Leave myself alone.
The Other Girl has headed out for the week. The Boyfriend in the Basement is at work. Mom is at respite care, I'll pick her up in a few hours. I'm alone in a quiet house, laundry is all caught up, kitchen is clean, everything else is tidy. It's grey and cold outside, rain splatters the windows in a hypnotic melody. I'm warm, fuzzy with a head cold, gazing at the cats curled up and content in their dreams, Barnaby Bones snug in his bed. I am so comfortable in my skin at this very moment I don't want it to ever end.
I want to stay like this - a girl who doesn't have poop stains to scrub out of the carpet, pee to mop off the bathroom floor, who doesn't need to shop for the most effective incontinence briefs, who doesn't have to plan for future immobility in a house with stairways, who doesn't have to balance numerous checkbooks, who doesn't need to forecast budgets for in-home care, memory facilities, end-of-life assistance, who doesn't have to guesstimate how long her mother will live and how to make her money last until the end of her life...
I want to be left alone. Like this, right now.
Then thoughts of my own fate intrude upon my escapist serenity. "What happens after this? What is my future? Where will I find the energy to get a job after the exhaustion of years of care giving? In what industry? Who will want a 50+ woman who's been out of the workforce for several years?" I can't go back to my previous industry, the technology has moved so far past me, plus, that would require going back to Los Angeles and I'm never moving from the Pacific Northwest again. So, will I just scrape together an income working fast food, big box stores, menial labor wherever I can get it? How will I survive with little savings, no assets, and a paltry income? Will my final years be spent sweeping church steps for a free meal, collecting tarp to cover my shopping-cart home, pouncing on half eaten food in dumpsters?
I don't know. All I know is I want to be left alone. Like this, right now.
In preparation for my church stoop gig, I'm going to sweep aside all these thoughts, return to the satisfaction of gazing at my animals who sleep in blissful content, without fear of the future, wrap myself around them and rest until it's time to go get Mom and resume her burdens. I'm going to leave myself alone. Like this, right now.