Tuesday, July 14, 2009

nervous nelly

I'll be heading to San Diego on Friday. I've started planning. I've started packing. I have lists of things to do, get and accomplish. But all I seem to do at night is worry.
The kids will be going camping with lovely Marnie and her kiddos. I am concerned that the kids will be too much for her for such an extended period of time. I'm worried my kids will miss me and won't sleep. I'm terrified that Briar will run unnoticed into the lake, fire, or road. I'm anxious that Liv won't be able to curb her need for order and things to be 'just so' in an enviroment that won't be able to cater to these wants. I'm worried that I won't be able to relax and stay calm without hearing the sound of their soft breathing beside me in the night.
I'll be flying. I'm afraid of travelling so far from the kids. I'm worried about plane cancellations and rerouting causing me to not get to my destination, or worse, not get home to my kiddos. Although it's not very creative, I am terrified that something will happen to the plane and I will end up as decoration on a redwood thus leaving my kids as 'orphans'.
A good friend will be house sitting while we're away. We have a batch of chicks due to hatch out under Lucy. What if Freckles decides he still has a penchant for 'chicken nuggets'? What if he chews through the baby gate or the doorknob again? What if the house burns down or gets broken into and I lose all the photos and tangible reminders of Jeff?
Should I take my computer? Should I take my compact camera or my SLR? What should I pack for clothing? Will I be too hot? Should I bring my own pillow?
All of this worry makes me worry that my trip is a gratuitous use of money, time away and even, jet fuel just for ME. Maybe I should be staying home, doing childcare and sewing dresses, not spending a dime so I can save for braces and university and therapy for the kids rather than myself.
I know that most people will say that I deserve a break too. That I will benefit from the various workshops on widowhood and from being with people who get it. Hell, I would say that to someone else too...And really, rereading this, I sound like a nervous neurotic freak. I'll go, but maybe I should get some Ativan before I go?


Kathryn said...

Go and do your best to enjoy yourself (sounds kind of weird to say that since you're going to a widow/er conference, but you know what I mean) and hopefully you'll make some new friends to boot. But I do understand panic mode too....I get panicky when away from my kids for too long. What in the world am I going to do with myself when they leave for University one day? Hopefully I'll be calmer by then :oP

Your kids have shown themselves to be resilient as kids are known to be. I'm sure they'll get along fine! Heck, next year you can send them over to me for "Germany camp!" :O) Woo hOOO!

leigh in the sav said...

oh, jackie - i wish i could be really wise or clever right now, but all i know is that yes you should go. absolutely, without a doubt. and you may stay a nervous freak (your words), but that's just fine. take as much ativan as you need ; )

darcie said...

oh for heaven's sakes...are you kidding?
Ok - since I know you aren't - Here's what I have to say - of COURSE you should take your SLR - there will be soo many cool things to snap photos of - you don't want Matt to show you up do you? That guy carries around a bag with like fifty different cameras in it...
on second thought - maybe just bring some memory cards and use his gear? :)
the kids will be fine - time away is good for you all - and time away with other folks who wear the same shoes that you do?
For SURE a good thing - You will be there, and home - hugging your babies again - before you know it.
It's gonna be great Jackie - I just know it!

Crash Course Widow said...

You should absolutely NOT stay home! ;o) Yes, to the SLR camera (cuz I've decided I'm bringing mine, large size be damned! =)); yes to the computer (I'm bringing mine too, in case I get lonely or too jammed with words or emotions and need to write them out...or if I just need card games to go to sleep). And I'd say yes to the Ativan too. ;o) I got a prescription of it shortly before the 1-yr anniv. of Charley's death, and while I didn't ever take it much (or refill it), it did give me peace of mind knowing it was there for the emergency bad nights.

I'm so sorry to hear you're so nervous and worked up about coming! I remember the feeling all too well, though. I wanted to throw up the first time I went to an official widows' gathering...and it was just a brunch an hour or so away!! It was only about 3 months or so after he died, and I just couldn't look at anyone in the eye (same thing happened my first time at support group too, at 6 wks after his death). It was just too much, too much of an acknowledgement of just what HAD really happened. And I about had a panic attack the first time I boarded a plane after Charley died, certain it was going to crash and we would die (Anna was with me; it was about a month after Charley died).

