Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Growing Pains

Will someone please sit down and have a cup of tea with me? I need to vent a little.
I'm in fleur de lis heaven here, y'all!
My mother can be summed up as a gracious, southern lady. Although we look similar, grace is not a trait that I inherited from her. Apparently, it skips a generation because my daughter has an abundance. Oh, I can be gracious on occasion, but most of the time I speak without thinking, usually saying what's on my mind. For a sensitive person like my mother, my bold pronouncements can hurt, even when I don't mean them to.

Yesterday was my seventh day living with her, and I suddenly became acutely aware of the cacophony of the TV. I'm the type of person that can put up with an aggravation for some time, then one day I'll decide that I've had enough and explode.

Having this contraption blaring most of the day and night has frayed my tangled mass of nerves. I'll settle in to sit in front of my computer at the dining room table to do a little work for my boss or catch up on emails, or photography editing, or your lovely blogs—just trying to reconnect with my normal. My "office" is about eight feet from my mother and her beloved television, and in addition to the aggravating sounds of The Price Is Right (sorry Drew Carey, you're awful at this gig), every other minute she'll ask what I'm doing or she'll remember something to tell me, and my concentration gets broken. Each time I stop what I'm doing and look directly at her so she knows I'm listening, answering politely.

Lather, rinse and repeat. Sigh.

Unable to uncork on my mother and at the same time begging God for just a morsel of that elusive grace, my solution yesterday was to mute the television when she went to the bathroom. On her return she asked why the sound was off. In a matter-of-fact way (possibly through gritted teeth), I explained that sometimes it feels nice to have quiet in the house. She replied that having the TV on all the time helped her feel less alone. (I hope she meant pre-me.) After my small act of rebellion, she kept the TV off the rest of the afternoon even though I told her she could turn it back on. When she finally resumed her favorite activity, the volume was kept insanely low, and throughout the evening she asked repeatedly if it was bothering me. 

At least I see where my sensitive nature comes from. Big sigh. 

So today I awoke with a new plan. When I got up she asked me how I slept and even though I listened to her snore and babble and even laugh in her sleep for most of the night, I replied that I slept GREAT! The rest of the day went much better, but when The Price Is Right came on she immediately pressed the power button. And I did not argue.

This was how the rest of the day was spent:
Louisiana State Capitol shot through the car window
Cathedral of St. Joseph as seen through last year's Mardi Gras beads :)
Clock tower of St. Joseph's
Anyone remember Huarache sandals from the 70s? I bought my first pair from this dilapidated shop. It was a cool, hip place in its heyday with the grooviest clothes. :)
After we returned from our little drive I heard all kinds of birds chirping as we emerged from the car. Armed with my camera, I went to investigate. The crunchy leaves were scaring them off, so I decided to check out this fallen tree instead.
As I got closer I noticed these clam-shaped mushrooms growing all over it
Too bad they absorb water so easily, otherwise they could serve as water bowls for the birds
Thank you for letting me vent today! I feel much better. :)

23 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i understand completely! my husband travels a lot. when he comes home, the tv is on from morning 'til night. i live a very silent life (and i love it that way) so feel like i can't concentrate and feel distracted and disjointed!

are you going to get your own place eventually? assuming so?

Barbara Shallue said...

Argh, I'm the same way with the TV! And the same way with how things slowly build until I notice them and explode! God bless you and give you patience! (Love the shots, especially the one with the beads!)

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

Pics are perfect and LOVE the mushrooms. Had to laugh with you about your mother. My mom is a genteel lady too with nothing but kindness and patience. I pray to be more like her, but I have that fire that starts in the belly and comes out in many opinions that won't shut up. Mom has to constantly remind me that she's the momma. :) My sister lost her home a few years ago and had to move in with her for a while. They drove each other crazy. Your heart is in the right place and your mom knows it. She's still the mom and has things that make her happy, so you might have to find some of those noise reduction headphones. Did I mention I'm the middle child and a mediator of sorts. :) Love you my dear friend and am praying that life adjusts and you both get into a nice routine like any newly married couple.

Kathy said...

Did I mention that this would not be easy? As a 66-year-old who moved in with her 90-year-old mother I hear you. We're just the opposite of you two. I love the TV, my mother hates it. But she gets her way and does not waiver! So I've given up TV except for Netflix at night. I don't even have a cable box in my room. Thank goodness you have photog as an outlet, especially one that you're so good at!

Shug said...

