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Thursday, October 02, 2014

A Project in the Works

  Yesterday was tough.
  I've been sitting on a project for months now, and with December approaching faster than I'd like it to, I figured it was time to get it started.
  Back in April, we had started adjusting to living in our new home, the kids were enjoying having animals around, and I was enjoying a bit of a break from moving. It was Easter, and I was taking the kids to an Egg Hunt at the local Fire Department. My friend texted me, asking me if I could pick her up, and I missed seeing it before I went. I gave her a lift home, instead. Her vehicle was out of comission, as her ex was unstable and had done his best to damage it. That was the last time I saw her. The next day I texted her, asking if she wanted to go adventuring with me, for a drive in the back roads. I wound up convincing my Mr to accompany me with the kids instead. She was murdered that day.
  In the aftermath, I think everything moved quickly. It's a bit of a jumble, but I made certain I kept a journal next to me so I could record what was going on, because I knew at some point it would all seem like a fog for me. I did the best I could, and tucked all the overwhelming thoughts away, for future mourning. At the time, I was babysitting a number of kids, and I needed to be able to function. After her funeral service, I managed to pull aside a family member, and mumble out an offer to make a quilt from her clothing to her family members. They gladly agreed, and made arrangements to get me her clothing.
  I've had her clothing in bags in my storage room since Easter. I've pulled them out a few times, gone through, took a look at what I would be working with, but haven't been able to bring myself to cut them. I struggled with sorting them out each time I've had the bags out. Each time, I find myself lost in conversations we had, memories of our times together, crying and thoughts of what she'd be doing today, if she were still here.
  Christmas is coming, and I'd like for her children to have the quilts by then. So, I sent out a message to those who were closest to her, asking them for their help. Only one person came to help. So, we spent the day piecing out her clothing, and cutting it into squares. By the time the friend left, I couldn't keep it together anymore, and my children were due to arrive home. So, I took a few minutes for myself, and gathered myself up. I didn't think I could face another day of cutting, it was hard enough facing her clothing yesterday. So, with a few extra hugs from the kids, I kept going until I thought I had enough for the quilts I was building, and headed to bed.
  I woke this morning, thinking, God, I need to smile. So, I spent my morning surfing pointless sites with happy gifs and pictures, until my tummy hurt from laughing so much.
I reflect on the whole experience occasionally, but more so, now that the kids are back in school. There's so much to process from that time frame that it could, quite literally, take me years to figure it all out, and piece together my reactions and feelings. It's something I know will profoundly affect the way I look at things, and the way I approach certain situations. This sort of processing only takes time. And sometimes it's hard to find, time.
  So, another step of many for this project has been completed. Now to take a break before I can begin working on the next.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grown Up