All those reactions were in the first few months...but I don't think they'd be any different for me 16 months into this journey either, if I hadn't already done them yet. I used to love flying, and I still get nervous every time now. I just have too vivid of an imagination of just what CAN go wrong...and too much fear.

Have you left the kids much since Jeff died? It's always hard leaving them, and especially when you're doing something so "selfish" as leave for a weekend just for you. (Insert massive amounts of sarcasm on the "selfish"...don't for a minute believe that I meant it literally.)

The conference will be good. It may be really hard for you, but it'll be good to be around "family" who absolutely get it. The first few widows' gatherings I went to WERE hard for me...but as I got used to it, they've always stood out on this journey as some of the most amazing times EVER.

If you're nervous or need someone to keep you company when you get there--just someone to babble to to calm you down and "normalize" yourself if needed--I'm getting in Thur. night. Call or text me (you have my number) and I'll come be a shoulder and ear to help. ;o)

Sending you lots and LOTS of hugs as you get through this week. Can't wait to finally meet you!! =)

Rach said...

Go Jackie, Go!

Have drink at the Hotel Del Coronado for me


13mimosa said...

I would feel the same and I don't have all the same worries as you do day to day. My girls are both mummy's girls and although I know our childrens concerns are different, however much they fuss in advance of me being away, for however short a period of time, when I'm actually gone they're fine. Taking care of yourself, taking a moment, a tiny break of time just for Jackie, is the best thing you can do for you and in turn for them. Have a fantastic time - worry as little as you can and tell us all about it when you're back! Say hi to Matt!

Creepy Katy said...

You can do it, Jackie! Ask yourself this: Would I regret it more if I DID go, or if I DIDN'T go...? If you missed out on this opportunity, you'd always wonder about it.

While difficult, I bet it will also, in the long run, be a confidence-booster...both for you and the kids. You'll both be amazed at how you CAN actually function apart from each other! And that will set the stage for other, short, worthwhile separations down the road.

We all believe in you!

indybarb said...

Jackie.....you should go and do this for yourself and try to recharge. And for goodness sake, take your pillow! I understand how you feel about being away from your children and worrying, but worrying just makes everything just a little bit worse. So GO and meet some new stranger/friends and tell Matt hello for me! You will enjoy meeting him in person so much. He's the coolest guy ever, you'll see. The kids will enjoy their time camping with friends, and I know they will miss you too and be so, so happy to see you when you arrive home. Take good care and enjoy!


Annie said...

Ack- I'd be nervous too. Please take your fancy pants camera! You need an outlet for your nervousness. Something to distract you from all the important stuff you're thinking too much about. Okay, I'd also like to see more of your pictures too...

Have a great time. Looking forward to reading about your trip!

Kate said...

I think it's a really good thing that you are going. We are all so excited that you will get to connect with this community of widows/widowers. There is always time to fret - take this opportunity to do something for yourself. I think the kids will be fine and I really hope that you will have a good time!

Poppy and Mei said...

You'll go & you'll rock it!
And you'll all be just fine, in a lovely, neurotic, wonderfully supported kind of way...XXxx

P.S. Huh! My word ver. is "really".
So it must be true! x.

Dianne said...

Have a great time this weekend! Laugh, cry, listen, talk, connect with people-older-than-7-yrs-old, etc. Enjoy meeting so many of your blog friends in real life. :-)

Angie said...

Hi Jackie,

Just met you @ the resource expo (told you I'd check out your blog). I was nervous too, still am and the day is halfway through. But it's a good thing.

Well it was very nice to meet you. I'll probably run into you this afternoon.


Jill said...


Hope it's going well for you. I keep checking in for an update. I hope you're so busy and enjoying things so much that you don't have time to update -- although this means I just have to continue to stalk your blog. Come to think of it, why is that any different than any other day.

Roads said...

It's always so much harder to justify some 'me' time, but you really need it. Hope the trip was exactly what you needed.

Best wishes from London, and spirits up.

AndreaRenee said...

Boy am I glad you decided to go!!!! I loved meeting you, my new friend! =) xoxo