Friday, November 25, 2016

Failure

I'm failing.

I'm failing at it all.

Feeling so so very low tonight. 

Everything is a mess.

Two boys were home with influenza all this week.

My girl is fighting it now.  We are currently missing a concert after bailing on my commitment to drive some youth (including my own) to our church youth group's annual video game tournament.  I had to back us out of a luncheon with the newest member of our family that is taking place tomorrow.  A sweet baby boy, only a few days old, and his amazing mama and the rest of their clan.

I think my body is fighting the germs hard...I slather myself with Vicks every night and listen to binaural beats for full body regeneration as I fall asleep at night.  I pray for healing.  I stay on top of my Tylenol Cold and Flu meds and push through to get stuff done.  I try to take naps if I can.

But the truth is...it's not working.

Some things are getting done, but none of it is the stuff that is important to ME.  None of it is self-care.  It is the stuff that is important to everyone else, and tonight I feel like I just have hit the bottom.  Day two of my period, which I sigh and refer to as hemorrhaging day.  It exhausts me so much to lose so much blood.  I can't get to the gym the week of my period because I get sick from pushing my body when it is so exhausted (not that I've been able to make it to the gym at all this month...).  You know, I have gotten two ultrasound requisitions to get this checked out; the first one about 1.5 years ago and the other more recently.  I still haven't gone.  The main reason:  ultrasounds cannot be booked online.  And also, other people always need my time and attention; I can't commit it to an appointment.

My home is a trash heap; junk everywhere.  I work on one place all the while stressing that I am not working on something else and turn around and there is still more.  There is not enough space for the stuff we need to live.  There is never an end to a job; never satisfaction of a clean area. Never peaceful rest.

My children are far far behind in their school assignments.  Some days they don't want to get up and go to school.  And I just don't have the energy to fight with them anymore.  Luckily their test and exam marks do not reflect their lack of discipline to get it all done.  I don't have the energy to fight with them about anything.  Not school, not homework, not video games, not bedtime, not eating, not brushing their teeth, not showering.  I remind them every day to clear their dishes from the table, which sometimes they do, but my hubby never does, and he actually is annoyed when I remind him, so I bother with that less and less too.

Our finances are a mess.  This pay period I had to transfer money from our line of credit to our chequing account THREE times.  And payday is still five days away.  And we're about to have house guests and tons of in and out of town travel.  And one boy needs dress pants that don't exist and the other two need jeans (I think) and we need groceries and it's Christmas.  And I'm not working a lot because there is so much else going on and our house is falling apart and our family needs me and I'm getting phone calls, emails, notes asking me to volunteer for stuff more than once per week.  My work needs me too; everything is an emergency in the payroll industry.  It is draining.  For awhile, I'd feel a jolt of panic everytime my phone buzzed that an email came in.  I'm not working enough. 

I'm not doing enough for anyone.

Friends have been helping with stuff in little ways here and there and while I appreciate it so so much, the truth is, I don't feel worthy of their assistance.  I feel like I should have this.  I should have all of this.  I should be helping THEM.  And I should be making it look like it's all a breeze for me.  And I can't right now.  And I can't see a time in the future that I'll be able to repay the favours either.  So, when help comes, I feel worse; more burdened.

Everything is such a mess.

So messy that even though I have doubled my Cipralex dose, I am sitting here actually crying as I type this.  With real tears.  I'm not gonna lie, it's been awhile since I've been able to cry.

I've always had all the answers. 

And now I don't.  The future of every part of my life looks dark and hard and like every step will require me to break through a brick wall just to be able to take the next step.

And I know that as I struggle and search, people are becoming impatient and frustrated with me.

And the thing is, I don't care.

And that makes me sad because I want to care.  I used to love all the people so much...

And now, I just can't.

Writing this all out has lifted it from my heart, and now I'm going to sit with my girl and watch a movie while I fold the laundry and think about nothing else.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sick

Well, my body has reached the end of its tolerance for bad diet and little exercise. I have slacked for too long on consuming my all-important supplements of probiotics and fiber. 

On Friday, on the way to my connection group potluck dinner, my body fell into the start of a panic attack.  The nausea kept me from eating much of anything, and the headache showed up later that evening.

The headache and nausea continued through all of Saturday, all of Sunday, and was so bad Monday that I tried to stay in bed. On Tuesday I forced myself to move around and go about my regular schedule. By Wednesday I was able to eat again without rushing to the bathroom after every bite.  The headache had cleared on Monday night, after I forced myself to eat no matter the consequences.

Now it is Thursday. The panic intensified on Tuesday night and last night, and today I had a small rush of chilling anxiety as my bowel filled and I had the urge to go.

I recognize this pattern. This is how it all started. My panic would convince me that I was too nauseous to eat anything. Then the headache would come in because I was starving myself. In the past I would resort to drinking only water during this time. However, I have learned that starving myself and drinking only water is not the right answer. It's not the right way to treat my body. It's not a healthy choice mentally or physically.  I know that I need to push myself through the entire process.

But it's hard. 

The battle between what I know and what I feel must always end in a casualty. Someone has to lose. And when my mind is already overwhelmed with everything else our family of six does in one week my mind loses.  My body loses.

This is the story of my anxiety in a nutshell.  And this week has been me forcing two small meals a day, cutting out pop and cutting back on slurpees, going to bed early, and falling asleep with headphones pumping guided meditations into my brain.  I'm taking probiotics and a multivitamin and fish oil and vitamin D.  I'm using my happy light and blankets and my hot pack and electric blankets and drinking tea.

And my husband is doing everything he can so I have less.  I can't express the appreciation I have for him this week. How blessed are we that this panic hits while he is between courses so all I need to focus on is work, cooking dinner, and taking care of myself!

I'm riding this one out and praying that it is finished soon.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday

Thursday is always the busiest day.

I've always had a soft spot for Thursday.  I sometimes wonder if it is because I was born on a Thursday, or if it is because my favourite things have always happened on Thursdays.  

The first thing that pops to my mind is orchestra rehearsal.  And then choir.  In my teen years, I did music on Thursday evenings, and it was always so wonderful to be able to immerse myself in music.  To socialize without having to talk.  To be with people and not feel the stress of having to select just the right embarrassment-free words.

Through my parenting years, Thursdays have always been school performances and council meetings, and now, marching band for my teen.  I think that he has found his own Thursday love.  And it is because of music.  And that makes me tear up a little, because my heart can relate.

Thursday also holds that great feeling of anticipation.  Friday is soon.  The weekend is soon.  There is a sense of relief in that for me.  Even though our weekends these days (these years) are full and not relaxing in the least, the general consensus of people is that weekends are great, and something to look forward to.  I can feel that, even in not sharing the same eagerness to wrap myself in all the weekend has to offer.

