|A New Year wish for someone I hold in high regard|
This has been a rebuilding year for us. I don't rememebr last NYE-- we were at the rental house and I don't rememebr very much. I don't think I cried, but I was sad quite a bit. This year when I unpacked the Christmas decorations, I remembered only buying the birds for the tree, but I know I bought all of it because I had joked with my husband that I'd saved an exorbitant amount of money at the store and he paused and asked me, "And how much did you have to spend to save so much?" This was the second year in the 14 that my husband and I have been married that I didn't have to put the tree into a play-pen.
Anyway, all is well at the Crumpet House.
I think that I have always been overwhelmed and the fire woke me up to the fact that I have been overwhelmed for the last 14 years (then it was 13 years) of my life. At the time, I thought it was the fire and surely the after the fire it was, but there are a lot of kids and I have had no family to depend on unless literally, someone in my family was dying or I was giving birth. I needed an extreme emergency for help!
The last 3 months have been about us settling. My kids are at different schools that I drive them to in the mornings. I have to fill up my SUV tank every forth day. How do I manage to put 65 miles on it every day, four days a week? The furthest I drive is 18 miles away, but times everything by at least 2 and they add up. I have realized with all the driving that I am always tired, always trying to catch up on more sleep and always running behind.
Today I realized that I wake up late and run out of the house late for everything. We are late to at least one of the kids' schools every day. I have asked my husband to please get to bed early, as in before 9:30 because he doesn't seem to need as much sleep as I do and I can't sleep until he gets to bed, but he doesn't like to. I am not sure how to handle it, but I would ultimately like to be up and dressed before the kids are so that they can wake up to a mom who is on top of things in 2011. I think that if I am on top of things (I feel like I've been body surfing through life-- and I am learning to go from dog paddle to hopefully a stead crawl stroke.)
Anyway, it has been a good year as far as rebuilding. I don't know if I can call it "good" because I am starting to get a sense that I can breathe now. The kids are getting older and while they need me with them more than ever (my sons' brotherly love is more "Cain and Able" than "Orville and Wilbur") I am really in a position to do more creatively.
My husband has been truly amazing. He has his faults-- but he has really done his best when not trying --with the kids-- to drive me out of my mind. He, not me, got us into the house we are now in. And he keeps us afloat. I realized a few days ago that my dream of doing something for pay and working around other adults will most likely not happen and he is the one who works, whether he likes ot or not. (He loves his job and he is quite fortunate.)
I think that what has helped me most through this year (besides the obvious, my husband) has been that I started making Shabbat dinners every Friday. I am not Jewish, but I have always leaned that way-- probably since I was 15. I may convert one day, but I fear that once what I like doing becomes an obligation, I may resent it. I don't want to resent it and I always want to enjoy it's beauty. About 2 years ago I decided to try getting my house as clean as I could and then have a nice dinner and except for dishes, relax for one day. Certainly there were places to take the kids, but I wouldn't bother with nagging at myself to get more done. There is always more to do, so when I gave myself permission to say, "It is done for now and like G-d, I, too, shall rest." I got more done when I resumed.
After the fire, I stopped for 10 months and resumed in July of this year. I started with just observing with tea and cookies! Within a month I was back baking challah bread and kosher grape juice. The baking of challah is spiritual for me because I feel like the making of the bread is like putting my family and friends together. At the rental house, I felt like my postage stamp kitchen was suddenly big enough for me. We have done things backward-- to my Jewish friends, the candles, wine and blessings are the biggest deal, but to me it has been the making of the nice dinner where we would all sit down to eat that has been the biggest issue. At that tiny rental house, the kitchen seemed just right as I cooked even though making burritos in the microwave for four people was usually too much!
I must add here that when I tried having a family night any other night of the week and tried to make it just any night, it was not the same. For me, Shabbat is only on Friday evening to Saturday at sundown. I am slowly starting to not knit of Friday nights and Saturdays. This is hard, but I need the break for my mind. More ideas come to me while I can't create. I'd not drawn for a while and as soon as I decided that I would not draw on Fridays, my mind flooded with ideas. (I did my first drawing in months of a golden lab puppy last Sunday-- she'd been in my mind for a month or two and I finally got her on paper!)
So we are looking forward to the new year. Starshine will be a whole half year into kindergarten, God willing that all goes as planned, and the kids will be a year older and I will be close to turning 43. I hope that I will have cherished this coming year!