Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.


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Adjustable

It’s been nine weeks since I arrived in Italy.  There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t say to myself, “I can’t believe I’m here.” Nine weeks ago I was living in the United States surrounded by all the things I’ve been familiar with for the last 25 years.  Now I am surrounded by the unfamiliar.

The best way to describe what I’ve been going through is to imagine you are tailor.  You love being a tailor and are good at it.  Some one calls and asks if would consider opening a clothing store using designs you’ve created.  You’re excited.  You’ll have an opportunity to showcase your talents and do what you love on a grander scale.  The person tells you the store will open in Italy.  Even better, right?  But there’s a catch.  You’ll need to leave your family behind and live alone in Italy for three months.  For the first three months you will not be doing sewing or design creation.  Instead you’ll be locating a place for your new store, working with legal issues, purchasing equipment, hiring staff…you get the idea.  Your excitement becomes clouded with reality.

I think one the reasons most people don’t pursue dreams is because of the adjustment period.  Adjusting from the known to the unknown is scary, unsettling and at times painful.  I’ve shed many tears since my arrival.  The circumstances I’ve had to deal with have been far from ordinary.  Yesterday I was expected for an appointment to visit a local school.  Feeling confident, I decided to meet my staff at the location instead of driving with her.   Mind you I’ve only been driving in Italy for a week.  I pulled out my GPS and headed on my way to the location.  As I pulled up to the destination I realized something was wrong.  There wasn’t a school in sight.  I called for directions, but it didn’t help.  I drove around searching desperately for the school to no avail.  Finally I called to say I wouldn’t make the appointment.  I drove back home feeling defeated.

Many times I’ve felt sure of a situation only to have it not work out.  This happens to everyone, but when you are out of your element it happens a lot more.  If I had gotten lost at home I would have called my husband, but here I had to figure it out on my own.  I didn’t realize how dependent I had become on the support of my family and friends until I was no longer with them.

Although the struggles have been real it doesn’t mean I would change the decision to move here.  Each day when I overcome a difficult situation I become more confident. When I try something new or different I become braver.  Every time I accomplish a task I didn’t think I could do, I realize I’m much more capable than I thought.  It’s a good thing. It’s a crazy, amazing, ridiculous, and wonderful adventure.  I’m proving I’m adjustable to a new life.  I’m proving working for a dream can be hard, but living a dream can be worth it.

 

 

 


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Eating an Elephant

Afrikaans: Olifantbul in die Nasionale Etoshaw...

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“Life is like eating an elephant.  You can only eat one bite at a time.” – Lucille (Nate’s Mom)

Whew!  It has been a while since I spoke with you.  I have been busy, very busy.  We moved from the little house into the new bigger house.  It has been a time of great stress, joy and sadness.  They say the three most stressful times of a person’s life are death, divorce and moving.  Whoever ‘they’ are, forgot to add moving into a home that is having a lot of remodel work done to it.

I have missed writing to all of you.  The only reason I am able to do so now is because my husband took the boys out to buy a Christmas tree.

“Mom, aren’t you going to come with us to get the Christmas tree?” – Tall Boy

“No.  I am staying home.” – Mom

“Mom, but you are going to miss all the fun.” – Tall Boy

“I will be just fine staying home…ALONE.” – Mom

Five days until Christmas.  To be honest, I would rather not get a tree this year.  My husband feels the same way.  We still have so many boxes to unpack and hundreds of things to do around the house.  Getting a tree seems like another chore on our very long list.

It was not a smooth transition to our new home.  The remodel schedule ran behind and we ended up staying in a hotel for several days.  Hotel living is wonderful, but not when you are not on vacation.  We picked a hotel the big boy’s school so we could still drive them each day.  We stayed there until the flooring was complete.  All of our home items were packed into the garage, until we could arrive to take them out.

My new home looks wonderful.  New floors, lighting and smooth ceilings (we removed the popcorn).  But it still needs paint, curtains, baseboards, landscaping and a major cleaning.  The task of moving reminded me of ‘eating an elephant’, as my dear mother used to say.  So overwhelming when you look at the list of things to do.  Each bite (or task) does not seem to make the list shorter.  As soon as my husband and I are able to cross one item off the list, another task is added.

When we moved into the little house years ago, it was challenging.  I had one child and was pregnant with the second one.  I guess it was so long ago, I forgot how stressful a move can be.  The biggest stress is packing and unpacking all the ‘crap’ my family has.

As you know swearing is not really my thing, but since the move process has begun it is all I seem to do.  My mother considered crap a swear word, so I do too.  I thought because I had a ‘little house’ it would be easy to move our things into the bigger house.  WRONG!  Turns out a little house can still hold a lot of crap.  I did not sort through all of our things before hand, so I have had to do so as I unpack each box.  Brutal.