Perhaps the relief comes in the fact that even though I don't get a break, the kids do, and overall, that means less work for me.  Because shuffling extra people about is some of the hardest work a mom has to do.  Now that my kids are old enough to be without constant supervision, there is freedom for me to rush around on my own, completing tasks and errands in half the time it used to take.

But, I digress.  Thursday is here.  Happy, cozy, hopeful, relieving Thursday.  Cake for dessert and then a council meeting and marching band to follow.  Comfort.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Birthday Post

Well, today is my birthday.  38.

Do I feel 38?  I don't know.  Maybe.  The number looks foreign to me, so maybe not.

This morning I slept in until 8:00.  My teen came to my bed to wake me up with a cuddle and the smell of bacon cooking called me downstairs.

My family greeted me with hugs and smiles, like every morning, and I sat down at the table to eat the most delicious eggs and bacon on a cheese croissant that I have ever eaten.  I was gifted a beautiful paper boasting that I was the best mom ever, with reasons written all over it.  There were more gifts - candy for my sweet tooth and beef jerky for my carnivorous side.  And the declaration of approval for something more, to arrive when the time is right.

The kids who were well headed off to school, and the one who needed to stay in bed, did.

Before he went to work, hubby and I had a long chat session as he folded laundry and I sat, doing nothing but listening.  Our weekly catchup sesh, distraction free.

I took a long, hot shower.  I didn't rush it, and I kept turning up the hot.  And then I took a long time doing my makeup.  My hair is beyond help, but we have a system worked out.  I spray leave-in conditioning protectant on it, and it does what it wants.  Win-win, really; it works right into the "whatever" attitude I'm trying to adopt.

Work happened next, and I managed to get an hour in before I was whisked away for a yummy pho lunch with my mother-in-law and my littlest cutie nephew, who has always reserved a special look just for me.  No words, just a little eyebrow crinkle and intense eye contact.  I managed to get a few high-fives (well, high-ones...)  from him and almost a smile, so I think he might be softening.

For dessert, I had a gummy spider from my gift candies.  Sweetest spider I have ever eaten.

I went out into the cold for a drive to the bank (to take out $20), the slurpee store (to break the $20), and to meet up with a friend who was selling me supplies to feed my addiction.  My stamping addiction.  I blasted the heat in my van until it was burning my hands, but my feet would not warm up.  Note to self:  October is sock weather.

Back home again to fit more work in before the kids would arrive home.  On the table next to me, my phone buzzed non-stop with happy wishes and kind greetings from my friends and family.  I am so thankful to have the most thoughtful and kind people with me on this life journey, inspiring me, challenging me, supporting me.  I didn't get a lot more work done.

I watched some TV with the kids, and when they switched to video games, I headed to facebook, to messenger, and to my texts to thank everyone for the happy birthdays.  I know facebook prompts the happy birthdays, and each one is precious to me.  Adult birthdays are just not the same as kid birthdays; just another day like all the rest, really, with all the same responsibilities.  It's nice to have people taking time out of their day for a little note of love.  I think I need to focus on doing this small act more in my own life; I've not done it for awhile now.

My hubby brought home Wendy's burgers for dinner, and I realized that in one day, I had eaten all the animals.  Chicken and pig for breakfast, chicken for lunch, and cow for dinner, with a little more pig.  I think that the meat I ate on this day is more meat than I have eaten over the entire last month combined.

After dinner, I went to drive my boys to the Y for their activities, and as I was waiting to turn left out of our alley, a guy threw himself up against the passenger sliding door of my van, and then walked along the rest of the block flipping me the bird.  I was in shock for a second, thought about chasing him down the sidewalk...in my van...but then settled on driving slowly along beside him blowing him kisses, because that was less likely to get me jail time.  He walked with his middle finger up on one hand, and the other hand covering his eyes.  Even as he crossed a side road.  Crazy.  I think he was afraid I was going to take his picture.  Guilty, much?

The rest of the evening was low-key.  I hung out with my new stamp set, made a couple of cards, drank Coke and drank water, and facebooked a bit while my hubby did laundry (best gift ever!) and baked my birthday cake (we'll eat it tomorrow).  I am heading to bed earlier than normal because I am exhausted and nauseous.

38 so far...lots of meat, cold, love, and an early bedtime.  I'm feeling older already.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Today

Today I

Did a MuscleWorks class
Did a Step class
Drank a Slurpee
Sat in a sunbeam
Ate pizza
Hung out with my stepdad who has worked hard on our van for a month so we can be safe
Ate cake
Played mini golf with a friend 
Had dinner (that my husband stepped in and cooked when plans changed) with my brother and kids and stepdad and hubby
Learned about my van's transmission 
Went school supply shopping
Drank two cans of Coke
Drank four cups of water
Took my pill
Watched a movie with popcorn and candy
Am sitting under my warm electric blanket
Am about to meditate

Friday, September 2, 2016

Cursed

I just Googled "how to remove a curse".  For real.

I'm out of ideas to make any of this better.

One thing after another this year.

I'm realizing that not only am I bad at decision making, but I also consistently make the wrong choice when I finally get there, and I'm letting people down.  People's lives who touch mine are affected.  It is both intriguing and nauseating to watch it play out.

As a leader of my family, how can this be remedied?  Obviously, as tempting as it is, I can't just do nothing forever.

I can see how people who have no one relying on them can get lost in the depths.

I know my Christian friends are thinking that I need to trust God more.  Maybe I do.  But I am looking at the brokenness around me and seeing pain and heartache and hard times and a world of not enough.  Not enough money, not enough health, not enough relationships, not enough patience, not enough love.  It is blackness.  And it is thick.  And God's light is not illuminating the blackness.  And I don't see him anywhere.

And maybe I don't want to.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Up

This past week has been perfectly lovely.

On the way home from our vacation, we were able to meet up with my mom and uncle, who were traveling the same journey in the opposite direction.  We all had lunch together, and everyone made it to their respective homes safely despite weather and construction.

It was a relatively smooth week at work with enough tasks to keep me busy.  It was nice to come back and chat with my co-workers, and I also had a work visit from a friend who I hadn't seen in a very long time, and don't see nearly enough.

Having my kids all back home after a month away feels really good.  While I wasn't heartbreakingly sobbing that they were away on vacation having fun without me, I did notice that life was a lot less fun without them around.  They are sweet and generous lights in my life, and I love to listen to all they have to say all the time, and also really missed their hugs and help with housework.  LOL

I got to workout with my fave workout buddy twice this week, and giggle over texts about our inability to walk down stairs painlessly.  The best kind of hurt.

Hubby and I took some friends and co-workers out for lunch, to my favourite restaurant.  It is great to go out together and sit and chat; we lunched with another co-worker the next day.

