Thursday, May 09, 2019

So many changes

This past year has brought so many changes.
So many endings.
So many new beginnings.

I have trouble with the new beginnings and get stuck on the endings though.

But in summary: the oldest is a freshman at college and living on campus, the middle child is in high school, and the youngest stopped homeschooling and is at the local junior high.

For the first time in 19 years, I don't have a child home all day with me.

Um, what?

I always knew the day would eventually come. I mean, after all, the whole point of raising children is so that they can get to a point where they would spread their wings and fly. But it came in the fall and I was absolutely, with a doubt, completely unprepared for it.

I always imagined when that day came, it would be more celebratory. Like I'd go out and party and do all the things and tackle all the to do lists and have so much fun celebrating freedom.

Turns out, it wasn't quite like that.

Firstly, I was still so tired. Frankly, I'm still too tired. I did actually make a to-do list called "All the things I will do when the kids are out of the house." I believe I crossed one thing off. Oops!

Secondly, it's not like my kids were packing up and leaving for good. And, even college aged kids still need their mamas. So kids being physically gone during the day doesn't mean they are emotionally gone.

But really, I was stuck. I was stuck in the endings.
I was stuck in homeschooling ending.
I was stuck in my oldest's childhood ending.
I was stuck in my role as a stay-at-home-mom ending.
I was stuck in my role as a care giver ending.

So much change. So fast. All at once.

I don't handle change well, and when it seems like EVERYTHING is changing, I kind of just shut down and get lost.

It's been 9 months. We are nearing the end of the school year. If this was a pregnancy, I'd be gearing up to give birth now.

I'm not quite there - I'm not ready 100% okay with everything that has changed. I'm still mourning some things, but it is getting better. I'm doing a better job of remember all the new beginnings.

But it's so hard. It's just so hard. I'm trying. I'm moving faster than frozen molasses, but slowly, I'm getting there.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Not hiding anymore

So. I've had a few thoughts.
1. Come back and delete my last post
2. Never come back again and just leave it there.
3. Delete it and then never come back to this blog.

But, here I am. Writing again. With the last post still up.

It helps that google tells me 20 people came to the post, which I figure means 1 person maybe read more than 2 sentences. So, still feeling pretty safe.

But, it's there. And I'm leaving it.

I suppose for the one person who reads more than the first two sentences, I should maybe explain a bit about where all of this is coming from. Because this year has been such a year of change - and if I listed it all out, it would probably cause me an anxiety attack.

That said, I'll start with this. In the fall, we lost granny. And my heart still aches because of it. I still feel lost. I still miss her. I still sometimes wake up and start to get things ready for her. When I'm out, I still have moments when I can't wait to get home to tell her about them.

The grief at times feels overwhelming. The ache of missing her feel overwhelming. I'm not alone in this, I know. And yet, at times I feel so alienated and alone. I don't why other than to say that sometimes my brain is a big jerk and lies to me. And even though I know this, I sometimes don't believe it and believe my jerky brain.

Anyway, I'm going to try to not hide anymore. So hopefully, you'll see me back here soon.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Actually, I'm Not Okay

How are you doing? People ask, because people are nice.
I'm fine! I'm great! I'm doing okay! I reply, trying to be bubbly and upbeat.
I tell myself over and over you are okay, you can do this, smile, be happy, everything is okay

But you know what?
I'm not okay.

I'm just not.

The past year has been a whirlwind of change, bad news, good news, endings, new beginnings, stretching, growing, grief, and change.

Those of you who know me well, know I don't handle change well in the best of times - even if it's good change. Now is a time of change and much of it is enveloped in grief.

I know I haven't blogged here in forever. I did have grand plans. I did have ideas. I did have good intentions. But I was tired, and weary, and felt like I didn't have anything to say. And so there are many gaps in this story, in my story, on this blog.

How does one come back from all those gaps? I don't know, but I'm going to see if I can find a way.

And for now, I'm not okay. I'm tired. I'm overwhelmed. I'm grieving.

I'm also doing. I'm stretching. And I'm growing.

And thus the dichotomy of life keeps on going. I'm still learning to balance it. You'd think by now, I'd be an expert, but no. I'm still here, trying to get through each days. Some are easier than others.

I'm here. And I have faith that I'll be okay. But for now, I'm not okay.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Welcome 2018

Today is January 1.
Even though yesterday was a day. And tomorrow will be just a day, today feels so special, doesn't it?
It's the start of the new year.
It's a time to make resolutions.
It's a time to purge things you don't need from your house (forget spring cleaning. If my facebook friends are any indication, this is the new time to clean house).
It's time to set intentions.
And words of the year.
And themes for the years.
It is an exciting time for sure.

It is also a time for reflection.
To think about the year that has just finished.
Was a good one? Was it a bad one?
What were the best moments?
What things do we want to carry into the new year with us, and what things can we not wait to just be over and in the past.

I, personally, have really high hopes for 2018.
I want it to be a year of fun and wonderful things.
It will also be a year with a lot of changes in it, that mostly come in the second half, but yet, I find myself bracing for them now.
Despite that, I also want 2018 to be a year of internal peace for me.
I want calmness.
I am craving connections.
I am hopeful for a good year ahead.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like the upcoming year could be a great one.

At the end of 2017, I got some of my pain under control. Which is the most amazing gift of all that 2017 gave me.

As 2018 begins, I am in less pain. I am taking less medication. I feel hope.

I used to joke that I didn't even wish for great days, I would be happy with okay days.

I have reached okay days. Now, I'm aiming for good days. Let's hope that 2018 is the year of good days. And maybe just a smattering of great days thrown in for an extra bonus.

