Saturday, October 22, 2016

A lull

It's quiet here tonight.  Balloons still hang from the curtain rods, there's bits of gift wrap around the floor, birthday gifts and cards are stacked neatly unwrapped but not played with yet.  It's a weird sensation.  Just hours ago my house was literally bustling with friends celebrating E's 5th birthday.  The party went over very well and the children were very pleased with the activities and the beanie boo stuffies they got to take home.  My house was literally overflowing with people who cared for myself and my child and it was a busy loud afternoon.

Now it's quiet.  I cleaned the kitchen, stripping off throw away table clothes, scooping leftover food and icing covered paper plates into the garbage.  Wrapping up the last few pieces of birthday cake, sweeping up crumbs from the kitchen table.

Nowhere was there tired content kids, sifting through their gifts, playing, sneaking finger swipes of icing.  There was no wind down or quiet exhaustion, reflection time or discussion with the little birthday girl about her day.  Instead she went out the door as swiftly as her guests leaving me alone with a quiet mess.

So that's weird.  No doubt.  But it's a blessing because I got to have her birthday party and I got to see her enjoy her day.  It's the reality of divorced parents, traditions are different and schedules are criss-crossed.  Nothing is the same from year to year and you learn to roll with it or you burn up your energy fighting fights that really aren't worth it. 

Still, in the quiet aftermath as I sneak a slice of cake before wrapping it up, I miss what should be and allow for a split second to feel the bitterness of his actions and his lies....but only for a second.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Birthday's and celebrations

Yesterday would have been my 9th wedding anniversary and while the day came and went with a little reflection from me, it held absolutely zero pangs of "what if's" and gentle longing for what I had signed up for.  HUGE STEP!!  I mean HUGE!  One of the last steps for me was the realize that I had to stop longing for what wasn't, for what I thought I had but never did, for a past that was untrue and a future that wasn't mean to be.  Knowing yesterday registered as a memorable date in my head but then fleeted on past was not unnoticed by me.

In better news this week we also celebrated E's 5th birthday.  This child has been over the moon excited for 5.  I do not know why she feels 5 is her magic number, maybe is sounds so grown up and mature, but 5 has been something she's been itching for since she started seeing her friends celebrate the big 0-5.

In normal douchey fashion, X changed his vacation plans at the last moment to coincide with her birthday and her party day. least this time we were in the same town unlike J's 8th birthday disaster.  So on the day of her actual birthday I arrived at her school about 15 mins before the lunch hour with a big 5th birthday badge and asked the principal if I could sign her out for a special lunch.

She was so excited and delighted to show me her birthday crown, relate to me all the birthday greetings she was getting, how her class had all sung Bonne Fete to her while she sat in the middle, and how she got to choose any center to go to.  We hadn't seen each other in a few days either so it made the entire day a little extra special.

She wore her birthday badge, R called and sung happy birthday to her from his desk at work, and she chose McDonalds as her birthday lunch (naturally).  The weather was nasty and we had a lot of time to kill so we brought the food home and ate and I got to surprise her with her birthday gift from me, the doll house I had built.  We spent the rest of her lunch hour rearranging doll furniture, playing games, and discussing all the things she can do now because she's 5, plus all the excitement about her party on Saturday.

Dropping her back to school she was very excited to show her class her birthday badge and I felt fully content at having spent this time with her on her actual birthday in a fun and memorable way.

Now lets hope her party goes well tomorrow because I tell you the girl has some expectations.

Friday, September 30, 2016

my 3 year goal

I think my healing has been good and forward.  I have my weeks, like this week, where I wallow and wonder and fantasize about the what if's and the could have's.  It's a journey and some days there are ebbs and some days there are flows.

All in all I did what my counselor suggested and after some very cathartic writings that I shared with my trusted souls, I learned to close the door.  I shut the door on feeling guilt.  I no longer feel worthless or abandoned.  Anger I'm still working on, I'll be honest about that. But there is one thing that I feel I need to do in order to cleanse my memory and my soul of all that troubled me.

In the Yukon there is a gorgeous secluded cabin that is owned by the RCMP and is essentially a hike in only type thing.  It's beautiful and most members and their families in the Yukon take turns going there.    The cabin is rustic, no running water or electricity and often we went in winter so the wood stove was our main source of heat.  The two rooms with bunks had no doors, just curtains, everything was just one room open concept.  There were bears in the area and cell service didn't work.  It is secluded which is the charm.  Surrounded by high mountains and a beautiful lake, it's jaw droppingly gorgeous in a way words fail to describe. We went quite a few times and it should have brought me nothing but beautiful memories and pictures.

