: DON’T YOU DARE QUIT!!!!

    Get other people to help you with the other stuff. My God Krissie, if you quit TSOM I will seriously cry. And that’s not your problem, but really you NEED this. Please, Please, do this for yourself.

    If you tell me when the performance is I’ll even come see you sing. Please.

  43. Jane F says:

    Also another thought to encourage the DON”T QUIT argument. If you do quit, imagine how you will feel in a month’s time When the show goes up? Will you even go? How will feel going or not going? How will you feel about the others you sacrificed this experience for? Resentful? Angry? It seems clear the time with your mother will not contribute positively to YOUR mental HEALTH. If you enjoy each other’s company you and your BFF will find time for each other. Maybe not quite as much as before but you will. Doing the show is NOT SELFISH-IT’S HEALTHY.

  44. Kathryn says:

    So.
    Have read all the comments and it seems your horde is agreed:
    You will do the play.
    You will not visit your mother every day. (Jesus, what could you possibly have to talk about?)
    And I’m pretty sure there is a general confusion about how the sentence, “I don’t know how I’ll manage to bring her home,” even entered your head. What happened to “She needs more care than I can provide?”
    This is gonna’ sound really really harsh, but it’s hot and my feet hurt, so here it is: It’s time to put that big personality to work, look any doc/social worker/WHOEVER in the eye, and make sure they know that you don’t give a flying fuck WHERE they put her, but she’s not coming home with you. period.
    If they send her back to HER home, you are not able to see her every day, and if she has any more panic attacks, an ambulance will be called to deal with her, because no way in hell will you be trying to lift a grown woman anymore.
    I swear to God, Krissie, if we all have to come up there, there’s gonna’ be big trouble, lol.
    Don’t make us pull this car over…

  45. jinx says:

    And for god’s sake woman, do you not recall the Sixties? You are not talking about doing something bad and selfish, you are talking about Free Mandatory Assertiveness Training, which is something that you HAVE to do in order to stick it to the patriarchy! (Or in this case Matriarchy, but you get the gist.)

    Plus, the whole theme of the play you’re going to be in (GOING, do you hear me?) is obedience versus courage, independence versus groupthink, bossy mother types versus recalcitrant children, and so on. You couldn’t have found a better setting to think about all this stuff in.

    I think it sounds like an excellent plan, and everything will work itself around this. You go follow some rainbows.

  46. There’s no quitting in musical theater! Performing is one of your favorite things and you’ve been climbing every mountain for years. Take this time for yourself. Tell your problems, “so long, farewell, auf wiedersen, good night” and keep the role.

    I’m excited for you!

  47. Flo says:

    Yes, it’s selfish- but it’s the healthy sort of selfish. Think of it like the strength and determination that’s sparked your weight loss: one small thing at a time.

    Your mother is in care, with people specially trained to deal with any issues she may have and if she throws the biggest sh*tfit for them without you running back to mollify her, they’ll begin to understand why she can’t be alone. I would ask the people scheduling rehearsals if there’s going to be blocks where the nuns aren’t practicing. Some directors break everyone out into small groups and you do practice nearly all of the time… but that’s rare. If there are days, half days, or just days you get out early, fit your mother in when and if you can. Otherwise, leave her care to the professionals, and live your life.

    The BFF- invite her to the rehearsal space, tell the people who need to know that you’ll be in the hall or in the back and brainstorm with her there, see if they need any extra hands for set changes. There’s something about the production of a play that is usually happy and welcoming of anyone willing to help. Go sew with her over your lunch break, and invite her to your place (or go to hers) and write in the mornings. Share your joy with her, don’t kill it.

    Same goes for Alex- see if he can help paint sets if your have set building days. Ask what days/half days they won’t need you, and go play with him those days. Have him for a sleepover where he shows up after rehearsal and spends the night.

    But however much else you try to cram into the time you’ve got, give yourself a small chunk of time- just one month- to be joyful, sing and be silly with new people. You can go back to the stress and worry later. Spend this upcoming month making yourself as happy as you possibly can. The worry will be waiting when you want it back.

    Keep your joy. You deserve to be selfishly happy for one month. Whether or not you can keep on the determinedly happy path after the play will be something you evaluate AFTER the play. For now, LET GO of the worry and have fun.

  48. Can’t help with details, but I’d like to point out you’re in a rut, and a rut of your own decision-making (yeah, you have your reasons). TSOM is Not Rut, leaving your mother for the duration to adjust with professional assistance is Not Rut. Do TSOM all the way, don’t see your mother all the way, assess how you feel, what the situation is at the end of the run. And, of course, keep us posted. With video.

    Telling that truly terrible doctor you’re not that invested in your mother’s survival strikes me as pretty non-angsty. You’ve got it in you, Krissie. Cultivate non-angst.

  49. That’s always been my secret fear. That I keep holding out, taking care of everyone until I’m finally free, and then I’ll get hit by a bus.

  50. Micki says:

    Go, you, Lois! Sometimes it takes a tragedy before we learn to value our precious time . . . .

  51. Micki says:

    (-: Community theater is NOT selfish. It’s damn hard work, and you’ll be nurturing your fellow actors and everyone else involved in the production — just as they’ll be nurturing you. And let’s talk about the value to the community — the Arts are important, and it’s important (especially in a small town) for people and especially kids to see that the Arts don’t belong to a bunch of beautiful people in Hollywood or super-talented people who sing for music companies. The Arts belong to all of us.

    Take extra good care of yourself this month so you can do this. Like others have said, it’s only a month. You deserve this . . . and so do the others in your community.

    (Is there a chance your BFF might like to come and do stuff for the theater too? If not, there’s a reason why we have dinner parties. Something easy and healthy, and with good company.)

  52. Cissa says:

    When my daughter- mentally ill- was hospitalized and in need of services, the social worker at the hospital STRONGLY recommended that we NOT accept her back home. If we did, the official orgs would have a great reason to deny her the care she needed, since we were “obviously” able to take care of her.

    We ended up having to stare them down twice… but after that, she got the services she was entitled to and needed, and I credit them with saving her life.

    But it was really hard to say no, we will not accept her back home.

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