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.