Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Our Own

Since January 1, 2009, I've had my 3 adopted daughters mostly on my own. Yes, we were living with my parents for several weeks, but my mom and dad were supportive grandparents and let me still be the parent. Because of courts and custody and all that jazz this situation could change, but I predict I'm going to continue to have a life I never imagined myself having at 33, I'm a single mom to 3 adolescent daughters.

The emotional climate of our home is much better than it was a few months ago, but I do find myself flailing about, grasping for answers to basic questions, like what are our Dating Rules?? How do I respond to disrespectful arguing?? What are reasonable limits on cell phones?? on computer time?? on tv and video games?? What afternoon and evening routines and habits are essential??

As I sort through all this new found parenting territory I want two things to guide my choices: love and faith.

A new gratitude: all those painful years of piano lessons. (thanks mom!!) I was playing hymns yesterday at my friend's house and I so LOVE mormon hymns.....there's nothing quite so relaxing and soul nourishing for me than playing them on a piano. I've been searching and Craig's List for a used piano all morning.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A List

Some ways I've survived (and even thrived) while in the middle of a stressful divorce:

1. The eliptical machine at the South Davis Rec Center. I'm doing other things now, like basketball practice and running, but there was a good 3 month stretch when I was on that machine 40 minutes a day, five days a week.
2. Friends. I have been graciously encircled by a cadre of wonderful women. It's been easier to keep close friends as I've made the hard choices that have brought me closer to being my true, good self.
3. A decent lawyer. Yeh, they cost money, but having a lawyer that I have a lot of confidence in removes lots of immediate stress because I'm sure it's important and good for the long term.
4. Laughter. Funny movies, funny friends, funny websites, funny tv. It is not just a distraction; laughing a lot at all sorts of crazy stuff helps me remember to laugh at myself and that is what helps me keep everything in perspective.
5. Faith.
6. A good therapist. Mine said I'm doing remarkably well, all things considered, and didn't even schedule a follow-up or next visit. But it was still good to hear some professional validation of things I'd been sorting through for several months.
7. Family. I stay connected to all of my siblings on the internet and phone and we are very close. My parents provided the well sheltered harbor we (my girls and I) needed for several of the roughest weeks.
8. A savings account. It's gone now, but was definitely nice to have when this all started.
9. Learning new things. Learning to prep the walls of a room before painting it was lots of fun. Next? I want to learn to ride a motorcycle, shoot a handgun, and change the oil in my car.
10. Trust. I have a lot of trust right now in my daughters and in their ability to weather the immediate storm. I also have lots of trust in God and his ridiculously mysterious hands, always holding us, but never letting us see that far ahead.

I'm not really out of the woods yet, but this whole journey has followed the last couple of seasons closely and in many, many ways if feels just like spring. I feel hopeful and renewed.

Monday, March 09, 2009

In Like a Lion

Big, cold blizzard here in SLC today. ROAR. Roarrrr.

Today's Gratitudes:
March snow doesn't stick to the roads.
I got in and out of the DMV to replace my stolen driver's license in less than 10 minutes today.
Easter has this gorgeous light of responsible big-sisterly love that comes out bright around Lydia, who is in town for two weeks.
Car is working fine.
Heater in house is working fine.
My phone and ipod were in the pocket of my hoodie and not in my purse
My homegirlz
Healthy children and healthy self.
Peaceful home.
Credit card companies pay for fraudulent (stolen card) charges.
Nobody asked me why I was so thoughtless and turned my back on my purse while bagging my groceries.
Good class of sixth graders.
Get to gradually start teaching my sixth graders again as student teacher is winding down his stint.
Great equipment at the South Davis Rec Center
Zumba dance class.
Big TBR pile of books waiting for me to start up that old reading habit again.
Lydia remembered me and ran and hugged me on sight Sunday.
Excellent student teacher.
Harriet tells me about all her boyfriends.
Spring Break is in less than a month.
And I still have some amazingly sweet gifts sent straight from above: faith, hope, patience, and peace.

O thing that consoles, how clumsily I thank you.

It has been a rather stressful couple of days, but when I'm quiet enough, I hear god laughing and that wise laughter makes a blissfully calm soundtrack for my life...