November 26, 2013

independence is overrated

I had things to do. Didn't do them. Tried to go for a walk around the lake but couldn't because of pulled muscles in both legs. Definitely didn't want to do chores, though that's really my job these days especially when the boy is in daycare.

This time, I wasn't bored. I was lost.

At the lake, I started wondering what in the world is wrong with me. Depressed? No. Anxious? Not at this point. Numb? I guess. What I really was, was lonely. Even though life with my son is a rollercoaster that never stops, I start to miss him when I'm by myself. I love my husband of course, and I love the days when he works from home. But after 12 years of marriage I'm pretty good at spending time on my own for short periods. I just don't want to (he feels the same way). I'd rather just be with my family.

When I was working, it was different. I was engaged in developing content, solving problems, and managing projects. I can't say I was emotionally invested in my work but it was certainly rewarding intellectually. But that time made family time all the more precious. It's just weird.

Being alone all day kind of sucks. It doesn't inspire me to pursue playing guitar (though I fantasize about it often), or kick-start me into cleaning house no matter how many times I pick up crumbs with my bare feet (as much as it pisses me off). I think I don't care anymore about being independent, being exceptionally self-reliant, or possessing much of the pioneer spirit that defines our great country. Instead, I wish my family lived in the same state. I wish I was wealthy enough to fly every year to see everybody (though now at least they don't have as many excuses not to fly here since we're about to move into a 5-bedroom house). I miss having work friends, even though they all fall off the planet the minute I leave a company (don't tell me this doesn't happen everywhere). I miss my best friend whom I emailed with almost daily while I was working, but has practically disappeared now that I'm not.

I think being a little co-dependent and admitting I need someone isn't so terrible. This from the daughter of one of the founding members of the National Organization for Women, and the granddaughter of a woman who forged a strong family almost in spite of her husband. Trust me -- independence and You Can Do It! is in my blood.

I decided today that I really need to work. I'm really trying now to find something, and would love to get going in January. I'm doing all I can from my end, but otherwise I have no control over what happens. It's not up to me and sometimes that's hard. I want to be able to make it happen and I just can't. Someone else has to decide that they want to hire me. Hurry up and wait.

In the meantime, I am going to make a stronger effort to practice gratitude in the moment. I am blessed beyond belief.

November 25, 2013

random thoughts: nobody ever said to never wake a toddler

If I can't remember how long my son has been sleeping, does that mean I have to wake him up?

November 24, 2013

of toddler fits and starts and teeth and beauty

Yesterday we went to a potluck. It was probably great, but we spent our time shoveling food down our throats while taking turns keeping our son from destroying the world at large. I think there was plenty of table conversation going on -- or maybe they were politely talking over our drama? Not sure. Doesn't matter.

I had thought I could sit at the table with him and give him some bites off my plate. Oh, the hilarity! "HA," my naivety laughed, "You have no idea who you're dealing with!"

Two more screaming fits later, we decided to cut our losses and exit before they served dessert. We weren't furious or humiliated, we just had no idea what to do other than remove him from the situation.

Then this evening, I served him some rice with a bit of sauce in it which he barely tasted and then threw on the table and on the floor. After throwing whatever else was in the radius of his flailing arms, my husband calmly put him in his room and shut the door. Where in the world did this screaming fit come from? I was nearly beside myself with frustration.

He calmed down. We moved on.

I was getting him ready for bed, and then I saw it -- the emergence of the tiniest white nub that is known in the parental world (well, my world anyway) as The Great Nemesis, or the Two Year Molars. Suddenly, the blinding fits of rage make sense (hell, even his dentist didn't see this three days ago so it's brand new).

I'm having flashbacks to when he was breaking the canines. That was horrendous as well, and lasted too long. This? I have no idea. I'm just bracing myself.

Of course, it's not all fits and starts. I have to admit that this age brings blessings that weren't possible even six months ago -- not only is he walking and running and curious about everything, but he's memorizing words and even two-word phrases at an amazing rate. When I walked in the door from the grocery store this afternoon, he came to me and gave me a hug. He's also capable of giving me the biggest, most beautiful smile that shines like a rainbow and melts my heart, and he's starting to try to return the phrase "I love you."

Yes, it's worth it.

November 23, 2013

random thoughts: deciding on a mood

You know it's a weird day when you can't tell whether you're depressed, melancholy, or just bored.

I'm going with bored.

November 22, 2013

moving right along

All the drama has been worked out. We're getting squeezed by our buyers to do extra work, we are squeezing our sellers to do extra work, and we will barely squeeze ourselves into our house the weekend before Christmas. It's all good though.

Yesterday I booked us a couple's 90 minute massage. Holy crap I had no idea how much I needed that! I can't remember the last time I felt that relaxed. I hope to do this twice a year.

Right now my son is napping after a morning that included play time, food fights (why do I bother feeding him hot cereal?), a quick dentist visit, and keeping from killing himself by sticking the end of the laptop power cord in his mouth. All in a day's work.

