Thursday, October 16, 2014

How are you?

How are you?

I really mean it. I feel like sometimes people ask but don't really want to know, you know? And the funny part about blogging is I get to tell you even if you don't want to know! ;) So I'll tell you how I am, really am, and you do the same, ok? You can leave it anonymously if you want, but tell me how you are doing lately if you'd like...I'd love to hear.

So I'm good. Not the best I've ever been but I'm good. Right now is all about figuring things out, I think. Learning that it is truly impossible to do it all. Choosing what's important, than doing those things well...that's what I can do. And what I am learning to do- trying to do. It's funny, I'll feel like I have one area of my life down- I've got all of these plates spinning in the air. And look at me! I'm doing it! I've got this. But I just cannot get all of the plates up, no matter how hard I try. And then I realize that in the exercise of trying to get all of the plates to spin, I'm focusing on that, and not on spinning at all...

Have I lost you yet? The point being, I'm learning balance. I'm learning how to look at everything in front of me and pick the things I want and need to do, and stop feeling guilty about saying no to the rest.

And you know that feeling when you walking outside, and there's a slight breeze and the sun is shining and you have that overwhelming feeling of happiness? That's been happening a lot more lately. I'll be running and just feel happy. Truly happy, the kind where even though I know shitty stuff happens sometimes and the world isn't really all that beautiful a lot of the time, there's this little bit of happiness right here. And maybe that's all we really get, and that's the point of all of this, to have these tiny bits of happiness and love and goodness and to figure out a way to make them last and last.

But fall is always a little weird for me because it reminds me of loss. Happiness in one hand, loss in another- my favorite month, yet also the saddest. Every October forever, I will always think about that afternoon and that phone call and every strange detail of that day/week/month. And now it's been seven years. Seven. How did that even happen? Some memories are so fuzzy, so hard to grasp, but I can still remember Kendall brightly and vividly, and it truly does feel like yesterday he was with us almost every day. I miss him terribly. And I think as I get older and move through life's milestones I miss him even more- the space where he should be, the place where he would be, so glaringly obvious as times goes on...

Sad and happy and weird and better and learning. That's me right now.

And now, how are you?


  1. How am I really doing? I feel like I am barely poking my head above the crashing waves long enough to gasp before being swallowed up my more things to do. Classes are stealing all of my time, along with trying to do everything else. I feel like I am just surviving, not living.

  2. Crazy someone might ask how I am. At any rate, such is life, the wheels and axles turn, yet we must move on. Reflection is good but I've learned to just live in the now. Thoughts from the past can poison our minds with negativity. It's good for introspective purposes, but don't dwell so much.

    Like yourself, I'm inundated with so many crazy moments of taking care of a four and a one year old - both girls in my case. Kid A just started pre-school, and I refuse to let her get on the bus, for my paranoia of ill-willed people. I might be sheltering her too much but it is what it is. She is still in fact only, four. Kid Z is a whole different bowl of wax. The last one is the crazy one. She keeps me busy, as she gets into the toilet water and trash, if she is not eating the dog food or splashing the dog water! I don't want to bore you with details of my humdrum life, but you asked!

    Moreover, like you, I quit my job at the Art Museum to have the kids. I miss it at times. I dearly miss it. But I guess being stuck with Kids A and Z is a better option than navigating through the museum politics and bureaucracy. Ah, but that's another story.

    Enjoy the season D! Time is fleeting. Seasons come and go. But the connection we make with people, the memories we have with our families, they are the spendid markers of our lives. Peace. -A.

  3. It's amazing how many people have lost a loved one in October. 2 years ago, I lost my mom. 4 years ago, my husband lost his father. 5 years ago, one of our best friends lost his mom... and so on. Yet it is my favourite month too. I can't get enough of the golden light, the red leaves, the first frost, cozy blankets and chai lattes...

