I am not one to ever wish time away. As a matter of fact, I often have that feeling of wanting to freeze time. I look in the mirror every morning (well, after I put on my glasses so I can SEE myself) and wonder where this 39 year woman has come from? I feel like I was 29 just yesterday… but ten years have just FLOWN by.
And the kids??? How in the world have they gotten to be so OLD? My youngest child, who I feel like was born YESTERDAY, started cotillion a couple of weeks ago and is almost as tall as I am already! I feel like the past 10 years have just been a blur, so I now find myself just staring at her (which makes her terribly uncomfortable, by the way). I crave the moments we can spend together. I LOVE Tuesdays because it is the one night that I can focus all of my attention on her since the other children are all with their other parent. We can get sushi and just catch up on life…
My first born is a full blown teenager now. He is growing every single day and will pass me in the next week (if he hasn’t already today). He is filled with that teenage angst and wants to argue with every single thing I say (while showing me how cut his abs are, of course), but I am still proud of him in everything he does. Even when he talks incessantly about things that I have absolutely no interest in! Some days he seems to put forth effort into his schoolwork and some days he absolutely couldn’t care any less about it. I try my best to be encouraging when he does well.
Throughout the years of their childhood I have often wanted to just yell, “STOP GROWING, NOW!!!!!!!” I have wanted to just freeze time so that I could enjoy that moment forever. Admittedly though, I am ready and willing to close the book on the last month of my life. September 23rd was my birthday, which seems to be when everything peaked. It has been DOWNHILL ever since.
Since then, we have had strep throat, lice, unknown stomach pains (that still are not resolved), meetings about educational “issues” (results coming soon) and a spot cut from my temple (still waiting on biopsy results). I had a friend who had to have surgery on her wrist (so I cooked dinner for her family) and my son had a friend who unexpectedly lost his father. I ran the Bull City 5 Miler only two days after suffering a stomach virus and now two days later I am still having trouble walking (mental note: don’t run 5 miles when you haven’t even hit the pavement in a month). I know I looked like some sort of fool trying to walk down the stairs of my parking garage coming to work this morning. And there is no telling what kinds of germs I picked up since I had to use the nasty handrails in a stairwell that more often than not smells like the pee of the local homeless people.
Lately I have been able to relate to the new song, “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. The video is below:
The song begins with him talking about how he feels his way through the darkness. I too feel like I am “feeling my way through the darkness, guided by a beating heart.” The darkness is this new life as a blended family and just the fact that life is passing by so quickly. My sweet husband is so helpful in every single way and I can see how it pains him to see me struggle with my emotions.
I love our life and I love our kids, but I find myself in a constant state of worry over all of our kids because I want everything to go well for them. I am not the kind of person who will blindly walk through life and project my happiness on those around me. Instead I spend my time worrying that others are NOT as happy as I. So on top of the external pressures of the past month, I have also been putting a tremendous burden on myself to make sure everything is going well for the rest of the family. The death of my friend’s husband has also caused me to fear the loss of Joe. It took us 20 years to reconnect and I am counting on at least 30 more years of newlywed bliss with him. That has been weighing heavily on my heart.
As with everything in life, I know that these crazy emotions will rise and fall like the tides I love so dearly at the coast. I know that this too shall pass.
I think the problem I am having right now though is that I do want to savor and enjoy every single second of this life with my handsome husband and our amazing kids, but lately life has dealt me some pretty crappy cards. And it upsets me tremendously when I don’t know how to handle what is put on my plate. I remember my grandmother saying, “I know the Good Lord won’t give me more than I can handle, but I sure wish he didn’t have so much faith in me.” Amen. And AMEN.
The song continues with, “I can’t tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start.” I know that I need to start TODAY. I need to focus on the good and not let the insignificant, petty things in my life affect who I am and how people know me. I am proud of the fact that I have an annoyingly positive attitude. I love that my friends know if they are having a bad day they can call me and I will make them laugh. I love that if either of my girls are feeling down, they know I am a few steps away with a big hug to help make things better. We don’t know where this journey will end, but we must make the most of each and every day before it’s too late.
The next couple of stanzas of the song really make me think of my years as a single mom. I let life with my children pass me by because I was so busy focused on making money and trying to meet someone. Although I had friends who tried to tell me that I needed to prioritize, I thought I had all of the answers so I ignored them. I tried to “carry the weight of the world” because I had too much pride to just ask for help. Most importantly, I was looking so hard for something but in the meantime didn’t realize that I was lost to myself. I needed to be happy with ME before I could be happy with anyone else.
“Wake me up when it’s all over. When I’m wiser and I’m older. All those times I was finding myself, I didn’t know I was lost.” It’s unusual for me to feel this way, but I sometimes find myself at a loss – not knowing how to deal with my son or not knowing if the lice will come back or trying not to let ex-drama affect me. Not to mention that all of this chaos in my life has prohibited me from doing the one thing that I truly love – writing.
So starting RIGHT NOW… I am going to do three things daily to get me out of this funk:
1) Smile and focus on the here and now. I’m not going to let the actions of others bring me down. I will see those actions for what they are – sad attempts to take away the happiness I have in my life. I am going to spend every second I can with my kids so their memories of their childhoods are of US and not things I gave them. I’m not going to worry about them anymore, I am merely going to do everything in my power to make sure they communicate with us if something needs to be changed.
2) Write, write and write some more (daily)!!!! I have always been best when it comes to getting my thoughts and feelings on paper. Sometimes I have trouble expressing myself verbally, but if I sit down at my laptop then I can write for days on end.
3) Take care of ME. I need to exercise daily, take my vitamins and drink lots of water. It’s hard to feel down when you are at your best!!! Plus, taking care of myself will hopefully ensure many, many more happy years with Joe and our kids (and future grandkids).
With all that being said, sorry for my little break in blogging… LIFE GOT IN THE WAY. But I’m awake now and am thankful for every minute of every day (and have two more blogs ready to post!!!!).
Love keeping up with the NORMAL people of the world…..I love reading your writings ….it seems to help me realize that the world turns everyday and all we do is hang on and ride….Tell Joe Hey for me!
Very well written Valerie!!! Hang in there one GREAT day at a time!