Saturday, September 10, 2011

The rat race.

It's been awhile since I've posted, so I thought it was about time to reconnect with the blogosphere. A lot has gone down in the past month since we've been back in Boulder. We've reentered what I fondly call "the rat race" now that I've returned to working full time. And while that is sometimes pure hell, it's also been a bit refreshing to get back to one of my passions - teaching middle schoolers. I'm sure some of you just gagged at the thought, but these hormone-charged, awkward pre-teens are my absolute favorite to work with. I just "get" them. Maybe because I'm not afraid to be a little weird along with them. :)

Besides work, we've been dealing with Calvin's adjustment to daycare which has actually gone surprisingly well... for him. For me, it's been much harder, but I'm hanging in there and taking it day by day. He loves the other kids and exploring the play areas, and he's even bonded with one of the teachers (which I initially thought would totally bug me out but is actually quite soothing). He's a bit more snotty and tired than he usually is, but little by little I'm learning to let go. I've decided that the most important things to me are 1. he is happy and 2. he gets enough sleep. My previous obsession with him getting enough calories has morphed into an obsession with him getting enough zzz's. I'm trying to be more flexible, but for the most part, I'm a stickler for the naps and bedtime. Luckily, Calvin is pretty resilient and can even handle being put down at our friends' house, sleep on the drive home, and settle into his own crib quite easily. Maybe it's because on a daily basis his sleep is pretty consistent. Eh, who the heck knows. We do our best.

Both Angus and I are moving at the speed of light to keep up with this life, but we've been able to find some quiet moments that help get us through it, like our Saturday mornings at the farmers market on a blanket in the grass, date nights, snuggling on the sofa watching our next addicting TV series (currently, Battlestar Gallactica and Modern Family), or Friday sushi nights (sometimes in, sometimes out). My sister and Mike have been in town this past week because they're on their way out to Palo Alto for Katy's next nursing assignment. Having them here has been really refreshing in so many ways. I can't believe that come December, they could be living here, and our dinners in and out, farmers market trips, and hikes could be happening on a weekly basis. It's surreal, and part of me doesn't even believe that it will happen, but my sister assures me that it's their plan and they'll be here eventually.

It's been two months since my dad died, and dealing with the loss isn't getting much easier for any of us. In fact, I think I miss him more now than ever. I crave our phone conversations, walks, vacations, and trips home. I can see him in my memory more alive than ever, but then I remember that he's not, and my heart breaks for the millionth time. Dealing with the death of my dad has been a constant emotional struggle because while I am attempting to process my own loss, I am also trying to help my mom process hers. I still find myself stuck in the "it's just not fair" mode or the "what could have we done differently?" mode. I know that these are just stages of grief that I'm cycling through. When I enter one, I try to pull myself out and closer to the point of acceptance, but I often find myself wondering if I will ever really be able to accept a loss this great. I'm angry for my dad, for us, for Calvin, and I constantly wonder if he's OK. I talk to him out loud in the car on the way to work in the morning, and pray to him at night. I know I'm painting a pretty sad picture here, and I don't mean to be negative Nelly, but it is sad for us. That's just a fact. But at the same time, my dad's death has taught us all to really embrace how he lived life. Fully, without regret, dedicated to those he loved, and kind to everyone. I have had the chance to see how many peoples' lives he touched - even people who only met him once or twice - and remembering this has really helped me get through the toughest of days.

Overall, we're chugging along and finding our new rhythm. Sometimes I find myself staring at the mountains in the early morning light or daydreaming about the cornfields at sunset in my hometown, and I feel so lucky to have this life. Although it's easy to get lost in the stress of the grind, I am trying to focus on all the good I've been so blessed with, especially having a dad that showed me every day how to live presently and gratefully through the ups and downs of this crazy life. "It's OK to take a breath, Ker," he'd say. "It may be a race, but you don't have to win."

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post. I absolutely love your writing and I can't wait to read one of your novels someday! Love you so much.