All Used Up

Last month I wrote about my mid blog crisis and asked for input on a way forward. I had so many kind, thoughtful and smart people reach out to me with their ideas and input. THANK YOU!  

Overwhelmingly, the response was – keep writing you. Write what moves you. Write where are at. Don’t worry about a theme or approach. Just write.  I am so grateful for this advice and I it came at just the right time. I needed permission to just “be me” right now because my life is crazy.

I am sure everyone has struggles, challenges and issues that cause them to wonder, holy cow, when will this stop?!  It makes life exciting, exhausting and unpredictable.

I am no exception and February has been particularly challenging.  By the end of the month, I was thinking.. Holy cow, you cant make this sh-t up!

What’s been happening?
~ 2 of my closest friends (who also happen to be my healthiest friends) have been battling cancer. Hard. One with brain cancer and one with abdominal cancer of some sort (no, I’m not being elusive, they really aren’t sure what type of cancer it is). I want to do whatever I can to help and its scary as hell. Cancer bites.

~ On my way back from Billy’s taekwondo tournament in Iowa, I landed myself smack in the middle of a ground blizzard and was stranded in Owatonna for 3 days with 2 middle school boys. It took me 3 hours to drive 70 miles before I pulled the plug and found a hotel. I was fine while driving but once I stopped, I couldn’t stop shaking. Thank god for the incredible staff that weekend. They kept everyone safe, fed and informed.

~ Kay competed at state on beam and killed it.  Followed by the Sadies Hawkin’s dance. I missed both because of above blizzard.  It hurts my heart to not be there for these milestones. 

~ Jimmy announced, with 72 hour notice, that he was dedicating his life to Jesus and was going to be baptized. I missed this, as well, due to said blizzard.  It also created a long conversation about his faith journey vs my spiritual journey. Needless to say, I support his journey but we are not on the same page when it comes to Christian doctrine.

~ I started seeing a therapist to help me deal with my anxiety around Kay’s anxiety.  Its been a god send. I love Kate (my therapist), she really gets me and has great suggestions. But, its also hard because I have to face my own fears of inadequacy and control. Yuck.

~ Our new puppy arrived. He’s a doll. Smart, curious, friendly and LOVES to play with Nikki. He is also NOT potty trained (yet) and hates to be left alone (imagine a squeaky toy barking for hours straight in his kennel).  Puppies are a lot of work.

I have a bit going on. And, it doesn’t look like its letting up.  My friends battle with cancer is the long game, it’ll be years before they feel “free” of cancer. Billy has MN state for taekwondo this weekend. Jimmy is studying for the ACT and needs to start a list of colleges to tour this spring. I need to get the puppy potty trained. Kays struggles with school are real and we have time set up with both her school social worker and counselor in an effort to understand our options. I’m implementing some of the ideas my therapist has given me on my role as a parent, how to break down my expectations into micro baby steps and leaning on Tom to help balance our messaging with the kids. 

In case you are thinking, wow, this blog is just a bitch fest. I really don’t mean it to be!  I am so grateful that I AM able to help my friends. That I found a therapist who is really helping me. That I have a son that I get to spend quality time with “on the road”. That I have another son that wants to have deep meaningful conversations with me. That my daughter is resilient and can show up and kick butt in the sport she loves. That my husband supports me trying new parenting approaches and that he’s willing to try and change as well. That my sweet Nikki is such a good role model to the new puppy – Maui. That I have a warm home, am physically able to be active and outside everyday, have wonderful food to eat and a job I love. That my friends went to the baptism to support Jimmy and sent video of Kay at state so that I almost felt like I was there.

So, this blog is really about resiliency, gratitude and the real, hot mess that is life.  Life isn’t always (ever?) easy, but its always worth it.  And, its my life. I love it.  Every crazy, exhausting, frustrating, wonderful, glorious minute of it.  

Life ….I want to squeeze every last drop out of it. I want to be present for all the good and all the bad. I want to give it my all, every day. I want to know that I can rest and that others will support me. I want to be needed and loved. I want to give and love. I don’t want to leave anything left undone or unsaid.  I want to celebrate the mundane. I want to learn from my mistakes and honor my successes.

In the end, as Ken Blanchard says, I hope my epitaph reads …. “All Used Up” and that I would have earned it.