The past few months have been…interesting.
I’d like to think I’m strong. Strong-willed. Strong-minded. Strong-hearted. You get the idea. But man. Life has really got me these past several months.
Transitions are hard. This isn’t new news. You guys may have read my last post about “momming” and all those things that come with being a new working mom. (Just went back and re-read it…and yeesh, sorry about that. Hormones are for real. Also, I don’t know that there’s actually going to be a part 2 to that blog. Not sure what I was thinking by saying “part 1?!” But I digress.)
It’s been a season, a year, really, of change. Of embracing the inevitable, the stuff we can’t control…no matter how much we try and grasp on for dear life. A new baby (huge blessing), a new normal, new parent roles, job transitions, near death experiences (I swear that’s not being dramatic!), bad news, good news, and lots of things in between.
Allow me to explain just a few of said things.
This is how the end of our summer went. Very long story short, at the end of July, Jon was in the ICU for several days with acute anemia. He was up north golfing with his buddies when he got violently ill. Guys being guys, didn’t think too much of it. Until early in the morning when things took a big turn for the worst.
His buddies basically carried him to the car, drove him to Cheboygan Hospital where they took one look at him and drove him by ambulance to McLaren in Petoskey. An ulcer burned through his stomach lining and blood vessel so blood was pooling in his stomach for hours and hours. They ended up having to replenish five units of blood in his body (the average adult has 8-12. For real.).
I can’t even quite comprehend how weird and scary that whole thing was. Getting that call in the morning. Driving (racing) almost four hours to the hospital. Thinking through the chain of events. It just happened so fast and so randomly. To think that things could have taken a much different turn and trying to process that….it’s a little overwhelming.
Moral of the story – don’t take ibuprofen on the daily. Those warning labels ARE REAL YOU GUYS! (Yes, I tried to warn him, but…#MEN.)
Jon’s doing so much better now by the way. He’s still not 100% with his blood counts, but he’s getting there slowly but surely. The body is an amazingly complex thing. Thankfully he had youth and a healthy lifestyle on his side – the doctor’s were pretty amazed at how quickly his body started to recover. Being kind to your body with good food and exercise (aka functional fitness/CrossFit – guys, you know I had to get that plug in there!) can literally be the difference between life and death.
So while I’m enjoying my husband being home, alive and on the up-and-up… late September he gets the news from his employer that his job has been eliminated. With a new CFO in town in an ever-changing media landscape, we knew things could probably get shaken up a bit, but I can’t say we were expecting that. But, #corporateAmerica.
Deep down, we both know that we’re going to look back and know that it was the best thing that could have happened…as these situations typically are….but let’s be honest, knowing that still doesn’t necessarily make things easier when you’re in the thick of it all, you know? This stuff is tough.
I’m so proud of how he handled everything when it all went down. So much grace and gratitude. While I’m all over here wanting every detail, getting upset about what was or wasn’t done, struggling to understand how other’s handled it, thinking about the people he’d worked with for years who suddenly aren’t “our people” anymore (basically had my pitchfork out ready to march over there… because obviously that’s going to help the situation)…he’s telling me it’s ok and that we’ll be ok. And I know we will. I know we’ll just have to be patient. The right opportunity will come. But all that still doesn’t make it easy.
And man…they say things come in threes, right? I’m here to tell ya…. that’s pretty spot on.
We were planning to put a little addition onto our house within the next 6-12 months. We’d been working with an amazing builder and an architect. We had someone come survey our property. We had a “preliminary” meeting with a city planner who gave us a positive thumbs up. So, we continued with finalizing the drawings of our plans, and had another meeting with a different planner to really double check that everything was going to be legit before we invested money into fully bringing our plans before the city.
This guy SHUT. IT. DOWN. (And not in the fancy Olivia Pope sense.) When someone says “there probably should have never been a house built on this small of a piece of property to begin with”… you know you’re definitely screwed. So the gist of it is that the house addition is also out. Back to square one. Which honestly, is probably a blessing in disguise any way. But dang, talk about an additional deflation in our sails.
I feel like as you grow up, the news of the world gets harsher and more frequent. A miscarriage. A stillborn. A divorce. A job loss. A death. Global news that makes the world seem unjust. It just feels all very… heavy, you know?
I’ve never been someone to think about the negative things or dwell on the things that are out of my control. I know there’s a plan, that God has it handled. That these are the facts of life and that there’s a purpose in all of them. I believe that with 100% of my being and I’m so thankful for that hope we have. However, that doesn’t mean that sometimes it doesn’t still feel overwhelming. Ammiright?
Lately I’m starting to look around like… “Am I on the Truman Show? Is someone recording my reactions? I’m getting punked, right? Alright guys, alright…enough jokes…come on out from behind your secret cameras. Let’s get back to real life where things were things were going prettttty awesome.”
I don’t tell you guys these things so you can give me sad eyes and feel bad. I tell you guys these things because you’re my people, my community, and this is how I deal and process.
I’ve figured out that I’m a late processor. As things happen in real time, I’m kind of a steel trap. I handle it. I take care of things. I get through it. I smile. I’m positive. I try and motivate and encourage others. But… there comes a time where I feel like I finally exhale and look around and think “holy crap, did all of that just happen?”
That’s about where I’m at right now.
So how do you deal when stuff seems to be swirling?
Here’s what I’m up to:
1. Writing things down. Both in a little journal to get thoughts off my mind and using my Five Minute Journal to try and keep my days focused on gratitude, being mindful and the top things I want to accomplish for the day.
2. Reading. You guys know I love my books. Currently reading 100 Days to Brave and The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers. They’re wildly different – ones more of a quick five minute read each day and one is more of a biography. But both are offering good life perspective.
3. Working out. I’m fully back at it now at CrossFit616, hitting up that 6am class because there’s no time after work these days with a little one. It’s crazy what a little fitnessing/sweating/socializing in the AM with your community will do for you.
4. Not trying to make everything ok in a single day. This one’s tough because when things happen, I’m immediately like…what’s next?! What’s the game plan?! I’m trying to be very aware of this and lean into the transitions a bit more and have the foresight to be empathetic while also still being encouraging.
What do you do when things seem to take a big left turn?
Life, man. It’s beautiful, it ebbs and flows, and sometimes it throws you for total curveballs. We have so much to be thankful for in our life and we’re abundantly blessed; so when these things happen, it almost seems wrong to feel frustrated and at a loss. But feeling is human and a healthy process, and so in this moment I’m reminding myself of that.
I have one of those cheesy quote calendars at home…and just a couple of days ago I ripped this one off and kept it as it seemed fitting:
“Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.” – Sonia Ricotti
Here’s to surrendering, letting go and having faith in what will be next.
Hope things are well in your little corner of the world, friends. All the love.