    I remember every second of the day my mom died. It truly was devastating. I knew right away it was gonna define the rest of my life. But I came to understand I had a choice as to how it was going to define it. I could choose to make it the starting point of me seeking happiness to make the most of whatever time I have on Earth. Until then I thought happiness just came randomly through big or small events (love, wedding, births, moments shared with friends). Now I've discovered you can work at it. You can try and see the good there is in every day, every moment. I learned to be more present and I pay more attention to the small things, which means a truly bad day is rare now, because there's always something nice, something sweet, something meaningful. I enjoyed reading your post because yes the world is not all that beautiful, but we're kind of the opposite of those news anchors. They spread the bad news, we try to spread the good ones and show the world isn't just war and sickness and fear and ugliness. There can be light too. There can be happiness.

    So yeah I'm pretty much in the same spot right now, happy for the life I have, sad for the ones I miss so much, and grateful for all the things I'm learning.

    Thank you for this beautiful, beautiful post <3

  4. Touching post, I don't think it gets easier, we just learn to live with it.

  5. I try and pick a word each year, a thing to focus on and this year's was "balance". Trying to find a good balance, a stable routine, a good lifestyle. I'm still working on it. Planning my wedding, budgettng, trying to be more organised.. it takes a lot of energy! But I kinda want to feel "on top of it" before we bring kids into the mix. I don't think we ever stop learning or growing! x

  6. To be honest pretty nervous. I'm minutes away from leaving to go get some blood work done. I have tattoos but blood work always freaks me out. The needles are completely different as you know! And I have never NOT passed out so I'm pretty much dreading it. My husband will be with me but I'm still scared. I'm just ready to get it over with.

  7. Thank you for sharing, it always helps to put it out there. I'm stressed. In 16 days I will be moving and there is so much to do! Don't get me wrong, though I am so happy to be moving and creating a fresh start I'm just wondering how it will all get done in time. In terms of loss I don't know if it ever gets easier. September is the month I'm brought back to a phone call changing everything for ever - its been a year now and though the pain isn't the same it still remains. So I'm right along side you feeling happy, nervous, sad, but growing every day.

  8. How am I doing? Hmm... your Octobers are my Novembers and I'm feeling the pressure of the month coming on soon even though we're still in mid-November. I, too, am missing someone, but for all the wrong reasons since I should be happy where I'm at, and I am for the most part, but some vacancies will never be filled. Thank you for asking.

  9. In all honesty... I know things could be worse, but they're really not all that great. I think we're just pretending that everything is good when in reality something is missing. I feel stressed/worried/anxious and like I'm being stretched too thin. I'm trying to make the best of it and yet part of me is worried that like my husband I might also need to go back on medication for the anxiety and depression that is returning... perhaps a sign that things really are not well in our marriage if we both feel like we need medication to get through the day. Or maybe it's not our marriage, but just us. I feel like such a different person than when we married and it's confusing and leaves me with such a feeling of uncertainty as to who I am and what I want.

  10. How am I doing? I'm happy, emotional, tired and overwhelmed. I just had a baby two weeks ago, my first, and being a mother is all new to me. I've had difficulty nursing so I've been pumping and that has been both rewarding and exhausting. I want to give my baby breastmilk but I'm not sure how long I can keep up exclusively pumping as its so time consuming. I worry about everything regarding my baby. When he's sleeping I am constantly checking to see if he is breathing. I have already have a list of questions to ask the pediatrician at his next appointment. I'm missing my husband who is busy with work and school Monday through Friday. Tuesday through Thursday he has late classes so he's gone from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. By the time he's home he's tired. So during the week I get pretty lonely.

    October is a favorite month of mine but I feel like it's flying by and I haven't been able to really enjoy it. I really want to enjoy the season with my baby boy but I can't take him out till he gets his vaccines and I haven't been able to get out of the house much at all as I've been recovering from my c-section and I've been home with my baby. Thankfully the past few days I've been feeling better though and haven't had to rely on my pain meds to get through the day. It's just been a time in my life full of change. Although it's been challenging I have to say it's the best life change I've been through in my life. After two miscarriage in the past 2 years this little boy I have is my little miracle baby and oh so special to me. As challenging as the past 2 weeks have been I'm loving every moment with my little boy.

