We are now in week 5 of living with the in-laws. Despite a few set backs, Teresa's mom is on her way to a full recovery from her surgery and we are now in the last couple of weeks here.
It has been interesting observing the challenges that I've faced here and how I've chosen to cope with them.
But first things first: the accommodations here have been fine. Yes, we went out and bought a new mattress and TV to make our bedroom more of a retreat. I've been able to take over a different spare bedroom and convert it into a private office to work from. It is generally quiet and the nice weather has made taking breaks enjoyable. We've taken the dogs to Huntington Beach's Dog Beach a number of times. The dog's lose their minds and exhaust themselves playing in the water, the sand, and with other dogs. We will definitely miss that.
Even with all this good, things have been stressful. Sleeping on a smaller mattress has been challenging. Living under someone's else's roof is always an exercise in finding the balance between familiarity and respectful distance. Family politics and hurt emotions from siblings in law. These all create a stress point. Add in an extremely important and urgent work project and I was definitely tested this past month.
It was interesting to be able to identify it right away, name it, and "choose" how to cope. I put choose in quotes because had I been able to freely choose, I would have opted not to react at all. But given the parade of bad choices available to me (and ones I freely would've opted for in the past), a little bit of stress eating was the lesser of all evils. And, more importantly, I was easy on myself for making these choices. Some self-compassion goes a long way. It helped to temper the choices preventing a full on slide. Some pre-planning made sure I had my Soda Stream and blender with me, making sure I could have healthy breakfasts, lunches, and beverages. Keeping a Slack status message "tally" of In-N-Out visits helped keep that number down as well.
Ona different note, I just finished AMORALMAN by Derek Del Gaudio. The number of synchronicities that hit while reading this was a bit unnerving. I have been working through the whole Magician/Con Man archetype situation in personal work that I have been doing and this has given me a bunch of fresh perspective about the roles of each. There is a point (around page 83/84) that talks about the intersection of illusionist and cheats and really breaks it down to the fact that their is no intersection, no exchange of ideas, no two way streets. Secrets work their way from the world of the con to the world of the magician. This section really parallels some ideas that I have been gnawing on and to hear this confirmation from an authority has been inspiring. There is so much more, though. It's an interesting book and I think a great read for almost anyone, but there are some deeper waters here for me to tread as well.
Anyway, countdown is on. Hopefully in 2+ weeks we'll be heading home. Hpoing we can fit some socially distanced visits with friends in. But if we don't, just know that we are both a bit exhausted and really looking forward to being back in Portland.