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Warning: completely unsolicited advice ahead.

That description is *exactly* how I felt when I started this job...I'd show up every day and just find myself wandering off and losing time, even with deadlines staring me in the face. I've always been able to manage time and prioritize, and it was suddenly like I completely forgot how. I'd only been out of work for six weeks, so that wasn't it. Took a while to analyze what it actually was (in no particular order: still processing the nastiness of the loss of the old job; re-learning how *not* to be on a constant adrenaline rush and do just one thing at a time; and, honestly, adjusting to being a MUCH smaller fish in a MUCH bigger pond). All of that relates to a work environment and a loss on a scale infinitesmally small compared to yours, but there are parallels. I had to limit the Internet crack habit (so easy to lose hours surfing) and force myself to write to-do lists again, even if there were only two items. The thing about lists is to assume you're never gonna get every single item done in a day--half is a pretty good score. And three books in a week is a DAMN good score!!! It ain't three out of nine. It's three. In a week. I read a total of ten books in the year 2004 (I wish I weren't kidding). So look at the small progress steps as victories; don't measure them against your goals just yet. And turn off the TV.

The Mom Dugan

The good news is (at least for me) that you won't notice the lovely dust clouds trailing across the floor when you come this weekend. I've been drooping on the couch for the past few days with some sort of intestinal bug that takes away all inspiration to do anything. The point is, that that is what you've got, only it's called a grief bug. It will gradually go away, bit by bit, and you'll notice your mind is getting clearer. Right now it's all cluttered up with that whole grief process, and to a major extent, the challenge to get your life in some sort of order after so many months of turmoil. Remember, you hardly had the chance to adjust to being married before you were primary care giver, go to person, and all the other things you had to do (work, etc.) while your Mom was in the hospital and then those last terrible weeks. Reading your bit about religion made me think of that wonderful priest you had who performed the wedding. Seeing him would probably be helpful. I doubt he's going to pressure you to commit to daily Mass and Church twice on Sunday. He sounded like a up front, clear thinking, up to date guy. Your Mom's Church (just like Grandpa Dugan's) was a guilt/fear church, I don't think this Priest is that Old school. We're having fun going to the United Ministry each Sunday - and Bill can tell you that's a real change in lifestyle. It started because of the choir but now I enjoy the service and the Pop is quite happy too. He's the fellow who had the nuns who smacked him with a ruler when he was in school, Very Old Catholic upbringing. I've always been all for checking out different churches. Most all of them depend on the Priest, Rabbi, Grand Po Bah, whomever, in the way the service is presented. When a comfort level is found with them, then that's the place you want to be. Anyway, promise not to see the dust. Can't wait to see you. xxxs the Mom


Honey, you don't know dust. Dust is the thing that wakes you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that the entire Sahara desert has crawled up inside your nose and is trying to choke you to death. That is the kind of dust we've had in our house since the beginning of December. Stifling.

Coming to your house is going to be a wonderful respite from the sensation that you can never get clean no matter how much you wash.

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