Coming Back Into Focus

A conversation with my daughter two nights ago is causing me to take a pause and come back into focus. It went a little something like this:

Mom, let’s make play dough. We make play dough at school. We should make some. 

I’m so glad you get to have play dough at school. Right now, it’s harder for us to do that kind of stuff so I’m glad you get to have fun with it at school.

(As I sat on my bed folding piles of laundry she looked at me, paused, and then started to walk out of the room. Then she stopped. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes.)

Mom…why…you…you never play with me anymore. 

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After some big tears on my part and admission that what she was saying is true we came up with some ideas for how to spend more time together. We’ve since had a challenging game of hide-and-seek, put on a few puppet shows, and spent more time reading together. These are all small things that make a huge impact in not just her life, but mine. I am more full when I take the time time enjoy my children. The piles of papers are still on my desk and boxes sit in the living room.

I think when any parent hears words such as these it causes them to take a pause and think about what’s important. My daughter’s genuine heartfelt feelings stopped me in my tracks and I’m thankful for it. It’s been three months since we started moving and this move didn’t seem much out of the ordinary compared to any other person out there. But it’s been hard. Very hard.

For now I’m taking a pause to say yes to my family and practicing the art of saying no to others. No to lunch out on Saturday, no to volunteering at the kids’ school, no to making a meal for the new mom who just had a baby. Normally, I love giving of myself to others but, right now, my family wins.

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A Break For Now

Hi Readers,

I want to thank all of you for reading my blog. As you can see I’ve taken a hiatus for a bit to focus on family and other musings but hope to be back in the near future. Thank you to everyone who has checked back from time to time to see what was here. This process has been quite cathartic and I appreciate everyone who has shared this experience with me!

Ashley

Mercy

I’m finally getting around to listening to the most recent Dave Matthews album. The song Mercy really spoke to me given the recent tragedy in Boston. In honor and memory of all the people affected I would like to share it. It is a message we should all listen to.

Lift up your eyes.

Lift up your heart.

Singing, Mercy, will we overcome this.

Love is not a whisper or weakness.

Love is strong.

We’ve got to get together so there is no reason to fight.

 

Knocked Off My Feet

There are many things that are hard to hear. For instance, the sound of nails on a chalkboard, that a friend is moving away, or of receiving news that a family member is sick. But few things in this world actually knock me off my feet, figuratively speaking. My husband managed to do so this last weekend. As I was droning on again about how tired I was and how hard the days seem to be he told me in very kind words to essentially, “get over it.” He is probably dropping his jaw as he reads this because I know that’s not how he meant it. But when your husband says, “I get up at 4:00 everyday, I worked a 17 hour day last week (an exception to the norm, thank goodness), I go for a run almost daily, and I help with the kids in the evening…but I’m feeling okay,” it forces one to step back and look at the situation. My mother tried to warn me of it when she was in town a few weeks ago, but in true daughter fashion I ignored her. “You’re just so tired,” she said. “Maybe you need more iron.” Granted, iron supplements tend to be her solution anytime I’m fatigued but she’s only coming from a place of love and concern. I love you, too, Mom.

After a long Sunday of analyzing of my own psychological state I’ve come through the other end with a better point of view. Have I lost a lot of sleep lately? Yes. Has that loss of sleep made me tired and affected me in unpredictable ways? Yes. Am I the only one suffering? No. Has anyone who has ever been a parent experienced this? Yes. Reflecting back on my behaviors over the past months, the hardest and most embarrassing thing is that I couldn’t stop talking about it. Everyone has their own sob story. Not everyone needs to hear about it.

The sermon on Sunday only further guided me to move forward from this difficult time. The reverend talked about different people whom she had personally assisted in some way during a time of need in their lives.  Each person was in dire straights but did not show this outright. They appeared to be in good health, a comfortable living situation, or wearing a smile on their face, despite the fact that they were desperate for help. What set them apart wasn’t the fact that they ignored their personal heartaches, but that they emulated a positive view even though they faced a dark period in their life.

Talk about highs and lows. Being a parent has absolutely demonstrated these emotions to me in quite blunt terms. Thus, I move forward, not much of a changed person, but with a more positive view. It’s already worked wonders.