So … nearing 50, I’m finally learning that I give myself the best advice. Life has been difficult and challenging, but I’m learning to go within to figure out what to do. Every once in awhile, I forget this sage advice and send off a flare to my extended family. I then have all sorts of not-helpful-at-all, blame you, blame him, take more drugs responses. So, I have compiled my own response to my latest cry for help:
Karen, you are kicking some serious ass. You are in the ‘thick’ of it, four children, aged 4 to almost 16, dealing with toddler issues and preteen hormones, your oldest ‘almost driving’ which is terrifying. On top of it, add that it is a blended family. It would be oh so much easier to have four biological children. And with an ex-husband who does nothing to make it any easier and spends little to no time with his sons (seriously, I have sent my son’s home with teammates at games their father is watching as he will not drive them home two miles.)
Yes, your husband has his issues as we all do. But look, you all can get along in the mornings when you have energy. This morning, he asked you if you’re still mad, the man was going over paragraph by paragraph the page of what you ‘need’ right now (basically … Space and lots of it.) He does not give up. He figured out he’s sent out over 1400 applications PLUS we have to look HERE in Chicago or close by, just today he told a company that Orlando is not going to work. You cannot move your oldest son who will be a Junior this year.
Your husband’s sister sent him the email that I had sent them, and he said that reading it (in which I complain about him), he feels for me. I feel for him. How he motivates himself to keep going. It’s Herculean. Seriously.
Look around … look at the people who have two children the ages you do .. 4 and 7. They are stressed out by that alone. And then add two more preteen children, no job, financial pressures and no extended support network.
Kicking some serious ass, my girl. Yes, you are.
Four kids, and they’re doing awesome. Knock on wood, they’re healthy, happy, growing, learning and fully aware that you would do ANYTHING for them.
Everything you are feeling is NORMAL. And it’s not ‘your fault’ your kids are so much work. Kids are Work. Period. KIDS … ARE … WORK. PERIOD. If they aren’t work, then you aren’t raising them.
And more power to you on your computer app. I’m amazed, as you’ve heard from these large successful companies full of 30-something, having-fun, making-money, life is so fun, let’s save the world and then go have a cappuchino & some Thai food techies, the fact that you have bootstrapped this on your own and it is organically growing to the tune of 10 to 20 women joining each day, pat yourself on the back, my dear. I’m proud of you!
You have affected Lives! You have!! And nothing beats that …
Yes, I know it’s scary. It’s scary figuring out what to do and how to do it, when there are not enough minutes in the day and the minutes you do have, you often have to spend just talking yourself through the anxiety and anger and shit … but keep going. As long as She opens a door, keep going through it. She’s with you. She is.
Take a deep breath and keep going.
I got you.
A P.S. from me:
Yesterday, I took my son to his try-outs for next year’s travel baseball team. I find this funny as we don’t have money to pay bills or our property taxes, but my son is trying out for a travel baseball team that will cost upwards of $1800. He played this past year on an even more expensive team. I signed him up, and my mom came through paying for it. And it helped get me through the year. And his growth and smiles, worth every penny … of money we do not have. So I’m watching him try out, and there in the pitcher warm up cage to the side of the field is this bird that is stuck. Somehow she got in there, and now cannot get out. I watch her a few times as she furiously flies towards the netting and goes nowhere.
So I walk over and lift up the netting. I attach it to the side so that there is a way to fly out of the cage. I walk over to the bird in the back of the cage who is by this point trying desperately to disappear even though she cannot. I tell her, ‘you’re free. Fly out. See. There. You can go.’ But of course, she does not understand. I try to walk in back of her to encourage her to fly to the opening, but she does not.
So I leave. And I hope. That she will find the opening on her own.
I spend the rest of the day thinking that a lot of us are like that bird in the cage. Afraid, terrified, continually flying towards what we think freedom is but being stopped by this net.
And then the net is lifted.
There is an Opening. There is freedom.
But we still have to figure out for ourselves how to get there.
“We are Alive
As the Earth Is Alive.
We have the Power
To create Our Freedom
If we have courage
We shall be healers
Like the Sun
We shall rise.”