I so wished we lived close to each other...I'd sit a while with you and we could vent together....
I felt as if I were looking in a mirror when I read this post....Just the mention of "The Price is Right" sends me into a spin....My 81 year old dad watches this show DAILY...as soon as it is over, 11:05 he is here at my house...If I am not home, then at 11:07, I get a phone call telling me I'm not home and asking where I am! (Oh, how the nerves can get stretched!) I hear ya girl! Life is good and we are Blessed.
Blessings sweet Gail....

Pieces of Sunshine said...

I hear you. I think you're being very gracious to live with your mother, differences and all. I'm guessing a drive and some photos were a welcome break.

Tricia said...

Well, there's going to be an adjustment period, but hopefully once she get used to you being around televison won't be needed to fill the air. I know what you mean though, I start to get annoyed if the tv is on for too long too. Could she get headphones for the tv?

Evelyn S. said...

I'm home alone all day (TV on only while I'm on the treadmill to help pass the time) but Hubby turns the TV on as soon as he gets in the house from work. By then, I don't mind the sound...but he changes channels each time a commercial comes on! It isn't uncommon for him to do that and then get absorbed in a different show. If I'm watching a show with him, I get really cranky! I can be at the computer with my back to the TV and still consider myself to be watching. ;-)

Rosemary Aubut said...

OH Gail I have missed you! I had a glass of wine instead , hope you don't mind. Loved your day with mom. No regrets when all is said and done! Love ya!

Michelle Renee said...

I sympathize and understand completely. My grandma came to live with us a few times over the years due to health problems...and she liked the tv loud, which disturbed the overall sacred peace of our home. It was hard sometimes to find solitude when Judge Judy was blaring from the other room. I totally understand...and I'm sending you virtual ear plugs along with boxes of chocolate. Love the pictures btw. You are an amazing photographer...one I aspire to.

ladyfi said...

It's a huge adjustment for you all... I'm hoping that things will get better, or perhaps you'll get your own space nearby?

Yours shots are just glorious! A lovely tribute to nature's best.

Starla said...

Hang in there Gail! I'm sure that the adjustments will get a bit easier with time.
I love the photo of the leaves..I can hear them crunching under your feet!

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily said...

I certainly understand the need to vent, so vent whenever you need to & we'll be here to listen & help!
Your situation HAS TO BE very hard, but you seem to be handling it well, considering... I think the drive was an excellent distraction to be sure!!!

The mushrooms should be lil water bowls for the birds... too bad.
I love the tree shot & that blue sky is awesome!!!

There's a lil snow on the ground here this morning, the wind is really blowing, and it's fairly cold, but the sky was so beautiful on the way to work - I wish there'd been a photo op & time to stop! =)

Linda R. said...

For my Mom it is Judge Judy. Don't even speak to hear when the judge is on!!
Don't be so hard on yourself. I do believe you are feeling what most of us would feel if we were caring for our parents. And we are hear to listen when ever you need to vent..

Hugs, Linda

Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

Gail, I know what you are going through. Steve has to have the TV on 24 hours a day (when he's home) and because of his hearing loss, it is BLARING!!! Drives me nuts and rattles my nerves something fierce. I like quietness, so we are constantly lowering and raising the volume of that darn TV, lol!!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I believe we can all relate to this situation, Gail. I, too, go through the tv 24/7 when Shane is home -- and worse, I like a fan and the radio on when I sleep; he -- not so much. :)

With your mom, would it be possible to have a quiet time for a couple of hours a day. Perhaps she could read or nap or do something else while you do your thing? Big hugs. xoxo

Rosie said...

Thanks for the tea, Gail! And you come over any time again to vent! I can so relate and I admire you - you're doing so great! I would have so much patience. I'm also one to endure things up to a certain level and then there is an explosion, but I fear my explosion would have come much faster and wouldn't be over yet...! Thanks also for sharing those wonderful photos! Have a great day!

hootnonny said...

It's hard to live w/someone else, especially family members! It annoys me when someone constantly changes channels w/the remote - unless it's me!

Thanks for sharing the products of your great idea!

missing moments said...

You are so patient! Adjustments living with someone is hard. Always best to find a compromise which seems you have. I vote for afternoon coffee shops!

beth said...

you know what, that's what we're here for. to vent, to share, to show beauty.

and you did all of that beautifully. seriously, you really did.

oh, and you made me laugh a little bit, too...at the TV scenario....as it is totally me and my mom in the future.

xoxo

Kalyan said...

Simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

septembermom said...

I can just visualize the TV scenario from your description. Hang in there. And the photos are wonderful as usual!!

Tina said...

Beautiful images Gail. I see the two of you are learning how to do the dance of life together :-)