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There are days that I don’t accomplish much because I just don’t want to.  Then there are days that no matter how hard I try to accomplish things, nothing still seems to get done.  I can make me wonder why I try.  Today is one of those days, but it’s only the beginning of the week, and the day it not yet half over, so I have plenty of time to recover.  But first I must share the saga of my morning.

It started last night when I came up to go to bed.  I turn on the light in my room, and startle a little girl sleeping on the bed, who in turn startles me because I had no idea she was there.  The little girl looks sleepily at me and says, “Mommy, I sorry I peed in your bed,” and then puts her sleepy head back down to fall back asleep.  At the words “peed in your bed” I went from half asleep to wide awake.  I go to my daughter, and behold, she is wet from the waist down and my bed is nice and damp.  I wake her, clean her, redress her, and put her in her nice dry bed, and then begin to tackle my own bed.  As I begin to get frustrated, I remember to count my blessings that it isn’t worse.  She missed my feather comforter which would have been basically ruined.  My washing machine works, remembering earlier in the year when I had children throwing up in my bed and the washing machine was broken, so I couldn’t wash the sheets and blankets.  Speaking of that, I was thankful no one was sick.  Thinking everything was cleaned, I went to sleep.  I woke this morning to the smell of pee.  Apparently, my exhausted self did not do a good enough job cleaning my mattress.  As I begin to clean my mattress again, I realise that the padding is too fluffy for my steam cleaner to work quite properly, it stopped sucking water when the mattress was still soaking.  Then I remember, this is no regular mattress, this is a Sleep Number mattress, all things can be taken apart.  I can take the affected part off and stick it in my washing machine.  So I begin to disassemble my mattress.  I could have just taken the top off, but at the time I thought all the material parts were connected, so I thought I had to get the bottom off too.  So instead of just doing the easy part, I completely take apart my mattress.  I unzip the top part, remove the foam layer, remove the foam pieces that go around the outside of the bed, remove the plastic pieces that hold the foam in place, detach the hoses from the air mattress, and remove the air mattress.  I am now an expert in how Sleep Number beds fit together.  After I have pieces of bed scattered across my room, I see that the top and the bottom have detached on their own.  At least I had the part I needed. After stuffing it into the washing machine, I determine that even though it fits, it may not be a good idea to wash it, stuff in the machine needs to be able to move about at least a little.  (And here people who know me are saying a prayer of thanks that I had that much common sense, as I tend to get myself into problems doing things that I think should work, when the average person can easily see that what I’m doing has “bad idea” written all over it.)  I extricate the mattress top from the washing machine, and proceed to hand wash the affected area.  I think the smell is gone, but I’m waiting until it dries and doesn’t stink to claim victory.  Now I’m praying that my methods were affected, and letting it go.  There is nothing I can currently do, other than tell my story because really, it’s kind of funny if you think about it.  With that done it’s time to try to go get something done today.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written.  First there was the two weeks of Olympics where I did very little other than plop in front of the television and watch sports.  I figured there was only so much worthwhile blogging about that.  Then there was the week after the Olympics.

There comes a point in deployment where things just get ugly, at least there does for me.  Last week (not to be confused with this past week) was that point for me.  I get tired of life that’s just me and the kids.  I get tired of cleaning up after the kids.  The mess only ever seems to grow and continue, and does it really matter if it’s just me and the kids living in it?  Chase isn’t around to be bothered, and we never have adult company over here.  I get tired of being the mom.  Tired of telling the kids to clean up, do their homework, not fight, tired of being referee, nurse, and entertainment director.  I don’t want to be stuck at home, in a messy house, with my kids.  I want to go out.  However, being me, heaven forbid I let someone know I just need to get out and away.  While that would be a good solution, it would require asking for help.  Instead, I come up with my own solution.  Shopping.  It didn’t take long for me to buy all the items I had money for.  Fortunately, this deployment, I am on a budget, so I knew when I needed to stop. There was nothing left that needed to be bought, and I knew that I didn’t need to keep on shopping for stuff we didn’t need.  I knew how much I had to spend.  But then my solution for the problem of mid-deployment ickiness was gone.  However, there was a light at the end of my bad week tunnel.  Friday night Celebrate Recovery.  A weekly event where I get to hang with adults, and other people watch my children.  Just that was a break enough in itself.  But that’s not all, it’s also a place where I get to look closer at my hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  I can look at what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

Fast-forwarding to Monday.  Monday morning felt like a why do I bother kind of morning.  I had chosen Monday morning to make a few phone calls about stuff I would like to take care off.  None was satisfactory.  Two phone calls went unanswered, one of those messages has been unreturned.  The one phone call I did get through just left me wondering.  I spent a long time on the phone, and didn’t feel like I did much good.  I still have no idea when the sound system will be able to be fixed in my van (it’s not broken, it just doesn’t work as we’d like it to).  I fully intended to start school on September 3, it may be Labor Day, but it’s also the first week day of September, and with Chase deployed it’s not like we’ll be spending time with him.  However, I have no idea when my school books will arrive.  The worst part was feeling like there was nothing I could do to accomplish these things I really want to accomplish.  Then words spoken often at Celebrate Recovery popped into my head.  “I can’t, God can, I guess I’ll let Him.”  I couldn’t fix those problems, but God could.  I could worry and continue to not fix anything, or I could let God handle it and do something I could control the outcome of.  So I picked another project I would like to see completed before Chase comes home and began to tackle it.  My kids may not have the official schoolwork, but as we’ve been working on school through the summer, we would just continue what we’ve been doing until we do get the official stuff.  And while I was being their parent again, I made them clean their rooms.  Monday went from a day that I wondered why I bothered doing anything, to the end of the day looking around and feeling good about all I had done.  So for the rest of the week, I stopped focusing on things out of my control, and I started controlling the things I could.