I got some great news this week, that has me just so excited for a family member and new beginnings!

My kids all got to hang out with their best buds, which fills our home with an air of happiness.

My friend and neighbor did some fancy henna art on my hand while we visited.  I have been wanting to get some henna art done for probably three years now, but didn't know where I could get it done.  Now I know exactly whom to ask, and that great conversation is part of the deal.

My teen treated the whole family to snacks and drinks to sweeten up our movie night.

The lows:  A sinus infection that I've been battling for 4+ weeks now has become more than a stuffy nose and an occasionally sore ear, and now I have to actually do something about it.  

Hubby driving past the house that was almost ours on the day we should have gotten possession and seeing the sold sign.  

News from a friend recovering from surgery that she has a new infection.  I've not yet found a way to help out, and I wish I could brighten her day a little.  Maybe prayer is the answer.  

And speaking of prayer, I recommitted to seeking Jesus this week.  I have felt so lost in this regard for so long now.  Our church is currently meeting on Sunday evenings in a home, so I thought I'd attend a big church service somewhere on Sunday morning to be just surrounded and immersed in God's glory, with people praising out loud and a different style of sermon delivered from a different pastor.  All this to see if there could be any spark ignited...  I left the church service downhearted, flat, and feeling badly about myself, but at the same time, another part of me fighting the voice that was dissing me.  

Our own church service and visiting was awkward and uncomfortable.  I need to find a way to feel comfortable in God's church community again.  I used to belong there.  I know I'll keep trying, because He is part of me.  I hope the comfort will eventually return.

My YMCA pass expired recently and this week I tried to renew it.  I was surprised with the fact that since our financial situation hadn't been reassessed in over a year, I could not renew my pass or use it anymore, effective immediately.  The knowledge that we are much "richer" now than we were when we originally applied, and knowing that we will still not be able to afford to pay full price kind of hit me in the heart.  I brought in new application documents the next day, and am eagerly awaiting the news to know if I'll be able to return.

Finally, it has been a big week for breakups in my circle of acquaintances.  Tonight is Monday, and I've heard of three since Friday, and of one shortly before.

Despite all this, the positive has ruled my week, and I was strong enough mentally to own the idea that we are not moving from this condo and it is time to start unpacking all that we packed up.  I sold exercise equipment (which was taking up space that can be used for something more important to us).  I let our generous friend know that her garage will be emptied of our things by the end of the month.  

With hubby's help, I have started down the path of creating a less-chaotic school year for our family, and will be working to make our new normal happen by September.  Less money, more life is the current plan.

There will be goodness in this coming week, and it's already started with tentative plans with my besties, and with my hubby stepping up to fill in for me in a volunteer position that I signed up for but don't want to do.  He really loves me, sacrifices for me, and he loves our family fiercely, and we are so blessed that he is ours. <3

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2016: Year of Do Over

I have named this year the year of do over.  The patterns I'm seeing are ridiculous to me.  I think it is time to get them down here so I can hopefully figure out what the hell I'm supposed to be learning and then we can move on with 2017.

In January, we put our house on the market.  In May we put our house back on the market after taking it's unsold ass off the market.  In June we took it off again.  In July, while consulting with a new, seemingly fantastic realtor, I was actually listened to and the realization came that our house is invisible on MLS. The realtor did not press us to relist with her; she knows there is no point until we can say we have two bathrooms.

In March, I went to the dr. to have my prescription refilled.  I saw someone who was not my dr. because she was out of town.  I mentioned back pain...he said he wouldn't help me and I had to come back when my dr. was back, a month later.  It actually took me four months to get back there. And guess what.  Still not resolved.

In April, my boy had a nasty toothache while we were away from home for the weekend.  Once we got home, I got him in to see the dentist, who found enough problems in his mouth to use up his entire dental benefits for the year.  Two baby root canals, fillings galore.  A few weeks later, we were back because the first problem tooth was infected.  The dentist drained the pus and said come back in a week if it was still infected.  We went back.  She drained it again and said come back when it's loose and she'll pull it.  Really?

In June I decided it was probably time to take off the van's winter tires and have the summer ones put on.  Also, it was time for an oil change and time to get that a/c fixed.  I took the van in on a Friday.  The next Friday I took it in again because the a/c stopped working after less than one day, and my signal light had burned out. The a/c fix would be out of our budget, so we elected to wait until a family member could replace the condenser for us.  He did, only to find that the evaporator also needs replacing.  A cheaper/simpler/quicker fix was not successful after three hours of attempts.  On top of all this, we refill the tire that won't hold air weekly and every day a new crack appears in my windshield. 

This summer, my parents so graciously took three of our kids on vacation to give me a chance to work on my crazy a little bit.  While they were away, I decided to paint the one bedroom I hadn't repainted before trying to sell our house.  Then I thought we should fix up the closet since the rod was broken.  Hubby and I went to IKEA and found a closet system that worked for us.  Got it all home, and found the brackets we got would not work.  Returned those and got the right ones, and hubby put it all together.  I went to put something on the shelf, and everything came toppling down on me, some pieces broke.  Back to IKEA for hubby for a third time to get new parts.  Meanwhile, I spent hours hanging hooks and artwork in the bedroom only to come in the room two days later and find it all on the floor.  Apparently the paint is too smooth.

This week we travelled across the prairies to pick up our children.  I was hesitant to leave my job in someone else's hands, but I was convinced to extend my time away by two days and let my coworker do the messy Monday stuff.  I booked myself, my mom and my aunt some paint nite tickets for the Monday night so that I would be forced to stay until then.  Unfortunately, three days into our week-long stay, my mom was called away to a family emergency.  And my 'do-over' luck was transferred to her.  I went to the airport with my parents, leaving hubby and the kids at the house.  Each of my parents had thought the other had grabbed my mom's suitcase.  I called hubby from the airport and he rushed the suitcase to us.  I decided to leave with hubby, and before we were off airport property, I got a call from my stepdad.  My mom was not allowed to fly standby when the only shoes she had were flip flops.  Hubby and I rushed to Walmart to buy shoes, and rushed back to the airport again.

Work has been the same for me the past few months.  Always having to go back and do something over again; sometimes my fault, sometimes not.

The wasted time in all this is what makes me sad.  The wasted money.  The things we didn't do because we were counting on things to go a certain way.  The energy suck of FAILURE.

There has to be a lesson in all this.  The learning is painful.  Every time there's a new do-over, it hurts a little more, and they seem to be coming closer together and harder as the year goes on.  I hope I can figure out all this soon.  I have some plans.  Please, God, give me some triumphs.   

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Vacation thoughts

I feel sick to my stomach over what the rest of 2016 holds.

All my life I've been able to turn 'no's into 'oh yeah? watch this!'s.  And then I rock it.