It's been so long since I've even thought about my blog, I had to do an account recovery just to log in!
It's nice to know that Blogger is now under Google, and that I'll be able to access it from my Galaxy Note smartphone. I guess, once I figure out the workings behind it, I'll be able to blog more. For the past few years I've turned to Facebook to do my blogging for me. While I keep it to mainly random thoughts that float through my head, and moments that I notice that make me happy through the day, I definitely miss the ability to share a whole concept with my fellow bloggers. I haven't journaled or blogged in so long, it's like I've lost a good friend.
So, it's nearing my next birthday. 33. My oldest is now 12, my youngest is 8. They give me joy and drive me insane all in one day. I'm grateful that I can still see their innocence, that they still call me mommy, and that they are children. At those ages I wasn't, still a child. I was some sort of freak hybrid. I feel sad, when I realize that my childhood wasn't what I thought it was. Reflection tends to do that to me. But, it also makes me fight harder for the things I know that my children SHOULD have. Not like I'm a parenting expert, but more like I know exactly what I don't want for them, and I work my way backwards from there.
My children know that I love them, that I'm here for them if they need me, and that they can trust me. I don't expect them to respect me, or follow in my footsteps...in fact I'd be aghast if they did. What I expect is that they do everything that makes THEM happy. I won't define that for them. It's wonderful that they are their own beings with their own opinions, sense of humor, perceptions, morals and values. I swell with pride when I hear how honest my children are, or how they don't follow the pack, or the empathy they've shown others.
What leaves me in awe, everyday, is that these little people have come from me. What gives me hope for any future that may be, is that they will be there, leaving their own mark on the world, however they choose. They know their own value. They're strong, and willfull, and wonderfully independent.
And in seeing this every day I'm with them, makes me realize what a successful parent I am.
I've never expected to be a success. Not at anything worth praising, anyways. It surprises me.
There was a Teacher's Strike, here in BC, over the last few months, that had the kids leaving school early for summer break, and going back late for a new year. I chose to keep my summer as open as possible. Not plans, no garden, no traveling. I wanted the boys to lead me in what they wanted to do with our time. Consequently, we spent nearly every waking hour at the beach. I began to wonder if they were growing gills. They were happy.
We fought, we argued, we laughed, we giggled, and we wondered with one another. My kids could read my moods just by my body language, and tuned in to the feelings that I had every day. I learned that they have sporadic minds that jump from subject to subject all day. How this doesn't exhaust them, I'll never know.
2014 has been a pretty rough year. It seems that every other year is like that, for us. We moved, our family grew, we got new things for our family to enjoy, and we lost a friend. Life changes, and it does so quicker than anyone would like it to. There were a few times during the year that I thought to myself  "I can't do this", "I can't survive if life is going to continue like this". Hence the relaxing summer. By the time summer arrived, I needed a break. We all did. The stress from the beginning months of 2014 left us all haggard and slow, and we've only just caught out breath.
I'm continually surprised at those moments, where I feel weak, and brittle. Somehow, there's a voice that says to me, "Breathe, and take another step". Before I know it, I'm looking back on the shitty thing that just happened and I'm wondering how the hell I made it out the other side.  Considering I was suicidal a couple of years ago, it's amazing to me that I've found that strength that I turned away from, and I welcome it in the times that I find it hardest to move.
My coping mechanisms aren't where they "should" be, but I'm content with them as they are. I have a tendency to stuff it away for later reflection. That happened from having the kids around me night and day for so long. But the later reflection is savory. It's delicious, in it's own right. And while I don't prefer negative or positive feelings, I'm learning to accept them just as they are. Both can be turned into the other with perception.
So, with all that being said...I turn 33 in less that a month. I finally feel like a grown up, but I keep the innocence I've built up over time close to my heart, because I've entered a time where the more I give of myself, the more comes right back at me.
The many years I've spent looking for myself, trying on each personality like I'm looking for a good shoe, has left me with the comfortable knowledge that I know who I am. I like who I am. And that's not about to change any time soon, While I'm not always happy, I'm ok with whatever comes along, and I am certain that when it does hit, it's not going to be forever. That's a helluva lotta progress. More than I ever dared to dream of, once. And...well, damn. I'm pretty fucking proud of it.

Monday, August 05, 2013

It's that time again.

I think, after a nice one year break, it's time to pick myself back up, and carry on.
I always say that "not a lot" has gone on, but it's always untrue. Life is busy, and that's the long and short of it.
After reading my last post, taking the time to update the theme & layout here, and deleting any spammers who've visited, I'm ready to continue where I left off.
I've had this blog for 9 years now. Amazing. I've always loved journaling, mainly because I want to ensure I remember what happens in the course of my life, otherwise (and this is a symptom of my childhood) I forget.
So, it's mid-summer here, and we're living back in Clearwater. I'm growing a garden, and staying at home with the kids. I'm finding that I love, more and more, being  mom. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed it. I appreciate the little things, but enjoying things for what they are is a different story.
While I'm no longer disappointed with my plans from last year around this time, i"m trying to work on what I'd like for my future. I turn 32 this year.  Older than I ever thought I'd get...though I'm saying that more so now because I'm past 30.
D, my oldest, is 11 year old this year. That was a breakthrough year for me, when things really started taking a turn for the worse. The age I started smoking, the age I started noticing boys, and the age I knew I didn't want my life that way but felt helpless to stop it. I hadn't come out of my shell yet, or acknowledged that I was anything but ugly, and was hideously self-conscious of everything I did.
I think having children of my own, watching them grow, and seeing their own behavior at each age has really help me to overcome my own thoughts about  how I grew up. I've discussed some of these thoughts with friends, and my Mr, but I really have so much in my head about it, I'm unsure I'll ever discuss all of it fully.
My latest hobby is building. I've started a pallet collection and have been building whatever tickles my fancy. It's enjoyable, and physical, and my kids enjoy helping me with this. I'm gardening. A new venture for me, with us being chronic renters. I've put my foot down and explained that since this is an avenue I want to explore, we're not moving for at least another year. This gives me time to watch the garden grow, discover planting and weeding, annuals and perennials, and how to care for plants in general. It's been wonderful. I've really taken to spending quiet mornings alone in my garden.  Both ventures are helping me renew the confidence I once had in myself, and subsequently lost following my break down.  I knew, when I had my breakdown, that since it had taken years for it to happen, it would probably take years to gain it back. I'm grateful I'm a patient person.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Ugh

