Simple Sadness

It waxes and wanes. Like the tide, it rises, then retreats. Back into the blackness.

Looking over my shoulder. It follows me. Weighing me down. Dragging my feet, breathing heavy, sometimes gasping for air.

Picking up speed, I try to outrun. But it inevitably catches me. Too often I surrender. Feeling weak and confused and beaten.

Watching the film of my life. My life I no longer live. My how easy it is to forget. Or is it only what I created to justify.

The lingering, the dwelling. But this, this is when I grow. Or so I thought.

Or so I thought.

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Just Breathe

I know I need to write. There is so much to say. Yet I am left speechless. My mind feels like a dryer drum spinning and spinning. I am short of breath. Anemic? Yes. And probably contributing to my slow runs and struggle to keep going.

I’ve been missing the pause in my days. And running automatically gave that to me. Especially my long runs. Yes I am missing my long runs.

For now I am trying to remind myself more frequently to just breathe. Even that simple conscious breath is medicine. It’s the pause. The pause I need. Just Breathe.

Sleep?

Oh sleep where have you gone? I’ve missed you terribly. I am reminded of the days when I had newborns and not-so-graciously stumbled through my days. Seemingly awake but eyes half closed.

Between my new course, my extra work hours, and my 18 year old son who has made this whole college decision torture, I am sleep deprived. Angst, worry, frustration, and pure busy-ness have consumed me much to my own dismay. Deep breaths are welcomed when I remind them to present themselves.

Even my running has slowed incredibly. By a minute per mile. And those of you runners know that is significant. Whether it’s the side effect of my current life or an iron deficiency or maybe both, I am definitely feeling run down.

…and not-so-patiently waiting for sleep!

Remembering

Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day. A time to remember. To give thanks. To honor. To give respect. So many lives have been lost. Lost to protect me. To protect you. To protect us. To say I become emotional when thinking about the sacrifice many have made for all of us would be a complete understatement.

Soldiers leave their families. They sacrifice their own safety immensely. They face fear every second. They walk into unthinkable scenarios. They commit.

Every. Single. Day.

To protect. To serve.

Courageous beyond measure. I am reflective especially this weekend. I am grateful always. For all the military men and women who have given their lives. For this country. For you. For me.

Thank you. I will always remember you and honor the sacrifice you have made.

A Daughter, A Mom

First a daughter. Needing her to rub my head. The smell of her finger tips, cigarette smoke residue lingers to this day in my mind. The yellowing of her finger nails. Yet, the comfort they provided, the simple act of rubbing my head is not like any other. Resting on the floor or rather restless on the floor beside her bed full of panic and anxiety, her voice would soothe me. She would make it all okay. Running off the bus on school days, impatiently telling her about my day’s events. She was my go-to for it all. Sharing the excitement when I kissed a boy for the first time. Crying uncontrollably when I drank too much and forgot much of the night. She sat in the chair next to my bed and made me feel okay. My dependence on her became more of an enmeshment that I did not realize until my late thirties. And the hindsight I suddenly watched in high definition became uncomfortable. Facing the negativity, the toxic-ness of our relationship. Anger and sadness filled spaces that once held attachment. But…this is not the whole picture. She carried me when I would call incessantly from college crying, depressed, full of angst. With all her downfalls, like us all, she is my mom.

As a mom with a son about to embark on his college journey, I am faced with the challenges she must have faced with me. D and I share many qualities, some which include anxiety, stubbornness, and an underlying fear. Today, anxiety has all but left my being. But that was not always the case. In fact, when I was D’s age, my panic and anxiety was at its peak.  I am steadily preparing myself on many levels for what the near future is about to bring for D, for me. I’ve found openly talking about some of these college “struggles” has enlightened me in ways never expected.

A message from D the other night thanking me “for being one of the best parents” carried a weight, a much needed weight of hope. Being a Mom was, is, and always will be my dream job. My purpose. But oh so so very hard. At all stages. So I am grateful this Mother’s Day Weekend for my mom for doing the best she knew how to do for me and my brother. And I am grateful for the moments I have to be a mom myself. Everyday I work on being the best I know how to be.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

Countdown

My head spins with emotion. D must make his college decision by this Monday. We had a rich conversation the other night. And oh how this filled me. In ways I tiptoed around the words, the engagement, for fear it would end sooner than I wished.

Bright and stronger than he realizes, D is on the verge of his next life journey. He has no time for me, or rather desires no time with me. This hurts me to my core. I know logically this is healthy. His friends are his world. And he is consciously trying to separate and prepare himself for this incredible change that is waiting to unfold. But it still hurts.

My first born son who I sang to every night and rubbed his head is grown. He now awkwardly gives me a hug as though it’s foreign to him. When all I want to do is squeeze him so tightly. Even now as I right this, I can’t help but cry. How I love this boy so very much. How proud I am of him. How worried, how I hold my breath for him, how I am in shock at how fast this time has come.

As much as I tried to teach him and parent him and help him grow, he taught me as well. This boy helped me grow as a person.

The countdown begins. These next few months will be filled with so much emotion. He’s ready, hesitantly I know. But it is I that I am not sure will ever be truly ready.

A Change?

Changing careers. Directions. A new path? I have so much to ponder lately. Selling my home in about a year; and the stark reality that a year is not very long. D leaving for college in five months; and yet another hard reality that five months feels like five minutes. T choosing a high school. The empathetic pressure I hold for him. And now, the possibility of me changing course with my career.

As I mentioned it to D last night, he felt it may be difficult to change careers at my age. He so boldly stated “Mom at age 43 it may be tough.” Further explaining a younger generation will have the upper-hand when it comes to applying for new jobs. Instantly feeling as though a challenge had been presented, I felt an overwhelming feeling of “No way. Hell no.” My perseverance, dedication, commitment, and willingness to push limits can serve me well at times. And this time will be no exception. IF I choose to take a new path.

Is this the right time? How will a new job affect my application for a new mortgage next year? And with this question, my mind panics with the knowledge that I will be setting off alone to purchase a new home. There is definitely a sense of empowerment, a feeling that evokes strength. But, fear is walking alongside as well.

I work with children. My job has a deep purpose. But my manager has created an environment in which we all feel stressed, unheard, defeated in many ways, manipulated, and lied to. She is not the reason I am there; And I point this out to myself many times as I try to find the truest answer to my questions “Is this the time to change careers? Should I change careers?”

We celebrated a fellow employee’s retirement last night. Our team of fifteen women shared stories, laughed, and reflected on our career of serving, of creating change, of touching lives. This dinner made me question myself hard about my decision. I realize I can not make a knee-jerk decision based on my manager just as much as I can’t make a knee-jerk decision based on a dinner.

What to do? What to do?