Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lost

I spent the better part of this weekend drunk. That is VERY unusual for me.

Friday night was Girls Night Out. A group of us got together from near and far and it was the first time in close to a year that we were all in the same room. We laughed till it hurt. We shared stories. We caught up with each other. It was so nice to reconnect. I felt so good.

Yesterday, we spent the day with some family and for some reason, we started drinking martinis mid-afternoon. Before I knew it, my sister-in-law and I were several sheets to the wind and talking and sharing and just having the best conversations while the kids and dads more or less entertained themselves. I felt so good.

I have felt lost a bit this year so far. 2016 has been the year of the ear infection, the severe cold, the stomach bug, the job that is not a career (but a good job nonetheless!). It has been a year of questioning myself and my choices and I have not felt all that good about some of the choices that I have made.

If the wine and martinis of the last two days reminded me of anything, it is that no matter what goes on around me and no matter what I can control or not control, I am, at my core, still me. No matter what size or haircut or activity or job. I am who I am and I need to really learn to accept me. Others have...so why can't I?

If I am lost, it is because I am choosing to be that way.  There are lifelines all around me. It is up to me to grab them.

This week the temperature is supposed to be warmer. That means I am going to run again. It's time. My hibernation is over.

So much of what I do and who I am is to be a good role model for Miranda. She needs to see her mom making smart choices and choosing happiness over all else. I do not want to lose sight of that.

I struggle. We all struggle. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, though. I see my lifelines. I see my family and I know I want to be there and be a positive force in their lives. I want to no longer be lost. I want to feel good. I know that I can.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Perspective

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
― John Lubbock

Since becoming a mother, my perspective on so many things have changed. Things that used to seem so cut and dry to me are now often more complicated. Things that used to seem to complex and convoluted, now seem simple and obvious. Come to think of it, I am not sure how much of it is motherhood and how much of it is age.

I lived through the OJ Simpson saga. I remember being in college and watching the Bronco chase on the TV in our living room. I remember a professor wheeling in a large TV into our classroom on the day the verdict was read. I studied Communications and English Literature so I doubt it was a History class. I think it was just such a big part of our culture that the teacher wanted to make sure we know that history was in the making.

Twenty years later, I am watching the drama unfold all over again on the new FX mini-series. I am fascinated by it still. This time, though, I do not really care about OJ Simpson. I care about his children. Where were they then? Where are they now? When I was in college, I do not even remember knowing that there were kids involved.

Last week, I watched a new Grey's Anatomy. I am fully aware that this show reached its peak YEARS ago, and yet I can't seem to let it go. Spoiler alert: Meredith was attacked. Spoiler alert: She is fine. Over the course of the episode, though, she was hospitalized for six weeks. Where were her kids? Who took care of them? What did she miss while she was away?

Is that perspective? Or is is that my life so much revolves around my girls that I can't imagine a story or an event or a blip in time without them? I am in the midst of planning Miranda's third birthday party and already anticipating how exciting the event will be. I am also wondering how to celebrate Allie's birthday this year. The year she should be turning five. Five! Kindergarten and sleepovers and school buses and so much more she will never get to experience.

Is it true that "what we see depends mainly on what we look for"? If I want to see the good in people, I do. When I chose to see the not-so-good, I do that as well. Is that perspective? Is it wisdom? Is it neither? Is it both?

I do not have all the answers. I doubt I ever will. I just thought it was interesting that my mind seems to gravitate now towards the children and what I, as a mom, would do in any given situation. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. And maybe the fact that I watch too much TV!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Power of Friendship

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”
― Helen Keller
 
Long before I was a wife or a mother, I was a friend. I was taught that friends are as valuable as anything else in life and that friendships must be cared for and looked after in a very delicate way.

I cherish my friends and have used this space before to write about some of my strong bonds. My husband and I were friends before we started dating which is one of the reasons I think we work so well.

I have been struggling these past few months. I have been doubting myself more and more and feeling not so great about myself. The fact that we have all been sick for months has not helped. The fact that it's cold and blustery outside has also not helped. But it's more than that.

You see, I lost sight of who I am. I got caught up in my own head. Sometimes that is not the best place for me.

I spend my days at work or with my daughter. We spend our nights with dinner, laundry, cleaning, puzzle making, color book playing and bath time. I am always in a rush and often do not have time for myself till long after dark. Then I turned on Netflix or Amazon Prime and got lost in the characters of Frank Underwood or Jax Teller or Patty Hewes or Oliver Queen or the Crawley family.

That all changed this past week

This past week, I saw some of my friends.

I opened my heart and let my friends in and let them do what they do best - remind me of who I am. One friend was a play date in which our girls finally started to play with each other and not just near each other so we had time to really talk. One friend was up for the night and got to spend time, quality time, with my family and see how we work. We talked till everyone in the house was fast asleep. One friend was lunch at the mall which turned into the entire afternoon of laughing and sharing and chasing our daughters all around the carousel.

The power of friendship is so very strong. My head is clearer than it has been in ages. I am more at peace with myself than I have been in a long time. I am more focused on who I am and who I want to be. THAT will make me a better wife. THAT will make me a better mom.

I will not let it get this bad again. I know now that I need to call in help when I need it. I suspect the joy and happiness I got from my friends was not one-sided. I think they also felt better, too, having spent some time with me. If not, I will make sure they do after we meet up again. I am a people person and that means I need my people!

When you are my friend, you are in it for the long haul. I am proud of that fact and I will not soon forget it again. I adore my friends on the screen - but I like my real friends a whole lot more!

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1st

A new month is upon us. Which means a new email to Miranda's birth mother. We promised her monthly emails and it's easiest for us to send them on the first of the month. I suspect now she knows to look for them on this day.

I usually like to take my time and think about what has happened over the last month before I start writing. I review the mail I have sent her in the past and try to build on it so she has a narrative of Miranda's life.

This month came a bit too quickly for me. Between Gary's business trip last week and both our birthday celebrations and the snow and all of us being sick, I just sat down about an hour go to write to M.

Miranda was sitting on my lap so I explained what I was doing. She asked to see pictures of M which was new. Then she said "aw" when I showed her photos from our last visit. Shortly after, she got distracted and climbed down and went back to playing. Her comprehension is there, though - and I bet we are going to get some questions sooner rather than later. For now, we just looked at the images on my laptop screen and then went on with our morning.

I saw an email that M sent to us last month. She rarely replies to our emails because we stressed that we did not really want that. We are happy to send her updates and emails, but we are not looking for even more communication. Our monthly emails and twice a year visits work for all of us.

This reply was one that I was happy to receive, though.  

"You guys always tell me how thankful you are for me, but I dont think I have ever gotten the chance to tell you.... I am the most thankful person in the world to have found you in my search for the perfect family for her. So thank you for being you and letting me share in Miranda's life. The joy she brings to my life is unparalleled and I dont know what I would have done if I didnt find you."

We are raising this amazing girl. She is so "us" and yet she is part M, too. It's a joy and a rush to be reminded that Miranda's biology matches what we are giving her and with the combo of M and us, I really think this little lady is going to be someone terrific one day.

Oh wait. She already is.

A Year In the Life

One year ago today, I became a bona fide published writer. I was ecstatic to get my first piece published and to share my words and story wi...