I can't rock anything anymore.  

I am starting to learn the lies that people want to hear, and I know I'll get better at my delivery as time goes on.  People tell me to be positive and have hope.  I think I may have used it all up in the first 36 years of my life, and well, there is just none left.  I'm drowning and grasping, and there is none within my reach.  

Oh how annoying I must have been when I had hope in abundance.  I'm so sorry to those I told in the past to be positive and choose joy.  I'll never forget that mistake now.  And I'll never make it again.

I'm starting to wonder who I pissed off to bring all this heaviness down on my shoulders.  There is just one thing after another after another after another.  So many problems that refuse to be resolved; that take so much time.  2016 has been my own personal Groundhog Day movie.  Seven months in and no relief yet.

I have a requisition for an arm ultrasound and for blood work.  I'm overdue for a dental checkup.  I've been putting them off saying I'm too busy to get them done, but deep down I know the real reason I haven't gone.  I don't want to know what the next thing is, even though the answer is always that there is nothing wrong with my body.  That will change one day; with all going on this year, I don't think there will be surprise at a change of findings.

If I could stop time, I think I would, because I know that tough times now are preparing me for the real tough times to come. And I don't want to face what's to come.  I don't feel strong enough for the future.  Every day brings worse news than the day before it.  How can anyone have hope when that's the reality?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Roller coaster

I have a job in the payroll industry.  The thing I like about the job is that I can know stuff that not everyone else knows, and teach others the "rules".  I love rules.  There are lots of rules in payroll.

The thing I don't like about payroll is that it is a group project.  Constantly I need to rely on other people to tell me things.  To give me the right information in a way that is clear and understandable so I can help them.  You'd think that this would be an easy thing, but it's not.  I do my best to let people know what I need from them and how I need it to be presented, but everyone has their own mind, and I can't force anyone to do anything (this could be one of my biggest frustrations in life - that I can't force anyone to do anything.  Control freak much? ;) ). Anyway, with payroll, there is much waiting on people and trying to nag people in a not so nagging way.  Also, everyone does not like rules like I do.

It has been a roller-coaster payroll week for me.  Mondays are always, always hard.  They are heavy payroll days, with a cut-off deadline early in the day, and me the only person in this department.  Since the day before Monday is the weekend, the information I require comes to me at the last minute.  There is much rushing and tension on Monday mornings, and it has started to creep backward to Sundays.  In some cases, I feel that I'm being set up to fail - as was the case this past Monday - and that makes me bitter. 

Mondays are the gut-wrenching anticipation part of the roller coaster, that you feel as it slowly slowly is cranked up the steep track.  Going down the other side - having everything completed by the deadline, and out of your hair for another week - is a sweet, sweet feeling.  There are little hills to climb and little drops down too.  Always, up and down, up and down with payroll.  But in my life, Mondays are the giant hill.

Yesterday I had a new payroll high.  One of my clients called me to ask my advice.  Not to make me change anything, not to ask me to complete an extra task, not to argue with me.  I knew all of their options, almost off the top of my head.  This is big, because when I started in this position a year ago, I knew almost nothing about payroll.  I have studied any and all free material I can get my hands on.  I figured out all I needed to present to my client (without the use of the internet, I might add, because our internet was down most of the day), and I presented.  And because of me, the client was able to reexamine their situation and come up with a plan considering all of the scenarios that might play out.  From the change in tone of the conversations we had, I feel like I helped to make a difficult situation a little calmer and lighter for all involved.  This is an amazing feeling, and it came right at a time when I really really needed it.

Today is back to being slowly drug up the track (kinda feels like being drug on the ground behind a horse), but I am a little more bold, strong, positive because of yesterday, and for that I am grateful.  It's going to get me through another day of payroll.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Rest

I've been meaning to blog for awhile now.  I had such high ambitions to post something positive for once, and I didn't, and now I'm back to a rough day and here I am, tapping away on my phone.

I have been struggling a lot with depression lately.  I really just have no energy for anything, and not a speck of joy within.  It's strange to me because even though I stopped taking my Cipralex on June 22, I have not had a second of anxiety.   But the depression is so heavy.

Today I asked my husband if I will ever be not-sad again.  He said yes.  That was nice of him.

I'm trying to be with people as much as I can, to maybe gain some of their energy or catch a spark of joy from them.  Last Sunday I had a girls night with my bestie.  Monday, dinner with the in-laws.  Tuesday my boy arrived home from tour. Thursday a workout and catch up smoothie with another great friend, Friday a parade morning with my hubby, and an evening visit and snacks with our Bible study group.  Saturday we went to a co-worker's place for a bbq and drinks, and Sunday I chaperoned with the marching band and made new friends and got to chat all day long.

My life is amazing.  

I love all my people.

And I'm sad.

I feel trapped because we can't sell our home, but we need something bigger.  My brain's response is to frantically transform every room in our current home to something that will work for our family.  Because I am a fixer.  I can no longer enter a space without picturing storage solutions on every wall and in every nook and cranny.

I feel trapped because I desperately miss my stay at home mom life, and I know that I can't ever go back there.  Well, maybe one day when we win the lottery or hubby gets a giant raise.  Probably should start buying lottery tickets for that part to pan out...  

Anyway, my parents so graciously took three of our children on an extended vacation so my hubby and I could have a rest from parenting for a bit.  From the second they left, my mind has been working overtime to find solutions to all of the chaos that was our last year.  Bake a year's worth of muffins for lunches, go back to schedules for everything, don't forget to book appointments, make sure to check in with teachers about homework, print out all band forms in advance, do this, do that, do the other thing, 

DON'T BE A MOMMY/WIFE FAILURE LIKE LAST YEAR.  

shhhhhh...

I feel like I'm covered in honey and stuck in one place, so desiring to have the quick, snappy reflexes of my past, but they just aren't there.  I can feel that I'm not exceptional at anything anymore and I hate that.  My brain repeats, if I'm not impressing, then why try?

Tonight I'm going to start taking Cipralex again.  I'm giving up on having feelings because it is easier to do life without them.

And for the rest...I'm going to try to rest.  A quote came through my Facebook feed today, "If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit." Quitting has always been my knee jerk reaction, and for the first time ever, I'm finding myself trapped in three giant areas of my life where quitting is not an option.  I guess sadness is the product of that, and I'm hopeful that Cipralex will be the fix I need to find contentment again.

Oh yes, and rest.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

When God says no

A few months ago, one of the discussion questions that came up in our Bible study group was, "How do you react when God says no?"

I hate this question  I hate my answer to this question.  And I hate thinking about it, knowing that no amount of effort from me will change God's plan for me to MY plan for me.  I know I have written about this here before, and even though I knew then what my answer was, I have not changed my answer.  When God says no, I have a pity party, a temper tantrum, and then I turn inwards to myself and slam the door like a moody teenager.

