It’s been a while. A while since I’ve been moved to write again. I have been doing a good job at looking inward and searching for a better understanding of me in the past few months.
I have been disconnected from FaceBook since May (9 months) and it feels refreshing. I do not do much social media at all. I am a new member of LinkedIn and I am enjoying it, seeing other people’s professional accomplishments and other’s rooting them on for it, now that’s refreshing! We did away with cable and only use our Amazon FireStick for our TV, this has helped not have the news in our face. I have a routine of doing a morning check of the news on my phone before work from sources that I have hand selected and of whom I trust. This has been helpful in my daily life. I was just feeling bombarded (literally!) by too much information. I needed to set boundries and set limits for myself, I find the steps I’ve taken have been helpful.
My husband and I are navigating the empty nest very well. We survived holiday break; getting first semester grades, adjusted social lives and the return of higher grocery bills. They have both now returned to the University, happy and ready for a successful second semester. We have settled into being just the two of us again and have adjusted to not hearing from them very often. It feels good to know they are out there navigating this big world without having to rely on us for much. They are doing great! Our oldest son is still very happy in his new career and is thriving in the business world. I guess it’s feeling more and more like I can breath.
Speaking of breathing… I began to meditate. This is something I’ve often thought about but have never practiced. I am using the Calm App on my phone and it has been wonderful. I highly suggest it. It has helped to create space in my mind, I feel I am more at ease and have more clarity these days. First of all, I’ve never been able to let myself shut out the world. I literally put in my headphones and it is just me in my space for 20 minutes a day (10 min of meditation and 10 min of stretching). I don’t know where or what anyone else is doing, it’s about me! This is an entirely new concept for me and it feels amazing! I feel as though I am on my way to taking better care of myself. I’ve done an awful lot of caring for others, but myself, not so much.
Which leads me to my husband having his surgery. He had his second hip replacement surgery in October. He is still doing all of his physical therapy and working hard at being back 100%… but can I just tell you, he is OUT OF PAIN! The transformation is unbelievable! He is happier, he is stronger, he is more confident! I am better because he is better. I worried about him so much, he was always in pain. That is gone and we now take walks together, he wants to do things with me again… we are literally living a new life! I have to admit for almost the entirety of our marriage my husband has been in pain. He has had 6 surgeries in a 10 year period and prior to his first hip surgery 10 years ago he suffered with the pain of his arthritis for a very long time. He is a very young man for having been through all of this. He is only 53 and I am 46. We have our sights set on our future now, he is healthy, happy and pain free. I have been a caregiver to my children, my husband and anyone else who needed help for what feels like my entire life. I am entering into the ME ZONE. I am exercising, meditating, saying “no” when asked to join committees and boards. I am feeling refreshed for the first time in a very long time. It feels simply wonderful!
There is something else that is different also. I need you to understand my husband is Superman. He has worked to provide for us throughout all of his pain, he does not complain, he works a full day and then works around the house and maintains anything needing to be done… he is my hero. Well, that being said, he is also my children’s hero. The disturbance and upheaval of our family from him being laid up over the years has taken a toll on myself and my children. I have had anxiety since I was a child, but with the life we have experienced over the last 10-12 years it has flared up in new ways. The uncertainty of his surgeries, his recovery, his being out of work, the finances, his physical therapy, our car accident when he couldn’t be with us… the list goes on. This has taken a toll on my mind and my body. I have been the one to care for him, I cared for the kids, I worked to keep his spirits up when he felt down about being laid up and not able to be the partner I needed. I was everyone’s cheerleader. I worked during this time also, trying to find the balance between my work and my home, this proving not to be an easy task. Well, it seems we are on the other side of it now. He is feeling strong in body and mind, He knows what he needs to do to stay healthy and works hard at it everyday. But in the meantime our two youngest children are battling with anxiety. They are both in college now and their doctor has told me that the trauma to the family through all of these unsettling times and not being sure of the outcome for their father being in and out of hospitals so often has played a big role in the people they are today. They are fearful of the unknown, the “fight or flight” response is very real for them. Navigating college life and balancing their lives has been a bit of a struggle, but what I know from experience struggle brings strength and I have great faith in their ability to overcome these feelings of being out of control of their lives. This is an unsettling time of not being able to see your future clearly and it is uneasy. I do feel a lot of guilt due to my not being what they needed through out our family’s hardships. I wish it could have been different but what I know now is that I could not have controlled what happened to us. We got through the difficulty and have persevered. They are seeing the end result of where the struggle has brought my husband and I and I know they will be ok.
Life is a journey, we often don’t know what’s around the next corner. This exact notion has brought me great anxiety on the heels of many twists and turns, but I am also learning to embrace it. And with my husband standing strong beside me and loving me more everyday… I feel unstoppable. It feels like we’ve climbed and climbed and have finally gotten to some sort of clearing in the trees and the sun is shining. We can see the path ahead of us… we will just stop here for a while and enjoy the view!
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” ~ Louisa May Alcott