Friday, March 18, 2011

Moving on....

So, I started this blog last summer. It was a great opportunity to write, process, comment on life as a mom, etc....

Then, in the Fall, my life was upended drastically and I took a break. My husband quit me. In no way do I place the full blame of the failure of our marriage on him. I failed him too. The difference is, I never quit trying to make it work. He never attempted to make it work. He just quit.

So, now that I've been through some of the most difficult months/situations of my life, I'm starting fresh!

I've started a new blog, that is less generalized and a little bit more focused on life as I'm currently living it.

If you're interested, please come check it out at The Homeless Housewife
Thanks for reading!!!

2011 Highlights so far.... and its only February 10th!

Well, in the first 40 days of 2011, I've had my fair share of adventure. Seriously, I think I need a vacation. Maybe someplace warm, with a beach, not too hot, not too loud. I want to go to a place that's exotic and the people admire women with fuller figures who dare to put on a bathing suit and show stretchmarks...  a place with good mojitos and cute cabana boys! Anyone with me?

So, the first 40 days of 2011:
  • Applied for my dream job, interviewed for my dream job, was a finalist for my dream job and then did not get my dream job :(
  • Firstborn child had her first surgery. She did great. I did ok... almost passed out when I got too close to the "gas" and almost burst into tears from unresolved grief of my last surgery(pregnancy loss).... oh, how smells can trigger memories!
  • Day after #1's surgery,  #2 child bounces himself right off the couch  and breaks his collarbone.
  • Stayed calm at estranged-husband's "honoring" me by not accusing me of hurting my child in aforementioned collarbone incident. (What? Who thinks this way?)
  • Smiled politely and didn't harm anyone when my estranged husband invited me over to "approve" of his new place.
  • Took the "Life is Beautiful" approach in regards to continued habitation and subsequent interactions with estranged-husband and my children.
  • Celebrated #2's 4th birthday with my extended family and estranged husband. Listened patiently and didn't pop off at the mouth as he boasted of his new furniture purchases for his new place to my father and brother.... the 2 men who "gave me away" to him on my wedding day! Actually, I am more proud of my dad and brother for not committing a justified felony. 
  • Screwed up my knee big time pushing my car (with bald tires) out of a snowbank. Why are your tires bald, you ask? Because I have no access to $$$ because my estranged husband closed our joint bank accounts. I have to ask for $$ for groceries and am pretty much S.O.L. on everything else...
In 2 weeks, I will be homeless, husbandless and jobless. I have about $200 to my name. I will have access to a storage unit to put my belongings into. I MIGHT be able to live with my parents for a short time. I have been emotionally separated from my husband since October. We've had to live under the same roof since that time because he doesn't want to have to pay for 2 households.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Well, we all survived the first decade of the 21st century.
Considering the last decade included the Y2K bug, 9/11, the housing meltdown, the double dip recession, Reality T.V., crazy political races, and the proliferation of all things techy into our worlds (cell phones for everyone, internet, smart phones, blogs, etc.) I'd say the fact that we're all still upright and breathing is a good thing. Its been a big decade!

For me, the last decade has been personally intense.
In the last 10 years:
  • I got married
  • moved 5 times
  • became our state's guinea pig case for what would become the mortgage modification nightmare
  • survived the subsequent legal battle and foreclosure of my home
  • had 8 different jobs
  • survived 4 of my husband's layoffs
  • tried my hand at a couple new careers only to fail miserably
  • gained 50 pounds
  • lost 30 pounds
  • gained 30 back
  • lived through 3 miscarriages
  • 2 high risk pregnancies and deliveries to have 2 of the most beautiful children on the planet
  • attended the funeral of a former student and count that as the most painful funeral of my life
  • and I've watched too many others pass away prematurely. 

Needless to say, I don't count the last decade as one of my best. So, I'm taking a fresh new look at the next decade and setting some goals. I turn 40 in 30 days. Here's to hoping the next decade is better than the last! Cheers and Happy New Year!

