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Posts Tagged ‘family’

A year ago tomorrow, Cory and I competed in our first triathlon.  And by competed I mean we were both like, “Hey!  Wouldn’t it be great if we finish this?!?!”  We did.  We finished it.  He completed it first, ran back toward me, and then we finished the run together.  It was a good feeling.

In the next 12 months, we completed 2 more triathlons, I did a 10 mile run and a half-marathon, and he did a full marathon.  We celebrated 20 years as a couple, and 15 years of marriage.  It was, in many ways, a successful year.

It was also a hard year.  Probably the hardest year of our marriage (and I don’t think that I thought anything would be harder than the year I gave birth to our second child and watched my father die all within 4 months).  I have battles I’m fighting.  I am still stuck in ditches.  These are dark and deep ditches that I dug myself and then, sometimes, soberly jumped into.  I’m still trying to crawl out in a lot of ways.  And Cory is still there fighting with me.  He’s been damaged by my recklessness, he’s fighting his own battles, and he’s still holding on to me when I can’t even tell him if he should.  When I tell him that I think it might be better for him if he didn’t.

And so, this year has been a lot like that first triathlon.  I didn’t know at the beginning of it that I would consider it a victory, a success, if we both just completed it, and completed it together.  I had no idea what this year would bring.  I don’t know what I would have done if I had known.

Some of sharing this is just processing for me.  Anniversaries of little things will be popping up, and I’m sure I’ll be back just to work things out here.  Maybe it’s just the beginning of that.  I’m also sharing because I went back recently and read my very first post here. While I’ve not always been consistently writing (hello, 2010?), I do want to keep true to one of the main purposes.  I want to be honest.  Honestly, there have been some amazingly good things happening in our lives.  So much to be thankful for.  But, also, some days are just really hard.  I know we’re not the only ones.  I know so many of you are finding it hard some days to just make it out the door and interact with the world, all the while counting down the minutes until you can pull shut the blackout curtains, crawl in bed, pull the comforter over your head, and cocoon yourself for a bit.  And, I just want you to know that you aren’t the only one, either.

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….crazy for feeling so lonely.

First of all, crazy is one of those words.  You know, one of those words that, if you keep looking at it long enough, just doesn’t look right anymore?  Look at it:

CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY

Am I right?  That ‘Z’ just starts to look wrong all up in there.  Crazy.

So, I was going to say that I don’t feel lonely, but I do kinda.  I’m surrounded by people I love, newish and old.  This whole family/school/work thing is just throwing me a bit right now.  I’m scattered.  I have one life, set of responsibilities, and attitude at home.  I have another life, set of responsibilities, and attitude at work.  I have a third life, set of responsibilities, and attitude doing schoolwork (and showing up in class).  And then there’s the lives I’m missing, social and physical fitness.  I loved those parts, and I’m just barely hanging on by a thread on those (but still hanging on!!!).  So, yeah, I’m lonely in the way I have to compartmentalize right now.  No one is right along side me in every facet.  Lonely is an apt description.  (Hmmm….lonely is becoming one of those words, too.  Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely )

People looked at me as if I was crazy when I said I was going to start school full-time not long after I started work full-time.  And there’s the family that I love, too.  Husband, 3 kids, a dog, 2 kittens.  Yeah.

I didn’t REALIZE that they weren’t joking, or overreacting, or just didn’t know how amazing I am.  Ha.  Maybe not that last thing.

Turns out, maybe I should have listened to them.  Maybe I should have slowed down. Stress is what I feel right now.  Stress from good things and bad.  Stress from healthy choices and not.  Stress from healing and growing.  Stress from not knowing if I can do all that I’ve set out to do, all that I’ve told so many others that I will do.  Stress from not wanting to care about appearances of success or failure.

And so, here I am.  Batshit crazy (sidenote, have you seen the book, What Shat That?  I’m such a 12 year old boy sometimes; I had to have it.).  Commitments made, responsibilities set, getting by one day, one hour, one minute at a time.  That’s what I can do.  That’s what I can offer.  So, if I appear to not exactly know what I’m doing one minute to the next, you know that that’s the true me right now.  That’s my journey on this part of the road.  That’s me, giving the best I have to give.

Be gentle with me.

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I woke up this morning at 6am to the alarm going off.  It’s Saturday.  The kids didn’t have to be up.  My husband didn’t have to be up.  Just me.

I was out the door before 7am to drive almost an hour away, on a Saturday morning, to go to class at 8am.  I didn’t get out until after 10am (which is about 40 minutes early).  I made it to the second of the 2 boys’ soccer games.  It was cancelled.  The one that plays first?  I think I’ve only made it to one of his games this season.

Starting in two weeks, I’ll be in class from 8am-2pm every Saturday.  Including the hour drive each way, that’s 8 hours that I’m away from home.  In addition, Saturday is my only regular day off of work, and that’s because of school.

So, as I’m waking at 6am every Saturday, I wonder if I’m making the right choices.  11 years as a SAHM immediately changed into a full-time working, full-time student mom.  I second guess it all.  Especially when a friend says, “So……..you’re doing all of these things when you could just be home all day.”  I used to be home all day, and I liked it.  Especially when I miss another soccer game.  Especially when my husband is trying to co-ordinate 3 kids’ activities in three different places at the same time…..and there’s only one of him.  Especially when I look at my schedule and realize that there are weeks where, in a three day span, I may only see my kids for 3 hours total.  Especially then.

I don’t have to work.  We’re not rolling in money, but we could get by just fine.  I don’t have to work.

I don’t have to go to school.  I’m not pursuing a bachelor’s; I already have that.  I’m not pursuing a higher degree.  I’m earning an Associate’s Degree.  I don’t have to go to school.

What I am doing is working at a job I love.  I love my job, and I’m good at it.  I’m going to school to learn more about subjects that I have been fascinated with since I was 12 years old.

What I am doing is growing, changing, and living.  What I am doing is pursuing knowledge and a career that I love.

As recently as two years ago, maybe even less, I told my husband that I couldn’t imagine having a career that I was really passionate about pursuing.  If I did, I told him, I might consider working outside the home.  But at the time, there was nothing.  I’ve found that now, and I am passionate about it.

And so, I’m working.  I’m in school (for the first time in 16 years).  And I’m loving my family.  And I’m being so thankful that I married the man that I did, and that he still loves me more than can be measured.  And I love him the same.

I’m living.  I’m not living and growing and changing in order to teach my children any lessons.  I’m living and growing and changing because it is what’s best for me right now.  And I hope that they will take note and realize that it’s always a good time to pursue your dreams and passions.  I hope that they see it, but that’s not why I’m doing it.

When I’m at my best, and Cory’s at his best, we’re in the best place that we can be to parent our kids and love them and make it appealing to always grow, always learn, always pursue that which stirs your heart.

Balance?  We’re not there, yet.  It’s a lot, yeah.  And Cory is a trooper.  As are the kids.

So, I’m going to try to stop the second, third and fourth guessing.  I’m going to remember that growing, changing and learning is what we’re made to do.  I’ll try to encourage and support Cory in his need to do that, and always, always be there to support and cheer on the kids as they do.  For, although I don’t do this to be an example to them, I hope that I still will be, and that they’ll live their lives in a way that brings growth, passion, learning, and hope.

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