Instead it's a memory of pure shame for me.  We always went with the mistress that he paraded around me.  She accompanied us each and every time and they never hid their affection from me. When young toddler J went down for the night I had to stay inside, he was on a bunk bed and the wood stove had no barrier to it, there was no way in a pitch black cabin I could leave my toddler safely and enjoy the bon fire outside.  But they did, laughing, drinking, chasing each other into the outhouse, loading up our digital camera with pictures of them.  During the day they hung out, ignored me, flirted, went for walks, cooked together, basically rubbed in my face how worthless they felt I was.

So with all that said, with that pity story that I did not intend to write I have made a plan.  With my two Northern friends by my side we have agreed to return in 3 years (because we have babies that need a bit more time to grow and money that needs to be saved), mid-September hopefully when the fall leaves are changing but the bugs have subsided.  We will go to the cabin and recreate the memories.  Coffee in the morning with yoga outside.  Meals made over propane stoves, decadent snacks like bries and scones eaten by propane lantern at night while we sit and laugh.  Too much wine, Baileys in the coffee whenever we want, cleansing my soul and closing that last stubborn door left to heal. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

No, I'm not ok.

I'm not ok.  It's ok to answer that when someone asks.  Because I'm not, no need to hide it, I'm not.  I don't need you to say magic words to fix it, hell I don't want you to even try.  Offer me anything outside of support and I get uncomfortable.  Just support me.

So no, I'm not doing ok at the moment.  I feel like more than the weight of the world is on me.  I have the urgency to find a job and I can't, not even out of my field can I find something right now.  It's a sucky feeling to know that you need to provide for your kids and you are struggling to do it.  I can stretch a dollar a million miles to Sunday but there comes a point when it doesn't stretch.  All the bases are covered, there is no risk the roof over our heads will disappear anytime soon, but it also means even the smallest little blip in our lives will mean a financial disaster. 

Then I have other things to deal with too, things that in a million years I never thought I would have to navigate through.  I'm constantly on alert, constantly on in general, being all things to all the people all the time.  I'm advocating for myself, fighting my way through processes new and unfamiliar.  I'm debating the future, trying to make decisions that are sound. 

And sometimes at night, when all the decisions of the next day are swirling around in my head, I just want to offload on someone.  I want someone who feels the weight of the decisions as equally as me, who hugs me tight and says "fuck, how are we getting through this one." 

Have you ever stood in your living room after a very bad phone call giving yourself a pep talk as tears flow from your eyes?  Telling yourself you have exactly one minute to cry and then suck it up because you have to walk into daycare and pick up your 4 year old who still thinks life is awesome and flawless.  Do you know how many of those pep talks you actually have the strength to give?  I'm not sure how many more will work but today's did so that's alright.

And then at the end of the day when you feel a thousand miles away from anyone who cares, when you feel incredibly alone, something as stupid as a facebook status that doesn't even begin to show the tip of the iceberg you are dealing with elicits such support and sweetness that it warms you.  The dad from ballet who sends you a hilarious picture which causes a genuine smile, the casual friend who sends you a video of a waterfall because it's pretty cool, the opening of the mailbox to a card from a friend that serendipitously came at the exact right day.  You gather strength from those things because in this world where we can all feel and seem so self-centered, busy, egotistical, and withdrawn....we aren't.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

finding the time

I love when autumn meets summer.  That small few weeks when pumpkins are out, the trees are turning, the weather still is in the high 20's but instead of breaking out pools and sprinklers, you cherish the warmish cool and embrace the merging of two seasons for the brief moment they pass by each other.

There's an urgency not to let one warm day pass because all too soon it's going to be chilly and darker, meals will be heavier and warmer, clothes will be layered, walks will be a little more hurried.

As the warm breeze filled the kitchen last night after dinner, I roused my two littles and urged them to come with me for a walk.  We loaded up J's bike and despite the kitchen still untouched from our meal, we went outside.

I needed that.  I listened to my body when it reacted to the smell of the trees and the touch of the wind on my arms.  I knew I needed to be outside in it and let go of everything that had happened to me yesterday.  The kids needed it too.  We would push bedtime 15 minutes later and enjoy a warm evening.

The trails are my favorite, I love that they bustle with people because I'm not looking for solitude, I am looking for solidarity.  Other parents out walking with their children.  Other people who felt the need to get out and enjoy the evening.

Big breaths.  Be present.  Let my shoulders relax and feel my chest rise and fall.  Mindfulness.  Being in the moment and not in my problems.  Holding my daughters hand and feeling it in mine.  We come home renewed and happier for taking the time to live.

no filter needed. 

searching for a bull rush

she's so vibrant she skips and runs everywhere

a helpful push up a big hill

setting sun

I just love this walk

J said "look mom, I bet that's heaven"

"hurry up mom"

my favorite feeling