I guess I should eat some kind of lunch but the idea bores me. Fridays can be weird as I struggle to figure out ways for us to spend time together -- not so easy when it's 25 degrees outside and snow is on the ground. A good friend is coming over though, so we'll figure it out together. We'll play with the boy, hit the grocery store, get pizza for dinner, and watch a movie when he goes to bed. I love friend time.

November 10, 2013

let perseverance finish its work

My email devotional Friday morning started with this: "2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 NIV (emphasis mine)

I was struck by the gentle admonition to let perseverance finish its work. As if perseverance were a force of its own, part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit during times of testing. It feels like an invitation to patience in hard times. I let it sink in. The challenge of difficult times is persevering when we can't possibly know how long it will last. In this case, it wasn't long.

That morning we waited for hours for the seller of a house we wanted to call our realtor back. By 1:00 we changed our mind -- we had no idea why a seller wouldn't respond to a potential buyer, but we sniffed a problem so we moved on. We decided to put an offer on another house that we'd seen before and signed the proposed contract at 5:00. It looks small and dark on the outside, but on the inside it's big and beautiful and has been completely remodeled. Kind of like the Tardis (Dr. Who joke, sorry).

By 6:30 that same evening, they had accepted our offer without a counter. I cried a tiny bit with the news.

There were two reasons we passed on it the first time: one, we thought the price would be too high and two, the neighbor's house looked kind of run down and trashy and we thought jeez, what kind of stuff will we have to put up with? Fortunately, the seller had talked to them in person by chance and came away with the impression that they're poor but pleasant. It occurred to me early this morning that God may want us to be their neighbors for a reason. Just like He may have plans for us to use a five-bedroom house that we don't know about yet. That's okay. We'll just show up and obey.

November 7, 2013

is house hunting more stressful than an infertility battle?

Yesterday morning we got the news that our bid on a really cute house in a great neighborhood with lots of upgrades fell through. We were back at square one. Does that sound stressful? Not really. Except that we had already sold our condo and are on a deadline to find a house according to the contract.

My husband said that this whole shitbag is more stressful than our miscarriages, visits with the infertility clinic, and waiting for the results of those early ultrasounds. It's not for me to argue with him -- those are his feelings, after all. But it sure made me think.

Disclaimer: I would never EVER judge anyone else's journey -- this is only about ours.

I'm not sure whether it's the constant scrutiny of possible homes, seeing a bunch that are either great but expensive or affordable but scary, jumping through insurance and closing date hoops to see if everything can align properly, or what, but holy shit this is the most stress I've been under since I can remember. Yes, even compared to the long, dark valley of death known as our journey through infertility. Even compared to my weakest days as a middle-aged mother to a toddler. I have had moments when I've been crying and trembling, not knowing what to do next, and desperately crying to God to give me peace and wisdom.

Why is God letting us go through this the hard way? Why can't he just make it easy for us? Why am I letting it get to me so intensely?

Ridiculous questions, right? But questions we ask in just about every really difficult situation. I suppose it's because the stress is tightly compressed into a looming deadline that makes it harder. I know in my heart we'll find a house that's right for us. I know it will happen sooner than later. But I can't control it -- I can pick a house I like and want to make an offer in good faith, but the rest is completely out of my hands and I seriously hate it because I have to wait until the next day to find out what comes next. The dichotomy of immediacy and drawn-out waiting is agonizing. Our journey to parenthood, by contrast, was made up of days and months and years where we could completely lose ourselves in other things or spend time exploring issues. Not so with house hunting. It's hurry up and wait, be wise and make a good investment but don't fall in love with a house and start decorating it in your mind because you could lose it the next day. The search for a house could be over this week, or it could take another month. There's no way of knowing.

In this process, I'm trying to lean completely on God. I'm pretty sure there is a lesson in this to draw closer to Him, to really listen for his voice. The other day I was at the end of my rope, at the end of myself, and I asked Him to carry me. 

I have actually slept really well the last two nights and have found other things to think about (which is really handy). 

I am learning that when I hold on tighter to God, I can start to let go of everything else. 

To be continued.

November 1, 2013

anxiety and the search for a house

The good news is we sold our condo. The great news is we're shopping for a house. The bad news (if you can call it that) is we have 9 shopping days to do it. We looked at 5 houses yesterday and they ranged from mildly disappointing to holy-shit-this-basement-looks-like-a-scene-from-a-horror-movie.
So we decided to up the ante a little and look for a slightly higher price point. The photos look far more promising, so I'll be doing some exploring this morning while my husband is at work.

Meanwhile, said husband is in the middle of a very difficult negotiation with a potential employer. Talk about anxious.

Last night, despite my exhaustion, I drank my hot milk and took a melatonin that's mixed with some mineral that promises to provide stress relief. I wasn't taking any chances. I slept fairly well, but early this morning I had a nightmare that my computer started scanning and downloading people in the room -- kidnapping them into another dimension where I ganged up with members of my church, no less, to rescue them. LOL Maybe I've been watching Dr. Who a little too much.