Monday, November 30, 2009


I am exhausted today. Not from lack of sleep, but rather from the mental exhaustion of so much family time. I was with my mother all day, every day, Thursday-Sunday, except for the solo walk I took to get coffee each morning. We didn't really argue except for once but there was a usual amount of snappishness. I also felt myself grow more and more withdrawn as the visit continued. I don't know why that was and I'm sorry it happened. I tried to explain the source of some of my irritation to Mom on Saturday. I told her that her inquisitiveness about every single thing I did was hard to take--that it was like having a bright light shining on everything I do and it was too much. And then, when I did try and answer a question, she'd tune out or immediately change the subject, which did not incline me to answer future inquiries expansively.

On our last day, we ate lunch in Harlem. That was a fun kind of adventure--and it's not at all the place she knew way back when. It's a little absurd, but for as much time as I've spent in Manhattan, I've never actually walked around in Harlem. I've taken the bus through a few times, but this was the first time I walked around. Parts are quite nice, as I knew, but the main commercial strips are not as interesting as other parts of New York. 125th Street is lively and full of people even if most of the stores are downmarket chains. It's certainly not threatening or dangerous-feeling in any way, and I don't think it would be at night either. In fact, it's safer-feeling and more lively than my immediate neighborhood. (Sigh.)

Anyway, the Harlem visit was good and we ate at a decent "soul food" restaurant. Over the meal Mom asked if I had time to do any writing. I just...couldn't get into it with her. I'd told her the story of running into my ex-bf at work and how annoying it was and how he'd said I should write a book. She said, "Could you write a book?" I mumbled that I didn't know. See, I would like to sit down with someone and talk it all out--all the book writing options I have--and decide what tack I should take. And, really, my mom would be a good person for that, but I couldn't do it. I didn't want to talk about it. So I mumbled and said I was sort of writing on the blog and that was it. SIGH.

Overall, though, I had a good time. We walked many, many miles which was great. We ate a lot of good food and saw some sights. Mom generously bought me yarn as a present--some of which will be used for gift knitting and some for myself. I saw lots of relatives and was both gratified and embarrassed when some of them told me how young I looked. I gave a pair of gloves and two hats I made to my cousin's daughter who seemed to love them. Everyone was very impressed with the knitting, which is also gratifying.

But, I am SO glad to be home, able to sleep in my own bed and be alone (with the pesky cat). So much time with other people wears me out!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Grateful for: an understanding family.

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