Monday, August 31, 2015

Sometimes I don't know what to do

For so long I didn't know what to do, so I did "the next thing."That's how I keep going when faced with  crisis. I don't know how to handle situations, so I do what I know how to do.

I'm struggling with regret. My grandparents got moved into a nursing home less than three hours away and I didn't visit them once since they moved in. Sure, I had a young baby, but I definitely could have made the effort. I made plenty of time to go through my own personal crisis and try out new jobs and school ideas and sell my house and then switch back to social work and get a full time job. Who does that? It was so selfish. I was neglecting time with my babies to try and find myself. How much time did I miss out with them just to focus on myself? And I didn't even take the time to go visit my grandparents in a nursing home, just because it was inconvenient.

And what did I do when I found out my grandmother was dying? I went to work. I didn't rush to her unconscious side to say my last goodbye. It would have been easy-but I wanted to stay home. I selfishly didn't want to give up the time. And now it's too late to do that. I'm going to the memorial service. There's nothing else I can do. Maybe it's because I need closure, but going is the right thing to do.

I should have gone to see her, and I should have gone to say good-bye. I'm not sure if a blog is the right place to bawl out my sadness, but it's the only place I have right now. And even a blog is a selfish thing to do. It's all about how bad I feel about how I've handled situations.

I'm going to go work on paperwork, because it has to get done and I don't know what else to do right now.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Balance and routine

My life has changed so much in the past five years. Marriage, taking and quitting jobs, pregnancy and babies, renting/buying/selling houses, losing loved ones, getting into and then delaying grad school.

My whole life I've been a write. Never professionally, but writing down my life is definitely my go-to coping skill. If I write at night, I always sleep better. If I get stressed, I can let it go (at least for a while). I wrote some letters I'd been thinking about for months now. I even have stamps in my purse. I'll probably send them tomorrow. So I'm going to write again.

This Saturday would have been my first day of Trevecca's Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy program. However, over the last couple of weeks I realized that I currently cannot balance grad school, a full time job, and having a husband and kids. It would be really terrible to be studying to be a marriage and family therapist, and yet never spend time with my husband or kids. So I deferred a semester while I adjust to working a full time Youth Villages job. I'm ever so glad I did.

Because I did not start grad school yesterday, I spend a lot of this weekend working and working and working and working to catch up on paperwork and house work. What a relief to not be able to think of anything else I could do right away for work. I'm sure there is, but for today, I'm done. I also got some lunches made, cleaned the kitchen, got my pump ready to bring to work with me, got the kids stuff ready, and I folded and put away all our laundry. I got more house work done this weekend than I have in the past 8 months since August was born. I'm pretty sure that's true.

I also exercised. That pretty much never happened. You know what I did? I ate sugar. Adara asked me for a cookie, and Alex asked me to make healthier ones. We've been trying to eat healthier again. So I made chocolate chip pan cookies with almond flour and organic sugar and organic chocolate chips and real vanilla. Same amount of sugar, but organic and gluten free. I was almost bouncing off the walls and found new motivation for life. Adara joined right in. Exercising together used to be our everyday thing. (note: eating sugar also puts me in a TERRIBLY stressed mood. However, I convinced Alex to keep the kids away while I fueled my stress into cleaning.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Memories of Gramda Turner

The hardest part is the memories. The hardest part is remembering my happy, loving, vibrant grandma and realizing she won't be fighting the infection much longer because her soul will be in heaven. She's going to be so happy there.

I remember the last time I saw her. I was pregnant with Adara, and we drove to visit and have a 60th wedding anniversary celebration. We stopped by their house on the way, and grandma was so happy to see us. On the day of the celebration she sat at the table with grandpa. Even though he didn't always know who we were or what was going on, she still looked at him lovingly. She still held his hand. She loved holding his hand. 

I remember when we came and hung out at her house. I remember she told us to all get sticky notes and write our names on whatever we wanted someday. I remember when we helped clean out their trailer of stuff and I got to bring home some baskets from Ecuador. I felt so special.

Grandma loved taking care of her family. When she visited us over holidays, she would always make a huge pile of toast and buttered each piece. 

I remember when my grandparents came to visit. I remember thinking I wanted a marriage like theirs. I remember seeing my grandpa kiss my grandma and she had such a huge smile on her face. They really, truly loved each other.

She used to crochet all the time, and she made us all blankets. She asked me about my favorite colors, and then crochet a quilt of squares with all the colors. It's one of my most treasures things. She would talk about crocheting a quilt for all of her kids and grand kids.

I remember getting to stay over night at my grandparent's house in Guatemala. I remember thinking it was cool that grandma had milk that I could blow bubbles with a straw, and that I could always have a fig newton at her house. 

Looking back, I don't have tons and tons of specific memories with grandma. I remember more how I felt around her. I remember feeling loved and cared for every time. I remember feeling happy with her.

