Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Sunday, June 20, 2010

fishing trip

Last week was a rough one. David went through another bout of rapid cycling mixed episodes, and I had round two of sinus and ear infections. Because of his mood cycle he was not very understanding when I stayed home in bed for three days; it really aggravated his anxiety and paranoia. Then on Saturday, just when I was about to throw in the towel, his mood suddenly shifted back to normal. That's one of the things about having a bipolar spouse that I find most challenging: keeping up with his mood swings. He went from Mr. Nasty to David at his best in about 1/2 hour. When I asked him why the change in attitude, he just shrugged and said, "that's how my moods operate." It's pointless to stay angry at him because he doesn't remember half of what he said that was so hurtful. But trying to adjust my mood from being angry back to being "normal" is sometimes draining. I finally let go of being angry, bit my tongue, and asked him what he would like to do for Father's Day weekend.
"Go fishing," he said.
So we did a hasty packing job, loaded up the dogs, and went to his favorite fishing hole. It was just what we both needed. Lost Creek reservoir is at the top of a remote canyon and has been limited to day fishing only. It used to be open to camping and waterskiiing, but 10 years ago it was closed and strengthened for earthquakes. Before they closed it, we spent many weekends there camping overnight with our children when they were young. Now with just small fishing boats allowed on the lake, it has become a serene spot. David had a good time fishing, and I read and knitted and napped to my heart's content.

David ended up catching two 18-inch fish. It made his day. I refuse to do anything with fish, so he cleaned them and cooked them. They were tasty.
The dogs, Lucy and Sunny, also had a great time running around and exploring the area where we were camped. There weren't many people around, so they had the run of the place. When we came home, Lucy refused to get out of the car for over an hour. Here she is looking woe-be-gone.
I'm on the mend, thanks to a heavy-duty dose of antibiotics, and David, while his mood is still fluctuating, is doing much better. I had planned on painting my room, but it is still there, waiting to be painted this coming weekend. I think it comes down to being willing to roll with his moods and being flexible about getting my projects done. Frustrating? Oh yes. But I have to look at the bigger picture, which is helping David to keep as level as possible. It was a good choice to go fishing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Work Projects and Change

I planted some flowers and herbs last week. I am no gardening expert, but I enjoyed doing it and they have added nice color to our front yard. Next year I plan on doing more gardening, but this is a good step in the right direction.

I also starting preparing my room for a new paint job. Here is a "before" picture. The room has been home for the past 23 years to our daughters as they went from little girls to young women to leaving home and starting their own families. Katie had this room last. She insisted on painting it bright pink and had lots of Tinkerbell drawings on the wall. It fit her. When I took down all the pictures I felt terribly sentimental about her and her sisters. But I decided it would not be healthy to keep it as a shrine to them. I felt similarly when we turned our boys' old room into a pantry off the kitchen. We left it alone for 2 years until Jeff got married, then made the change. Even though it was hard to deconstruct their rooms, we are glad we did it.

And so it is with life. Changes come whether we want them to or not. The trick is to learn to make the most of what comes along. I enjoyed (for the most part) watching my children grow up in these rooms: their good times and bad, their play times, their learning experiences, their laughter and their tears. I miss my babies. But I also delight in the good things they are doing with their lives. With this new stage of being empty-nesters, I like the (relative) quiet, and the chance to do some things around the house that I never had time for before.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Memorial Day Trip, 2010

David heard about some ancient Indian ruins in southeast Utah and was anxious to go see them this spring. The trip down was rough because he has such a hard time leaving his comfort zone. Once we found a campsite in a great central location, set it up, and took a nap he was fine.

One of the fun things about this trip was coming across other people who were also exploring the area and who were excited to tell us about what they had found. One acquaintance was a geologist who had worked in the area 30 years ago as a student helping to map out the ruins. He told us that there are ruins in almost all of the nearby canyons and that a good many are not on maps. He was right; and we had a lot of fun finding some of them:

We also went to Moon House ruins. The site is spectacular:

Sidenote: The hike to the ruins is not for the faint-of-heart, however. To get to it you have to climb down one side of the canyon and then climb back up the other side to get to the ruins. It was well worth seeing, but to be honest, on the way back I kept saying to myself, "I'm not doing this again!"

We were awestruck by the sites and the people who built them, and we wondered what their lives were like. Some of the rooms were incredibly small; probably grain storage. And some of the rooms were larger and could comfortably accommodate several people. I have to admit, though, that I felt increasingly more grateful for modern conveniences of running water, electricity, soft beds, and modern medicine as the weekend went on.

David forgot to pack his lithium, so we were extra diligent to make sure that he stayed calm and relaxed. I did bring his zyprexa, and had him take some the night before we came home so that he would stay calm for the drive back. He came through it really very well, and the post-vacation blues have been manageable.

Another problem were little stinging gnats that were out in full force; they must have just hatched. I came home grateful for the pleasures of hot epson salt baths, antihistamines, and anti-itch medicine. I have also been marveling at how quickly the skin will repair itself after so many bites. It will only be a few more days before I'm willing to expose others to the sight of my legs. A note: Do NOT hike in shorts and shortsleeves!

And this weekend I am looking forward to planting a flower garden and preparing my bedroom for painting. I had hoped to plant a vegetable garden, but realistically I won't be able to with all the painting I plan on doing.

I truly am grateful to be living in this day and age, and marvel at those who lived so long ago.

Have I mentioned how much I love desert flowers in the spring?