I’ve been having these episodes, where feel like I ate a bag of candy with a pot of espresso as a chaser. (I don’t eat sugar or drink coffee these days, but have done in the past, so I know the feeling.) I just suddenly became breathless, shaky, and weak. It’s really frightening, because I’ve had some trouble with my heart in the past. I have difficulty physically processing an over abundance of emotion. This thing is called Tako-Tsubo, or the “broken heart syndrome.” I take medication to help control it, but of late, my life has been overriding my medication.
I had dinner with my pal RJ, and when she counted up major events going on in my life right now, she told me that I had at least five of the top ten stressors on the list going on in my life: the loss of a parent, my work status changing from work to retirement, packing and moving from my home, buying a new home (the RV), getting ready to travel, solo, for a year, and leaving my beloved grandchildren, my son, and daughter-in-law behind to do it. RJ imagined that most people going through all this stuff would be getting the occasional panic attack. OK, I didn’t intend to pathologize what could be just normal excitement, but I also do not want to have a heart attack as I’m trying to get out the door. So, it’s off to the cardiologist I go.
All the tests came back in normal range, so I guess these feelings are "normal."
I absolutely don’t know how to empty this apartment, and pack the stuff that is coming with me, and into the motor home next Saturday, without making a mess of the place. So, I guess I’m just living in the mess this week. I’ve emptied another bookshelf, and got rid of most of the papers, and binders related to teaching, and work I’d done in grad school that I thought I’d get back to. I continue to lighten the load.
It’s so interesting the effect that a few years can make things irrelevant. I was really passionate about my own writing projects, and my schoolwork, but "the work goes cold," as my brother is fond of saying. He’s right. Let your work marinate for too long on a shelf, and it becomes recycling.
My kids were joking around with me this weekend, calling me a hoarder. I have to say, that hurt my feelings, because I have been meditating on my ability to hang onto "stuff." I kept my apartment neat, mostly clean, and quite functional. I could have sleep-over guests, and dinner guests. I was pretty comfortable here. But the too-many bookcases, and cupboards, the storage loft, way too many file cabinet drawers, yes I absolutely had too much paper stored up in here. But, in my own defense, I am an English teacher and a writer. Twenty and thirty years ago, both of those occupations required tons of organized research materials, and notes. Yes, the world is a digital domain now, I'm trying to move into it as fast as I can. I also think that my being dyslexic is related to my being loath to part with my notes. So often, I cannot access what I’ve learned, so capturing it all on paper, and keeping my notes seemed a way to hold onto all that hard-won knowledge.
Dunno, perhaps I ought to do some research on “the hoarding syndrome,” see if I actually was on my way to living in Grey Gardens here.