For over five months, we had our condo on the market to sell.  We first listed it in January to try to "beat the rush" of houses being listed in the spring.  After two months of no action, our realtor advised us to take it off the market and relist a month later so that it wouldn't "grow stale" just sitting there.  We did as he advised and relisted in May when we found our dream house - the home we wanted to buy.  After two attempts to have the sellers accept our conditional offer, they accepted, and we had until the middle of July to sell our condo.  In June, they received another offer and our condition date moved up to June 24.  This past Friday we were unable to waive the condition and we lost the house (and wasted money on the inspection).

Trying to sell our condo has been a very very hard time for our family.  It has been heartbreaking for the adults and for the kids.  Cleaning and cleaning to have 'no show's for house viewings and open houses; dropping the list price more and more to get more views that never materialized; living with half of our stuff stored in a friend's garage in a different community...this is one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Unfortunately, I let myself get attached to the idea of life in our new house.  In my head, the kids were happily enjoying the privacy of their own rooms, and there was so much space for friends and family and entertaining.  We could have people over - without even planning it.  We could have a social life.  We could have a puppy and our cars could be sheltered in the warm garage after braving the elements 24/7 for years.  I couldn't wait to go tobagganing in the green space at the end of the block, and I was really looking forward to looking out toward the street and seeing the beautiful blossoming tree in our front yard.  I was pumped that my oldest would live within walking distance of his bestie.

I try not to do this - to let myself get attached like this.  But it happened, and as my friends across the country listed and sold their homes within a month, within a week, within a DAY, my heart broke into smaller and smaller pieces until I couldn't take anymore and I just had to let go.  Say I knew that no one would buy our condo.  Start contacting people to hire to do our renos.  Because having hope was killing me.

We did not get a single offer.

Not even a lowball.

Acquaintances say, "One bathroom?  Do places with one bathroom even still exist?"

Friends say, "Wow, how do you live in such a small house?  I could NEVER do that!"

When I wanted to just give up, family said, "You have to sell.  You guys really need more space."

None of my talented home renovator family/friends/acquaintances has asked us to hire them to make our condo saleable or liveable.

None of my real estate expert family/friends/acquaintances has offered advice or insight - even when flat out asked for it.

Trying to sell our condo has made us feel even more disconnected from family/friends/acquaintances/our community/our city than we already thought we were. Feeling like we belong nowhere and fit nowhere gets really depressing.

On Friday we told the realtor to take the listing down and that since we can't sell, we have to renovate and stay.  He argued that we would never get the money back that we put into the house in renovations, so it is a bad idea.  We told him that we are aware of that and renovations mean that we won't be moving, ever, so our contract with him is over.

He suggested relisting in the fall.

I think I'm not strong enough to go through this again.

I don't think that the reason this didn't work out is because of the economy or the real estate market or even our crappy do-nothing realtor.  I think God said no.  I think His message is that now is not the right time.  Our plan is not His plan.  He put his foot down hard...crushing my spirit in one swift motion.

And I don't want it to hurt, but it does.  Because my kids...they wanted this so bad.  My heart breaks all the time and I'm good at cementing it back together.  But they shouldn't have to feel this.

I went to two church services today and the main message of both came through loud and clear.  Trust Him.  Trust His plan.  Be faithful.  Pray.

But I just can't right now.  First I need to turn inward to myself.  Slam the door.  Blast the music for awhile.  And then hope that His plan will come through loud and clear when it needs to, and then unfold all on its own.  Because right now I am busy with my temper tantrum, and I don't know how long it will last.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Self care nightmare

I am not doing so well today.  

Failing at it all.  

Stuck in a circle of hopelessness.

I went back to work so we can afford a bigger mortgage...and a life of chaos has ensued.

To buy a home where we have enough space, we need to sell our current one, but it's not happening.

Our current one is undesirable to potential buyers.

In my time outside of work, I try to make the house look desirable, but it's not enough.

Housework, painting, fixing takes the place of self care, husband and child attention giving, grocery shopping, and cooking healthy meals, but it's not enough.

Everyone is sick and burned out and in each other's face and space and angry and annoyed and tired of it all.

Everyone needs my attention.  The cars both need oil changes.  They can't take care of it themselves.  The kids need to go to the doctor for never-ending illnesses and to the dentist for toothaches and fillings.  They can't go alone.  The house is getting messier and messier because everyone is sick and burned out.  The husband is doing too much and needs to keep his focus on that.  He is not taking care of himself, his patience is as low as all the rest of us.  I don't have anymore care to give, so I've basically abandoned him, left alone to figure out how to do all the stuff I used to take care of, before there was too much.

I realize that that pain in my joints and muscles has been hanging out for over three months, that I can't move either arm without pain, and that whatever is going on in my back is probably not good news.  But I just don't have time or energy to address myself.

I'm taking the time to choose the gym over the doctor because it is open outside of working hours.  I hope it starts working soon.

I know that if something happens to me, this house dream will never become a reality, because not only will my family lose the mortgage payment of our dream house, should we ever make it there, but I also have no life insurance, no savings, no RRSP, nothing to make it possible for them to live comfortably in a bigger space without me.  

So I need to go to the gym and sing and colour and craft and take meds and drink slurpees and water and eat well and get massages and blog and vent on Facebook and hang out with my besties 

to keep myself healthy 

So I have energy
to care for a husband and children and cars and a house with patience because they won't care for themselves.  Or each other.  Definitely not in a patient manner.

So I have energy
to shop for good food 
to cook healthy meals,
to keep me and my family healthy
and away from the doctor appointments 
that take me away from work 
which will pay the mortgage
on the house
that has enough space for everyone
to take care of themselves 
physically
and mentally
which will lighten my load

Which will leave me some energy 
to take care
of
myself.

It has been VERY hard for all six of us to adjust to me working outside of the home, and as time goes on it gets harder rather than easier.  13 years of having the household run smoothly by one person for all six is a whole lotta habit to break.  I have got to say, I am pretty damn good at running a household.

But my $2000 per month is gonna pay for smoother bedtimes, privacy for teens and for parents, and for the first non-boy space the girl will call her own. 

It is going to allow our sweet vehicles that work so hard for us every day to have a warm and safe place to rest.  

Our belongings will be able to spread out, breathe, be appreciated and enjoyed.  

WE will be able to spread out, breathe, appreciate each other and enjoy each other's company.

There are so many...there is so much counting on my body to hold up, to hold on, to take care, to be strong, to be well.

Don't blow it, girl.  

But, no pressure.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Self care day

Today was like the calm before the storm.

I slept in until after 8:00, exercised mind and body at self-defence class,  and sang praises to  God with friends at worship team rehearsal. 

