It feels like a year since I’ve posted here. The last thing I shared was our Christmas tree hunt, and here we are in February! To be blunt, so far, 2018 has been a doozy. We rounded out last year with a frenzy of never-ending packing, the holidays, birthdays (John’s and mine!), family visits, and a significant amount of illness all around. Shortly after the new year, we attempted to move into our new house, a process that proved to be challenging in ways we didn’t expect. While Oden and John have both been sick here and there (colds, coughs, even a throw-up bug- no fun!), I’ve been taken down multiple times since Thanksgiving… most recently a stint of ER visits, bronchitis, pneumonia, cracked ribs, and anxiety attacks. It’s clear that the amount of stress we’ve been under and the burden I’ve allowed to land on my shoulders is simply too much: my body gave up and said, “NO MORE!”
There’s more to the story of what’s been holding us down, but that’s plenty to share for now. Thankfully, we seem to be coming out of the cave. My husband, already taxed beyond his own limits, has had to step up even more while trying to keep his company afloat (read: impossible). Our nanny has been a Godsend, getting Oden out of the house and his routine somewhat in tact (when he’s been healthy). My parents saved us, coming in from Colorado to help continue to move out of the old house and care for Oden while I have been a sick zombie in bed and unable to pick him up. There is nothing worse for a Mama than not being able to lift or hold your child!
For most of this time, I haven’t thought twice about this blog. When I did think about it, I shooed it out of my mind because there hasn’t been anything that felt remotely “blissful” in our lives lately. Posting about anything joyful felt dishonest since we’ve been struggling to get through each day. Truthfully, the “me” I know disappeared in the last couple of months. I became ever-resentful and angry, depressed, impatient. I’ve lashed out at my husband repeatedly (sometimes when it was provoked, sometimes not). I’ve failed as a mother to Oden because of my own dark place, showing him exactly the opposite of the example I hope to be to him. I’ve yelled so much. I’ve cried so much. I’ve prayed and wondered why I’m being tested. With each new hardship that was thrown into my lap, I thought, how much can one person handle? I’ve adopted a “…but what about me?” victim perspective that I dislike in other people. Really, I’ve been lost.
Many of the things that have been happening to my family have been out of my control- extraordinarily bad timing and a “when it rains, it pours” situation. But what IS in my control is how I react. I’m still angry with people and things that are making life so much harder than it needs to be right now. I’m still impatient and irritable but, maybe because I’m finally starting to feel better physically, I am aware of it and can try to switch gears toward a calmer, more hopeful way of thinking. I think about other peoples’ troubles, far worse than my own. I work daily on re-adjusting my perspective. I practice meditations before bed centered on gratitude and calming anxiety. I’m trying to take my dad’s recent advice to count my blessings… ironic, since I’m the one preaching that philosophy so often. It’s not easy to be consistent with this right now, but I’m trying.
I guess I share all of this to remind myself and readers that life isn’t as shiny and perfect like many blogs and social media portray it to be. I feel like I have written this exact post before, “coming clean” with hardships. And maybe I have. Everyone has struggles, including the girl writing a blog about living an optimistic life. I considered ditching this blog altogether, wondering if it had run its course for me. The good news is that I can still find that optimism and hope each morning and work toward a happy day, recognizing the blissful bits along the way.
If When I fail, I can try again the next day. And as I scrolled through my posts, I remembered how much I enjoy my space here. So here we are!
Recently, I read a description of intentions on an Instagram account I follow: “We’re just over here trying to hold the moments, eat better, exercise more, drink more water, keep the house clean, read books, go on more adventures, stay healthy, love better, experience more…” It resonated with me because as mundane as that might seem, we need “regular” and “normal” over here. Our most recent adventure was riding in the Home Depot kiddie car and our new experience was trying popcorn for the first time. You know what? It was good enough. As my friend Joeycake explains, “good enough” is more than fine, especially after our last few extra-trying months.
I’m looking forward to the ground steadying beneath my feet and smiles having regular appearances on my face again. I’m anxious to recognize myself again! I have so much to share about the happy bits of the end of our year and the exciting chapter we’re embarking upon. In the meantime, I’m going to try my best to cut myself some slack and enjoy the usual bliss in my life. Stay tuned!