Sandwich Generation

So did you think I got my office cleaned out? Ha! I got half the desk cleared off where I make my jewelry, plus emptied one banker's box that held some of my old Signet books (my agent has received interest from Thailand, of all places, for Nightfall and Moonrise and the like). But that's it. Nothing in my bedroom either, which is worse.
I did, however, write thirty pages in between rushing around doing things for other people, so it could be worse. I'd rather have the writing done than the cleaning, any day.

Do the rest of you end up doing everything for everybody? I'm a part of the sandwich generation, and my 21 year old son is at home, as well as my 94 year old mother living down the road. My 64 year old sister is disabled (two miles away), and my husband has suddenly had to take over runnning his mother's estate (she's 91 and just down the road in the nursing home with late stage Alzheimers).

Everyone seems to need me to do something. To visit my mother (who otherwise would go nuts with the isolation -- she doesn't know anyone else around here and she's not a very social person). To help my son deal with college applications and forms and transcripts. (He's got some learning issues so secretarial type help really comes in handy).
I have to do the food shopping (while Richie struggles with taking over the estate and see about renting the albatross of a house on the lake). Have to spend time with my last remaining friend in this unfriendly little town (we sew together and it's good for my mental health and I love it but it's still one more thing taking my time).

There's cooking (Tim and Richie do half) and cleaning (ha! what's that?) and doctor's appointments 75 miles away. Plus taking my mother any place she has to go (checks for her coumadin level, food shopping, arranging for her car for the summer, paying her bills (I took over her finances). Luckily my disabled sister has a SO to do a lot of stuff, but he's monumentally grumpy and trying to get her to do more for herself (which she should) so I end up taking up the slack for her (transporting her to appointments, etc).


It's something so many of us are going through. It's worse when you've got a refilled nest. I think if I managed to carve some space out of my horrendous office I might feel better. If I felt I had my cave. The kids are still in the pull me pull you stage so I can't redo their bedrooms, but somehow or other I've got to find some kind of physical and psychic space in the midst of all the demands so I can do what I love to do.

So all you other prisoners of the Sandwich Generation -- how do you manage? Do you have any advice for me as I go slowly mad in northern Vermont?