Today is not a good day.
For the first time in over two months, I have nothing to do. No new pile of work sitting in my inbox waiting for my attention. No urgent e-mails. Nothing. And it's driving me crazy.
|Kame never has any trouble finding something to do. |
There's always something good on television...
I've gotten used to being a working woman, to waking up every morning to a job that needs to be done. Not having that... leaves me rudderless.Oh, there's plenty I could be doing. I could clean (yuck). I could write... if I could pick up the thread of the story I haven't looked at in 2 months. I could paint... but that would mean dragging out all my materials and finding something I want to do...
|I could paint my peonies that just opened...|
I could blow the entire day, chatting with friends and hanging out on Facebook. I could write letters. I could do so many things... that I'm paralyzed by the sheer number of possibilities.I should, perhaps, go outside and enjoy the plethora of flowers that are finally coming into bloom. My yard smells amazing... but the forecast calls for rain, and all I want to do is go back to bed and wait for this day to be over so I can return to my normal routine.
|The back yard is full of forget-me-nots. |
Not having a working lawn mower has its advantages.
This year, my lilacs burst into flower. The plant has been growing into the foundation of this house since we moved in. We tried, once or twice, in the early years, to remove it, but it always grew back, just a little green puff of leaves. When Ken was building the porch, I knew that would cover the foundation, finally depriving the tenacious little tree of light and water. I decided that, since it had worked so hard to eek out a living from between the stones, I couldn't let the plant die such an undignified death. I found a sprout that had grown into the earth, and dug as much of the root as I could from between the crevices. I planted the 8 inch tall tree in the front lawn.
That was almost 5 years ago. So much has changed since then.
|My lilacs, blooming for the first time in over 17 years.|
So why do I feel so... stretched thin, tired out, sad? Is this the lingering grief? I know I'm not the first person to ask, "why can't I just get over it?" But the pain bites fresh every time... and I don't know how to stop being surprised by it. There are times I miss my own dad so deep I can hardly breathe. He comes to mind more and more often these days, and I just want to talk to him, to get his advice... I want to hear him say things will be ok. I want to know if I'm doing the right thing. I want to know if he'd be proud of me, even though I let my marriage fall apart. I want, so much, just to hear his voice.
I miss him, so much. And my mom, too, since she moved to Florida this spring. I'm happy for her, because I know she has more help, living adjacent to my sister and her family, and my step-father is nearing the point where a nursing home was a distinct possibility. Mom can't take care of him by herself anymore. The inevitable has been delayed, at least for now, and she has the support she needs to help him make the transition if and when it becomes necessary. Since I came along so late in Mom and Dad's lives, I'm used to being on my own for many of life's big transitions. Growing up, they were immersed in my elder sibling's lives and problems. The year I graduated high school, my dad was dying of cancer. Going off to college, Mom was dealing with his passing.
|One of very few pictures I have of Mom and Dad.|
They looked so young here, at least to me.
This was taken about 8 years before dad passed.
Mom has been able to be there for much of my kid's early childhoods, and she has been an absolute rock throughout the end of my marriage. She loaned me a substantial amount to have my house re-sided and insulated, which made going forward possible. I am now closer to being eligible for a home equity loan, which would allow me to finish the renovations this place needs, if I decide to sell in the future. Without the siding, that would not have been possible. I'm trying hard to make good use of the chance she's given me, by making sound financial decisions, and thinking about the future.
I think that, from all of this, the lesson is that I just have to keep on getting up, every single day, and moving forward. Mom and Dad gave me life. They weren't perfect, (are any parents perfect?) but they tried. They taught me right from wrong. They loved me. They were usually good about acknowledging my accomplishments. Dad let me follow him around when I was little and thought my Daddy was the best thing since the space shuttle. Mom has supported me and loved me through some of the most difficult times in my life. They laid the foundations, and now, when everything else is shaking apart... those foundations are holding strong.
I hope I'm building strong foundations for my kids, in my turn. I love them. I'm working to build discipline into our routines, something that I struggle with. I try to remember to praise often and scold gently. I try to tell them, every single day, that I love them.
|My beautiful, amazing kids, as we sit down to a meal on the porch. |
Arek cooked on the grill. Jessi helped me set the table.
I can only hope that I've done right by them. I can't make up for everything that's gone wrong. I can't make up for my mistakes, or the loss of their parent's relationship, any more than my Mom fill the hole left by my dad's passing, though I know any parent, if they could spare their child pain by taking it into themselves, would do so without a second thought. If I could relieve them of the hurt they've suffered from the divorce, I would live through it 10 times over. All I can do is keep moving forward, and keep laying those foundations. I hope my kids can see the bricks being laid, one by one, and that one day, they'll know what to do for their own kids, in their turn.
|Even Kame struggles to move forward at times.|
When obstacles block his path, he just
goes over them, and moves on.
We'll keep on keeping on. Sometimes, that's the best you can do. Something tells me that the best is yet to come.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."
~Psalm 46:1-3 NIV