Even though I haven't seen her in years. I'm really going to miss her.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Being Thankful

I read somewhere that a bad attitude can be fixed by writing out a thankful list. So I'm hoping this will help my struggling attitude and lack of life direction today.
1. For my God. I can at least know He is in control of everything.
2. Food. For strength. For comfort. For fun.
3. For Alex. He provides financially, emotionally, enthusiastically, honestly, and encourages me to pursue whatever I want.
4. For Adara and her enthusiasm to do everything with me. She always wants to be with me, and I never have to wonder if she loves me. She inspires me to love unconditionally.
5. For baby August. His smile is so sweet, and he really is an easy baby most of the time. Balancing  two kids is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but he lights up when he sees me, and that's very encouraging.
6. For my extended family. For my mom, who drove us down to my brother's wedding. For my in-laws, who watch my kids while I try out different pursuits and encourage me when I'm struggling.
7. For my health. When people don't feel good, it's hard to imagine doing other productive things. Even though and discouraged because I'm not sure what I want to do, I am able to contemplate these options because I'm physically able to do them.
8.Grace. Adara says she's thankful for grace. From the mouth of babes for sure.


When asked: "What do you want your life to look like 5, 10, 20 years down the road?"

I don't know.

But right now my two year old wants to play "What color do you see?" So I'm going to stop ignoring her and do some soul-searching later.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Passion

I just reviewed this blog to see if I could find anything I felt particularly passionate about. It was kind of fun to review. Some of my cares seemed like such a big deal, and they really weren't. I wonder if I'll look back years from now and think the same thing.

I feel I am at a crossroads. I can do whatever I want, and I have no idea what I want to do. 

I thought about nursing. I took a CNA class and started working as a nurse aid. I'm seriously questioning this decision. I love the people with whom I work, but I really don't like what I'm doing. Maybe I could do it if I knew I was going to be doing a new job soon.

I've considered an MSW, but I'm not sure it's worth the time and money. I could get a BSN or even an RN, make just as much(or even more) money, and have the opportunity to become an FNP. 

I briefly considered medical school, but didn't like all the unknowns. Plus I like spending time with my kids.

I then revisited being a stay-at-home mom, but I think that's the hardest option of all. I want to have some kind of career.

I thought about bar tending, because of the creativity and social aspect. But I barely drink, and I'm not sure I'd handle super late nights very well.

What do I love to do? I'm not even sure anymore. 

I like to feel like I'm a part of something bigger than myself. I like practical solutions. I like to plan, and I like consistency. I like opportunities to be creative, but I also like boundaries. I'm and ESFJ personality for sure. I like job security. 

I'll probably stick with nursing, but I've got to move up from nurse assistant. Maybe I can do organizing groups of people/nurses. That sounds like something I'd enjoy doing.

That's all. I have to process these thoughts somewhere or I won't be able to sleep tonight. And I need lots of sleep because I'm working 3 nights in a row. But after that I asked to be switched to evenings and I am! So that's encouraging.  And that's all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How deleting Facebook helped my mental health

I deleted my Facebook the other day. And Twitter. And Instagram. Even Pinterest. I'm currently going through some withdrawals. I'm a little panicked when I think about how I'm missing out on everyone's updates and photos. I miss having instant distraction whenever I feel a little bored. 

But the thing is, I don't need any distractions right now. I recently started CNA training and it keeps me pretty busy. I'm hoping to start work soon after getting my license. I'm also planning to go back to school. I'm thinking about medical school. Not 100% certain on that, but I've signed up for some classes at our local community college. 

I also have two kids. When I'm not distracted by social media, I actually pay better attention to them when I am with them. I am not spending all day with them, so I cherish the time that I do have.

I'm already healing from unhealthy comparisons. I feel much more confident in my decisions because I'm not always weighing them against all the other moms I barely see in person.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Letting Go of Guilt

 My husband and I have been talking about both of us going back to school, and I'm afraid I'm going to be a failure at school or a failure at being a mom. I feel like I'm not going to be a good mom if I don't spend a lot of time with my kids. I feel like I am a terrible mom for allowing anyone else to watch my kids while I get to do something else: go back to school. I feel like I'm being incredibly selfish even considering the idea. I loved the academics of high school and college. I've been dreaming of going back someday, but I thought it could never be a possibility.

I hear so many moms say things:

"I'd do anything to get to stay home with my kids."
"I wish I could have more kids."
"I'm so glad I get to home school my kids."
Dr. Sears and attachment parenting. Charlotte Mason and her ideas about schooling.
And I'm surrounded by stay-at-home moms with no plans to go back to work.

I feel guilty for not feeling the same way. I think maybe it's my pride-if God has called me to stay at home, then I should learn to be content.

I absolutely love and adore my children I love them so much my heart aches and I hold them close and I tell them that I love them often. Even recently I can remember being so happy at home.

But then my husband mentioned that I could be a nurse practitioner. I'm still not 100% confident in my ability to do well in all the classes. I think he has more confidence in me than I do.

And I heard stories about other moms going back to work-even becoming doctors!

Hope grows inside me daily. I have wonderful in-laws who offered to watch my kids as often as we need. I know my kids will be well-loved there. I know that I can pump to feed my baby, and I know that formula is an acceptable supplement if needed. I am not going to feel guilty for these choices.

I don't need to worry.

In the words of an admired friend:

"If God's given you a dream he's given you the grace to be a good steward of it... Our kids need more than caregivers, they need role models.... They need to see us channeling the energy of our life (and the light of God) into the world--- our babies need to always be and feel like our priority but they don't need to be our only thing--- I actually feel like the time we expend to cultivate our giftings and use them in the world energizes us in a way that makes us better parents! "