How I Spent My Summer Doing Hard Things

Hello!  You might be wondering what happened to me after I declared I was going to do 100 hard things and then dropped off the face of the earth after completing 9 of them.  Or more likely you haven’t given it any thought at all. But maybe now that you have been reminded that I exist, you are curious about what I have been up to.

At the end of my last post many months ago (100 Hard Things – Week 2), I wrote this…

“Sometimes hard things just happen, not because you made a big, exciting plan to leave your comfort zone and go on a fun adventure.  (Oh boy….did I manifest 100 hard things to show up in my life? Universe, just for clarity, that was NOT my intention.  I hope that was clear!)”

Although I don’t believe that I manifested 100 hard things, given what unfolded next, perhaps that gut feeling I had to do 100 hard things was just a premonition that a lot of hard things were coming my way.

The week after I wrote that post, I headed upstate to visit my Dad.  We were supposed to attend an award ceremony to present an annual scholarship in my youngest brother’s name.  Instead, we found ourselves at the same-day heart clinic trying to figure out why my Dad was having tightness in his chest (which he informed me had been happening for a few weeks.)

The original plan was to spend the week with my Dad and head home to start the astrology class I had signed up for and get my web design business going.  That is not how the summer went.

One thing led to another which included more tests and a heart valve replacement in July which was a minimally invasive procedure that was expected to have my Dad back on his feet in less than a week. Instead, there were multiple complications, including a stroke which left him initially unable to speak or move the right side of his body.

Needless to say, it was a hard summer for my Dad, me, and my whole family. I conquered at least 100 Hard Things this summer, if not more.  It was definitely NOT what I had in mind, but it was what life delivered.

My Dad has made an amazing recovery and is getting stronger and clearer every day.  He is settled in at home, after a week in the hospital and a month at rehab, with a 24/7 home care team and lots of visiting nurses and therapists (thanks to the foresight to purchase a long-term care policy many years ago and amazing health insurance that his former job of 40 years pays for.)

I am finally back home in NYC after spending most of the summer upstate taking care of my Dad, his dog, and everything else in his life.

It’s disorienting to be home after such a long time away. I am still managing lots of daily “Dad things” from here and getting re-acquainted with the energy of the city, which is also disorienting.  This summer I just had to stay in the moment and focus on what had to get done that day to manage Dad’s affairs and his health.  Now I am stepping back and looking at my own projects and plans and re-evaluating where to go from here, knowing that helping my Dad will consume a lot of my time for the foreseeable future.

I know many of my friends are in the same position or have already been through this.  It’s just a part of life that most of us go through.  We avoid thinking about our parents aging and needing more help from us until it actually happens, and then we are in it and we just have to DO it.  I was more prepared than most people probably are (and my project management skills have come in VERY handy) but it’s a lot of work and watching your parents struggle is hard!

There were also good things that happened this summer.  I had A LOT more connection in my day-to-day life.  It was the first time I engaged with humans in person every single day in YEARS.  The hospital, rehab, and caregiver team became our community and my Dad got amazing care from great people. I spent SO much quality time with my Dad. He is a hilarious man, a great guy, and a nice person to spend time with.

I grew quite fond of my Dad’s dog Peggy (despite how smelly she is and how much she barks.)  I wouldn’t have her move in with me or anything, but I miss her a little bit 😊  I got to spend more time with my sister and upstate fam, which is always fabulous.  And miraculously, my plant didn’t die despite being watered only twice in three months.  (I think this is a sign of some kind – perhaps a symbol of resilience?  My plant and I are both pretty tough, I guess.)

So that is what I have been up to while I was MIA.  I am easing back into things.  I will eventually finish that astrology class.  I will eventually build more websites. More hard things will come my way.  Hopefully, more fun things will come my way, too.  I am not planning on doing 100 more of anything any time soon. I am just going to stay in the moment, slowly restart the things I put on hold,  and see what happens next…

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