Goals for 2011:

1. Lose 60 pounds
2. Get a job that will support me and my children and feed my soul.
3. Blog 1x/week
4. Walk a 5K next Fall
5. Cultivate healthy, life affirming relationships
6. Complete the Bible in One Year program
7. Take my children on a memorable vacation
8. Celebrate 40 all year long!
9. Complete Dave Ramsey's baby steps 1 & 2
10. Win the HGTV Dream Home Sweepstakes :)

How about you? What are your goals for 2011?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Perfection always leads to peril....

I am a recovering perfectionist. I struggle every time I log onto my blog. I am not satisfied with the look of this blog, its style, its lack of photos, the font, yada, yada, yada..... you get the picture.

The real struggle for me is to just let this blog Be. Be what I originally intended - a place to log stories, practice writing, connect my mundane but unusually twisted life to the universe. For me to sit back and let this blog just Be is excruciating.... to know that this is my image in cyberspace just kills me. Why? I don't know.. because I'm a pathetic, depraved human like the rest of us.. I don't trust that what I have to say, no matter what it looks like, matters.... to anyone! Believing that its okay if my words don't matter to anyone is just fine, because my words matter to me. Accepting that my words may only ever matter to just me is good enough. GOOD ENOUGH. Those words that make perfectionists cry... GOOD ENOUGH. Good enough implies that its all still worthy, even with ugliness and mistakes and monotony and boredom and gaps in posts and ugly fonts. Good enough implies acceptance of the good parts and the not so good parts.

For perfectionists, we don't want anyone to know there are "not so good" parts. To admit the weaknesses, the failings, the inadequacies requires us to risk. To risk ourselves. To be vulnerable... oh, lordy, being vulnerable... that is definitely not the strong suit of this perfectionist, or at least that's what I want to believe.  When in fact, it is in our own need to be perfect that we show the world - in loud technicolor-flashing-lights-on-Broadway style that in fact we are a mess. A beautiful, flawed, screwed up mess.....To accept that we are still worthy to be, in all our messiness, is the goal. Either way, really, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. To be found out, through the counterfeit veil of perfection or authentically just laying it out on the table, real, unadulterated, raw,  and messy. Either way, life happens. So, I'm moving toward authenticity. You'll figure out who I am eventually.... you'll come to your own conclusions about me and that will be that. I've got too much laundry to do and too many Christmas cookies yet to bake to spend time worrying about what the blogosphere thinks, so I'll just save us both some time and lay it all out there....

Hoping you have a GOOD ENOUGH Christmas!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Only a Groan.....

There is a passage in the Bible that talks about the earth groaning for redemption... Romans 8:22-25. On more than one occasion in my life, I've had a similar experience.... being in that place were articulate words just don't cut it... "in the silences when words are not enough."*  The place where one's heart is so overwhelmed with a multitude of longings that only a groan will suffice.

Well, it happened again today. While finishing the arduous task of swapping out the kids' summer clothes with the winter clothes, I got that ache deep in my soul. You know the one - the ache of regret, nostalgia and sadness topped off by the realization that life is happening whether or not one chooses to acknowledge it....

As I looked through Bruce's closet, I actually had myself convinced that some of his 4T shorts will fit him next summer. Oh, denial - you silly thing! Then, the realization hit me that my snuggly little man will in fact be more manly and less snuggly by next Spring. He'll be taller and leaner.  I'll be lucky if his 4T shorts fit him in length next spring... even if they fit him in the waist. My baby is growing up!

Putting up the kids' clothes is one of the hardest things for me to do as a mom. I'd almost rather clean up bodily fluids than swap closets! Knowing the sweet little clothes will go in a box in the garage until the next JBF sale just kills me. Never again will Liza wear her sweet sunshine t-shirt that I managed, only by the grace of God, to get 3 summers of wear out of! Liza loved that t-shirt. She lived in it. So many memories in that t-shirt! Ugh! I groan.

I am reminded of the things done and left undone with my kiddos. Time spent distracted by jobs,  tasks, chores that need to be done - urgent in their own right, but not my heart's priority.. I groan some more. I start spiraling into the pit of regret. Asking all the questions every mom asks.... have I trained them up in the way they should go? Did I make the right choices for them, for me, for our family? Should I have thrown my computer out the window long ago, or did my computer somehow save me from the darker waves of despair as I stayed-at-home with my kids? Too often bored out of my mind, did I do right by them?