My third born had lunch ready for me when I arrived home, so I ate and then headed to bed for a two-hour nap.  I really love naps!

When I finally got up, I beautified the outside of our house while visiting with my friend and neighbour.  Hubby came home with our oldest and some meat for me to BBQ, so I did that and we ate.  I did some small home improvement tasks that I wanted to complete before our open house tomorrow, got the kids to bed and then initiated an impromptu date night with a text to hubby asking if he wanted to share a blizzard and watch a show.  Wild, right??

Now it's late and I'm heading to bed with ice cream cramps and high hopes for a miraculous tomorrow filled with smoothness, easy times and great news!

 

Friday, May 13, 2016

What to say about a day like today?

Today has been one of those days that goes on so so long that at the end of it, you can't believe it was only one day.

It started off with a toasty little girl sadly snuggling into bed with me.  She was obviously not well, but cried when I told her she couldn't go to school today.  Her daddy stayed home with her - I think it was his first time ever staying home with a sick child - while I spent the morning at work.

On my way home from work, I stopped at Lowe's to buy some house fix-up supplies, and then stopped to put gas in my van, and then mailed some work stuff and got some popsicles for my little sickie.

I walked into the house to a miserable girl moaning on the couch and an impish boy driving his father crazy (hubby's turn for a tantrum).  Hubby headed out to work, I made lunch for the kiddies, and we ate.

When my oldest got home, I assigned him the caregiver role and went to return a baseball uniform that my third-born no longer needs.  After that was a stop at the bank and a mini grocery shop.  My oldest was amazing again today - helped me carry in the groceries, and put most of them away.

By this point, I was feeling sleepy, so I cuddled with furnace girl for a bit and took a wee nap.  I set my alarm, but was woken up too soon by my second-born phoning to ask if the friend he was visiting all afternoon could join us for dinner and attend the youth event with him tonight.  Of course, yes, and I made sure that our awesome friend who was driving the boys to the event had extra space.  I closed my eyes, and my alarm went off.

By this point, hubby was home and had gotten dinner started.  I ran out to pick up my boy and his friend (who was very vocal about the messy state of my van, which is currently carrying everything that does not have a place in our house) and we came back for dinner.  They and my oldest went out to youth group and I ate dinner and cuddled some more.

Watched some TV, got the girl up and around and fixed her crazy hair, and the boys were back from youth.  I drove the friend home, came back home for some facebooking and singing, enjoyed an Epsom salt bath (despite the grumbles from my teen that he was planning to have a shower and I ruined his schedule), and finally I have made it back to my lovely bed.  

It is time for my eight hours of rest, and then up and at 'em for another full day tomorrow!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Clean like you want your own room!

"Clean like you want your own room."  

That's how I greeted each of my children as they trickled into the house after school today.  We had our first showing scheduled and our home was not quite ready for visitors when I arrived at 3:00.

My girl sobbed, as she does when she wants to get out of something, but tromped up and down the stairs despite tears when I told her to take one armful of laundry up and put it away, then come back and tell me why she is crying.  Magically, she wasn't crying anymore when she came down for the next armful.

My third born did a whole lot of stomping like he does when he doesn't get his own way (at first, then he organized all the shoes neatly in the closet).  

As expected, my second born said he was making his bed every time I saw him standing around, and that ended up taking him a full 30 minutes at the very least.  But he made sure to put on catchy energizing music to help the process.

My oldest - my firstborn - he asked almost right away, "What can I do?"  That was after he had already come in the door, put away his laundry, made his bed and tidied his room.  It was after he had said he needed an after school snack and I said no because I didn't want the kitchen messed up.  He didn't complain.

This boy, who has amazingly grown taller than me in the last six months said, "I'll finish up all of this," as he motioned around the basement.  I had asked him to vacuum, but he offered to do it all.

Quickly the five of us worked on bits of the house.  Hubby came home and vacuumed over all of the carpets in the house that needed a little extra help.

While I washed the floor, the kids fought outside the door and sprayed each other with water until someone was angry and/or crying and they got in trouble for it.  Then we all went for dinner, and hubby and oldest headed off to band while I dragged the other three to the library to wait out the hour-long booking.

The people did not show up.

The PEOPLE did NOT show UP.

I knew it the second I put the key in the door.  It was confirmed minutes later when I texted our realtor to check.

It is frustrating when this happens because six people is a lot of people to move around.  Dinner for six people is not an inexpensive outing.  An hour away is both too long and too short.

But the most frustrating thing for me is to know that my kids worked hard today to help get the house ready.  Even though it is unnatural and difficult for them, and is absolutely not something they would like to be doing in that moment (in any moment), they did it anyway.

And it ended up being for no reason at all.  This will only teach them that they don't have to clean for showings anymore because no one will show up anyway. Heck, that's kind of what I feel.

I'm proud of my biggest boy, though.  It makes my heart leap with joy when he "steps up" in a situation, because it means he is growing up and it builds my confidence in his ability to take care of himself and be a contributing member of society.

I also am happy to have a show-ready house again.  

As I rounded the littles up for bed, I reminded them, "From now on, every time you leave a room, turn around and look at it.  If it looks like somebody was in there, fix it."

We shall see how long we can keep this up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Refreshed

As I head off to bed tonight, I feel refreshed.  It was a good day.  No, a great day.  

I ate three meals.  

I put in over 7 hours of work today, completing two big projects and even fitting in a rush payroll job.  

I got my laundry and dishes caught up.  

I did errands, spray painting, made dinner. 

I sang out loud.  All. Day. Long. 

I convinced the kids to take out garbage and recycling, fold laundry, unload the dishwasher and wash walls.

One played with a friend after chores, three went to hap Ki do this evening.  One did overdue homework after a band rehearsal, chores and dinner.  For realz!  With minimal frustration or fight.

I worked on cleaning the couch today (it will take a few times to get it looking good again), washed the bathroom and wiped down all kitchen surfaces.

And for the first time in longer than I can remember, I did not need to nap this afternoon.

It feels great to have a clean house, kids in bed by 8:30, and to still be awake at 11:11pm and not feel so exhausted that I'm nauseous.  The tooth fairy must make a quick drop now while she can.

Today was great, and I hope to live more days like this.  And soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The showing that wasn't

So, since our house has been on the market before, I figured we wouldn't get any showings right away.  You can imagine my surprise when we received a text message around noon asking for a 6:30-7:30 appointment.  Hubby and I quickly made plans that I would leave work early to go home and clean.

Unfortunately, another text came about 10 minutes later saying that the people did not want to see the house after all.  Bummer.

So I stayed at work late instead, then stopped to pick up a few groceries.  

Came home and hubby was already gone to his rehearsal, but he had BBQed burgers for dinner.  Somehow I ate two.  They were really good.

