The past few months have been…a lot. A lot of good and a lot of changes.
In June I started a big new job. In July, I travelled to Nashville for a conference and a bachelorette party during the same weekend. In August, Lila changed rooms at school, Jim went out of town and I started a year-long leadership academy.
In September, we moved into a new house, and found out we were expecting baby # 2 the same weekend. Then two weeks later, we travelled out of town to be in our dear friends’ wedding. At the end of the month, I had my Valley Leadership retreat out of town – the same weekend I was set to attend a coaching retreat in Phoenix. Naturally I got strep throat that weekend, too, but made it to both retreats.
In October, our old house went under contract. Then my car died – like, needs-to-be-replaced died, so we sold it and started sharing a car for the most part (fortunately Jim has a company car during the week). Then my doctor saw something troubling on my ultrasounds so I started having scans every two weeks that insurance didn’t feel like covering (these were deemed labs, not prenatal care) and I was put on restricted activity (no workouts, waaa). My brother visited from Australia at the end of the month and we had a whirlwind few days with him.
In November, the old house fell out of contract, throwing us for a loop. Lila somehow managed to get two UTIs in the midst of this, which meant some unpleasant visits to urgent care and then a renal ultrasound, which was completely clear, thank G-d. Then it was the election, and the holidays, holidays, holidays — all of which made me question humanity. In December, my ultrasounds thankfully cleared up and the house went back under contract.
In January, we got a letter from the IRS telling us we owed them a lot of money (rude), but some investigating revealed it was an error on the part of a past employer, so that was resolved. Through all of it, I was learning my new job, running my coaching business, serving as a school board member and participating on a couple of non-profit committees. I was trying to be a good wife and mom and friend and human (results: debatable). Oh and today, we finally closed on our old house.
So it’s been a lot when I stop and list it all like that, but not all bad – not at all. So much good mixed in with the chaos.
Throughout all of it, the desire to sell our old house weighed heavily on me. It was a lingering stressor I just wanted to wipe away. So inevitably, the closing today was a long awaited moment to exhale, something I’d been counting down to for weeks. But as I just said to Jim tonight, I think I expected to feel this huge change and sense of relief today…and I don’t. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a good thing. I think it means I finally learned the lesson that I had no control all along, and just had to trust the process. The more I tried to “manage” everything we were experiencing, the less I realized I could actually influence any of it. It took a long time to recognize that and relinquish the white-knuckle grip I’d been trying to maintain on my life.
*10 points to Jim for refraining from shouting, “I TOLD YOU SO, YOU NUTJOB.”
I am an anxious person. I am especially sensitive sometimes. So this season often felt like one ginormous stretch goal in terms of personal development. Some moments I struggled just to exist without knowing exactly how things would work out.
Part of me would like to sound the gavel and declare this chapter in life officially closed, but I know very well that another challenge is waiting just around the corner. One that likely will cause me to chastise myself for ever thinking these circumstances were anything but a walk in the park. That’s life. It’s not necessarily meant to be easy and uncomplicated, but every situation can somehow provide an opportunity to learn or grow. Don’t take that to mean I’ve handled all of this gracefully, because I haven’t. But I can recognize that if things were always peachy, I’d be a pretty crappy mom and wife. I’d be out of touch with my friends, with a narrow perspective and less of an ability to empathize.
One of the lessons I learned through all of this was that despite all the practical things you can do, and no matter how carefully you play by the rules, troubling shit can still happen. It’s not punishment: it’s life. I gained a new (and perhaps more adultish) appreciation for how critical good friends are (those of you who bore the brunt of my angst via text, and checked in on me, thank you – you know who you are). And thank you to my husband who has weathered far more stressed-out-preggo wife moments than any man should have to bear, and yet still rubs my feet and cooks me dinner.
I’ve also gained a new awareness that while sometimes things feel colossally hard, at the end of the day, nothing matters except the health and well-being of your loved ones. Nothing. Not the balance in your checking account, the title on your office door or the number of stamps in your passport. It’s something you hear all the time, but it’s hard to remember some days. I need to make sure it’s on my radar way more often.
The introvert in me is hoping things quiet down a bit for a while. If we’re being totally honest, I’d be on board with sitting alone in a dark room for several weeks, watching reruns of Parks and Recreation under a blanket with a bag of Donettes. We all know that’s not going to happen, but no matter what comes along, it will somehow work out as it should.