I subbed in a kindergarten class the other day, and as I looked at the sweet faces of the very tired children (on the 22nd day of school they are practically still big preschoolers), I thought about how quickly life will move for them…how quickly life has moved for me.
This morning, I pored over some old photo albums on a friend’s Facebook page. The albums were from almost four years ago. The face in several pictures belongs to a young man who is no longer living. In four years, much has changed for all of us. What was on “The Five-Year Plan” of people five years ago? I am pretty sure that five years ago that young friend wasn’t thinking “kill myself” would be on his short list. Life changed somewhere in there.
Five years ago, 2007…
- my kids were a sophomore and a junior in high school
- my mother had lived here for only a year
- my husband and I had just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary
- I was working to build my business of web design and photography
- I was eating sugar and flour
- I was about 180 pounds with no signs of ever being smaller
- I was exercising a lot and so frustrated that I couldn’t lose a pound
- I was very involved in my church
- I read my Bible several times a day
- I was on two different anti-depressants
- I had a couple large groups of friends who I felt cared about me
- I drank a glass or two of wine each evening, .
F A S T F O R W A R D F A S T F O R W A R D F A S T F O R W A R D F A S T F O R W A R D F A S T F O R W A R D ….
Wow! How did I get here? I just didn’t see any of it coming! Since I’m working on a book that will cover parts of the five years, I won’t address some of it too closely here. But…life has changed. I can tell you that I didn’t plan on any of it.
- both of my sons have graduated high school; one is in college, one is not
- my mother still lives here, and I love having her here more than I ever could have imagined
- my husband and I have just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary (in June)
- I am still working to build my business of web design, photography, and marketing
- you couldn’t pay me to bring sugar and flour back into my life, though I have taken bites of things that someone close to me baked — because I love them and their efforts
My life has dramatically changed over the past five years.
- I weigh roughly 147 pounds, drink lots of vegetable juices and smoothies, have begun removing grains in an effort to look at the gluten-free effect
- I do not regularly go to church, nor do I read my Bible several times a day, but I DO have a wonderful relationship with my God. I am certain that he is just fine with my love for Him and my choice to not be so entrenched in the things at church. My faith and beliefs haven’t aren’t greater or less than before, but are certainly more grounded.
- I am on no medications, but I do take supplements and drink tea and do exercises that all support my emotional health.
- I have a much smaller number of friends who I believe would step up for me, call me to see how things are, or want to spend time with me. I’m ok with it. It hurt for a long time. God is good at healing hurts.
- I drink wine or beer or scotch every now and then. I drink lots of water.
- I am deeply in love with a man who has stood by me, encouraged me, laughed with me, cried with me, and always loved me–even when I was weirder than everything as I transitioned through the unexpected changes in our family. Thank goodness…he is my husband!
I am happy in my life. I am not where I once thought I might be, but I am right where I need to be. I cry. I get angry. I laugh. I am almost always smiling. In my heart, I feel peace that I am not in control and don’t have to be in control. I have sunk into suicidal moments and finally have climbed to a comfortable resting place in the safety of a family and small group of friends who love, accept me, and won’t let me leave. Luckily, I don’t sink so far down anymore. I am taking care of myself. I have found that there is a place I can share my experience, strength, and hope, and I can hear about others’, too. My mother has been the rock I could never have imagined her capable of being. My husband has been more than I can find words to describe, as he has shouldered grief, disappointment, all mixed with joy and hope. My sons are amazingly resilient and growing. My deepest desire for them is that they find joy in life and peace within their hearts and heads. (The head is a dangerous place to dwell for very long)
I write this blog because I have so much to say that I believe can benefit others.
I write this blog because I am not afraid to say what others think but won’t speak.
I write this blog because I find healing in it.
I write this blog because…
When you feel frustrated that life isn’t going as you thought it would, when you feel scared that life isn’t going as you thought it was supposed to, or when you feel angry that life just is not doing what you told it to do…trust. You will land where you should.
When I subbed for that kindergarten class the other day, I looked into their sweet and tired faces and thought about how fast life is going to go for them, but I decided to keep it to myself.