After dinner, I got to work on some cleaning, had a bit of a yell at my kids who seem to want to move so badly, yet refuse to help me with tidying, packing, and keeping their spaces empty.  I ended up saying that if they are going to say no to me by not helping with things I've specifically asked them to do, my answer to them will always be no as well.

Sometimes as I am trying so desperately to get the house in order for showings, I think about why it hasn't sold yet.  Of course there are the obvious answers that have been commented on - only one bathroom and condo fees - but I feel there has to be something more.  The thing that I don't want to hear God saying is that it isn't time for us to move because we can't afford it.  When we began this journey, I was pumped at the idea that I have an income now and as long as we keep the mortgage payments equal to or less than my paycheque, we'll be just fine, because our entire marriage has been about scrimping and saving and living only on hubby's pay, so we are used to that.  Well, the longer this goes on, and the longer I work in the payroll industry, the more I have doubts creeping in.  Our income - combined - is still less than many of my friends' single incomes and many of the incomes of the people I do payroll for.  And they don't have big fancy houses.  I mean, I've always known that we lived on way less than family and friends because we had no other choice, but now that dollar amounts are in my face on a daily basis, well, that makes me worry a little about what we are getting ourselves into.  Because the mortgage payment we will take on if this house ever sells will be more than double our current payment.  These are the thoughts that tear me up inside because I don't know what the answer is - stay or go.

I also feel sad sometimes thinking about leaving this community and the beautiful culture that we've been immersed in through our nine plus years here.  Kids run and play all day into the evening.  Families walk together, hang out at the school playground and play baseball and soccer in the field.  Are other neighbourhoods like this, or are the kids all being shuttled to sports and dance and activities that their parents are well-off enough to afford?  Do kids in higher income neighbourhoods play outside in groups with whoever is able to come out to play? I want my kids to keep having that.

Well, it is now 1.5 hours past my bedtime and I need to find some water that doesn't taste gross (seriously something is up with my tastebuds now), and get myself to bed.  Hopefully I can get some laundry happening before work in the morning.  That stuff just never quits.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Talk me down

Today was a stressful work day.  I'm lucky to have a hubby that not only sits quietly and listens to me vent, but who also is almost always of the same opinion of me.  We are a great team, and we have each other's backs.

Our house is officially back on the market to sell.  We listed it $10,000 less than last time.  I hope that it goes quickly; I have my eye on the one I want to buy.  I spent the weekend trying to pretty up the outside, and today I started on the inside.  I like to start at the top of the house and work my way down, so I did a lot of cleaning up my sons' room.  The bathroom I have been trying to keep up with for the past week, and I hung up all my floor clothes tonight to get started on my bedroom.  Hubby did the laundry and dishes on study breaks.

I felt okay today.  My muscles still ache.  I am finding that I can't make it through the day without a nap.  I really need to find a doctor.

Heading to bed just after 11; that means a 7:00 alarm set.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

Today was Mother's Day.  It was a bit of a surprise; I didn't realize it was this weekend.  

My hubby had a workshop to attend all day.  Two of my children slept over at our friends' house, and the two here slept until about 9:15.  We managed to make it to church more or less on time, and my oldest boy and I spent the morning serving in the nursery.

After church, my seven year old bought Wendy's for the five of us for lunch, and my 10 year old bought slurpees for the five of us.

At home, I was showered with beautiful poetry, drawings, and love from my kiddies.  Then I took a nap to try to get rid of my headache.  My oldest dragged all the dirty laundry to the basement for me while I slept, and when I got up, I cleaned up our front patio and raked our backyard.  

We have gotten some nice gentle rain today, which is so needed and so appreciated right now.  I'm looking forward to my grass getting green.  

Hubby picked up pizza and pumpkin pie for dinner on his way home from his workshop.  We all ate and watched Big Brother Canada together, then the kids played their video games and showered and went to bed while I got some work work done and hubby did some homework.

It is 10:00 now, which is my target time for bed, so I am going to do some stretching and go to sleep.  My body has been so achy for the past few months; it comes and goes about weekly, and every time it comes, it is way more painful and uncomfortable than it was the time before.  I need to find a doctor that I trust soon.

Smoothie

I used to start each day with a smoothie filled with berries, a banana, protein powder, orange juice, spinach and water.  Somewhere along the line, I stopped doing this.  Today I began again, and threw in some probiotic powder for good measure.

I'm feeling terrible today - headachey, sore eyes, and my body aches.  I don't want to feel like this anymore, and I'm hoping that this nice shot of vitamin C in the morning will help.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

F words

Today was an okay day.  I've been suffering intense muscle and joint aches for a few months now, and have had a headache for about one month.  I need to go to the doctor, but first I need to find a new one.

This afternoon I bought and planted Flowers, got some Fresh air while hanging out with Family and Friends, and enjoyed delicious BBQed Food.  :)

Chatted with all three of my immediate neighbours, and two kids are at our friends' place for a sleepover.  

Ah, community.  I heart you.  I'm thankful for today.

Praying for rain for our parched country as I drift off to sleep.

Renewal

I have been struggling with a lot of stuff for a while now.  I've not wanted to blog because it takes too much energy, just like everything else.  I'm actually in a pretty bad place - almost right back where I was when this whole thing started.  Not eating, not sleeping, not exercising, bad attitude.  Since I am a healthy weight, the anxiety is missing, which is a blessing because it messes me up when I am constantly trying to decide if I am having a heart attack.  However, no anxiety is also not a blessing because it means I don't care about anything.  #nottheanswer.

I'm comitting now to writing everyday, even as I look around at the disaster in my province and my country, and know there are many much worse off than I am in so so many ways.  It is hard for me to grab back the idea that I'm valuable, but I want to be strong for my city, province, and country, and I know that starts with believing in me.

This morning at my self defence class, we did a lot of "flow"ing, consideration and reflection.  It opened my eyes to what I've been allowing into my personal space, and the old, strong, inner me painstakingly pulled herself to her knees, then her feet.  She grabbed my thoughts and asked me how I have let things get so bad.  And then we decided that starting today we are taking back control.  Physical strength, mental strength, emotional strength has to happen.  Not just gratitude, but contentment.  I've been there before, and the game has changed since then.  I used to preach, "make it happen" to people who complained about their situation and now I've fallen into the darkness myself. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tax widow

Well, it's that time of the year again - tax season.  It has been a tough stretch for me for a few years.  The first year was the hardest, but the following years, I knew what to expect and was able to prepare myself for it.  This year is another first year.

