The New Normal: Pause 

It’s a quiet Sunday at the Paff household. It’s a chilly, rainy, gray day outside and we all seem incredibly content to remain in cozy positions easing in and out of naps. I have a snoozing puppy wedged between myself and the back of the couch, a husband next to us snoozing in the lazy boy, and two cats snoozing close by. The front window is cracked just enough to bring in some fresh air and noise from the outside world. It’s like the universe put us on pause for the day. 

There is a long list of things that I should be doing today. I should be getting the laundry started, I should be making a grocery list for tomorrow, let’s be honest, I should be grocery shopping today, I should be bringing in all of the boxes in my car so we can start packing for our move in six weeks. Chances are I might get to a couple of those things later today but for now I’m going to enjoy the stillness in my house. I am going to enjoy quiet moments of calm amongst the chaos that has been swirling around our lives lately. We are on pause. 

Justin had ten appointments at the hospital last week. Ten appointments packed within four trips to Ann Arbor for the week. It quickly became overwhelming for both of us. They have told us that the next two to three weeks will be the craziest for us in terms of coming and going, and afterward things will become more regular as he starts treatment. I think they managed to pack those two to three weeks into one week, as the next seven days are seemingly empty in comparison, with only one appointment on the books. This will be the first time I will be working a full week since the end of January. I will have five whole days to focus on work and gearing up for the two big things that are just around the corner: clinical trial treatment starting and moving. Justin will be able to rest, play video games, and focus on conserving his energy for the first two days of his treatment starting. 

We are on pause. 

Yesterday, I spent the day with my mom, we had breakfast and then spent the rest of the day preparing my grandmother’s house for moving and an upcoming estate sale. While we were eating breakfast I was telling her about what our week was like and in the middle of talking I looked up from my plate and just said: 

“I’m not dealing with this as well as I have before.” 

“No, you’re not.” 

We smiled and kept on talking. It was that moment that gave me some clarity. 

No, I wasn’t dealing with it in the same way I have before. It’s harder this time, it’s different, bigger, more difficult, and the third time. The first time we just powered through, the second time we were more angry but we knew how to cope, we were more prepared. This time is kind of like Charlie Brown kicking Lucy’s football. Eventually we will get the football on the other side of the field but in the meantime we are taking everything as it comes. I’ve accepted the fact that I won’t be able to control everything, that I will have to ask for help from people I trust, I will cry at inopportune times, and I will have to stop feeling guilty for having to ask for time off and for being not my usual self. I will use the moments when we can pause to recharge and gear up for when I feel like I’m not “dealing” well. Life isn’t convenient and I can’t control everything. My job is to support Justin. End of story. That, I can do. 

Today is a pause day. Puppy snores and cuddles are calling me. 

3 thoughts on “The New Normal: Pause 

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