Posted in Kids, Me

Managing

I am. Managing, that is. Managing four teenagers, their schedules, their schooling, their mental health (and lack thereof), driving them hither and yon, my own life (thankyouverymuch) and, a little, my husband.

My daughter finishes up her Partial Hospitalization Program tomorrow. Finishes because they have seen much progress and she is ready to move down to a group therapy setting four times per week 2 hours per session. Down from 8:30-2:40 Monday through Friday at a place that was about 30 minutes away. Including dropping my other daughter off at her school, I would leave at 7:45am and return at 9:10ish. and then repeat at 2:00 and return around 3:15.

I saw some joy returning to her this past weekend. Joy that I hadn’t seen–honestly–in three or four years. It has deeply grieved me and I was almost in tears yesterday seeing it. So I will unilaterally say this program has been GOOD. I had my doubts in the beginning, although I supported her going because she wanted it and the team thought she needed it.

I think I’m just a little tired of keeping too many balls in the air. Some are starting to fall, and I really dislike that. But there’s just one of me, and I can only do as much as I can do, so I’m trying to give myself grace. Not necessarily doing well with it, but I’m trying.

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Posted in Health, Kids, Me

Margin, or Lack Thereof

It has Been. A. Week. (insert shaking head)

Monday began like it regularly does, with grocery shopping and one of the girls having counseling. At the end, however, the counselor wants to see me. She’s concerned about where this girl is, and thinks that she needs to change from one on one counseling once a week to group counseling 4x/week for 4-6 weeks. For reasons. I’m, naturally, freaking out not only about the need but also, realistically, about the scheduling and what needs to be done to make it work.

So Wednesday we make our way to the counseling center to fill out forms and for the group counselor to assess my daughter. For “30-45 minutes” after our forms.

One and a half hours later, she says that she doesn’t think group is the right placement, that my daughter should go into a “partial hospitalization placement” for a couple of weeks. This is from 8:30 – 2:40 Monday through Friday about 25 minutes from our house.

Ok. More freaking out, because of the exact same reasons listed above.

I reschedule my upcoming allergy appointment and the boys’ upcoming plastic surgery consults (long story there), but keep my “relaunch your career” class even though it’s stressful to do it, because, darn it, I NEED it. I need something for ME. And I hardly ever do anything for me. I’ll manage the driving from West Chester to Phoenixville to Media. It’s a LOT of driving time, but it’s worth it. Maybe the next two days of my classes when I have to also drive her, I will not go back home in between but will return to Phoenixville instead after class.

I find myself taking very deep breaths and letting them out slowly through my mouth in a blowing motion. No clue why, but if it’s what I need, then ok. I feel on the verge of tears a lot, and REALLY want someone to hold me and say everything is going to be ok. Usually I’m the one doing that to one of the kids.

I don’t do well with a lack of margin in my life. I build it in on purpose because I know myself and I need it. However, hopefully this will only be for two weeks and then we can just worry about group time in the evenings.

Right?

Posted in Me, Uncategorized

Empowering and Humbling

Those were the two words I used to describe to Jim an exercise at yesterday’s class. The class is right now finding more about yourself–your strengths, values, Myers Briggs, etc. (Later on we’ll be taking that info and incorporating it into our resumes).

One of our homework items last week was to write about a Good Experience. It had to be fun and something we were proud of. (I don’t know about you, but as a mom of teenagers I don’t often think “yeah, I’m so proud right now!). I had to dig and dig and dig and finally came up with an experience while I was still a professional organizer.

The original plan was to break into groups of two and read each other’s stories and write down strengths or traits we saw about the person because of that story. A lot of people were just as overwhelmed as I was about it, and didn’t do it. We ended up reading one out loud and then breaking up into groups. It was mine. I thought it was just a story about helping a young mom with three littles unpack and organize after SIX moves in 18 months. (As an aside, I loved that job. It was challenging and fun and the mom was very sweet.)

So I read the story out loud. They asked questions for clarification. And then–yowza people!–they started listing words and phrases:

Taking initiative, organized, discerning, altruistic, assessment of space, parcinga job into tangible, manageable parts, assessing, decision maker, kindness, non-judgemental, patience, supportive, efficience, time management, flexible, objective.

  1. The fact that these women got these words from my little story blows me away.
  2. There’s no way I would have come up with two or three, let alone that long list.
  3. Look at my blog title. That’s EXACTLY how I felt in that moment. They saw such wonderful things about me. But I also couldn’t deny the words, because when she handed me the list at the end and I looked it over, I had to agree that I had shown those things.
  4. Man, having the arthritis in my back kinda stinks because I could totally go for organizing again.

I have more homework this week, which I’m looking forward to. I haven’t done homework in 27 years, but while this is difficult, it’s also fun.