    1. I've been where you are. My baby girl is almost 5 months now and I still find things to be worries about. :) My husband is also gone all day (6-8) so I'm home alone, but not. I used to work retail full time and now I'm a stay at home mom, which I didn't realize would be so drastic. I really miss having adult conversations. But as they get older, it gets funner.

  11. I'm in my first period class right now super tired. I was up until midnight at the dealership. I feel very lucky to have parents that will buy me a practically new car but I feel like I haven't done anything to deserve it. It's a big purchase and I don't like that I can't contribute to the payments. Besides that, I also feel like a failure in my government class. I've been doing good in classwork but failing almost every test. I'm sure I'm passing the rest of my classes which is good. I've become distant with some friends. Which sucks but I guess it's part of life. Part of me can't wait to get away from all these people but the other part of me is stressing about applying to schools and taking tests and the money. I hope things get better after I'm done taking the SAT and applying to schools.

  12. Like you, I am still in search of that same balance. Learning to say No to things is becoming extremely difficult, especially the more my kids grow older and get involved. Having to high school kids, I only have them in my home for a short amount of time, so I want to do everything I can with them. I want to support them in their activities, I want to hang out with them, I want to spend all my free time loving them and caring for them as if they were two and three years old.
    The truth is, I need to find the balance in letting them go, slowly. I need to give them the space to make their own choices and trust that we've done a good job raising them this far. It is an entirely different chapter of my life, and one that I am struggling with. I know they will always be my children, they will always and forever be connected to me. Still, I can't stop the constant barrage of questions and concerns.

    Take hold of your small children, and enjoy every small insignificant moment for they are fleeting. You will shortly wake up and see two teenage boys before you and you will ask yourself, how did this happen? How did they get so big so fast. You'll have no regrets, not a single one, because you know deep down that you were the best absolute parent possible and you know that no one will love them the way that you, their mother, loves them.

  13. I feel like I should be happy because my first son is rounding out his first year of life. We tried so hard for him and we got him. My dad passed away from brain cancer 5 months ago and all I feel is sadness. I cry in the shower nightly.

  14. Sending so much love to you this month as you reflect on the loss of your friend. I'm lucky enough to have never lost anyone close to me, but I met my boyfriend right after he had lost a close friend (I think it's partly what brought us together) and every anniversary he faces those wealth of complicated emotions again. I don't completely understand it, and frankly, I feel incredibly blessed than I don't, even as I know that one day I will.

    As for me, my life is good. My life always seems good, and sometimes it's hard for me to tell if it's just because I'm a really positive person who always counts my blessings or if I'm just living a naturally blessed life. Lately I've been focusing a lot on my blog. It's been the first serious creative outlet I've invested in since high school. I'd kind of forgotten how fulfilling a creative project can be. I hope that I don't forget it again and make an effort to never stop creating. In true introvert fashion, if I have a good book to read, a creative project to do, a tasty dinner to make, and an animal to cuddle with, I'm pretty darn happy.


  15. I'm... okay.
    My job is very frustrating and I want out, but don't know where I would go or what I would do instead. This is compounded by the fact that we need my salary, especially since we are house hunting since we need to be in a better school district for my daughter who starts school next fall. House hunting is its own brand of frustrating. How is it that two hard working adults, who've saved aggressively and paid down their current house aggressively, can hardly find a house within their budget? Is everyone else here buying outside of their means? I don't get it and it sucks. We aren't even looking for anything grand, 3 bed, 1.5 bath... but apparently we have to pay an arm and a leg for that unless we want something so out of date my grandmother would say it reminds her of her childhood.

