That's the easiest show and tell of the turn around.
That and that my sleep went from averaging 6 hours a night to averaging a bit under 8.
Well... and I can type more than a sentence and not be in pain, I can lift my sheets with the back of my left hand without a flash of agony, I can drive for more than a minute without having to curl my left arm against my chest to keep it from hurting to much, I can do more than two prayer shawl labels before having to take a break and stretch my neck and back and shoulder...
I'm actually back to functional levels in nearly almost every way. I can swim, I can sleep at night, I was able to help in the long road trip to San Diego and up to Oregon and back home in rotation with the boys by the end of the trip. It's been a week by week sort of progress. I'm now playing games again, judiciously, with the highest priority being playing with Jet before he leaves for Japan on the 20th of August.
Yes. Next week.
And it's been hitting me emotionally lately, when I've known for a really long time that he's going and am very supportive of him in his adventure. I'm so glad he's able to go, so glad he's brave enough to want to go, and impressed at how he's handling all the things that he needs to do before he goes. He's getting all his college applications in, learning Japanese, and putting together a semblance of a plan for the spring.
Most of the people we talk with about it all turn toward me and go, "How do you feel about him leaving the nest early?"
Proud. Happy. Excited. Sad. I'll miss him, certainly, but I'm also really glad he's getting to go and he's obviously looking forward to it all. I'm so glad that he's independent and capable enough to go on this kind of adventure when I'm sure that I couldn't do it at his age. His father did, though, and was so happy to have that experience and those memories so we know the benefits. I'm planning things for the months he's gone, and a lot of the mothers who are experiencing their children leaving for college suddenly realize that I'm the one that isn't going to see my son at all while he's gone halfway around the world; and Jet isn't going to be home for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
But we did learn, recently, that he will be home just after the New Years, so it'll just be about four months, not six as we'd been given to know very early in the process. The two months shouldn't make such a huge difference, but they do. I've been happier since knowing, and he's happy with getting his Christmas presents in January. He's not picky that way, and I'm so grateful.
One thing I've been having to think very seriously about has been what I really want to do with my gaming. I just cold turkey quit it when I was hurting from March through June. That was four months... and doesn't seem that long on this end of it, but it seemed forever while I was doing it, and when I picked things up again, I started with just click games and controller games, only getting back into R6 when Jet and his friends were playing and wanting me to get back into it with them. Sharing the game was what was important to them, not winning so much, and after a couple of months back, I was able to get the kills I wanted; but I also found myself not wanting to play for more than two hours at a time. Two hours really was my physical limit, which surprised me.
So I may well just set it aside... I'm not really enjoying the games I used to enjoy, and I'd rather play with Jet than anyone. I started it in order to play with him, and I got really far away from that when I was doing competitive, and coming back to that has been really good. So I'm enjoying the time I'm getting with him now, before he goes, but I may well leave that particular life behind me.
The other thing I've picked up again these last few months was my art. I have two concurrent art shows going on now, and these is the UCC one, which has sold seven paintings so far.
There's another at the Burlington Medical Center, which was a surprise for me, but they were willing to show another five paintings, which I happened to have lying around.
I'm getting to the point where my painting is going faster than I am actually framing them. There are a lot of discards that are either too old or too simple or too flawed for me to want to go do the trouble of framing for sale anymore, and I may well just sell them on Etsy in rolls. I have to figure out if I really want to and what I want to put there. I've already sold one there and the process was so simple it was wonderful. Etsy's so good about making the postage easy. I may just paint more and expand how I'm selling things.
That will definitely keep me busier, along with now being on our church's Council, having done the whole pastor Search Committee thing and coming up with a really amazing pastor who is Called to the job of loving the very human, loving, and flawed community of our congregation. Sarah's abilities to keep her boundaries along with feeling compassion for people who can be both difficult and amazing is really cool. Her wife Beth has been a Godsend as well, who really is a great spouse for Sarah and has been friendly and good with the congregation as well. We'll see how it works out in the long run, but the relationship has been good so far. I'm now on the Pastoral Relations Committee, to help it go more smoothly.
Sarah was cool, wanting to bless Jet before he goes, but he really didn't want to go up front, so she'll handle it in the prayer time. It's so good that she understands his need.
So things are going well, and I'm recovering nicely. And in the throes of all the transitions, I've been seriously looking at a lot of things and throwing out some old things and bringing in the new... including a busted espresso maker, a bunch of pans that were supposed to be nonstick but stuck a lot, a rusted out grill, and even where my painting station and office are, which, of course, includes going through all the books on the shelf and selling or donating the ones that no longer delight me. It's tough going sometimes. Out with the old... in with the new...
"Everything changes. Nothing changes back." -- xxHolic.
And so we go on with the new. My new colony is doing well, but I'm having to stay on top of the mites. I'll have my high schooler back for the new year, I have a Moms' week out in September with a visit to Washington after, I will have Big Bad Con in October (and I'll actually be going under my real name this year rather than just Liralen Li), and I have some writing ideas that I'll have to figure out how to wrangle someone to help keep me accountable on now that I can actually type again. That was one of my rolling prayers in April... 'just let me be able to *write* again'. So I can. Now I need to do it before I can't again.