I have been having a rough couple of days, just life anxieties, holiday anxieties, end of semester anxieties…. nothing too wretched. I woke up this morning feeling kind of numb. I sat by my fire staring out the window and seriously contemplated going back to bed, but anxiety is wicked thing, and I would only toss and turn while my brained fussed over everything single stupid thing under the sun. Of course I did not immediately get to the things that must be done, no, I noted while looking out the window that it was fairly dirty, maybe more then fairly. So I washed the window, then another, and another. And the front door. And I swept. I swept three times for good measure. I made a to-do list and then burned it. I fed the animal populace. I opened my lap top, closed it, told the children to forage for canned fruit and toast for breakfast, felt guilty, went to the store, bought lunch. Came home, swept again, opened my laptop, stared at assignments. The children watched Star Wars. I reminded them about their own school assignments. I laid down. Five minutes later I got up. I swept again. Opened my laptop, printed out some turkeys for the little girls to color. Stocked the fire. Here I am. The problem with anxiety is that it makes me feel like I need to be doing something, the doing something is like a lullaby for the alien that won’t shut up inside my head, sitting is like gas on a flame, everything is so loud. Some days are good, some days are not. I have done so much more then I mentioned here, today was not the best day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
The shell is completely finished. We have actually started the finish work in several parts of the house. Honestly I am so happy I could cry, it has been a long journey that at points had me wondering if I was going to live in a half finished house forever. Take this contrast, last winter I had my dining room in my living room, my family room was a drafty hall, the kids rooms were just sub floor so a lot of dust and what not fell through to the living room, we had a sixteen foot opening on one side of the house that was only covered by a large heavy tarp (surprisingly we did not freeze), and I had no kitchen. Literally, my stove and fridge were crammed into a hall behind the living room and we washed our dishes in the bathtub! It was fairly depressing to tell the truth, but we survived. This year we got the finish floors installed upstairs, moved the staircase (ya, we are crazy) built a brick alcove in the middle of the house for our woodstove (think Inglenook), finished the kitchen, and built the dining room! I have a fully functioning kitchen! And a dining room! It is a wonderful, beautiful blessing. Our home is fully functioning and now we get to do the pretty and fun stuff. Hurray! We have a plan to have it completely finished by our 20th anniversary in 2020, I can actually see that happening, honestly I think we will be done before then. But I am pretty happy right now, I feel like I am living in a home instead of on a construction site for the first time since we started this crazy project. I will have to take pictures and share them next time.
I am so tired! And I am hot, even though it is freezing, but if I take off my cozy robe I am freezing. And my head. Oh my head. I can’t think……I can’t afford to have the flu right now! Or whatever this is, I just can’t.
We have been blessed with a mild October, and our woodstove is nearing installation. Hurray for cozy firesides, sitting around a warm fire with the wind and snow blowing out of doors is one of my favorite aspects of winter, an opportunity to draw my family close.
We are nearing the end of twin month, Elli will be 11 on Saturday and I have yet to take pics of the two of them, life only gets busier it seems, but I am grateful for a full life, and a wonderful family.
Now to find a way to ward off the impending illness I feel is creeping up on me.
Bad flu, bad!
Since we moved into our house, five years ago? Our shell, our living quarters in training, our forever home that will never be finished (hahaha), we have been making steady progress, but up till this year it has been rough, there has been rustic living, learning to live without certain everyday comforts (for a six months we did not have a kitchen sink!). Because our house was built alongside our mobile home, and our house plans dictated our dining room and kitchen where the mobile home where sitting, we have lived with a tiny square of a kitchen in a back hall, and our dining table was in the living room. It has been a shuffle, and everything shifts around as we build new things, or need room to build. Most rooms have served duel functions, storage is almost non existent, because we haven’t got around to finishing the house, we just buy material every paycheck. Example, paycheck comes in, set aside grocery money, set aside, gas money, buy two bundles of Roxul, and a window. When we actually finish this thing I am going to feel so stinking rich…….
But this year, we finish the last actual piece of construction, this is the last year for buying shingles, and chipboard, the last year for insulation, and 2x6s, and the last year for nails. Nails! I have them everywhere, coat pockets, drawers, in cups on a sill, buckets of them in the shed, under the stairs, everywhere.
Actually I am certain we will always be working on some project or other, I mean we do want to build a garage eventually, hahaha, but as far as the house goes. This is it. Finally.