While the sound system and school books are still up in the air, I did get to see something get taken care of this week.  One of the things I could control was putting the license plates on the van, or so I thought.  I went to go take care of it, and realized that I could not remove the rear plate holder.  I could have gone into stress over-drive.  I didn’t know what to do, and, well, as until this week, I had let them sit on the counter, the temporary was close to expiring.  I couldn’t do it, and didn’t know where I could go to pay someone to do it.  I can’t think of a place that advertises a specialty in license plate installation.  However, instead of worrying and hitting the gummy bears like that would install the plate and ensure world peace if I just ate enough of them, I took a deep breath.  I thought of what would actually be helpful.  I put a general SOS on Facebook.  I called a friend who might know what to do.  She offered her assistance.  When, after bringing my van to her house, she was as clueless as I was, I still didn’t stress.  I knew there had to be a solution somewhere.  Then at Celebrate Recovery, I saw a neighbor of mine, who I’ve seen rebuilding an engine in his driveway.  So I asked him for assistance.  And lo and behold, he was happy to look at my plate holder, and say we just had to get to it from the inside and offered to come by and fix it the next day.  And now my van is up-to date plate-wise.  No stress needed.

Just got home from CR. The kids are inside, hopefully getting ready for bed. I’m sitting in my van in the dark.

Driving home all sorts of thoughts started racing around in my head. Thoughts about my husband, deployment, frustration with people who won’t do the right thing. Thoughts about me, why I am the way I am, what a total mess I am. Along with all this stuff, I got a headache. Not just any headache either. The just spent a lot of time crying, only cure is to sleep headache. And I hadn’t been crying.

As I drove into the garage, all I wanted was some me time. So I sent the kids in while I got caught up with Facebook. But my brain just wouldn’t quit. I don’t know what to do with all the stuff going through my head either. I want it to stop and go away. And I know just how to turn my brain off. Get a snack and sit in front of the tv. Or maybe a soda and sit in front of the computer. But none of that would address what’s going on in my heart to cause my brain to be in overdrive. It’ll just cover it up. I’m tired of covering up. I’m ready to deal.

So why am I sitting in my car in the dark? Because I’m asking God to help me deal, and I know if I go inside right now there will be stuff that needs my attention. Here it’s just me and God, so I’m gonna chill in here for a bit longer.

After hanging up the phone talking to my husband tonight I burst into tears.  Not for the reason you might imagine.  They were tears of relief.

For the past month or so, I’ve been wrestling with a question of priorities.  I have limited time and energy to devote to everything.  I tell people all the time not to over-commit themselves, and pride myself on schedule with tons of “margin.”  “Margin” relates to wiggle room to do what God might be calling you to do.  Plenty of unscheduled time to focus on the important stuff like relationships and family.  Normally, I guard my schedule like a Doberman, nothing gets in.  However, as I looked at the upcoming fall, there are so many good things that I want to be a part of.  Without anything even starting, I was becoming stressed trying to get a schedule ready that would make it all work.  I knew I’d need to give up somethings, but felt guilty over it.  I felt like I still needed to do it all.

I haven’t told a soul, other than my personal journal about it.  I didn’t know who to talk to.  I didn’t want to bother my husband having to deal with being deployed and all the stuff that entails.  And I just couldn’t think of which friend to confide in.  So I was keeping it all in.

That is until tonight.  I don’t know what prompted me, other than the uncertainty bubbling inside me.  I guess I was just at a breaking point when I asked my husband if he was okay with me giving up one of the activities I wanted to give up.  The question just blurted from my mouth.  After that came a flood of I don’t think I can handle this either.  All the stress and worry came flowing out over the phone tonight.

My husband was understanding and listened, and agreed that I should refrain from over-committing myself.  We didn’t have long to talk, and I feel bad that I took up the whole time with my issues.  But I feel so much better now.  I feel a major sense of relief, having confessed my stress, and my solution to relieve that stress.  I no longer feel guilty about saying no to “good” things.  I feel empowered to make decisions that protect the time of me and my family.  I felt relief, so much so that I had to cry to release the rest of the tension that had been building.

This leaves me anxious for my husband’s return so that talks like this can become commonplace.  When we can discuss at length anything on our mind on a daily basis.  I’m so thankful for a husband who is thoughtful and understanding and I can bounce things off of.  I can’t wait to have him back.  It also leaves me thinking that I need to work on developing relationships with other people who can help me with this stuff.  It doesn’t hurt having multiple counselors, especially when the career of my main counselor takes him out of communication range every once in a while.