    That said, we are healthy. And we have so many other things to be thankful for. I know that these frustrations will pass, I just have to keep on.

  16. So sweet of you to ask how we are doing!

    I too am learning balance. I had my son at the end of June this summer so it's been quite a journey of healing after an unplanned c-section, dealing with postpartum emotions, raising a baby, and regular life. Today I am exhausted. As my son is about to be 4 months old we are establishing a sleep schedule and bedtime routine for him because for the last two months he has refused to go to sleep before 11pm and most nights it's closer to midnight. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. But I'm also happy because my son is so adorable, I've been so blessed and I'm able to stay home full time to blog and raise our son, and I'm going to pump so that my husband can take the middle of the night feeding tonight so I can get at least 45 minutes more sleep. Any tips for establishing a sleep schedule/bedtime routine?

  17. I'm sad, we have been trying for another baby for over 18 months and I'm losing hope. We are both" working" just not working together.. I have only told one friend as I don't want the pressure and expectations that is strong from both families. I'm losing hope. Maybe it's fate and I have to learn to live with the ache in my heart.

  18. I'm five months pregnant and a new stepmom to a three-year old. I'm feeling guilty that I don't instantly feel maternal towards him and I'm having trouble learning these new mom things. I haven't had the three years to know everything that his parents have had. And I'm not taking over, just a new person in his life, you know? Maybe his mother doesn't do much for him, but she's had three years with him. His father doesn't feel like I have any limitations with him, but I don't feel like he understands how difficult it is to just step in and start playing mom when you've never been a mom before. There are some things I just don't think about. There are some things I just don't know. Yes, I can educate myself, but there's a difference in learning something from books and learning because you've spent time, and you've been experiencing. My only experience with a little boy is my younger brother, who is now 18, and I was only eight when he was born. My mother was very ill and my sister and I basically raised him to start with, so my experiences are fuzzy and from the perspective of a child taking care of a child.

    I'm feeling a lot of pressure, and I'm feeling like everything is out of control. I feel like I don't have time to love and enjoy my pregnancy. I feel like it's getting put on the backburner and like I'm going to miss it. As much as I try to remedy it, I can't seem to find a good balance that keeps everyone happy.

    So that's how I am! Thanks for asking and listening to honest answers, not the "I'm going fine" ones we all like to give.


  19. Hmmm, thanks for asking. I've been better. I've been super stressed at work and surrounded with negativity. It's exhausting. I'm a teacher and it's just so taxing as is. I made a resolution last night to be more positive and not get so stressed out. Also, my leg's been hurting and I don't know why so that's really disconcerting. Sorry to be Debbie Downer. In the big scheme of things, life is good.

  20. So I started a new job 4 weeks ago and after 2 first week of training I was very stressed/down during the whole weekend..stressing I will not be good at the beginning, then being down about the money and even that I look not the best..and that Sunday evening (during that horrible weekend) I learned that one of the most beautiful polish actresses died of cancer at the age of 35, leaving 3 kids behind..and I started thinking..and I am being down cause of the work?and I am letting myself down coos of the money?etc She was beautiful (her name is Anna Przybylska), young, loving and carrying, doing what she loved for living, happily married mother of 3...and I started thinking what really matters..the following week at work was the best I had in my life..stress-less..I asked questions, I helped customers with a smile on my face, I was telling people what (sadly) inspired me to care about my health and the time we got with our family and friends..and then the next weekend came and I received the worst news a daughter could ever dad died at the age of 55...confirming what matters the dad with a smile always on his face, willing to help yes..even though I feel broken I promised my dad and myself that I will carry that smile from now on and I will cherish the moment with my fiance and our dog, will visit my country more often to see my family and friends and try to be if you asking me how I am, I can easily tell you that I am happy..