I know someone will be shaking their head and yelling AIM HIGHER. It's not that I don't want to aim for the stars and all that jazz. Good days are my stars though. I am aiming high, but it's my high. It probably looks different for you, and that's good. Because this is all about personalization!

That said, I'm glad to see 2018 arrive. I'm glad to see 2017 end. I'm also a bit sad. The year wasn't all bad, and we did create some very lovely memories this past year. Thank goodness we don't have all our memories wiped out at the start of the new year.

So, all of this to say: Welcome 2018. I have high hopes for this year. I have fun projects I'm working on. And I can't wait to see where this year takes me.

Naturally, I do hope to return to blogging this year! And I hope that you'll forgive my very long absence and that you'll join me on the fun ride I've got coming this year.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Middle School Memories

Me, 7th grade
My 14yo says I look like Hermione Granger.
I don't agree, but I'll take it anyway!
When I was young, I moved around schools a lot. Between 4th and 5th grade, we moved and I entered a new school district and went to the local elementary school. From there, I went to the 6th grade center (yes, one building that only had 6th grade classes in it!). And that was followed by a move to the middle school.

After 7th grade, we moved again, so I switched districts for 8th grade.

When I moved, I didn't keep in touch with my friends. There was no e-mail back then, we didn't even have AIM (if you're old enough to remember that LOL). A few years ago, thanks to Facebook, I reconnected with some people from those middle school (ish) years.

They are having a reunion this weekend, and it didn't work out for me to attend, but none the less, I was thinking about how those years have helped shaped me. I've never sat down and thought about things like this before, so it was kind of interesting how many memories just came flooding back!  Some are really small and trivial things, but some are kind of big.

* I made 2/3rds of my kids (and the third one soon) read Bridge to Terabithia because I remember Ms. Williams (I think) crying as she read the ending of the book to our class.

* I can sing the Greek alphabet thanks to my 6th grade main teacher

* In 6th grade we had a teacher's aid for our team (that was three classes/teachers). She taught me and another girl Sarah to french braid our hair. She probably taught more, but for some reason, I can only remember Sarah french braiding hair with me. Sarah's mom had recently passed away. As I look back with adult eyes, I know she taught us to french braid as a way to get us to talk in a way that didn't feel like talking. I use that as a parent a lot. 

* I sing songs like Waltzing Matilda (6th grade), Sesame Street medleys (7th grade), and I'm Proud to Be an American. I also sing Steve Martin's King Tut because our art teacher - Ms. Freak - would play it sometimes during art class as background music.

* Speaking of art, some of the projects I made with Ms. Freak and in my 7th grade art class (and I can't remember her name!) I have since made with my kids. One example is paper mosaics I did in class and then did with my kids. My one daughter did it as a 4H project for our county fair one year. 

* In 7th grade we had to learn sentence diagramming in our language arts class. I teach my children that now. I couldn't remember any of it though and had to relearn it. My oldest can probably already say she forgot it all now, but I tried. Like my teacher tried. But we used to joke that our teacher looked like ET. We all liked her though, so we weren't trying to be mean. One day she told us one of her favorite movies was ET. I have no idea if it actually was, or somehow she knew we thought that and said that to kind of mess with us a bit. 

* For 6th and 7th grade I had to walk a mile and a half (minus like 1/2 a block) to school, uphills both ways. But no, really, I did. If we lived on the very next block I would have qualified for busing - which kicked in once you were a mile and half from the school! And our town had a "valley" in it, my house was on one "peak" and the school on the other. So I literally would go down the hill, and up the hill. 

It wasn't all lovely things though.

* I had a sleepover birthday party that was a train wreck. I invited people who I wasn't really friends with to seem more cool, they came, they weren't having fun, I cried. It was awful. But we did watch Arachnophobia and I still hate spiders.

* I took my first (and only) ride in a police car - it wasn't anything major and it was enough to scare me out of my "life of crime" and get me grounded for a really long time. I lost my parents' trust and didn't want to do that ever again. 
* In 6th grade science we had a unit learning about eyes and seeing. The teacher asked if we (people) could see in the dark. I said yes. Absolutely. I knew this down to my bones. I even convinced some people in the class to switch from the no team to the yes team. I just knew it. And .... I was wrong. It was the first time I felt something so deeply and it was wrong! That was eye opening for sure (see what I did there? And here? LOL) .

* Right before I moved I had a fight with one of my best friends. We never made up. I have no idea what the fight was about now. I can't find her on Facebook. I've asked mutual friends if they've heard from her and they haven't. I never got to say I'm sorry. And I never got to say good-bye. Pick your battles wisely. You never know when you won't get that one last chance. 

I'm sure I could think of thousands of other ways middle school (ish) affected me today. I know that we are always growing and learning, but this is probably the youngest age that I can really remember things from that have impacted me. I can't tell you much about my kindergarten years, or even 3td grade. I could repeat a few stories my mom has told me, but they aren't my memories so much as me retelling hers. 

I think moving also helps me frame things. I didn't go to 4th grade with any of these kids, or even 8th grade. So I can firmly place these memories in this age range. This is when I lived in this town. This is when it happened. I can't mix up 12 years of school with the same kids. I didn't appreciate moving honestly, and we could talk about how excruciatingly painful 8th grade was for me as I found myself in a new school and knowing basically no one. But 5th through 7th grade? I was weird, I was hyper, I was crazy, and I didn't care that much about how I was labeled for most of those years. Towards the end I started to realize there were cool kids and not cool kids. I was most decidedly a not cool kid, but I didn't know it for most of that time, so I didn't feel it. I had fun. A lot of fun!