I do not consider myself materialistic, but you cannot imagine all the stuff we have.  It took five solid days to move out of little house.  We moved some things in our mini-van and neighbor’s truck.  One day we rented a U-Haul.  Two days were spent cleaning the little house for the new owner.  Not only did we live in a little house, but apparently we lived in a very dirty house as well.  Once the furniture was removed, it was clear we were lacking in cleaning skills.

Every day for the last two weeks has been filled with tasks on the move.  Scheduling people to work on the new home, cleaning the little house and new home, packing, unpacking…it goes on and on.  I realized during this long ordeal that I like order.  I am a Virgo.  Virgos like things organized.  Living in a state of chaos for weeks on end has broken me.

At one low moment, I was cleaning the little house and my husband talked about us all staying in the new home.  He thought we could all sleep in the family room, once the flooring had been installed.  After he left to take the big boys to school, I broke down.  I began to cry.  Not a little cry, but a deep sobbing that lasted until his return.  My husband found me loading laundry into the washing machine, sobbing uncontrollably.  He asked what was wrong and I told him I could not take it anymore.  Sensing my overwhelming stress, he booked a hotel near the boys school that had both continental breakfast and dinner.  The hotel was expensive, but it saved my life.

People move all the time.  I used to work for the Navy and active duty people could move as often as every three years.  I wonder how they did it?  This move to the new house almost killed me.  I still do not feel like myself, but so many people remind me I will soon.  I wonder how long it will be until ‘soon’ arrives.

We have about 60% of our crap moved into the home or put out front for a donation pick up.  The rest of our crap remains in our garage, for someone to sort through.  I know the ‘someone’ is me, but sure wish I had a magic wand to help me out.

Glad to be with all of your again.  One of the reasons I did not write a blog sooner, was because we did not have wi-fi hook up.  As you can tell, we do now.  So blogging is back.

It is not over yet.  So much to do and the husband and boys will be back soon with the tree.  We will have to find the Christmas stuff in the garage.  Groan.

By the way, even though I sound stressed out, I am very happy.  My new home is everything I could hope for and then some.  The stockings sure look cute hung on the fireplace.  I know how blessed I am.  I know it.

Thanks for reading today. Talk to you soon my friends


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Photo Friday – The Little House

Last week, I used photo Friday to show off the home we are moving to.  This week I will showcase the home I am leaving.  We start moving this weekend.  By the end of next week, my little home will no longer be mine.  I’ll admit, leaving her (all homes are girls) will be sad.

My family and I arrived at the little house fourteen years ago.  We had one baby and another one was growing in my belly.  When we first met little house, she was run down.  She needed new things to make her more attractive.  We gave her a new roof, new paint, new doors, new windows and even re-did her bathroom.

The only complaint I have ever really had about my little house is…she is little.  Other than that, she has been a wonderful part of my family.

Today I want to share with things I love about my little house.

If you came to visit little house, the first thing you would notice is her deck.  It was built by my husband and friend.  It is lovely.  It surrounds a beautiful, purple orchid tree.  The red chairs and big pot are coming with us, but the deck stays.

I love doors.  The little house has lovely wood doors.  I put this little bird door knocker on my front door.  Little bird will follow us to our new home.

My living room has a red wall.  It was difficult to have so much color when I first painted it, but now it feels just right.  I am planning to do another red wall in my new home.

I never thought I would be able to afford wood floors.  But since little house is small, we could put them in without being too expensive.  My little dog will come to the new home.

Little house has little closets.  My husband and I have shared a small closet meant for one person.  Hubby redesigned our closet to fit all our stuff.  I have more stuff, but I do my closet by seasons.  Spring and summer clothing are in the garage.

My backyard is a beautiful space.  My husband and I love trees.  We planted nine trees on our property.  Two trees sadly died, but seven stay.  I love how trees move in the wind, provide shade and are ever-changing.  I will miss my trees very much.

My neighbor and friend is a wonderful artist.  She painted the stunning tree in the big boy’s room.  She also painted sweet, fluffy clouds on the ceiling of the little guy’s room.  I have suggested to paint over the tree for years, but the boys never wanted to do it.

This outdoor table was being thrown out by a school closing down.  A friend told me if we could find a way to move it, we could have it.  It sits on our back patio and is very heavy.  Many people have sat at this table for all of our outdoor entertaining.

My husband built this sandbox for the older boys many years ago.  My boys have always loved playing in the sand.  We will build a new one at our new home.

This is the view of my neighbor’ home.  The best thing about my little house has been the neighbors.  My husband and I do not have family in town, so our neighbors have become our family. We have shared  many happy times.  I will miss seeing them everyday and waving hello.

I feel emotional.  I hope the new owner realizes how special our sweet home is.  She has been a place filled with love, friendship and happiness.

I’ll miss you little house.  Thank you for taking such good care of my family.