Work works

Given what’s going in with my dad, some of my coworkers have been surprised me to see me coming into work whenever I could this week and have encouraged me “not to bother.” But it’s really no bother at all. In fact, I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t want and need to.

Right now, my dad is heavily medicated and sleeping most of the time simply because when he’s awake he’s in mental and physical agony. You can’t imagine what I’d give to have one more actual conversation with him. But any time we spend together now is not exactly quality time. He barely knows whether I’m there or not and every minute makes it a little bit harder for me to picture him ever having been alive and independent. I think he would benefit more now from an alert son who spends a few hours a day by his side than from one who’s exhausted from putting in twenty-four hours a day watching him sleep.

Maybe I’m rationalizing. Or selfish. I don’t know. But I do know that I very much need to spend a few hours every day feeling normal and trying to think about something–anything–else. I find that work is increasingly what I rely on in a crisis. The weekend after Mark and I split up I decided that it was the perfect time to do major surgery, including a WordPress upgrade, on every single one of my sites. Just as my mom was going into memory care last winter, I dived right into a major grant application. My house has never been cleaner and neater than it has for the past two years. In each of these cases–not to mention the current one and many others–I was confronted with a situation I felt I had no control over. Therefore I desperately needed something I could control–something I knew I could do well to make up for whatever failure or misfortune was tearing me apart.

I’m not the most together person on the planet but I’m smart enough to know that this works for me. And i have a sneaking suspicion that my dad would approve.