I feel like I've been playing catch-up for a while now.
September breezed on by, and I survived it.
We moved from Salmon Arm back to Clearwater, and after a month of bunking in with friends, are now back into a place of our own.
My schooling fell through, and I am now attempting my back-up plan.
The kids are in school, and are making adjustments when neccesary.
I feel kind of lost. It was a great summer, but when it came time to shut it down, I feel like I got kind of hosed, because all of the plans we had made fell through. That's typical for us though. I guess that is a strong sign that we're making the wrong choices.
I'm working on being introspective, as I know there are a lot os things that have been bubbling beneath the surface of late, but I'm having trouble placing my finger on just one, or any for that matter. I don't feel right, or crazy happy.  In fact, I feel a little lonely. This is one of those signs I really need to pay attention to, and try my hardest to remedy. The problem right now being that it's Thanksgiving weekend this weekend. Everyone is busy. This is the time where families join together, and enjoy each others' company, or the ones you love share it with you.  We're not doing that again this year.  I believe this is partly what's bothering me.
Another part is trying to get myself to find a hobby that interests me. Sewing, for me, was always a favorite past-time, but it's been ages since I've sat down & actually enjoyed being creative for the sake of creativity. I miss that. I stopped taking photos long ago, and no longer find any interest in seeing myself on anything or in any shared moment.  I think a big issue for me right now is how I feel about myself.
Since having my plans crumble, and not being able to achieve what I had set out to do at the beginning of the summer, I feel rather lost. I had set a path in place, and it just didn't work out. I know I need to continue trying, or finding new avenues to explore, but I guess you could say I'm moping. I'm wallowing. SO not attractive, I know.
A genuine lack of inspiration, and a feeling of being stuck have left me in a state that I'd rather not be in at all.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Expectations

It's been a long, but short, summer. Ya know?
It flies by when I least expect it, but drags on when we need to go from one place to the next, and it's filled with UGH moments.
We've been active, busy, and have done our utmost to enjoy the freedom of the season.
Softball, swimming, hiking, exploring, white water rafting, movies, gardening, building, bonfires, baking and more.
It's amazing the range of activities we get up to when we put our minds to having fun.

Even though we've been busy, and we've had lots of fun so far, I'm ready to settle back in Salmon Arm, in my own home, and get ready for the new School Year.  Living out of a suitcase, after all, is rather difficult.








So, to sum it all up...this summer has definitely lived up to MY expectations so far, and it's not even over yet! Can't wait to see what's in store, but when I find out, so will you!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Glad We Could Catch Up!

Between the last blog post and now:
I have applied for, been accepted to & have begun my search for funding for College.
Volunteered as much as possible at my boys' school.
Gained new insight into my own personal strengths.
Identified goals that are important to me, and have begun the steps to achieve them.
Narrowed my expanse of personal expectations, and have come to accept that I may not neccesarily meet them all, but I will be a work in progress.
Enjoyed being a part of my local community.
Let my anger slip away, and have come to terms with what I've survived through.
Made some positive, life-changing decisions.
Taken a long look at my battle with depression, and have come to understand much more about the darker side of myself.
Celebrated my youngest' 6th Birthday.
Celebrated my Mr's 32nd Birthday.
Celebrated the life of my Father-In-Law on our first Father's Day without him.
Discovered that this loss was not only significant to my husband, but to myself as well...but for different reasons.
Made some changes in our home life to affect our family positively.
Attended a dizzying array of meetings, consultations, and groups to get a better hold of how I can direct my family into a more comfortable zone, and focus on the priorities that lay ahead.
Moved out of our house that we were renting, as we will be travelling too much this summer to actually live in it.
Started looking for a new place to rent, as I need something a bit closer to the boys' school to manage our combined schedules.
Hit the road with the family, taking a nice adventure for the summer.

I've liked to say, for many years now, that there is never a dull moment in our family. I've seen a number of unexpected surprises, and have managed to roll with the punches and make the best of things. This doesn't mean I'm the happy-go-lucky-cheerleader-type, but rather the optimist who chooses to see the bright side of things. I have found my strength in this to be invaluable. This has allowed me to once again find my place in my family as a piece of solidarity, and confidence. It has also allowed me to rely more on my Mr, and strengthened our relationship because of it.
Significant personal growth has been the result of the entire last 18 months of depression, and turmoil.
Somehow, I've come out of the gloom into a much brighter light and into a much clearer defined me.
This summer I will be celebrating myself.
Then, when the fall comes, I will be celebrating that I have finally taken a step for myself that I've put off for far too long.
I'll be sure to pop by & post some pictures along the way  ;)