I’m living in a very duplicitous world this year.
On the one hand, it is probably the best year of my life. (Not counting the year I married my husband, the year I had my first daughter and the year I had my second daughter… which are all tied for the grand prize…) In the last 12 months I have had the opportunity to cash in on this crazy recession and move back to Colorado, once so expensive that I knew I didn’t stand a chance of EVER affording a home here, now – just slightly less expensive and just a little over my ideal price range.
I was able to go back to school for Publishing, a field that I have always loved, at a school that I have wanted to attend since I heard about it ten years ago. (Thank you Denver Publishing Institute!)
I was able to find a job – yes in this economy – that pays well enough, comes with insurance and vacation time and is flexible enough that I can still take my kids to school in the morning and pick them up on days when my husband has to work “late”.
I was able to buy the backyard of my dreams with a very decent house attached that will fit my family with only a little tweaking here and there. And, lucky me, I have a husband who can do the work for/with me so we can afford to have it the way we want.
Life is good. Life is great. I am bliss.
On the other hand, there has been a lot of peripheral strangeness in my life this year. As I have moved forward and made a conscious effort to be happy every day some of the people nearest and dearest to me have been having a much harder time of things. And I admit it has, on occasion, knocked me off my pedestal.
Moving is always stressful, no matter how excited you are about it. Add two small children who really don’t want to leave their friends and schools behind, and… it gets worse.
Then move into your father in laws house with strange “ghosts” lingering in the air and bits of furniture and other relics of a former life that have to be lived around – “No jumping on the couch, girls, it’s not ours…” as much as the cheap rent was great, it’s hard to spend a year in a house that you can’t make yours.
Get your kids into schools and discover that they didn’t get the best teacher, or that the kids are bullying and no one is stopping them, and there’s no way to change their class or move them to a new school because, you’re moving again in a few months anyway, and really, how much turmoil does one kiddo need…
Add all the expectations that this move was going to be a game changer, and then it turned out to just be the same life in a different box…
Pile on the months of rejection before this job came along and clicked and worked…
Add in some extended family strife, the loss of a grandparent – which as much as it was, truly, a blessing – is still hard and still another stress…
None of this is unusual in my life. First, I thrive on chaos. I’ve always been the girl who when given a choice, found a way to do both. As my mother loves to say, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” I do, I take the whole damn fork every time, all four prongs (three if it’s for shrimp…) and I march on down the paths to see what I can see. So, there is always one more thing, one more stress, one more excuse to stop and take a breather, or be in a bad mood, or freeze in panic, or tuck tail and run, or… But I don’t. It’s not my way. My way is to plow on through, look for soft landings, take the rough ones as they come and get up, dust myself off, and take the next fork in the road.
I see a lot of people who do get frozen by the craziness of it all. Because, really, my life isn’t so different from yours. We all have one thing hit us after another. We never have enough time to stop and breathe or smell the roses, or tickle our kids, or snuggle our spouses, or march on Washington, or slander the tea-baggers, or any of the other REALLY important things that we want to do. But here’s the thing, life is what happens while you’re rushing around waiting for life to begin.
THIS IS IT. RIGHT NOW. THIS MOMENT. What the hell are you doing reading my blog when you could be hugging someone you love, walking outside in the rain, or the sun, taking that class you’ve always wanted to take, getting on an airplane for that grand adventure you keep putting off, writing your own damn blog (send me the link!)… Life is out there, and it’s not waiting around for you. So you’d better stop waiting for it.