I have neglected it for the past few weeks. What can I say? The poor thing’s had to endure my silence. It has been a busy couple of weeks. First part of this week I spent either sick or with my back tweaked again. I’m not certain which, though I’m leaning toward sick. Then again, it could have been both, ’cause that would be, like, so much fun, right? 😛

Last week, I graduated from physical therapy. They sent me off with an injunction to continue my exercises at home. I was doing that and possibly being a little too diligent at the beginning of this week. My back complained, the cranky, ol’ thing. Really, it is much better, and it’s amazing what a difference that makes in my day to day activities. It’s amazing how much more energy I have and how much more motivated I am to do things!

Another thing that has changed in the last month or so is Carey starting grad school. She’s working hard, and she’s really doing well. I’m very proud of what she’s already accomplished. Before she started, I knew that it would change her life up a lot. I knew most of her world would be occupied with work and school, because when a person is working and going to school, that’s what tends to happen. I did that not so long ago. If I wasn’t working, I was probably doing homework or in a class, and if I wasn’t doing any of that, chances were very good I was thinking about one of them. I knew she’d be fairly preoccupied, and that there would be consequences. She definitely plays less WoW these days, and her homework has cut deeply into watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, among other things. Facebook sees less of her, too, I suspect.

What I didn’t think too much about was how my life would be changed by Carey’s school adventures. I did figure I’d end up with a few more of the household chores, and I knew I’d have to respect her need for time to study, but I definitely underestimated the impact on my schedule. After all, I’m not the one attending. I might not be sitting in her classes and doing all her homework, but I am involved. One thing neither of us appreciated was that it’s been a decade since Carey attended college, and the changes technology has made to the college experience. Online classes are a sometimes wonderful and somewhat confusing new experience for her! The sheer amount of access she’s got online (class, library, etc.) has been overwhelming at times, and I’ve been the lifeboat for some of it. Another difference was that she didn’t work much ten years ago, and she’s needed some help juggling her schedule. I have also assisted her with figuring out what assignments to do when, helped interpret instructions for her, proofread some of her work, shown her how to streamline some of her work, and so on. I guess what I’ve been doing is teaching Carey how to go to college as an adult. Too bad we couldn’t have started lessons before she actually started classes!

Yet another blind spot was I never considered how I would feel about her school days. If you know me much, you might know that I test as INTP on a Meyers-Briggs personality type indicator. The P is negotiable. It’ll switch to J once in a while, but the T, the Thinker side, is set. I would be a thinker and not a feeler, so it’s pretty common for me to have blind spots regarding my feelings. I kinda forget on a semi-regular basis that I have them, and the feelings I’ve had about Carey and school haven’t been universally pleasant and wonderful. I’m proud of her and happy for her and all that good stuff, but I realized that for myself, I sometimes feel pretty sorry. I could be jealous without much effort, because what she’s learning sounds like fun! It’s all intellectually stimulating and stuff, and I love that kind of thing. I never get too far into my green eyed makeup. It’s really not my thing. I have pretty blue eyes, and the green clashes with too many of my clothes. 😉

What’s been a more serious emotional struggle is that it’s easy for me to start feeling ignored and neglected, and I could get real petty real fast if I slip too far into that. It’s not a good feeling to feel like Carey’s getting to have all the fun while I get – oh joy! – to do the housework and be the good friend and supportive roommate who is invisible behind the mountain of books and assignments. It’s not a good feeling to feel like school stole my best friend. Those kind of feelings, while needing some validation, also need, I think, to be carefully shepherded. They are true, to a degree, or maybe it’s that they’re based in some truth, like the fact that Carey is busier and has less time to spend with me. The temptation with that, though, is to get carried away and start feeling like that means she doesn’t care about me. That school is a year plus commitment for her can serve to reinforce that feeling, because it’s been several weeks, and I know it won’t magically get better next week! It’s amazing, isn’t it, how little voices love to whisper to all those hurt feelings and insecurities and unmet needs in order to inflame and exacerbate them? It can all feel much too true. Fortunately for me, while I never thought about it, Carey knows me well. She doesn’t have a load of free time, but she does make a deliberate effort to engage with me. It does make a difference.

Guess that’s about it for now. I do have some other ideas about posts I’d like to write, but I thought a general update was a good idea for right now. Since it’s been a while and all that, ya’ know?