I'm in a funk...or maybe, I'm just in a phase...or a season of life...or a rut. Maybe I don't need to label it to know that I'm stuck. "Survival mode" has been my life's theme for about three years now. It's consisted of pre-deployment survival, deployment survival, and post-deployment survival. Hopefully, the post-deployment survival is nearing an end. There is a slight possibility that the uncertain limbo that we've been suspended in may be nearing an end which is good since I fear it is taxing my health. I swear my heart has aged...I can feel it. Add on top of our limbo, uncertainty, and unemployment (hey, thanks for that Uncle Sam), the decision to adopt a little dude to our already crazy lives. As the saying goes, "the best laid plans of mice and men", it has proven to be true. We've naively entered into an arena we knew little (more accurately nothing) about. And just as much as things don't always go as planned, people will disappoint, go back on their word, and let you down. I guess "to error is human" or more precisely we are a fallen race and to be a sinner is easier than to be a saint. Nonetheless, I've been bound, gagged and forced to dwell in the realm of survival for longer than I had bargained.
Quite frankly, I'm tired of surviving...of just getting through the day...of wishing we were a couple years down the road just so I can dream of an easier, less stressful, more joyful time. A realist may say that I'm wallowing or simply sulking in my own pity party...and there may be some very real truth to that. I've felt like a victim...a victim of the government, of the military, of higher ranking officers who don't give a damn, of budget cuts that are personal, of double talkers and back stabbers. And I'm really tired. I miss waking up and enjoying...enjoying my kids, enjoying my husband, enjoying the day, enjoying life...enjoying being a mama and a wife. Stress and uncertainty (and a twinge of sleep deprivation) has left me in a cloudy daze...one that I am desperate through which to find my way.
Fear has a tendency to cripple and paralyze, and indeed it has made me its prey. It's hard to trust that "things will work themselves out" or "everything will be ok" or "God has a plan" when a family is faced with such scary realities. But we've persevered...as best we can, though I must admit the past three years have left more than bumps and bruises in its wake. However, I still feel that "one day at a time" is hanging over my head and not in an uplifting way. I've lost...joy. And I need to seek it out and grab onto it. I don't want to "just get through the day" hoping that tomorrow will be easier. I want to wake up knowing that each day is precious and that my kids' moments are fleeting. They grow and change and mature every day...and I may be missing it in my quest to survive.
I long for days when I can participate in girls' nights and weekend getaways with friends; days when I can join in the fun with friends because I am constantly feeling left out; moments when I can actually enjoy the companionship of my husband. And in the same breath I know that when those moments are finally here it will be because I am no longer needed...needed by the very little boys that I'm trying so desperately to survive and "just get through". I know in the depths of my soul that these crazy, sleepless, busy moments with my 6 soon-to-be men are the ones to which I need to cling and hold onto desperately. Some day I will wake unassisted after a night of sleep; I won't need to sweep the floor for the third time; I will have endless hours to clean and re-clean a house that didn't really get dirty; laundry won't call my name constantly...but neither will the innocent voice of a little child. Days that seem overwhelming now will be surely missed as my children grow and mature and need me less and less. So even though there seems to be no way out of the survival mode that I am in, maybe it's ok...maybe that's where I'm planted for the moment...maybe it's time for me to grow all the while being still and soaking in these moments that are all-too-quickly going to be only memories.
Maybe...maybe today I'll try to focus on stopping "to smell the roses"...or more accurately the stink weed! I DO have 6 boys!