Posted in Change, Kids, Me

The Year of Change

Some people choose a “word for the year” each new years. I’ve done it myself–last year in fact! (It was Engaged). This year I’m going with the word Change. Because I need to embrace it, although I typically hate it.

Change in parenting, change in my marriage, change in my work status…lots of change in circumstances.

However, I’d also like to embrace some internal change as well, more likely known as growth.

There’s been some serious talks around here lately, between my husband and I, between my sister and I and even between me, myself and I. Conversations about things that need to be addressed, looked at, and yes, changed.

So here we are. 5 1/2 months until graduation, 8 1/2 months until Laura goes to college and let the roller coaster start!

Posted in Christmas, Me

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

December 20th. 5 sleeps until Christmas Day. ONE DAY left of school and work. I love Christmas and all, but oh, how we as a family need the break from life this year! School is being, well, SCHOOL. Work is, well, WORK. My family is burned out and needs to sleep in, relax and unwind for more than one or two days in a row.

That said, the house is decorated, the tree is up, the presents are all purchased as are the stocking stuffers. I have to make one batch of fudge tonight and another Sunday. We need to wrap presents. So at this point we are at a good place with holiday preparations.

Ethan and I attended church on Sunday, which we haven’t done in months. I was pleased to see a few gals from my Thursday morning Bible Study, and enjoyed the time there. I love being at church. I don’t like GOING there, but I love BEING there, if that makes sense? I’m hoping that 2019 finds us more faithful with church attendance.

As we close out this year, I wanted to say Thank You to my readers and followers. If you had asked me 13 years ago if I would still be blogging I would have probably laughed. Yet here I am. Still posting, still wondering, still parenting, still figuring things out. Thanks for coming along for the ride with me.

Posted in Change, Health, Me

When Did I Become a Drinker?

I grew up in a tee-totalling household. We were Baptists and that was part of it, but my mother’s father was a active alcoholic until his death and that was the larger part of it. I chose, at 21, to try it. My brother cannot drink and be ok, and I didn’t want to end up where he was. But I figured I would be able to tell if I couldn’t handle it. And honestly, that has largely been true.

I chose, on my honeymoon, to actively allow myself to get drunk. I was in DisneyWorld, at a bar that we walked to from our hotel room and I figured it didn’t get more safe than that. I got schnockered on two mixed drinks and HATED it. I couldn’t control my body and felt awful. I thankfully didn’t get a hangover, but that was my one and only time being totally drunk. In the last 20 years or so, I’ve mistaken how much I could have on an empty stomach or how strong a drink was and been a little loopy, but all in all, I’ve been a responsible kind of imbiber.

It helped that I didn’t like it much. Beer? YUCK. Straight liquor? YUCK. Wine? YUCK. Mixed drinks where you can’t taste the alcohol, ok. Then a few years back I discovered moscato and hello! I liked wine! I could have a glass at a social event and fit in! I could go to a winery and actually drink something! I could buy a bottle, keep it in the fridge and enjoy a glass here and there.

And that’s mostly where I’ve been. I really hate the current culture where people joke about how much wine they drink or how hard it is to get through the day until they can get a glass in their hand.

But with all the new research that’s coming out about how there’s really no level of alcohol that is healthy (despite all the crap that the spew about red wine and the heart), I’m finding myself at a place where I think I want to just stop drinking. I read this article today, where the author talks about how she gave up drinking a year ago. It won’t be missed in my side of the family. My sister can’t drink after having chemo. My brother is in recovery and doesn’t drink. My parents still don’t drink. Just my husband and my brother in law do on my side.

So I’m taking a leap of faith and announcing here, officially, that I am no longer a drinker.

Posted in Change, Kids, Me

The Firsts of the Lasts

Having two of my triplets be seniors means there’s not only a lot going on (there’s ALWAYS a lot going on!), but there’s a lot of “last times” as well. The last first day of school. The last first marking period. The last school pictures. The last pediatric dentist appointment. This week was a biggie: Laura’s last IEP. Yes, I got a little verklempt!

Laura’s IEPs used to be short–20-25 minutes–and easy.  But then last year hit and she went downhill so quickly. Instead of just vision support and Orientation and Mobility, she’s now getting counseling and occupational therapy. I’m happy that her school is so caring and supportive. I argued for more OT–every week instead of every other–and they agreed to change it. Hooray for advocating for my daughter!

In news about ME for once, I had a big milestone birthday. Yep. I’m 50! The actual birthday was kind of a letdown between my reaction to a medication and the reaction of one of my teenagers, but I’m looking forward (mostly) to this coming year as I enter this decade of massive change. I’m questioning a lot, wondering a lot, thinking a lot and emoting all over the place (up, down, up, down! I’m like an adolescent!). Here’s to menopause and may it happen SOON!

And here’s to the many lasts that will be happening in the next months. May I face them hopefully and happily and not cry too much.