I hear moms talk about how fast it this time goes by and how much I'll miss these days of little ones running around. I struggle with this - the toddler years haven't been particularly good to me. I haven't enjoyed this time. Oh, I treasure this time, but I haven't really enjoyed it. It hasn't been life-giving to me. Perhaps there are so many other issues that have played out in this stage of our common life as a family that I haven't been able to enjoy this time... or maybe its just that this season really shows my weaknesses.. and hey, who of us really wants to spend time in that place, day in and day out?

I'm not a toddler kind of gal. With years of experience working with kids - mostly middle school on up, I thought I was prepared for motherhood. Little did I know that once we got through the first year, the monotony, impatience and boredom would set in for me. I don't do crafts. I'm too impatient and perfectionistic to let the kids help me in the kitchen much. I don't sing. I'm not creative in all the ways a mom to young kids needs to be. Secretly, I've harbored this longing for the days when pointing at pictures of skid-steers and back-hoes in a board book were long gone and we could discuss the plots to the Narnia series; and the ad-nauseum replaying of the 12 Dancing Princesses would cease and we could talk about logical life lessons and other rational, real things.  I don't do this play-imagine-create stage of life well. Frankly, its shown me that I don't play well, period. I have this overwhelming need to keep moving, be productive, to have a purpose, to have something to prove my worth at the end of the day - as if I need to justify the oxygen I use and the space I take up.... to be valuable.

So, today I felt valuable, productive, even accomplished as I got my closet-swapping task completed. But, I also felt emotionally off-kilter... that a cruel joke was being played on me. That in my need to be "valuable" I missed the whole point. Have I been present enough with my kids? Have I loved them enough? Have I been a good enough mom to them?  I groaned some more.... crying out to God with my anxiety.... trusting Him to show me the way. I reminded myself that the past is the past. God can redeem it, but I can't.   I can only control the present and my choices within it.  So, I finished putting the clothes up, snuggled my kids up close, and had meaningful interactions with them.  Then, after they were sufficiently tucked in bed, I read The Dilemma of Every Mother by Amanda at  Turn out the lights... the groaning is now accompanied by tears....

I read somewhere not long ago that God designed each of us moms to parent our specific children.. that they were designed for us to be the best parent for them and that we are uniquely designed to have them as our children..... for God to use them and us and our interaction for His glory. So with that being said, I'm taking my groaning, teary-eyed self to bed and trusting that God will redeem and restore whatever I've managed to screw up as a parent; reminding myself that His grace is sufficient and that I'm not alone in this journey. My groans and anxiety are timeless and ultimately not in vain.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You Know You are a Mom when.......

You read the words 8th  CONTINENT while grocery shopping
and instantly wonder if you should go to the bathroom...... just in case.
Just saying.......

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Time marches on.....

Today would be my grandfather's 108th birthday, if he were still alive! How on earth can I have memories of someone who would be 108!?!?!?

Oh, and my baby brother turns 37 tomorrow! Yep, I'm feeling old.

The other day, little brother was in an urgent state about securing life insurance before his birthday as the the costs go up with age. Took me about 25 minutes to become comfortable with the fact that he's a grown up and I'm fast approaching middle age.

Remember how every Fall and back to school time meant that you had an opportunity to re-invent yourself.... I sort of feel like that these days, as life as I formerly knew it comes crashing down around me... but with the harsh realization time is not really on my side any longer. I've put things off:  I'll save more next year, I'll get back to Jazzercise after the holidays, I'll email that old friend tomorrow. My mind and my body are definitely running on completely different clocks. My mind feels like I'm about 32. My body reminds me I'm about 56. Don't even get me started on those "real-age" quizzes...

I'm staring down the barrel at 40 and having to start my life all over again. I think my official mid-life crisis has begun.

Time to do some serious re-evaluating. What will I take with me into the 2nd half of my life? What will I leave behind? The past 2 years have proven to be great existential sifters to help me air out my priorities... where I put my energy, emotions, and investments of myself and money.

If you had to start life over again, what would you do differently?