Now that I am 36

My birthday is quickly approaching.  And each year, around this time, I like to evaluate where I am in my goals.  I like to ask myself how life is going and if I am on track.  This year, for some reason, this evaluation is causing me unexpected anxiety.  And tonight I believe I’ve figured out why.  Because this past year, my 36th year, the year when I was 35, has been incredibly productive and I’m not sure that I can possibly improve upon that.

Reflecting upon the time since my last birthday, I practically have whiplash.  Since my last birthday I have:

-taken several family trips

-written a play

-presented said play in front of a paying audience during the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project’s Women’s Works festival

-successfully homeschooled my children through second and part of third grade

-founded and directed a homeschool co-op

-guided my children through theatrical productions, tutoring, sports, American Heritage Girls, and various other extra curriculars

-realized that the theater group through parks and recreation was being run in an inappropriate manner and stood up for what was right by informing those in charge (despite fears) so… overcame fears!

-worked on my marriage and succeeded in reaching my goal of my relationship with my husband being better on our 11th anniversary than it was on our 10th (which we haven’t gotten to yet but I’m certain things will be just as good in a month as they are right now)

-starting counseling regularly

-made new friends

-cut out grains and sugar from my diet

-started exercising quite regularly

-had laser eye surgery

-completed “The Artist’s Way”

-picked up a couple of fun hobbies that I enjoy:  needle felting and co-administrating a few Facebook pages devoted to some of my favorite tv shows

Now, what I find so interesting is that most of these achievements did not come as a result of some arbitrary goal that I set for myself last year.  The majority of them were just… well.. random and wonderful things handed to me by the universe.  Which really makes me think now that it’s time to set my goals for next year…

Maybe my number one goal for this next year should be to open myself up to whatever the universe is ready to hand me.

I already know some of the things that the next year has in store for me…

-I’m going to be coordinating lessons and organizing volunteers for the new satellite campus that our church is starting.  I’m sure I’ll be helping in other ways too (for instance I’m already helping out with the new Facebook page).

-I’ll continue to run, grow, and improve the homeschool c0-op that I’ve started.

-I’ll continue to work on my marriage and love on my husband.

-I’ll continue my new hobbies, but only for fun and only when I feel like it.

-I’ll continue my new and improved diet and exercise plan.

-I’ll continue homeschooling my precious children and driving them around to all of their many activities and appointments.

So really that just leaves the one thing that I’ve been meaning to do… I’m always being asked to write a cookbook.  This doesn’t appeal to me exactly.  But what does appeal to me is compiling a collection of essays about my relationship with television.  And what I’ve agreed to do is start collecting recipes over the next year to place amidst those essays.

I feel like I should have more goals.  More things to work toward like I usually do.  But the truth is that I’ve really accomplished a lot this past year and I’m already on the right path in so many ways.  What a great feeling but also, it’s a bit intimidating.

How could this coming year possibly live up to the last one?  Doesn’t seem possible.

Three years later…

It’s been three years now since my oldest son, Hunter, had his life-saving bone marrow transplant which seems to have cured him from leukemia.  Three years.  It seems like a life time ago in all honesty.  I’m not sure why I feel the need to keep writing about it.  But I do.  I can’t help it.  Maybe because I figure someone might stumble upon my blog and need reassurance that three years later, the bone marrow transplant is a distant memory.

Most of the time, it is.

We recently attended a retreat for families of children who have or have had leukemia.  The illness was such a thing of the past that it didn’t even seem to pertain to us.  Leukemia is no longer what we think about day in and day out.  Now, instead, we are dealing with the aftermath.

The learning differences.

The anxiety.

The depression.

The fear.

The emotional breakdowns (both his and mine).

The memories that will literally pop up out of no where and take my breath away.

The unknown.

There is still so much we don’t know about Hunter’s condition.  We don’t know if he’s sterile yet.  We don’t know if he’ll end up with secondary conditions as a result of his treatments.  We don’t know how his academic performance will be made more and more difficult as his school work becomes more challenging.  And we just learned at his three year check up that we don’t even know if his heart is functioning appropriately.

What I do know is that three years later, in many ways, I’m less hopeful.  Less grateful.  Less optimistic.  I know how this sounds.  I sound like one of those people you would like to throttle.  I didn’t lose my son to cancer.  I didn’t suffer the unthinkable.  He’s here.  He’s relatively healthy.  He’s doing okay.

But after three years of watching him fight, suffer, try multiple medications,

lose friends, be bullied, be ignored, cry, break down, go from counselor to counselor, and in general live a miserable existence, I’ve grown a bit jaded.

Fighting the good fight.  Two peas in a pod.

Fighting the good fight. Two peas in a pod.

So, I’m here to tell you that three years later, it still hurts.  I’m still scared as hell.  I’m exhausted. And I’m starting to think that there is no hope.  I wish that wasn’t the case but it’s the truth.  It’s my truth.  And, well, I hate putting such negativity out there but dammit, I’m tired.  I’m sad. And I’m not sure if there is any chance that I won’t be tired and sad ever again.  At least when it comes to my son.

It just sucks.

Can’t imagine what it’s like for him.