Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keep the Faith

It is not easy to write while sobbing.  I am dripping tears and snot all over the keyboard, that can't be good.

I just really can't take anymore.  I can't take the upheaval in my house every morning that happens when I say the words, "Time for school."  It happens every morning, school that is, and the upheaval at the suggestion that you get ready and be at the bus on time.

I walked my youngest son to his classroom this morning after 30 minutes of screaming and crying.  It started with the pants that he didn't want to wear.  Then the shirt that he didn't want to put on.  My husband tried to take over as I put our oldest on the bus.  That didn't help.  Daddy was trying to convince him to dress warmly because of the snow on the ground.  He missed the bus and that sent him into a tail spin.

I can't say that we recovered from this, because I don't think he did.  I just got the car, gathered his things and all the clothes in question and told him to get dressed before we arrived at school.  Then we grabbed his backpack and ran to class.  Everyone was already seated, quiet, working.  He was tense and whispered to me, I told you I am late.  The teacher was in the corner digging in a cabinet.  I told him she didn't notice yet keep going.

I took the opportunity to slip over and say to her that he is having a really really tough morning and could she just give him a little extra TLC.  She asked me what happened.  and I started to cry.  I don't know is all that I could muster before I slipped out of the room giving my little one a big squeeze and telling him it would be a good day.

Bullshit.  Today is going to suck and we all know it.  I haven't stopped crying yet.  My heart hurts. Physically hurts. and I think I'm going to throw up.  I can't help him.  This is all my fault. I have anxiety.  These are my genes.  I did this knowing I could have a child just like me, and I did.  And I can't help him because I am 40 years-old and I can't help myself.

Anxiety sucks.  It is not something you fix. It is something you deal with everyday.  There is no miracle drug.  If you treat the anxiety you cause depression and trust me life is already depressing and exhuasting enough when you spend everyday running from anxiety.

My friend sent a beautiful email about keeping the faith during these trying times of election rhetoric, storm tragedies, and scary world events.  I try.  I don't wake up with anxiety.  I wake up with hope everyday that I have outrun it, finally.  I wake up with the idea that there is someone out there more in need of peace than myself.  I wake up with faith, the trick is keeping it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Take a Hike.....

I took a hike yesterday.  The weather was perfect, the trail was dry, the fall colors just starting to turn were amazing.  As I was hiking I was thinking about how much hiking and life have in common.

The trail starts with a walk around a beautiful open field.  The grass was so green, the sun was so bright, and the air was so crisp everything seems to be in high definition.  As the trail head dips into the woods I had to remove my sunglasses and that's what made me think how quickly life like hiking can plunge you into darkness.  There is an easy dip in the trail but then a major decent that twists just at the bottom before heading straight up.

Have you ever been carrying on in life when suddenly, you have to take off the sunglasses?  Everything seemed to be going along just fine, in the field, then the next thing you know you're headed straight down?  Sometimes it's just a dip, you flunked a bio test, got called into the bosses office.  Sometimes it's straight down, a death, a job loss, an illness.

The trail heads almost straight up then levels out before a bridge.  There's a lovely view, I had to put my sunglasses back on due to a break in the trees and I stopped for a moment thinking about my husband, my boys, my family both here and abroad.  The leaves are changing, the creek bed was almost dry, and the trail ahead continues to climb.

Even in the darkest times, life hands you a moment, a reprieve, a piece of level ground where you can stop for a moment and catch your breath. College, marriage, babies.  And then you continue to climb.

The trail snakes along a ledge above the little creek and really dips and twists in and out of darkness and light and there are times when you're really not sure if you've still on the trail.  It's more overgrown than the rest and the markers are not as often as in the beginning.

How many times in life have you been sure you were on the right path, only to look up and wonder where it went?  Did you miss a turn?  Was it clearly marked? Where are you? How did you get here? Should you keep going? It's times likes these that you wish you were not alone.

I finished the hike and my husband called and asked where I was.  Hiking, I said. Can I join you? That would be great.  After he arrived we took another trail, a more rocky one that has many twists and turns and dips. He held my arm and told when to watch my step - root, rock, deer poop.

I was thinking about how quiet my first hike was and how exciting because of the element of danger being out there all alone.  This was different, less quiet, but that was o.k. There was less danger too having someone there to share the risk, but also more responsibility with someone I love.