  21. I just wrote this insanely long reply and my computer decided to start it goes at another try!
    Thank you for such an honest post! I understand this time of year being in a state of loss and happy and feeling a light breeze with the sun shining upon you. This time of year is particularly hard for will be 5 years in November since my older brother passed. Jonny was his name, he was 27 and left behind a young son. Life was not too kind to him, no denying that and he fought....but he decided it was his time....suicide is never an easy thing to grasp. My heart breaks a little with each day as I miss him more than I could ever describe...having a broken heart for 5 years is exhausting. Adult conversations are quite limited...I am a stay at home mom to 4 babes and my husband works long hours, so "venting" is not always in my favor. I struggle to keep my head above water, I truly do, but there are days where I am swimming just fine. Thats life I suppose....thank you for sharing such honesty, I truly appreciate it xoxo

  22. Love this post! Great idea. I feel like we don't like talking about ourselves unless people really show that they want to know more about you, you know?
    I could definitely be better. I'm trying to enjoy the present and take in everything I'm surrounded with, but I could definitely do better. I'm a freshman in college and so far my year has really not been all I had it in my mind to be. A lot of things have happened here that have really turned me off so I mostly sit in my room unless it's to go out and do things I enjoy such as yoga or my classes, obviously. Anyway, I've decided that I'm definitely transferring next year, so now I just have to worry about that whole process again and hope that I get into to the schools I'm hoping for... again. It's frustrating, but hopefully it'll all pan out to be okay. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe I just got the crappy luck out of this college thing.
    Thanks for letting me vent on here, though! Hearing a teenager go on about their problems isn't always the most fun thing ;)
    I get what you mean about just being happy, however. Sometimes I'll just be sitting around and thinking about what's ahead, or how much I like the way I decorated my room and I'll just get a feeling of happiness. It's so awesome. :)

  23. How am I? Better... The past year (exactly a year - it all kicked off last October) has been one death and piece of terrible news and truly stressful situation after another. It's been expensive, too. Sometimes I've coped much better than I would have expected and sometimes I've crumbled. Every time I think that must be the last of the bad stuff, something else comes along. BUT finally good news is starting to creep in, too - little bits and big bits - and I'm optimistic the balance is tipping.

  24. How am I doing? Hm... Like you, I think we're kind of in the same page. We're trying to learn to find balance.

    I just realized how crazy life is and how hard figure stuff out. I'm not in my happiest moment and yet [I think] I'm happy. 2 weeks ago I felt that I just had a depression. I'm still not sure if I still have it though. It felt awful and devastating. I kept thinking what would it be if I died. And how would I do it. It was awful that I cried every single night before sleep.

    This is just me, but I'm trying to get close to God again because I haven't been close to Him for awhile now. And things start to get better but not right away. I try to think that the process is always the hardest part but if I try to imagine the "finish line", I think the process will be worth it. Even though it's so damn hard.

    I'm in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend who is 10k miles away and this doesn't get easier. I miss him every time. But I feel that he doesn't miss me the way I do to him because he has all this friends and family to accompany him. And while I, at the other hand, still don't get to hang out every week because I don't have close friends yet. Did I tell you that I'm in my first year of college? Yeah, that explains it.

    So every night I feel I'm drowning. Every afternoon I feel I'm on the edge, almost falling from the cliff. Every morning I am full of hope, "maybe today will get better."

    Some days I'm tired and not ready for the "fight." But I have to fight for myself in order to be and get better. Why life doesn't get easier when we get older?

    Anyway, thanks for asking. :)

  25. it is always a pleasure to read you Dani always this feeling that you're experiencing similar things to me and often simultaneously. crazy.

    Me? It's okay. I am not at peace with my body, I can not stand me. I am sure that it is improving, I just turned 25 and it's time that I finally love me!
    My two boys are in great shape, nothing more important. They love it.

    I do not like the fall, I'm looking forward to Christmas this atmosphere that I love.
    Here in France the days are shorter because of the time change here and mine a little.

    Sorry for my english .. lol pathetic