This has been a challenging week for me. My mind is switching back to school schedule and busyness and saying good bye to the ease of summer. Schedules begin to fill up, but my excitement toward the new, the un-experienced, the unexpected is waning. I’m one of those people who have always liked the beginning of the school year. For me, it’s really bigger than New Year’s. It is the time of year that my mind and heart begin to process new beginnings. Since becoming a parent, I look forward to watching my kiddos grow and change and revel in the opportunity a new school year brings for them. I have always been so hopeful when the school year begins.
Here in Arizona, we are beginning school earlier each year. We now begin in early August and it is still just so hot. The days of enjoying the sun turn into days of getting through the heat. There is no change in seasons. There are no fresh, evening breezes of fall, just heat…even the nights linger in very warm temps. It won’t be until October when we begin to really experience any change in the heat. For me, this takes away from the fun of starting school again.
I’ve turned many corners over the summer. I really didn’t expect it to be a season of change, but more a season of rest. I did get to rest. I did get relief from the daily grind, but I filled those days with more time and energy into framing our future. Future! Yes, future. There, I said it…I think that’s the biggest shift I have experienced in years. I am beginning to think of the future again. I am planning again. I am (hopefully) participating more in my own life. I am looking forward to things a bit.
The thoughts of the future always engaged me so much at the beginning of the new school year. I think it was that joy at looking forward to the opportunity that the future will bring…when Dave died, my future as I knew it died with him. There really was no future. I couldn’t see forward.
In my early widow days, the thought of looking toward the future was criminal to me. Thinking about tomorrow meant I was leaving behind yesterday. Leaving behind yesterday meant leaving behind my husband. I couldn’t muster the strength to do that. I couldn’t muster the strength to even fathom life on my own, alone, raising our boys…I just couldn’t do it.
Now, in year seven…I can look forward. I have things to look forward to…this summer, dare I say it…I think I have made a paradigm shift…I am no longer afraid to face this life I was given on my own. Do I struggle with it sometimes? Definitely, but, there is something that has shifted…maybe I’m just getting used to this life. Perhaps, time has done some healing. I still have those days and very often am overwhelmed, but, tomorrow is coming. I not only know tomorrow is coming, I’m ok with it. I’m not cursing it anymore. I’m not dreading it anymore. It just is and I’m ok with that.
So as overwhelmed as I am about getting everything moving again and having to actually plan for some upcoming events in my life (not just in my kiddo’s lives), I’m also ok. It is not a crime for me to live without my husband…it is not a crime for me to look toward the future with optimism…it is not a crime for me to move forward (careful not to say move on here, because I don’t like that term). It is not a horrible for me to hope for better not just survival. This really is a new way of thinking for me since his death.
So as I get the kids ready for school and get myself ready to go back to work and moving at that breakneck speed, I’m not dreading the new, the future, and the hope and optimism it brings. It makes me nervous some moments, I still miss him dearly, but, with hope, I can look toward tomorrow…and the next day…and maybe, toward a future that I can create with happiness and joy.