There are bigger ups and downs on this trial, it's the longest trial in the park.  There are also several places that level out where you have to put your sunglasses back on and stop to take a breath.  There are also some very very dark places where the honeysuckle and other brush are very overgrown and the trail markers are practically invisible.

Marriage is the longest trial on my journey.  I will soon be married longer than I lived at home.  It is most certainly has more twists and turns and dips then other paths that I have taken. But when it levels out it has been more glorious than I could have imagined.  Houses, vacations, babies, and the many many "firsts". 

I just keep thinking how much life is like a hike.  It's a beautiful fall day today.  I think we'll all go for a hike.  How 'bout you?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The most perfectly UNperfect marriage

As yet another couple we know goes through a divorce it made me reflect on my own marriage.  It has made my husband however lose his ever loving mind and ask me 52 times a day instead of 22 if I love him, miss him, and want to have sex. Ugh!

I personally think that my husband and I qualify for the most perfectly unperfect marriage ever.  I think I knew on our first date that we were going to be together forever, but not in that Hollywood - fade to yellow, cue sappy music, blur the rest of the scene- sort of way.  More like crawling into bed after watching an entire football game in 20 degree weather with freezing rain.  It wasn't Aaaahhh!  It was more like aaahhhh.

Did I mention that my husband is Greek.  Right off the boat as he likes to say although he's never traveled by boat anywhere.  He is dark and loud and very very Greek.  I'm an American mutt with enough Irish and German roots to ensure that I get sunburned indoors.  So in the beginning, everyone called us Lucy and Ricky.  We were.  He is passionate about everything and can turn the simplest thing into an argument leaving me in tears. ex. Would you like Chicken or Steak for dinner? WHAT! Chicken, how you ask me if I want chicken?! Why I want chicken for dinner?! You know what I like for dinner! and on and on. To quote Taylor Swift, "It's exhausting."

Needless to say he would rant and rave about everything from why I didn't serve bread with dinner to why I would want to visit family on Labor Day Weekend.  From harwood floors versus carpet to Ajax versus Dawn and as for money, well that's a whole other blog in itself.  Needless to say every conversation we have has the potential to turn into what sounds like a NATO session on nuclear arms.

The one constant in our marriage.  Fighting.  We are always working and perfecting our weapons, tactics, and strategies in the arena.  It's not just a sometimes thing it's a way of life.  We have both read all the articles, forget the books he doesn't read anything more than 4 pages and we all know I'm only good for 1/2 of any book from the self-help section.  How to have a happy marriage, How to communicate better with your spouse, How to fight fair.  I had to save that one, we get it out once in a while to read because it makes us both crack up laughing.

This year we will celebrate our 17th Wedding Anniversary - just as we have celebrated the other 16, with a fight.

My little angel

My six-year-old is one of those children that says things that make adults do that laughy snorty coughing thing you do when you know you shouldn't laugh but you absolutely have to like when a 3 year-old drops an F-bomb.  Or he can make you tear up.

The neighbor was saying that her kindergartner has found that girls are very exciting and cool.  I mentioned that my little guy found that in Pre-School and there has been no looking back.  Wanna find our little Swavvy, look for the girls.  However Kindergarten produced his soul mate.  (You may remember that blog after the horrible first day) Anywho not to digress.  He told me that he found the gril he was going to marry and she was beautiful, but she could be more beautiful with make-up.

At dinner this week he announced that having to be at school all day was really too much.  (I've been waiting for this revelation considering I tried to drop out of school after the 1st day of first grade for the same reason.)  He said he just wasn't really adjusting to the all day thing very well and it was too much.  Being the crack parenting guru that I am having read 1/4 of every book I've every picked up I responded, "You should talk with the principal about that."  What else is there to say, I agree, a whole day without a nap is too much to ask for some of us.

Last week as the weather was starting to change back and forth which it does quite often here in the mid-west he was struggling to breath through the copious amounts of snot in his system.  He was also struggling to eat.  Everything we had in the house was suddenly "Yucky" all my fault of course not the snots.  So after trying everything else in the refrigerator we settled on ramen noodles.  He was alone at the table eating while I was busy, very busy doing something when he said, "Mom I think God is in this room with me."  I told him God was always around us.  "No mom he's right here with me, I can feel his hand on my shoulder."  I went over and told him how cool that was and that I believe in guardian angels, maybe it was his guardian angel.

"Yeah my guardian angel is a girl and Mom - I am the only person in the world that can feel their guardian angel touch their shoulder."

You know what baby, I think you are right.