As I sat on my rowing machine while watching Food Network - because that's how I row (you missed me, didn't you) - I realized I had yet to write a blog post for 2015 and last year, I was nothing if not an absentee blogger.
I'm not sure if I could put a finger on the reasons why blogging has fallen to the back burner. Part of it is probably because I'm trying to fit thirty hours into twenty-four and it was only natural something would fall and if something was going to fall, it should be my silly little blog rather than feeding my children. All of my writing time has been poured into working on my novel, writing for Momtastic, freelance beta reading and editorial development, and, sometimes, writing quick little stories. Stories that might have at one time found homes here.
I think another part has to do with this being the fourth year post-separation. The first year I was in survival mode, barely able to recognize myself. The second year, I found my footing to a certain degree. Life began to settle into a routine that took me into year three and then four. To me, at this point, I should have my act together. And yet, sometimes, I still have trouble finding my feet - though I have no problem finding anxiety. It seems odd, though, to write about that here. It's as if my statute of limitations has expired and without being able to formulate exactly why I'm still filled with fear of the boogie man, I elect to instead just not write.
I'm starting the year that will end with me turning forty. I have made no secret of the fact that I'm having trouble with that number. It also means I'm trying to set my house in order because shouldn't a woman of forty have life somewhat figured out or, at least, think of herself as a grown up?
(I'm also planning my mid-life crisis, but that's another post.)
Life is good. Don't get me wrong. Life is very good. There were key moments over the last few months when I've felt such intense love for the people in my life, my heart hurt. Over Christmas, we went to the Lake Park where the homes surrounding a now dry lake were decorated with flashing lights and smiling snowmen. As I sipped wine out of a red Solo cup and laughed at my children dancing in the disco lights with their friends, I looked around me and realized how important these people are and how vital to my life they've become.
And it's not just my friends. Rachel gave me a new little niece to love. Baby Ivy arrived on Benny's birthday and brought memories of rushing to see a new baby, of holding a wee little bundle, and the feeling of time I had when I looked at my baby sister holding her new baby.
I've been spending more time with actual people than with my virtual friends. Hiking, coffee dates, First Fridays, tea parties, movie nights, game nights, bike rides, beach days...most spent with my phone sitting silently in the bottom of a backpack or tucked safely on a shelf.
All of these things bring me peace and joy.
Still, there is upheaval in my future. Chad got a new job and is moving next week. He'll be living an hour and a half away, starting his next chapter filled with people I'll never meet and living in a house I will only rarely see. Our custody arrangement is shifting with this move, ending the easy flexibility that has made this whole experience so much easier.We're both worried. Worried he won't be able to see the kids as often as he wants. Worried the full weekly weight of childcare will be too much for me. Worried the kids won't adjust easily. They've had to adjust to so much already; it hardly feels fair to ask more of them.
Still, he's getting a second chance and for that I am truly happy.
I'll settle into a new normal, I'm sure. I have an amazing network of friends and family and people who feel like both.
And I got a housekeeper. That alone might keep me sane.