As I type this, our wacka doo pit bull mix is running through our office wagging its tail faster than Twitter blowing up over Trump’s golden shower incident.
By “office” I mean a small box of a room we carved out of our living room so my husband could jump start his I.T. business at home while I Ebayed, wrote and looked for full-time work.
The good news is that my husband’s business is slowly gaining momentum, and I landed some work as special need’s aide at a public middle school while my own book starts to generate a bit of income/ freelance work trickles in.
(Don’t scoff at the total. It’s only $59 for October, but it’s $59 from total strangers’ pockets based on someone searching frantically through the internet for “My kid’s tics are driving me batty Dear Lord HELP ME” and… based on my book… they’ve been mildly satisfied. See below!)
Shameless plugging? Perhaps. But truly, this book was my heart and soul. It was written before the pressures of having to go back to work for pay. I’m grateful beyond belief I had the ability to write it… to help other parents not feel so scared and alone at what might seem a daunting diagnosis. But truthfully, life has seemed a hell of a lot more stressful since.
Much of this has to do with the physical space of our house. As in… I have no space to myself anymore.
As I mentioned a while ago, my bedroom is actually a dining room now that my daughter has taken over our room. In theory it sounded amazing. Kids in puberty… their own space… we’ll simpify!
In reality, it’s meant my husband shoving his things into the front hall closet. I’ve used an old armoir for storage in the living room. We put our essentials under the bed in plastic buckets and our extras in shelves along the long wall of our makeshift bedroom. (Oh, wait… we don’t have those shelves yet! But it’s going to be amazing when it happens!)
Sometimes I’m irritated about sharing space with a renter, a husband, a dog, two kids and more neighborhood kids than a line at a Hamilton discount ticket drawing.
The other side of it, however, is that it’s only as frustrating as my acceptance level. Less physical space has its benefits when it comes to good old fashioned soul work. Cramped quarters in my home has translated into larger mental space. I’ve had to add new footage to my old ideas about what I needed to be happy. I’ve had to come to grips with what success really means. Is it a paycheck? Well, yes, in someways. I’d like to do more for my kids. But in the end, it’s how I answer the following questions that’s truly money in the bank:
- Am I happy that my kids have such lovely folk to hang with? Yes.
- Do I like my job with these special needs kids? No. I love it.
- Have I learned more tolerance and patience? Yes.
- Am I sometimes still a jerk? Of course! But I’m getting better.
In the end, these “things” I used to want so badly have become less important to me. They are, in the end, not hallmarks of a happy life. They are lovely toppings, instead, on a sundae that must always begin with a woman who is content and grounded based in the things that matter most:
- Time with my children
- A good book
- Forgiveness of the past
- Hope for the future
- Better communication with my spouse
- A life not based on what makes me happy but what makes me purposeful
- A faith that God hasn’t brought me this far to drop me on my butt
If my 26-year-old self had heard my 46-year-old self describe my life this way, I’d have a quick translation for her: Loser.
But in reality, what more is there?
What About Goals? Do They Matter?
You betcha. A road with no map will certainly lead me somewhere – and that somewhere can be the difference between a suite in a New York plaza or an Idaho truck stop. (I’ll take the hotel, thanks!)
But this year is about being a little less controlling about the drive, the destination and even the passengers. I’m letting God steer a bit more. Who does He want me to be? What purpose do I need to fulfill? Who will be part of the road trip? Will I be earning my money through writing? A degree in special needs? Sharing my Doterra Oils or my book? (Ooooh… let’s not the pilot that I’m not half done with.)
Complicated Mama – Simple Life
I’d love to say I have it all figured out, but I’ve learned trying to manage, manipulate and control my future is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titantic.
Maybe it’s okay, just for now, to take this job I have one step at a time, come home to my family, cook a dinner, watch Once Upon a Time as a family, and see where everything else pans out.
(And maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll have an extra box of Trader Joe’s gluten free Joe Joe’s and Ghost Pepper chips on hand. OMG – so amazing!)
What About You?
What about you? Do you know 100% what you’re doing? I’d love to hear from you. And you’ll hear from me, too.
Next Time – Tic Update – Stink is Doing So Much Better!
Until next time,
May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.