Hey! You know I like to keep things real around here, right? Well, I’m just doing my thing keeping it real today. 🙂
Monday morning was HARD, and I was so mad at myself that I was struggling. Obviously I was sad that Jamie was leaving because there’s nobody I would rather be with than him, but knowing that I would miss him wasn’t what was making me upset.
One of the biggest reasons I was unexpectedly feeling so grouchy was that I was already anticipating what a crappy few months it would be without him. Just typing that sounds so ridiculous, but I got myself in a mood where I could feel myself sinking into such a sad place. I truly was just plain sad. I didn’t want to parent without Jamie and I didn’t want to be alone. So I was mad and sad, which wasn’t what I was expecting to feel before he was even gone.
Like I said, I think because we’ve done this so. many. times. (he’s been gone 10 weeks already this year), I was simply just anticipating the emotions I knew I would feel – the exhaustion, the loneliness from missing my best friend (even though my life is anything but lonely!), the lack of interest in cooking real meals, cleaning the kitchen, making my bed. Why do those things if there’s no one here to see?
These were the things going through my head. I even made a comment to Jamie out of bitterness that the house would probably burn down before he got home because I already knew I would have no interest in regularly cleaning it.
And then I heard those foul words come out of my mouth and silently thought “Who the heck are you, Erica? Why are you acting like this?”
So Jamie left to take Hadley to school and I started fielding texts from my best friends who just knew the place I was probably in that morning, even though I hadn’t expressed being upset to them at all. They just knew.
And I started sobbing. Alone. With my sweetest one year old at my feet.
Why am I anticipating the next few months to be so terrible? Why am I letting my happiness revolve around my husband’s physical presence? This is bananas and I know better. Not only should my hope and strength be found in the Lord and His promises to stick with me and satisfy me, but I have so many of the best things in life.
And then I remembered something I heard on the radio Saturday: Disappointments and hardships are as much a part of life as the good stuff, and it’s not a matter of if you’re going to face things you don’t want to. It’s a matter of when. And because we all face very difficult things from time to time, what sets you apart is how you handle it.
And then, right there in my kitchen with tears streaming down my face, I decided that I was not going to let Jamie’s time overseas determine what a wonderful few months I could have ahead for my children and me. How you live your days is how you live your life, and I want to choose happiness and stability every day by keeping my life in order.
So I PUT ON MY BIG GIRL PANTIES and handled it. I turned on the Christian radio station on iTunes (loud), ate a filling, healthy breakfast, drank a big glass of ice water, cleaned the kitchen and playroom, made all beds, wiped down bathroom counters, curled my hair, put on makeup, etc etc etc. Jamie was doing last-minute packing, and man… in two hours, I felt like a new person.
Jamie and I left the house to drive to post, and we were in a really good place. He was teary saying goodbye to us, but I felt this inner power and peace that I could totally handle this, and I was proud of myself for not becoming a slave or victim to my very, very temporary situation. I knew Jamie could handle this too.
We got this. We can do hard things.
Maybe your spouse isn’t deployed. Maybe you’re exhausted from the daily hamster wheel of life, tired of juggling a full-time job and being a parent, a loved one is sick, etc etc etc. We all have something that’s weighing on us, something that doesn’t feel fair (it’s probably not fair unfortunately), and threatening to steal our joy in one way or another. I encourage you to fight that by eliminating the triggers that put you in a dark place. Maybe you need to go to counseling. GO! I’ve been! It’s awesome! I was just talking to a best friend this morning who has been so benefitted lately by going to counseling twice a month, and there’s nothing in particular going wrong in life right now. Clean your house! Make a budget. Buy a new Bible and actually study it with a plan that intrigues you. Call a friend and have a nice, long chat. Fix broken family relationships. Combat what’s weighing you down and choose joy as many days as you can.
Cheering for YOU!
If you care to share, what battles are you working to overcome right now? What brings you down? What triggers can determine your mood, good or bad?