Maybe there is something about turning a year older, or, getting to a point in your life where you just don’t worry, or care about what others say. I think I am at that point. I think I am that person. Don’t get me wrong, I do care about people. I care about their feelings. I care what happens to you. In 39 years, I finally have me figured out. While I aim to be polite, I am not fake. I am not going to be overtly friendly to you. I will be the person who has your back when you need me the most, and the dragon slayer with my icy stare when you want me to intimidate the evil one. I am like the loyal dog who is always there. Who will bring back that stick over and over. I will do things most people think are not humanly possible. And then I will do them over and over again, just to prove you wrong.
So in 39 years, I have figured me out a little more. The introvert, the athlete, the mom and wife. The person who gives 110% and runs through life full-bore, while others may just sit and stare. I’ve been fortunate enough to see other countries, go to places where there is nothing but sky separating me from God. And I love those places most because I can just be. And I don’t have to talk to anyone. I can just write and write. I can take pictures and not speak. And see those everyday miracles people say don’t exist anymore.
So even when it seems there is nothing good going on, or, someone is telling me the opposite of what is really true, it does not matter. You do not bother me. Because I will keep on going. I will keep on running. I will set my goals higher.
I felt like I had to redeem myself after the last post. Thanksgiving is already next week. WHAT?!?
What better time to be and feel grateful.
I feel thankful for so much this year. After visiting a country with so little, it is amazing how one’s perspective changes after such a visit. My husband was fearful I was going to come home and want to sell the lawnmower. Eh, ahhhh, no. I love that lawnmower.
But, I do look at things differently now. When filling shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse this year, I was fully aware of what children overseas may need and want more so, than what children over here would want. Gently persuading my children in the direction of toothbrushes, soap and washcloths, instead of filling up the boxes with toys or candy. But, of course, including their love of crayons, colored pencils and paper. A little note. A little seed of love being planted.
People need so much wherever you are. You don’t need to go to Ethiopia to see that.
I guess I don’t have to tell you. We had this snowstorm. And then we had no power for days. And it happen to be the coldest it could of been. Taking a cold shower is not pleasant. At all.
Since my return from Ethiopia, life has been hectic. I don’t know why. I am not sure why I have a ton of work. But, I am thankful. This year has been very slow compared to 2010. I am not sure if anyone else has experienced this. But since June, things are picking up again. As I am trying to figure out if this is what I should pursue, or, if I should toss in the towel and return to working with kids again.
And in the midst of this life contemplating, we had a flood and a snowstorm. A mysterious skin issue that left me feeling paranoid beyond belief. If this is TMI, sorry. I came back from a place where bed bugs and fleas reign. Only to find out I have some sort of eczema – thank you. So all of this built up anxiety, stress, trying-to-still-process-what-I-saw stuff has beat me this week.
Last week was a week. It seems the last couple of weeks have been weeks. I should state we are very fortunate to live up a hill, rather down one. Many of our neighbors had standing water in their homes. Many of the roads surrounding our home were and are still, underwater. Bridges are demolished, asphalt folded in sheets, sink holes a fact. And still the water rages on. A quick jaunt to Target is not so quick. Roads I thought would be clear were not. I wound up following a trail of cars just to find some straight route and traveled over one of the many spillways/dams in our area taxed. I find myself marveling at the power of water when there is too much. It leaves me speechless.
Last night we celebrated our 12th anniversary. Yes, we share 9/11 with 9/11. We were married two years when all of the horror happened. And now we’ve been married for 12. Time often feels forever and then like nothing at all, doesn’t it?
This morning I was trying to make lunches. And for some reason it was hard.
It’s one of those confusing moments in parenting. The moments you aren’t ready for. The ones no one writes about. The day when the house goes quiet and you’re sitting there feeling like you should be rushing somewhere. But you don’t have to.
The bus rolled away and I went swimming. I wasn’t ready to go in the house and pace around. So I went into the water and just listened to each stroke.
I came home and cleaned the fish bowls. Went to lunch with my husband.
And now I am here. At this computer. At this table. With this light. And for the first time in almost 9 years I am alone. There is no one asking me for a snack or needing to be wiped. It is quiet. Only the hum of the refrigerator hangs in the air.
And it saddens me it has gone by so fast. Without warning.
So here I am. A mom of three, with an empty house.
Just one of many phases a parent goes through. Maybe not the worst.
I took this when I was a kid. Possibly 1984 or so. I love this picture so much.
Uncle Johnny was over 6’5″ and loved wine. He rarely wore a shirt when we would visit him and Aunt Pauline at their home in Toms River, NJ. This was at our house for Christmas. One of the few times he gussied up.