It has been too long since I took a moment and wrote what was on my heart and just shared it here with all of you. This is the space where my healing started and I don’t want to forget that. I want to try to remember to pause and come back here and write just because I love it. Just because it connects me to the girl I once was, to Heidi, and to a life before Cancer. Some of the below story you all have heard before, but some of it is new, it is where I am, it is where I am trying to be. It seems right to share it today, the day after Mothers Day. Cheers to all of the moms out there who are trying…because trying is all we can do 🙂
Thanks for coming to this space and following along with my life and my journey. Sending love to all of you
Close to a year ago I found myself in a difficult situation. I was failing in a number of areas in life and felt lost. The biggest issue was my husband and I were not seeing eye to eye. I felt the divide but told myself we were OK and it was just a bump in the road. As time went on the bump was slowly but surely growing into a mountain.
Last year when I went to celebrate my birthday, everything seemed to crash down around me. I had kept myself overly busy, and tried to find enough to do so that I wouldn’t have to feel my feelings. In one year my best friend, both of my grandmothers, and an uncle had passed away. I was struggling with life.
I was trying to be all things for everyone, show up for my family, my friends, all while throwing a fundraiser for the scholarship we have started at our local high school in memory of my best friend. The fundraiser was a huge success, and the money raised was wonderful. I had stretched myself too thin, though and my husband and I were at odds over where I was putting my focus and spending my time.
I was looking to numb and not think. I wanted to escape the grind of life and the idea that I might have to feel things. It worked for a while until he and I shattered and then I was left to try to figure out what in the heck I was doing.
We got into an argument nothing crazy, but it was a realization that neither of us was happy, and things needed to change. I called the next morning and set up counseling. We did the work and went. It was hard, but we learned a lot. Our problems were not huge, considering the year we had, had. We were not communicating and were both struggling with grief and sadness. When you feel this way, you are not able to support your partner, you can’t even support yourself. It was a small problem that over time rolled into a big problem.
The counselor told me things I didn’t want to hear. He said things like; “Quit looking in your rear view mirror.” Over time I saw that he was right. I was trying to move forward, but I was also stuck looking back. It took time, hard work, and an understanding that my husband and I were truly committed to each other, to get through the difficult times and learn to communicate again. Say the hard things, and forgive each other. To pause, and remember when we are wrong or right. To think about what really matters and learn to let the rest go. It was hard, but we did it.
I found a new way forward without letting go. I found a way to pave a path with my husband while continuing to carry Heidi and my other losses in my heart. To look forward, to remember the past, but not stare back at it.
In doing all of those things, I had to look inward, and focus on my husband, my daughters, and a bit less on outside social things. It was super hard for me, my friends are such an important part of me. I couldn’t be at all the things to everyone. But, I did it for my husband and for our family. I couldn’t make every dinner and ever party. I missed things, big things.
In order to do my most important role, the one of a mom and wife I had to pause. I had to find work I enjoyed, and support my girls in events they enjoyed. There needed to be less passing the baton parenting and more sitting at the table, making dinner, doing homework, connecting time for everyone. I did it. It worked. My husband and I found a place in life where we were both happy again.
Not too long ago I had to miss a dinner that was important to me. I felt sad about missing it, but rather than glossing over it, I leaned into the feeling and realized it was OK, I was OK, they were OK. We are in each other’s hearts, always. I love my friends with so much of me, and when these kids of mine are just a bit bigger, I can give them more of my energy again.
Pictures of my friends at dinner started to circulate the internet, and I suddenly had serious FOMO. I started to feel sad again, but then I paused and took a breath. Right after that, my 8-year-old daughter appeared holding the below picture. I smiled and realized that was the picture I should focus my energy on. Look at that smiling family, and look who is drawn first in line.
It is the Mom, the one who is never sure she is doing it right but is trying really hard to make a living, for her girls that allows them the chance to feel loved and strong.
I am trying to balance my feelings and do what serves me and my family best. This balancing act is not always an easy one, but it is one I am learning to accept. I CAN NOT do it all. I want to. I really do. But, to be the best me I need to pause and breathe.
To find what and who brings me joy, and to do that. To be OK loving people from afar for a bit, and putting myself first. To find friends who get it. To hope others understand, but be accepting if they don’t. To be OK with me. It is not easy, but I am trying…and sometimes trying is all we can do.
Until next time…
Until next time…