Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chin up!

I saw a great quote today, on a message board for some acquaintances whose little girl was just diagnosed with brain cancer last week.


Sure, it's been used before, but for some reason, it really stuck today. And so, on that note, I'm resetting my mental framework officially, back to the present. I won't lie, I took a bit of a nose dive for a few weeks, but I'm over the hump and looking up.

And I'll begin by bragging about my kids a bit. You KNOW you want to hear it.

Katie's doing AWESOME with math. Amy, our teacher at Three Oaks, just moved her onto multiplication today. My Kindergartener is multiplying. How cool is that?! Further confirmation that my daughter is brilliant and that the Montessori method of teaching rocks. Katie LOVES her math work, and is so very proud of herself.

And Sadie is now talking in complete sentences. Just three short months ago I was worried about developmental delays with language, and now she is going off the charts verbally. She's very hard to understand, but works really hard to properly enunciate her words. Today she was sitting beside a little boy, rubbing his back as he worked (she's very touchy/feely). He looked up at me and said "She really loves me, you know." "Yes," she said, "I love him." And it begins...

Jason managed to get one more week squeezed out of his job, so that was a good thing. His last day is Friday, but he's confident he'll find something soon. He's got an interview next week (not for a specific job, with a recruiting agency), so hopefully that will open some doors.

And as for me, I relinquished quite a bit of the added stress I'd taken on with some volunteer efforts the last few months. I realized that the work I was doing was important, but not so much so that my mental and physical health should be put at stake (this realization came to me in the middle of the night as I lay shivering in bed with the flu over the weekend, while entering data for that volunteer work). I was pushed to my limits with a few negative people, and decided to exit stage left. And I feel good about it. I'm going to ensure the transition is a smooth one, and that my efforts don't go to waste, then I'm drawing the curtain on that portion of life for a while. I need to stop and breathe, spend time with the girls and reconnect with my friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Running for 'Manda

It's that time of year again - Ukrop's 10K time! This year I will be running in honor of my long-time friend, Amanda, who continues to fight leukemia. Last year I ran for the first time, in her place. It was the day that she began to discover what her diagnosis was, after a series of strange illnesses. This year I want to get a better time by at least five minutes, and to make her proud.

Anyway, I'm in the process of forming a team - temporarily called Team Amanda. Let me know if you're interested! We won't necessarily run the race together, but we'll meet up afterwards, party and add back some of the calories lost, and toast to the Great Amanda. I'm hoping Amanda will be able to join in the affair, but we'll have to see what is going on with her health and scheduling.

As our mascot and motivation, I'm also hoping to find a time for a little kick-off shindig (if we can fit it into her crazy treatment/health/upcoming travel schedule). Let's get out there and show her we love her, pound some pavement and make her proud!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

One step forward, two steps back...

Life was beginning to turn a bit closer to our average shade of normal last week. Jason's feeling better and pretty much back together from all his medical drama. Sadie's mellowing a bit after weeks of tantrums. Katie was happy to have rediscovered the joy of the school routine. And I got back up off the couch after two days of sick/exhaustion and got back into life.

Then the newest fun hit. Jason has become another victim of the economic downturn. As of Friday, he will be unemployed. If you know of anyone looking for a brand manager, let him know.

And so, the fun continues. I'm stressing in a weird, detached way. I know life will continue, and that we'll either make it or we won't financially, and that there's nothing we can do except search for opportunities. I've been struggling with a decision as to whether or not to continue in association management (the pay is abysmal in a small firm like mine), so I, too, will be on the market. Of course I have the school to contend with too. But I don't get paid to work there (breaking even is finally happening), so I can't hold my hopes on that to grow fast enough to support our family. I'm on the lookout for graphic design and writing freelance stuff to help fill in the gaps. You know, when I'm not working on my two companies or two clients...

OK, it's not all dreary here. Katie and Sadie are both in super fun stages right now. Katie has really taken off with her reading, which is a lot of fun (though it sucks that I can't get away with spelling things out in front of her anymore - time to break that habit). Sadie suddenly became a talking machine and talks, nonstop, day and night. I love her singing - she's quite the diva. My favorite goes something like this... "Fossy Snowman! Joll-ee Sowelll!"

Anyway, onward and upward. I'm hoping this "setback" is actually a sign of something bigger on the horizon!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Not so tough, are ya?!

During the past two weeks, a lot of people have told me I am strong. I want to set the record straight. I am NOT strong. My nerves are raw and my emotions are on edge. I've cried the past two days over multiple things, big and small. I'm exhausted and, dare I admit, feeling a tad blue. I know, I shouldn't be. I have a lot to be thankful for. But there it is, I said it - I'm weak.

I know that the "you're so strong!" comments are meant in sincerity, and as a compliment. I do appreciate the votes of confidence. But the "me" that comes out on this keyboard or chit chats on the phone is far from the deeper "me" that is curled up in the recesses of my brain in a fetal position, rocking away, rocking away...

For some reason our family got hit by two major medical traumas in two short years. And I had a front row seat both times. When you're thrown into something like that, you don't HAVE a choice but to hold it together and "stay strong." But I'll tell you, the minute it's all over with, I, for one, go to pieces.

So, I disappeared the last few days from humanity. I spiked a nice fever at 102 the day after Jason was released from the hospital, and two days later, when it went away, I was left feeling more exhausted than I ever remember feeling before. The adrenaline that kept me going during crisis mode has long since gone, leaving behind a worn-out, stressed-out mess in its wake. I was home with the kids and Jason for what felt like an eon, leaving only for doctors appointments and must-have Target trips. I answered the door in pajamas. I didn't bathe for two days at a time. Thank goodness for our friends in the local Mended Little Hearts, who were so kind to bring food by for our family this past week. I had no presence of mind to cook, clean or do anything beyond caring for the kids and Jason (when allowed - he's rather irritable on all those steroids). I pretty much fell to pieces.

Tomorrow things start up again. The girls are back to school, our preschool is again open, and my consulting business is back in full-swing, gearing up for tax season. Jason goes back to work, as well, though he's still not quite back to his normal self (he's dying to go back to work - that right there is an indicator that something still isn't quite right).

I'm ready to move on, too. To pick up the pieces and get life back in order. Tomorrow is a new day, in a new year that I KNOW holds great things! I just need to pull it together, get up off the couch and get back in the game.