With me at work now, I have to take over every part of all six of our lives AND work.  I'm not gonna lie, it is hard.  Today when I realized that my hubby would not be home for dinner (again), I started daydreaming about putting out an ad for a tax season husband/father, or a sister wife/mother, or a nanny or chef or housecleaner, or my mommy.  When I walk into a room and see that my kids have taken something out and walked away without cleaning it up, I want to cry.  I don't have energy to be compassionate to five people, and when my daughter says she has a tummy ache and can't go to school, I just pull her into bed with me (or drag her along to a work meeting).  When my teenager won't do his flipping homework even though he hasn't handed in anything since November, and then starts blaming me, I just walk away.  When my husband walks in the door moody and impatient and overwhelmed with all that he's taken on...well, I just can't make myself feel sorry for him.  He jokes that when the kids are sad, they get compassion and when he is sad, I tell him to make a list.  Okay, it's not a funny joke.  I'm just so tired.

This morning as I rushed about to get the teen ready to play at the Mayor's Luncheon; to get the girl to stop moping and put on clothes; the busy boy to stop complaining that his sister got three snacks and he only got two...my second-born quietly got his band uniform on.  He made himself a lunch, refusing my offer of money to buy one since it was fun lunch day for the littles and I'd take the teen out after his performance.  He quietly told me that he had to find some black shoes quickly because he didn't want to miss the bus.  And I stopped doing everything and knelt down on the dirty foyer floor in my work clothes and dug through the closet until I found him some black shoes.  And a gratefulness washed over me for this one quiet, self-sufficient boy with good grades and an eagerness to help out where he can.  I am SO thankful for him; my sweet calm in an otherwise chaotic life.

I am paddling hard right now.  Trying to keep extra patient and extra positive because no one else in the house is.  The hubby is tired and moody.  The teen is tired and moody.  The second born hides in his room (I wish I could do that!  We are so alike.).  The third born has way too much energy and enjoys picking fights.  The girl is always crying that she is hurt or sick or dizzy or bored or sad, unless she is at her bestie's place or her bestie is over here.

In all this, it is friends and family that keep me going.  There is always something to be thankful for.  Green traffic lights.  Beautiful mountains.  Amazing spring weather.  My mom, who was here from out of town for ONE DAY and folded two weeks' worth of laundry and did dishes as I rushed to get the house ready to show.  My hubby's mom who made the decision to hang out with my kids after school and start dinner one day per week so I don't have to rush home from work.  My brother-in-law and his family who hosted us for dinner and games.  Our small group leader who checks in with us often to see how things are going even though he has his own busy life.  My friends who brought me an elliptical machine after I put out a facebook request.  My friend who gave our family tickets to a sporting event.  My friends who take time out of their days to chat with me through text, facebook, and messenger.  Even more friends who gave us a bag full of easy to cook meals so we can eat well when we are busy. Our realtor who drove all the way over here to let me in one afternoon when I was locked out of the house.  All of the people who support my kids in fundraising through buying grocery gift cards, raffle tickets, chocolates, everything.  My co-workers who listen to me vent about my tough times, and my bosses who don't freak out on me when I make mistakes.  I am living such a rich life, as chaotic as it is.  It's probably been over a month since my last panic attack.

All that said, I still feel a heaviness.  I can feel exhaustion dragging me into depression.  I'm clinging to sugar to get me through, which is making me dehydrated and overweight, especially with no time or energy to work out.  I basically need someone to take over for me for two hours a day so I can go to the gym, and to force feed me and my family healthy things that I don't need to prepare myself.  I am fighting hard right now, because I have to - it's in my genes.  And I'm repeating the words from the song, "Just be Held" by Casting Crowns over and over when I need to hear them.  "Hold it all together, everybody needs you strong.  But life hits you out of nowhere and barely leaves you holding on.  And when you're tired of fighting, chained by your control, there's freedom in surrender. Lay it down and let it go.  So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away, You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held. Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place.  I'm on the throne, stop holding on, and just be held. Just be held."

I'm not alone.  I am loved and I am supported and I am held.  And I am so thankful for that.  Because without the amazing people in my life, things would be so different.  And tax season will be over before I know it.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What day is it?

I have always had to put some effort into figuring out what day of the week it is - like really think about it.  Sometimes I've had to look it up.

I figured that once I started working, I'd have a better subconscious understanding of what day of the week it is, but I don't.  I know Sundays because we have church and then an afternoon of dread that the busyness will start up again with the evening and Monday morning.

I was having a conversation with a co-worker awhile back, and I noted that in my work life, I look at a calendar many times per day.  In my personal life, the days have unique names.  For example, yesterday was "anatomy hot lunch day" because one child was going on a field trip to see an anatomy exhibit and two others were having pizza for lunch at school.  Today is "grade 8 festival friend jazz roundup day", and tomorrow is a long one:  "half day money friend roundup hapkido small group but no youth" day.

Somehow these new names are much more calming to me than, "Crap what day is it and what am I forgetting right now that I need to rush to?!?!??"

As calming as they are, they still have not straightened out my time management struggles, apparently, since this morning at 7:45 I was at Walmart with my teen buying dress shoes for him to wear to his school band festival performance today.  And sometime today I need to print and fill out paperwork for an upcoming marching band tour of his, including making a photocopy of his passport that I have not yet renewed or brought with me to work.  Oh yes, and there is the trip deposit due...

Thursday.  I think it is Thursday.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Head down, keep running

I have felt horrible for weeks.

It started with a little anxiety, so I increased my Cipralex from 2.5 mg to 5 mg.

It progressed to such intense panic attacks that I couldn't calm myself, not even a little bit.  I increased my Cipralex to 10 mg, started taking a multivitamin and my iron, paying attention to my water consumption and making an effort to work out again.  Three panic attacks in one week.  Awful.

Now, after almost a month of just continuing on the best I can, my body is so achey.  My muscles are restless and uncomfortable.  Every single muscle.  My hands swell so much at night that I can't wear my rings anymore.  My sides hurt, and my chest hurts.  There's one spot in the middle of my chest, right between my breasts, that hurts with each breath, especially the exhale.

Obviously (to me) this stuff is more than anxiety.  But I haven't gone to the doctor because I know that will be the diagnosis.  And I will get no help and will have wasted my time.

Anxiety continues to be a riddle I cannot solve.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Failing

I'm failing.  

I'm failing to be a kind and loving and patient mom, I'm failing at being an attentive wife and friend; I'm failing in all areas.  

Running so far behind on every task list.  

Drowning and exhausted.

Pressed on all sides.

Coming to the realization that one's best effort is not meeting - and will not meet - expectations is hard for a perfectionist.  It's heartbreaking for me; so heavy on my shoulders.  Being stuck here, not seeing a way to fix things, is torture.  

This is where I pray fervently - where I lay in my bed and beg God for strength and for peace - because it's the only thing I can gather enough energy to do while I wait for the torturous thoughts to pass.