Purging is getting rid of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release.
That’s what I’m hoping for… this week’s blog isn’t going to be about my kids.
I’m going to try to be as honest as I can about where I am in my life… so many people post, blog and tweet about only happiness. In a way, I think that is false advertising. Life isn’t just about the happy… it’s about the sad and disappointing too.
My life hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s been all that hard either. I’ve had some bad things happen. I have been through a divorce, I’ve lost people I love, Carpenter spent 10 days in the NICU (that has been the hardest so far), and I have done some things (okay, a lot of things) that I regret. Please understand that I realize that the things I have gone through seem pale in comparison to what others have endured and are currently enduring… I know that there are others dealing with things; death and disease, pain and suffering, heartache and betrayal, that I can’t even begin to imagine. But this isn’t about their life, it’s about mine.
As far back as I can remember, my parents taught us (I have 3 other siblings) the importance of hard work. The lesson was always that if you worked hard and were kind, good things would happen to you. So, I’ve tried. I have worked hard. I have actually worked since I was 14 years old…since, that time I have never been without a full-time job…until now.
I graduated college in 2001, held my first two jobs, concurrently, for 4 years, then the next was 18 months, with the last one being held for 8 years. Yes, 8 years. I did a good job, too. I worked hard. I built relationships. I was living the dream… until something changed. What changed was about egos, expectations, broken trust and friendship more than anything else. So, here I am 36, and for the first time in my life I am without full-time employment.
Lost is an understatement. So much of who I was… was what I did. I made it such a BIG part of my life…that I didn’t know who I was anymore. I am a control freak and this part of my life sent me into a tail spin… I not only made myself dizzy but everyone around me as well.
I worried. I worried about everything. How are we going to make it financially? How does this affect my children? Are we ever going to go on vacation again? What utilities can we live without?
Then…I worried. Do I want to be a stay at home mom? I kind of like it. I’ve spent more time with Brooks in the last 2 months then I have his whole 2 years on earth… at least just me and him time. I am working on my masters, but is that enough? Do I want to go back to work? I have so much to offer. I am capable of so much more than what I feel like I am doing now. My days are filled with school, mini-consulting projects, Brooks’ play time, nap time, snack time, lunch time…etc. I try to get to the gym and have found that the grocery store has become my favorite past-time activity.
I worried. Does Adrian resent me leaving work? Does he understand why I had to leave when I did? Does he want me to stay at home…Does he want me to work? Really, what is he thinking…not what he is saying…what is he thinking. I worried. I worried. I worried.
Stay with me though.
I still worry, I can’t help it, but I am learning that life isn’t about having a plan. It’s about adaptation. You never know from one day to the next what will happen. I am adapting. Things are getting easier. I am riding the wave. This wave, as my surfer husband explained it, is already rolling and I am already caught up in it. There is nothing I can do to turn back time or change the state of things. I can ride the wave though. I can stop trying to control everything and let the opportunities roll on in. I will wash up on shore, either standing up and smiling…or pushed up, water logged, and crumpled. Either way, I’m going to hit land eventually. Yes, that is how I am looking at everything. It’s an opportunity. If nothing else, I will learn from it. Just ride the wave, Leia, ride the wave.
I have also learned that a lot of people have experienced exactly what I am going through. I have learned that there are angels among us that care and will help you when you least expect it. I have learned that actions speak louder than words and people that know me…really know me… know who I am and what I am all about.
I do not claim to go to church every Sunday, but I am a Christian. I have a real-deal, everyday talk with God, good or bad times. Naturally, I have turned this into a tug-of-war. I give it to him, I take it back. I pray this prayer.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Henry David Thoreau