This may come as a surprise, but I’m really a very private person. It seems an oxymoron because I’m outgoing and I enjoy social situations. But I do tend to keep my personal life close to me. I know there’s a trend in blogging to open oneself wide-open, to share life’s ups and downs with friends and strangers who frequent one’s blog. I call it Oprah-blogging, and while I truly have no judgment on those who choose this type of approach, I can honestly say it’s not my thing.
That said, I also say repeatedly in my writings that “life is messy” and, for me, that means there is no “perfect.” The people who, from the outside looking in, seem to have a perfect life with a perfect marriage and perfect children…house, career, etc. are really no different from you or me. All of us have challenges, it’s just that some have more and some have less.
I was very proud of a friend of mine, Jen Osborn, who recently got back into blogging after a personal absence from her public art career so she could take care of things that were happening within her family. She went public with her personal struggles and, I believe, she is being an inspiration to others by sharing as openly as she has these past few weeks. Her story is not mine to tell, but here is a link to Jen’s blog.
My story today is that I’m dealing with my aging parents rapidly declining health and my mother’s deep depression. I fall within that category of “sandwich generation”. My mother was 38 when she had me and I was 41 when I had my daughter. My parents are in their 80s. I’m their caregiver, and days like today when their world is crashing inward, I find myself being called upon to help, which means juggling the sandwich so the whole thing doesn’t turn into a giant soggy mess. Of course, that’s what it feels like (a giant soggy mess) and part of my personal challenge right now is to truly feel my feelings. Not to minimize them, shove them aside, not to bury them in Dove dark chocolate.
Only those closest to me know the sadness in my heart right now, as well as the full details, but it seemed time to share a teeny bit of it because I talk a lot about being real and living authentically. That means my real life, as well as my online “public” life.
It also seemed a day to share something not-so-happy. September 11th is a day of remembrance when our collective worlds came crashing down upon us. We stood in shock, we cried, we felt the sadness. We found ways to cope. Today – 9-11-11 – is another day of struggle, only this time it’s purely personal.