We are both suffering from lack of sleep. Him on his side of the world and me on mine. I’d like to say I use this opportunity to be hyper productive but alas that is not the case. By the end of the day I just want to be a sloth. It is interesting how my energy levels ebb and flow. Right now is an ebb period I guess. Trying to help the kids regulate their own emotions and find our new normal, our new groove, all while shouldering the responsibilities of the house and pets finds me pretty tapped out by days end.
I am trying to be kind to myself too. But at the end of the day that looks a lot like watching PBS. I am still accomplishing my to-do lists and so very thankful for all of our friends and family here but I think a big piece of me wants to hibernate for the next 8 weeks. I am resisting this urge and keeping us all busy though which is much healthier in the long run, if exhausting in the short term.
Thankfully the kids are starting to regulate emotionally and the paper chain is working nicely. I just wish sleep was not so elusive.
So, the hardest part of the journey has begun. I drove him to the airport yesterday. Now begins our 65 days without daddy. The kids and I made a paper chain to mark the 65 days. Each evening before bed we will get to rip one more link off of the chain. I also had him do a recordable story book, and the kids LOVED that. So, now we wait.
My to-do list is immense but thankfully I have an incredible support network here to help. My wonderful in-laws had us over for dinner last night, mom drives in for the weekend, and I’m grabbing lunch with friends. I couldn’t do this without them. I am terrible about asking for help or accepting it freely but that is something that is changing by sheer necessity. I think that is a good thing. At the end of all of this, if I end up a little less type A and a little more willing to lean on the support of others it would be a good thing. My mom sweetly reminded me that I don’t need to be Atlas on this journey. I have an army of folks to help carry the world with me and for that I am deeply grateful.
Now off for some retail therapy!
I have been plagued with thoughts on this theme. It has woken me up at night and followed me around like a gnarly dog. It has begun to infect my head too. Making me question my own strength, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Do I really have what it takes to do this? What if I don’t? What if I crumble while there? The impact of that would be horrific for all of us. And yet, this infection is growing. I’m not doubting the decision. We came to it in a reasoned fashion and it is the best choice for us now. But, as I sit here on the eve of his leaving I feel every ounce of weight on my shoulders.
Can I carry the emotional load of my family for two years in a place that affords me no rights, that will present us daily with challenges, that will test all of our limits? I have no ability to say no. Failure is not an option. I need to quell this nagging thought of not being strong enough, of the terrible price of failure, of the situations I cannot control but will have to navigate my children through. Hell, the situations I will have to navigate myself through. But I can’t, I can merely make them be quiet for a short while. Let go and let God, right? I guess I am needing a hefty does of God right about now.
So, lately I have found myself listening to a lot of leaving songs. Not in an existential way, I’m not zenning out to enya while rocking in a corner. More, I seem to naturally gravitate to them, on every radio station. I guess it is all very real now. We have 6 days left until we put him on a plane for two months in the Kingdom. I renewed our newspaper subscription only through December 14. So it seems only fitting that I need to hear the songs of leaving as I prepare to do the same.
And at the same time, in the last few days I have found out wonderful news from two friends and yet, I face the stark reality that I will have to celebrate the culmination of this excitement from afar. It is so hard to comprehend not being close enough to hold hands, give hugs and listen face to face. To know that our beloved N will be two years older and we won’t get to see him everyday. To not be able to share daily life is a requirement of the move but the effects are so much deeper on the psyche than when I left the great state of LA to go to college.
So, it is not a surprise I have retreated into my shell a bit. The world is spinning so fast right now, so many to-do lists, so much emotion, so much leaving and going away. I find being alone with my thoughts (with an occasional meow from the furry one) is cathartic. It gives me a safe place to process all of this and prepare to be the emotional rock my family needs me to be.