And that means we have started actually started finish work, the upstairs floors are down, the wiring is done, the lights are in. The material for my ceilings and walls comes in a few days.
Excited to have half of my house finished? Excited to no longer stare at studs, and insulation? Excited to finally be able to paint some walls, and hang up pictures of my kids?
It will still take a few more years to finish it, my poor husband has to work, eat, and sleep sometime, but we are on the other side. Arguably the more expensive side, but oh so much more fun side.
This winter, for the first time in five years, I will have a kitchen, and a dining room. I will actually use my living room as a living room.
Its just too awesome for words.
It is funny how much one remembers when someone close to your heart dies, as though in their leaving they open a gate, a way to temper the aching, grieving beat, beat, beat of a heart still living.
Papa was words that have not been said, he was mythical, as perfect as a man can be. He was simply there, when I was a lost child without a father, he was a father, and in my world that was full of fathers and mothers but empty of love, he was love.
He healed wounds, he cried with me, taught me, counseled me, laughed with me, shared with me, listened to me.
He was Papa. And Papa is gone.
And he is happy, and healthy, and whole.
There is a family that is rejoicing in his return.
I was never going to be ready to say good bye. I still don’t know how.
Because I have nothing to do, certainly not school work, or homeschooling to tend to, or piles and piles of laundry, because dinner does not need to be made and because there are absolutely NO dirty dishes in the sink, I find myself here.
I have been drawn over the last couple of months, flirting with words, dancing with my thoughts, unsettled and uncertain. There is a change, a shift. These things make me antsy.
And so here I am.
With words, stuttering brain.
It is so grey today, I rejoice though, I love cloudy days. The children are about, the husband is at work.
I have been contemplating time, how there are so many ways to measure it, in the growing stack of clothes to take to goodwill, they have grown out of 4T, and the boy is a 10-12T. I borrow my daughters shoes. There is space, ever-increasing, but the cupboards must be full at all times. Teens eat a lot. They go away, and they don’t need me. I need them though. I got lost in the diaper aisle trying to figure out what to buy a friend, I held up onsies and marveled at the tiny size, was my 16-year-old ever that small? My baby is skin and bones, she is long and lanky. She needs me……..to make her cookies and read her books. I can never let her grow older. I already know I have lost them all. And here we have another summer slipping into her red and golds. Another childhood summer lost.
I have so many more years, oh I know, I know. I have time……but I know longer assume I have it all. I can see the change, I can feel the drift. And I relish every day, every single sweet day with these eight beautiful people who call me mother.
I am back, to record that my sons just biked down the drive swords in hand, my babies are playing dress up with stuffed lovies on the trampoline, my beautiful teens are listening to music and drawing……these are the things that make up a beautiful life.
My family are my all, and that perspective is what shapes my heart.
Last year I made a conscious decision to be happy. Life is freaking hard and I was wallowing in misery.
It was pretty bad.
Whose life is the worst.
So. Not. True.
This mental switch wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Get up, be happy.
Example, one day we were driving along, our car started having trouble, of course the sensible thing to do is worry, I could feel it, the anxiety blooming in my chest. Instead of letting the worry monster run rampant, I sat back and thought, wow, so glad we have added a tow package to our insurance, I am glad we are not far from home, we have a cellphone. And most of all, I saw what I had not been previously paying attention too, the rising sun. It was stunning. How could I be unhappy, how could I let my anxiety out when I was witnessing such beauty?
Our car did break down.
But it was okay. Frustrating, oh yes. But okay, life is full of frustrating experiences, hard times, and sometimes trauma.
But attitude is everything.
No, it doesn’t make it better, but neither does being miserable.
I have started a few 52 week challenges, I intend to share them here.
One is 52 weeks of gratitude, this weeks challenge (because I am just now starting) is Why start this challenge. I explained that above, I am doing this because I had a gratitude journal last year and I would say that it was a roaring success. I want to keep going.
I am grateful to have so many things to be grateful for!
Anther challenge I started at the beginning of the year is a 52 week photography challenge, the idea behind this is that my equipment is only a tool. Right now I have a little compact, it is a Panasonic LX7. It isn’t a lot of things and it has its limits, but I am determined to find them and push them!
I started this challenge at the beginning of the year, but here is week 3 (red) and week 4 (portrait, headshot), this photo I did not share with the group but is my favorite:)