Sunday, August 17, 2014

End of Summer

I don't know how it is that August is more than half over and my kiddo goes back to school this week!  That little one is heading off to fourth grade this year and I can't even wrap my head around it.  My sweet baby girl will always be my baby girl, but she's so much of a young lady now...growing and changing in ways I don't feel prepared for, "tween" emotions definitely making an appearance, leaving behind so many things of childhood in favor of more grown up things. 

I can't keep her a baby forever.  Oh, how I miss those baby days.  But, oh, how excited I am for all that life will bring her as she continues to grow up!

This was an interesting summer.  In a weird twist of fate and the consequences of company re-organization/downsizing, I had an unexpected, lengthy, but much appreciated LONG vacation and I've had the pleasure of spending the past two months at home with my kiddo!  It's definitely time to find new work and I've been actively looking, but now that the kiddo is starting school, I'm excited to embrace new opportunities.  The first week of unemployment was distressing as I imagined every worst-case-scenario (none of which have come to pass) that would befall my family as a result of my job loss.  One good thing is that the job loss coincided with a planned vacation, so in a funny way, it was nice to just enjoy the time off without the stress of having to go back to the office!

Anyway, it's been a fun-filled summer, with lots of day trips to the zoo, museums, American Girl, window shopping, brunches, a longer road trip and vacation to Mackinac Island...just fantastic mommy-daughter time.  These were all things that we had planned on doing this summer (and thankfully I had budgeted for all of them prior to losing my job), but there was an added element of fun, because I was no longer tied to a mobile device having to be available 24/7.  With that burden gone, I was able to be fully present with my daughter, never having to hush her or make her wait while I took a phone call or responded to an e-mail or text. 

In so many ways, though it was hard to see at first, being forced to look at the variety of jobs out there really gave me a fresh perspective and was a sharp reminder about what's most important--and I'm now being very selective about what kind of work I get into because I've gotten a taste of work-life balance and I like it!  Job interviews have been and continue to be scheduled and I realize that not every company demands that level of 24/7 availability.  I got so used to it over the years that it became normal, but not in a good way.  I'm laughing more and sleeping better than I have in years!

That's about it for now.  Nothing earth shaking, nothing inspiring, just a little rambling because...well...I can ramble if I feel like it!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A Gentle Breaking

These past 20 months have been some of the most challenging of my life (so far).  Things that should have been minor issues turned into major issues, major issues turned into life-changing explosions.  I've barely been able to think straight, let alone attempt to put anything into words. 

In the past, I've made an effort not to wallow in self-pity, but for a while now, it felt...I don't know...good, in a way, if that even makes sense...to just be wrapped up in my hurts and hide myself away.  It's time to break away from that.  I've attempted to break away from it a few times in the past year or so, but each time, slipped back into that dark spot.  I was forcing myself to feel better when I didn't feel better at all. 

I was on vacation just recently--a mother-daughter road trip with my kiddo.  It took 950 miles behind the wheel, some time out on a lake, and sharing a secret with a stranger to nudge me back into reality.  I guess I was trying too hard to force myself into feeling better instead of acknowledging that I wasn't letting myself heal.  It's really nothing worth re-hashing at this point--it's about human frailties, anger, ineffective communication, and what happens when they all collide. 

FYI, nothing good really comes out of it if a person in that scenario refuses to have a healthy discussion about it.  I'm over it, but it still stings a little bit when I think about it.  It stings, but doesn't hurt anymore.

There's a quote from author Jodi Picoult, I don't remember where I read it, but it's something along the lines of after a while, a heart having too many stress fractures can't be anything but broken.  Although that's how I was feeling for a while, I don't feel that way anymore. 

Stress fractures heal.  The terrain may look different after multiple stress fractures, and there may have been breaks along the way, but they do heal.  Perhaps some residual pain lingers, but instead of getting hung up on that, I'll just take note of it and try to understand it.  Sort of how my left knee gets swollen and tender before rain or snow.  It's 15 years "healed", but the terrain is different (scar tissue inside, where nobody can see) and the pain indicates when something is amiss.  I think our brains, hearts, and instincts work the same way.

I totally just had a flash to Lost in Space with the robot yelling, "Danger, danger Will Robinson!"  My knee yells with weather changes, my heart, head, and instincts yell when something is amiss.  And that's okay.

I have a new computer and I'm in the process of transferring pictures and half-finished blog posts.  It's time to sort through them, bit by bit, and get my happy little blog up and going again.

Until then...

"Until then" what?  I don't know!  But I'll come up with something!