Nearly every morsel of me wants to title this blog…bah humbug…but that little light of hope I carry around won’t let me do it. The holidays are upon us and well, they are bringing me down. At least I think it’s the holidays. I’ve had so many changes this year. The largest one, taking a new job hasn’t been what I had hoped. My personal life, well, I’m not sure how much personal life I have because I work a bunch and it is catching up with me. My boys just aren’t themselves. Is it really as simple as we are back in the midst of the holidays again and our broken hearts surface again in a more distinct way?
I really do have a hard time some days sorting out which is which. Are some of the things that bring me down just normal things or am I taken down more deeply because of my widowed soul. I know many people struggle with work, children, balancing their lives every day. Is the acute pain I feel because down deep, I know my life would have been very different if cancer hadn’t knocked on my door nine years ago and taken the only man that could put up with me?
It has been a very long several weeks. Really, it has been a long semester. The new job I took, shuffled our lives around so much. That coupled with the fact that it was necessary for me to take on coaching for extra income the last six weeks has exhausted me. I was already feeling pretty guilty about how much time I am with my boys, but add coaching and I only see them for three or four hours a day, if that. I feel like that out of touch parent. They spend more of their days with other people. The time we are together is not quality time because it’s catch up time.
I’ve been trying over the past several years to let my social life back in too. I’ve had a bit of success, but I think the more I let it in, it compounds the loneliness. Once a month or so, I have a night out and then the nights home feel quieter, lonelier than before when I was just used to being alone at night. Does that make sense? I think again, changing jobs has a huge impact here too. Teaching in high school is a much different beast than teaching in an elementary school. I’m not sure if it’s just this particular place or high schools in general, but the apathy runs deep and I finding myself disappointed in my choice. I love the kids and the teaching, but miss collaborating with colleagues. I keep telling myself that it takes time to build new relationships in a new workplace, but now I’m not sure if that’s it. I miss my former colleagues very much. I miss a work place that fosters building relationships and models it.
I also had very sweet, dear friend let me down in a way I never thought would happen. I trusted this friend with a very vulnerable part of me. A place of respite and safety for me has disappeared. I am so hurt by this and what appears to be a lack of care for the disappointment that my heart is broken. It really makes me wonder if it’s worth it to put that trust in someone, anyone really. So, I don’t know if it’s just a normal disappointment that’s hurting my heart or is it my own abandonment issues that make it impact me more.
All these pieces of my life march into the holidays with me. I see the spirit around me rising, but I’m feeling more broken this year. My fragmented heart is feeling its scars. I am thinking about my boys and another year without their dad has passed. My little one is always so angry. I’m not sure if it’s a phase or if it’s his grief coming out sideways. My big one had his heart broken by a girl. He appears to be handling it ok, but again, that anger comes out. I wonder if he’ll struggle with the same abandonment issues that I struggle with as he moves into adult life. I wonder if we will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop when we have happy moments. We did know happy. We did know safety, security. We did know love. The other shoe dropped though. I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to buy in completely again. I want to, I hope I can, but I don’t believe I’ll be able to get there. Well, because I know nothing really lasts forever. Nothing.
Yet, despite nothing lasting, the light of hope, the memory of love, and the longing to feel safe again will propel me into the holidays the way it always does. I will go through the motions and hope they become reality. I’ve come this far, I can’t give up now. I know I will hit moments when it feels like life is miserable. I know this. I know I will hit moments that scream at me that I’ve made the wrong decision, trusted the wrong person, or let myself and my kids down. I will pick myself up and try again. I have survived. I will continue…holidays or not.
That damn hope.
That wonderful hope.
That undying hope.